Original Remixes & Rarities

The Human League

2005: Virgin/EMI 094633827820

  1. Being Boiled Album Version
  2. The Sound of the Crowd 12" Version Complete
  3. Hard Times Love Action B-Side
  4. Non-Stop Open Your Heart B-Side
  5. Don’t You Want Me Special Extended Dance Mix
  6. Mirror Man Extended Edition
  7. You Remind Me of Gold Mirror Man B-Side
  8. (Keep Feeling) Fascination Improvisation
  9. Total Panic Fascination B-Side
  10. The Lebanon 12" Extended
  11. Life on Your Own Extended
  12. Together in Electric Dreams Extended
  13. Human Extended Version
  14. Heart like a Wheel Extended Mix

“Total Panic” was one of my favorite Human League treats, a viciously addictive little dance-oriented instrumental, and for me its inclusion justified the purchase of this CD in combination with that of “(Keep Feeling) Fascination Improvisation.” What baffles me is that the EP of Fascination has never been released on CD or even included in toto on some other compilation…even this one only comes close, with four (well, three and 95% of the “Fascination” Improvisation, which here inexcusably fades out instead of ending with its proper tape-stopping lurch) out of the seven EP tracks.

Oh well. It’s another near-miss, and the vinyl-to-CD-transfer/reissue world is rife with them, so I’ll just sigh and consider hunting down the three remaining tracks, each of which has apparently been released on one compilation or another (although being sure I’m getting the beefed-up version of “I Love You Too Much” instead of the gutless original version might be tricky). And I’ll certainly enjoy most of what this CD contains—with the exception of “Human,” which I’ve loathed since I first heard it…as some reviewer astutely noted, it was the result of Human League taking themselves seriously and dropping the ball of their own joke, that being that this was a machine-driven (and -sounding) production unit, only incidentally “human.”

It’s been nice to hear that the bulk of these extended versions (not really any “remixes” here, despite that word appearing in the disc’s title, except for maybe the “Fascination” Improvisation, which brings back memories of how much fun remixes used to be before the dreary trance-y crap came to dominate the scene and turn everything into a maudlin swaying rhythm) were actually pretty damned good and remain so.