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Travelogue 1980 LP front

Travelogue is the title of The Human League's second studio album. It was released in May 1980 on the Virgin label.

The album was engineered and produced by The Human League and Richard Manwaring, except for the track "Being Boiled", which was engineered and produced by The Human League and John Leckie.

Although the album was met with critical acclaim and entered the UK charts at no. 16 immediately upon its release, Travelogue failed to break the group commercially. No singles were released from the album as such, since the decision had been made to release an EP Holiday '80 shortly before the album in order to push the song "Rock 'n' Roll", which would not be included on Travelogue.

After Holiday '80 failed to chart Virgin preferred to re-issue the 1979 single Empire State Human, and initial copies were sold with a free 7" single with Travelogue tracks "Only After Dark" b/w "Toyota City".

The album re-entered the Top 30 briefly in 1981 and 1982 after the success of the group in a different formation from the one that had produced Travelogue. By this time band members and songwriters Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh had gone on to form a new band Heaven 17.

History

Unlike the group's previous album, which had drawn from early recordings and demos, Travelogue contained mostly all new songs. The tracks were recorded and mixed at Monumental Pictures in Sheffield in March 1980, except for Toyota City which had been recorded in mono at the group's early recording set-up in Devonshire Lane, Sheffield in April 1978. The new version of Being Boiled was one of the first tracks to have been laid down for the new album with producer John Leckie, who would also produce the tracks on the Holiday '80 EP. Production duties for the rest of the album would pass on to Richard Manwaring who had previously produced The Mekons, a group with whom The Human League shared manager Bob Last.

Band personnel

  • Philip Oakey - synthesiser and vocals
  • Martyn Ware - synthesiser and vocals
  • Ian Marsh - synthesiser and vocals
  • Philip Adrian Wright - slides and films

Critical reception

  • In Smash Hits reviewer Red Starr gave the album "8 out of 10", praising the "excellent" lyrics, "one of rock's unique singers" and "an accomplished all-synthesiser line-up".[1]
  • Chris Westwood in Record Mirror was less enthusiastic awarding the album "+ + 1/2" describing the group as "a lost, worried Human League dangling from their own tether".[2]
  • Likewise Dave McCullogh in Sounds gave the album 3 stars, choosing just three stand-out tracks. He prophetically ends the review stating that their "humdrum routine" will "stifle..shorten..ultimately destroy".[3]

Track listing

Original album release

Virgin V2160 (timings taken from original LP release)

Side One

  1. The Black Hit of Space (4:05)
  2. Only After Dark* (3:45)
  3. Life Kills (3:02)
  4. Dreams of Leaving (5:46)
  5. Toyota City (3:15)

Side Two

  1. Crow and a Baby (3:40)
  2. The Touchables (3:20)
  3. Gordon's Gin** (2:58)
  4. Being Boiled (4:20)
  5. WXJL Tonight (4:35)

all titles by The Human League, except * by M. Ronson/S. Richardson, ** by Jeff Wayne

Travelogue CD 2003 rear

CD re-issue (1988) and remastered CD release (2003)

  1. The Black Hit of Space
  2. Only After Dark*
  3. Life Kills
  4. Dreams of Leaving
  5. Toyota City
  6. Crow and a Baby
  7. The Touchables
  8. Gordon's Gin**
  9. Being Boiled
  10. WXJL Tonight
  11. Marianne
  12. Dancevision
  13. Rock 'n' Roll/Nightclubbing
  14. Tom Baker
  15. Boys and Girls
  16. I Don't Depend On You
  17. Cruel

Tracks 11-13 originally issued on the Holiday '80 EP; tracks 14 & 15 issued as a 7" single, February 1981; tracks 16 & 17 originally issued as a 7" single in July 1979 as The Men.

Canadian LP release

A version the album was released in Canada with a slightly different tracklisting and artwork.

Virgin LP - VL 2202

Side One

  1. Voice of Buddha*
  2. The Black Hit of Space
  3. Only After Dark
  4. Life Kills
  5. Dreams of Leaving

Side Two

  1. Crow and a Baby
  2. The Touchables
  3. Gordon's Gin**
  4. Rock 'n' Roll/Nightclubbing
  5. WXJL Tonight

*alternative title for thenew version of "Being Boiled"

Re-issues

  • 1988: first 17 track CD issue (see above)
  • 2003: remastered 17 track CD issue (see above)
  • 2016: 180 gr vinyl (original tracklisting)

External links

Connections

  • original 1980 LP (bought 1980) and 2003 CD re-issue in record collection
  • Top 50 albums

References 

  1. Starr, R. Travelogue Album review, Smash Hits, May 15 1980, p.31
  2. Westwood, C., "Star Wars 1 Human League 0", Record Mirror 17 May 1980
  3. McCullogh, D., "Paradoxes in industry chic", Sounds, 24 May 1980.

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