Interviews by Niels Kolling, picture by Richard X
Richard X (demo producer); Wow, that’s been a while for Credo, I dug out the demo CDs and reminded myself what happened of not producing anything for the LP! Did a bit with Phil and Rob back in the day, looked at Privilege, Get Together and Love To Be Loved (which became Single Minded I think), in a sort of a post-their-songwriting pre-production period. I remember sometime around 2009 Mark Jones coming to the studio all excited about a new signing and then pulling open his jacket revealing a pink Dare T-shirt and going “It’s the League!”. Mark was always full of enthusiasm and that’s often half the battle in getting records made. Things were changing around that time in the industry and I do remember it being challenging for anybody making records that year. It’s probably easier now to make a good record and get exposure and have more direct fan access than it was then.
I’d seen the band around over the years and had a few dealings with them through my records but we hadn’t actually done anything in the studio together. So I think we all met up at a restaurant and I was “of course, let’s try something”. I later got to hear some of the songs that Phil and Rob had worked on, I had a listen again to the demo CD and sure enough they all morphed and appeared on Credo. They were looking for producers and it was pretty informal, I think they wanted to see what could be done with the songs, suggestions and arrangements, the sort of thing you do to move raw songs to the next stage.
So early 2010 Rob and Phil came down to the studio at Miloco in South London, Phil had brought a few bits - an analogue sequencer, a Jupiter 4 which I didnt have at the time, and as soon as Phil played it I heard so much of the Travelogue and Dignity Of Labour sounds I was - right, I NEED one of these. By 2010 it was more common that the finished record would end up with parts of the demo incorporated into it - people were making tracks on laptops, getting great vibes or capturing certain experimental sounds in the demo process that there was no point recreating as they were perfect for the job as is. Also I think Phil and Rob had spent some time on some synth parts understandably , and some of these were to be kept. Sound wise I think it's very much Phil's vision and I think that needs to come from him, I imagine that certainly influences the songwriting direction.I can hear that in the finished Credo some went through to that final master. I think they were using Ableton by now so most of the writing had been done on that.
I remember my priority being simplifying some of the arrangements and clarifying sounds, Phil wanted to do the lyrics separately - some were first drafts (Single Minded for example had the original chorus lyric and title “I love to be loved”). Normally my production style is mostly work from co-writing the original song, and getting that 100% finished first before looking further the production and sounds but because with these songs I couldn’t do all of that I think it felt best use of the time is to see if I can push them a little forward and maybe if Phil goes away with that next stage demo, does his lyrics, we can come back to more of the production style. So I chipped away at three tracks Privilege, I Love To Be Loved and Get Together, I think we maybe had 4 days together to look through. (They were) easy going and open minded, I think they knew what they wanted and song wise were pretty much there give or take some lyrics. At that point you are just offering suggestions that might take it somewhere, or point out arrangement things that might make the song snappier, hopefully better!
It was all good fun and I was cool with whatever would happen, I’d hoped to be able to do more to make from scratch but really it was a pre-production exercise. I didn’t hear anything after that, I think I was talking to Dave Beevers (band engineer) after Credo and he said “D’you know, we were thinking, did anyone tell Richard what was going on?” and I was like, nope ha ha but these things happen. I-Monster did a good job, I could hear some songs like Never Let Me Go were completely different and together they’d pulled the song very much to the fore, that and Privilege I think were my faves. I think they respected Phil and Robs ideas song wise and sound and direction wise kept it in the League family of albums. We just need a new THL record don’t we? The League and most of my fave bands strive to move on, not look back. I sent Phil some backing tracks a few months back so we’ll see if anything appears!
Dean Honer (producer); I am a fan of the band. I met Philip through working with the All Seeing I. He sang on a couple of tunes for us. I also produced a track called Rock and Roll Is Dead for Kings Have Long Arms which featured Philips vocals. (Producing the album) came about because of a chance meeting in Sheffield's Endcliffe Park. I bumped into Philip while he was walking his dog and I was out playing football with my kids. He mentioned that he was working on some new material, which sounded interesting, so I offered to do a mix for him. Luckily he gave me the opportunity to do it. A few days later he dropped off the parts for a few of the tracks and Jarrod and I began work on them.
Some demos were very rough and raw while others had obviously had more time spent on them. On most if not all of the tracks the vocals were just Philip and Rob. Susan and Jo were added after we had done some work on the songs. It then became more obvious as to which songs suited which vocals. I think the band did a lot of the demos on Ableton and Logic Audio. We use Cubase so they would just prepere us separate audio stems for each track. I don't exactly know what Philips vision was for the album, we just did our best and the band seemed to like what we came up with. I really liked the Oberheim SEM module. So I looked for one and now have a beautiful Oberheim TVS1 Two Voice. I'm also a bit of an analogue collector so I like trying to outdo Philip on synth geek knowledge. I think I'm beating him at the moment! :-)
Jarrod Gosling (Producer); I have always been aware of The Human League (obviously), going back to about 1981. I loved 'Being Boiled' when it was released as a single. I preferred it to the contemporary singles from 'Dare'. I'm not sure what 'fan' means these days. If it means that I love their work, but don't have posters of them on my wall, then yes I am! However, I'll show you the tattoo one day. Mark (Jones, head of Wall Of Sound) is a huge League fan. He'll probably have the posters on his wall too! I think it's a great match. Cool band and cool label.
Phillip is always in the area and never far from contact. I thought, "cool, something to get our teeth into". At the time though, we weren't sure if it would lead to anything. We were just going to try some ideas out first. But it was exciting. There was a whole album's worth of demos. Some more evolved than others. Filers weren't sent over the internet. We did it kind of old fashioned - Phillip brought the files down on his pen stick! We spent very little time in the studio together. They recorded any new parts at their studio and dropped them off for us to work on in our studios. They have a huge amount (of gear). We borrowed a few - the Jupiter, Oberheim 4 voice, Pearl Syncussion... It was a very relaxed and agreeable way of working.
We both (Dean Honer) throw ideas in and agree or disagree. Two's company - three's a crowd. It's usually a very democratic way of working. I worked on some tracks at my place, Dean at his. We worked on some others simultaneously. Of course, we got together to finish them all off. There were numerous bits that weren't developed. I'm not sure if anything will get a future release if worked on. I've not played the album since it came out. My favourite is 'Sky'. I love 'Egomaniac', 'Get Together', 'Stars Start To Shine' and 'Never Let Me Go'.
Nick Burke (band member); I had no expectations of being involved in the album making process, even after 10 years. It always seemed like a step beyond my station. Being asked to input on a new Human League album was thrilling and surreal in equal measures for me, a lovely recognition and a huge privilege. I honestly had no idea what they were up to or what was required from me until the days of the actual recordings so I wasn't privy to any of the demo process until I was asked to come up with a part on the day. I was very intrigued as to what a new THL record would turn out like.
I played my parts on the demos in front of Philip and Rob at an early stage down at THL HQ, then wandered down the road to do my album bits at the I Monster studio with Dean and Jarrod a year or so later. I met Dean Honer and Jarrod Gosling (I Monster) around the time 'Never Odd Or even' came out and was asked to tour with their live band, on the tour that sadly never happened. I was extremely flattered to be asked back to play guitar on their next album 'A Dense Swarm Of Ancient Stars'. They are great to work with, the sessions I did with them for Credo were rewarding and such fun. We got the old Roland guitar synth unit kicking out some great noises! I was never emailed through the matrix to my knowledge! To have been involved with it makes me burst with pride.
Neil Sutton (Band member); My favourites (on the album) are Egomaniac, Never Let Me Go, Sky and Electric Shock.
Mike Ward Somerset (musician); Ah The Human League album. I know Philip Oakey, I'd known the band for years. I was on Virgin myself at the same time as "Dare", I know Dean Honer and Jarrod Gosling very well. Philip was in my Radio Play Kafka Chic alongside Martyn Ware, Glen Gregory and Adi Newton, Phil is very funny in my play. I wrote all the songs to Dean Honer's music (and) we produced them. I'm singing lead vocals on E and H and bits and bobs on other tracks. Glen Gregory and Stephen Mallinder both perform, I originally wanted Philip to sing All Over The World (Lotta Little People Like Me). I'd love to make the music (from the play) available.
Dean and Jarrod asked me to play on a track... I'll check with Jarrod on which track it was, (but) I think it was Breaking the Chains. I have the album, I like it very much. My favourite tracks are Breaking the Chains (naturally!) and Night People.
An interesting anecdote. My mum who is in her 90's now used to tell me about a worker at Western Park Hospital where she delivered papers. He had long hair on one side, took the NME every week and was in a band . Guess who?
Mike Marsh (master engineer); When Phillip arrived at The Exchange we shook hands and he said “Great to meet you, you mastered our last album! Thanks!” I replied “Great to meet you too – I used to have your poster on my bedroom wall as a teenager!” I then reminisced about how I had revised to my ‘O’ Level Examinations listening to the Dare album over and over! Phillip questioned whether I passed any exams because of it – thankfully yes! I always try and give 110% to everything I do and in this business, like many you’re only as good as your last job so you always have to keep raising the bar. It’s always great to have an artist return for another session as it’s a real compliment. Anyone can go anywhere in the world now to get their music mastered so when people choose you personally to work on their music, it’s a real honour.
Mark Jones (head of Wall Sound Records) is the one running the label and he’s a real “music man”. He is one of those special industry old school types who actually really cares about what he does and lives for it passionately. He puts music first and business second and that’s the whole reason most of us work in music today – because we’re passionate about it and can’t imagine life without it. I’ve worked a lot over the years with Daniel Miller (Mute Records) and Mike Pickering (Sony) and these guys are all the same. Insanely passionate about music and totally in love with what they do.
Phillip Oakey and Dean Honer were with me for the whole session. It is full of great tracks, I actually thought lots of the tracks stood out and potentially there could be quite a few singles from this album. Immediately obvious ones to me though were Night People, Sky, Egomaniac and Electric Shock and I’m really proud to have been a part of it. None of the tracks were overly challenging in getting them to sound like how I wanted them to. In this instance Dean Honer and Phillip had done a fantastic job of getting those “fundemantel basics” right. Some tracks needed more work than others, and each track was slightly different but none of them needed “rescuing”.
I was getting in there mainly to enhance energy and excitement because in terms of track frequency content they had almost nailed it during the mixing. All the tracks were mixed with slightly different levels so we had to iron that out with some individual limiting and compressing at different settings for each track along with varying EQ settings depending in what was or wasn’t missing. We also had mix variations were Dean and Phillip made mixes with components like Vocals Up ot Vocals Down in the mix, as well as Drums pushed up or Drums quitter etc. These variations were done so that we could get axactly the right feel and balance between the beats and the vocals.
Oliver Davis (Roland collaborator); I just love this album, not just because my name is on it but because it captures everything that I live about The Human League - the sounds, structures, hooks etc. One of the few albums (all artists) that I can just put on and listen through to the end.
Andrew Meecham (Remixer); Mark (Jones, head of Wall Of Sound) is really good for the Human League I think. He is keeping the band alive from a creative point of view. Great move. I think Wall Of Sound have covered all angles from a dancefloor angle. Can't really think of a better label that they should be on. James Walker at Synth Repair told me that they were recording a new album. I then contacted Mark and Alvin at Wall of Sound and asked them to let me know when the album was finished because I would love to do a mix. I didn't have high hopes but then a few months down the line Alvin contacted me and offered me the mix (Emperor Machine Mix).
Fusty Delight (Remixer); We were very impressed by their ability to produce a modern album being still The Human League! Wall of Sound is definitely one of the best homes for them!
Nikos Bitzenis (Remixer); we (George and I) did some meetings in London with Mark Jones and the boys at Pias to release Credo for Greece and Cyprus. I believe that Credo is a really good album. I really liked Egomaniac, Sky, Into The Night and Get Together. Of course I must also mention the great album production. If we didn’t like the album a lot, we would never consider to release it through Undo Records. Our Fotonovela “Egomaniac” remix and Marsheaux’s “Sky” remix would be the extra tracks to the greek edition of Credo. We agreed to do the promo for Credo, but the greek edition has never been released due to some issues between EMI and PIAS. It is an internal idea to release the cd singles box for the record store day in Greece but we must reach a deal with PIAS and EMI Greece first. It is difficult but we really want to do it.
Marsheaux (Remixer); We were lucky because we listened to the album 2 months before it’s release. We liked it. Together with Sky we also liked a lot Breaking The Chains and Never Let Me Go form the first listening. Wasn’t their best album but at least it didn’t disappoint us. Wall Of Sound is really a cool record company. We think that groups like The Human League, OMD, Blancmange, Heaven 17 need independent labels, not major labels. So we believe Wall Of Sound is a perfect choice.
Felix Bloxsom (Remixer); It’s a joy to have The Human League back making great records again in the spirit pf the Dare days. The Wall Of Sound rooster is quite eclectic but in a weird way all fits together well, I think it’s a good fit.
Martin Brodin (remixer); I was a fan for sure. I grew up in that era when those great bands came to life in the UK like Depeche Mode, New Order, Ultravox, Soft Cell. And Human League was definitely one of those great ones. Wall Of Sound is number one in my book when it comes to sign interesting new bands but lately also icons from the past and bring them to life again. They did a great job with Grace Jones for example. And I think they have done the right things with Human League as well. And they can’t be wrong with signings like Röyksopp and Aeroplane, two outstanding artists in my ears. Wall Of Sound asked me if I wanted to give it a go with The Martin Brodin Remix of Sky). Said and done, I stepped on it and made my remix which fortunately was approved. It was a great privilege doing it.
TRACK BY TRACK GUIDE
NEVER LET ME GO
Jarrod Gosling; Also a single, therefore it needed tweaking, tweaking and extra tweaking in every department. Edits, and big edits they were, due to the album version being much longer and the arrangement quite unusual. A challenging track to do.
Dean Honer; The demo was pretty different from the finished track. It only had the one verse which was repeated. All the vocals on the demo were by Philip and Rob, Jo and Susan were not on the track. Most of the vocal melodies remained pretty much as they were from demo to finish. The arrangement got cut and pasted about in the development process. I think most of the music from the original demo got discarded along the way, in fact I dont know if any of the recorded demo parts appear on the finished track! Maybe some of the "Oooh! backing vocals from Philip and Rob? After Jarrod had done his polishing and production process and produced a reworked version, we gave this new version to the band, they liked it (phew!) and then they decided to get Susan and Jo to sing the whole song together rather than it being a Philip lead vocal.
They then recorded the new vocals at their studio and sent them to us. The last stage of the production was fitting the new vocals into the arrangement and spicing up some of the sounds. We thought it sounded good with Susan singing the verses and Jo on the bridges then both of them together on the choruses. We used Pitch and Warp in Cubase to change some of the melodies slightly and to give the"tuned" vocal effect. They are not "Auto-Tuned". Its all done manually word by word, syllable by syllable. Using the tuned effect seemed to make the lyric harder and colder which we quite liked.
We also replaced a lot of the plug in synths that Jarrod had used for his demo, with real analogue synths. The verse bassline was made using my Oakley modular synth, fantastic, British built machine. Bridge bass is Minimoog. Chorus synths are Oberheim 2 Voice, Minimoog and a bit of twinkly Oscar. The stabby chords are a mixture of Minimonsta plug in and Roland JX8P a very 80's sounding machine. There is also quite a lot of MS20 noises and whooshes on there. Drum sounds are a mixture, a lot of Fairlight 2 percussion sounds, a classic Human League "Dare" era Linn LM1 Snare, one of our own kik samples.
Nick Burke; I came up with a melody over an instrumental track in this case. The next time I heard the song was post production and a section of my part had emerged as a vocal melody. I thought it was a clever writing technique on I Monster's part but it may have been written in before that stage as far as I know. I sound like Manuel from 'Faulty Towers' - "I know NO-THEENG". I really rate the Aeroplane remix and would love to have a crack at a live version of it one day.
Mike Marsh; Used quieter drums mix and needed midrange EQ and some low freq adding, along with some compressing.
Fred Ventura (Remixer); I'm friend of the Italian promotion company that work with Wall Of Sound, they played me the album and we both agree there was space for a good rework for Never Let Me Go (the Italoconncection Remix). They tried to sound like the good old days but it's a little difficult if you don't work with Martin Rushent (R.I.P.) or Jo Callis. The only pity for me was that there was too little Philip Oakey in the track, I love his voice too much
Paolo Gozzetti (Remixer); We wanted to respect the original song, giving our peculiar touch to the track. So we decided to isolate the parts we imagined we would use for a song of our own. We added our Italoconnection formula and then, when we felt we got it right, we added vocals and we were almost there. For us, working for the Human League was like having to cope with a piece of art. We actually use virtual synths (strictly replicas of vintage stuff) coupled with top notch, all-valve outboard hardware. This mixture is a deadly killer for sound and efficiency.
Casey Raymond (Video director); We were asked to submit a treatment by the label, I guess the band liked it and we got to make the video (quite the anecdote, eh?). We came up with the idea for the video by ourselves. However during a pre-shoot meeting with the band I suggested that I wanted to do a slit scan of Phil’s head (which can be seen at the beginning and end of the video), and coincidently Phil had taken some panoramic type photos on his phone of his head, which were pretty similar to what I had in mind. The main abstraction in the video is mirrors, everything is done with mirrored imagery. Symmetry just makes people look odd and alien. We took that as a start and just kept making things weirder, like walls of body parts.
The most laborious part was the slit scat processing. They were genuinely lovely, I wouldn’t say so if it wasn’t true. It’s nice to know you can spend that long in the music industry and not become a dick. Or maybe when you spend that long in the industry, some people come out the other end with a concerted mindset not to be one. I think the internet has breathed new life into the music video genre. They seem to compliment each over. Although big money will always monopolise, as they’re able to advertise and buy favours more. It’s a far more level playing field now, and more viewer led, so if you’re doing good original work there’s far more chance of getting your work seen.
Jarrod Gosling; Again a single. This was the first single. Many mixes and tweaks were done here. This one had to appeal to the clubbers. Quite different to 'NLMG' and 'Sky'. I love the lyrics BTW.
Dean Honer; We received the files of the demo in February. At this time it already had the fast gnarly bassline in place, the main Night People repeated vocal and also the crazy verse vocals, which were originally Philip only but with a different bass line underneath.The girls Gentle Lighting part was also in place but was more of a drop down middle 8 section. After trying out some ideas on the track we stripped down the rhythm and tried to hang the track around the great bass line. We put a new bass line under the verse vocals and a more uplifting bass and synth part under the girls middle 8. We also threw in a new synth riff at the end over which Philip then wrote the "Get Away" section.
It was a case of us doing a bit of fiddling at our studio then sending it to the band to either say "thats rubbish"or "thats great", then they would do a bit more fiddling and send it back to us and so on......
Night People probably involved the most fiddling and sending back and forth out of all the tracks on the album. Not sure which synths the band used on all the sounds on this track but I know they used a Studio Electronics SE-1 for the main bass line. I think we put it through a distortion pedal. We did try to use all analogue synths in the production of the album but sometimes we would use a few plug-ins, mainly GMedia stuff like the Odditty and Minimonsta.
Nick Burke; Night People is so much fun to play live, because it is simply banging. The 'gang vocal' really makes me feel part of the group in a strange way - I suppose it comes down to having the same belief in the statement myself and relating to the sentiment of the song. I love Cerrone so I was excited to hear his remix. The drums are quite something.
Mike Marsh; Used both Main Vocal Mix and Vocal Up Mix and edited between the two to maintain best vocal level. Added high frequency EQ, some low freq and some compressing. Also worked on the Radio Edit in readiness for single release.
Marc Cerrone (Remixer); Mark Jones called me up one day with great news, which was that Phil would love to have one track remixed by me! (Cerrone Club Remix) It was obviously a great pleasure and a honour to work on this track. As I considered Philip's voice to be the key element of the song, I focused on building all the sounds to underline and serve the voice, because to me, melody is the most important thing. The last part of the song had many good things.
I found rather quickly the direction I had in mind. I wanted also not to sound too ‘Cerrone’, and aimed to magnify the Human League touch which remains their most acknowledged trademark. I also had in mind this remix was for the clubs, and as I still do numerous showcases around the world, I know what the clubbers like, without being necessary into boring ‘DJ sound’. I worked with my engineer on Logic Pro with virtual synths. We have bunch of very good plug-ins and they sound really great! They allow you to be efficient and to choose quickly between several options in a few clicks. Nowadays time is a key factor in production. One cannot spent as much time as one did back in the 70's.
Andrew Meecham; The first time I heard the track I was on holiday in Butlins with my daughters and wife having a whale of a time with Bob the Builder and I received an email on my phone with a Soundcloud link to listen to the track. I was expecting the email so I was checking my phone regularly and when it arrived I deserted the wife and kids, and Bob and listened to the track on my phone and even then my reaction was that I was really pleased, it was what I wanted it to be for the new HL. They did exactly what I had hoped they would do. I got really excited.
I wanted to make something really synth driven and I wanted to use just two synths to do it. I just came out with a HL inspired riff, the track and the vocals filled me with inspiration I used the Roland System 100 as I wanted the sound of the early HL with a bit more of a modern production. I also used a Polymoog to recreate some of the Dare style synth strings. Whether they used a Polymoog I don't know but it did the job for me. It took me about a week to do. I think I also used a VCS3 in the track to thicken up some parts. I just wanted to make something really synth heavy knowing Philip likes disco I thought that would probably be a good route to take. So it just ended up being what it is. Anything I do never really ends up the way I intend it to. There was a track of syncushion that I really liked and kept. There were various synth noises and effects that I kept.
I replaced all the drums purely for the reason that the original drum track didn't really fit the type of synths I was playing. I needed more of a heavy disco beat. There were some of the synths on the original version that I didn't use because they didn't fit with what I had added. I always try to use as much of the original parts as possible unless the remix ends up going completely left field. The sample for the bass drum I use does sound like the start of Empire State Human kick drum. It is sampled from a disco 12 inch, but I can't remember what it is! I suppose because I use the System 100 for most of the bass parts it would have that familiar sound. I have always thought that if you want to make music like the early HL then get a System 100 and it is so instant. I think it would be a sad thing to remix the HL and then sample their original sounds. I am a synth hoarder and I have most synths that I need to recreate any period sound I want.
I originally did three remixes. The original vocal version that you have heard. I have done an instrumental version and also an alternative version that I didn't use. The alternative version that I didn't use was a huge homage to Travelogue and I thought it was a bit too retro so I didn't finish that version, although I did like it and got really excited about doing it as his vocals fitted perfectly, but it was too much. I decided to carry on with the dancefloor version. To be honest I was a bit gutted that my mix didn't make the 12" and I'm not sure that the instrumental version will ever be released by Wall Of Sound. Suppose that makes it a bit special.
Philips vocals were really inspiring. I love his bizarre lyrics, always have done. I thought the girls sounded really cool as well. I think I was just lucky to be working on a HL track which was good before I even touched it, that really helps a lot in remixing.I do read my own press good and bad. I am really pleased with the reactions. I know some people have said that I have ripped off Giorgio Moroder. I am not offended by the comparison (maybe even a bit flattered) and have a huge amount of respect for Giorgio Moroder and love what he does but I think people may need to listen a bit more carefully and perhaps listen to a bit more of what I did on the remix and listen to a bit more of my work.
Jarrod Gosling; The first track we worked on. My favourite (and) a pleasure to work on. This one went quite smoothly as far as I remember. Spotting hit potential is particularly difficult these days. 'Sky' stood out from day one. That was the "hit", in my ears, ie, it's a bloody good song, and classic League. Love the synth riff - because it's great and I'm shamelessly promoting it.
Dean Honer; Sky demo sounded good already, the chorus hook was great. The vocal structure was pretty much complete. Verses, bridges and choruses same as on album. A few lyric changes. New 2nd verse added later I think. Just Philip singing. We worked a lot on the rhythm and bass line on this track, we were kind of influenced by Dare era sounds I think. Kind of a Don't You Want Me style bass line and Linn drums.
The songs intro is Philips original Jupiter 6 melody plus some Mellotron strings that we added. the song. The bass is my Minimoog Model D. The drums are a mixture of Linn LM1 samples and some of our own sounds.The strings on the bridge are from my Godwin String Concert string machine. The Popcorn style sounds on the verses are from my Roland Promars. There are also some Sequential Pro One FX running through.
Nick Burke; 'Sky' sounds huge (live).
Neil Sutton; I loved (that) we opened the set with Sky on the UK part of the (Credo) tour, and I think it worked really well!!
Mike Marsh; From the moment I heard it and throughout the session we had when mastering the album it always stood out to me as the best track! Technically it was the best track too! Used Vocal Up mix along with a bit of high frequency EQ and low freq EQ and a bit of subtle compressing. This track was the best sounding mix in its initial form.
Fusty Delight (Remixer); I think our manager knew a guy from Wall of Sound and told him about us. I was so excited when our manager told us about that remix request. Then we got the parts and submitted our remix (the Fusty Delights Remix). I actually realised how a track that seems quite simple can be very constructed! I loved the vocal parts... We mainly used the vocal parts for the remix. At that time, we actually weren't good enough at wave processing to use the synths parts as well as we wanted. Our goal was to do something catchy while respecting the original atmosphere. As 80's lovers, we also wanted to add a few nods to their hits in the remix. I hope you heard them! We only use virtual synths when we produce. That is much more easier. It’s always hard for us to make radio edits. We create a track and think a lot about its construction. Than someone asks you to make it so short !!!! In this case, I think we got some advices from Wall of Sound. At the end, we were quite ok with the radio edit. We had to wait a little bit for the band to accept it. That was very cool!
Marsheaux; Mark Jones was in contact with the boys of our label, as Undo was going to distribute the Credo CD in Greece. They asked us to pick a track from Credo that we would like to remix (the Marsheaux Remix) and we chose Sky without knowing that this would be the 3rd single. We didn’t have any ambitions, when you have to deal with Phil’s voice then you must be faithful to the original. We’ve listened to the acappella many many times. We’d love to do a duet with Phil. Actually we made a different production that a remix to the track. We use virtual synths when we’re doing remixes (actually we try new software everytime we remix).
We also did a really great Dub version (it reminds us a lot of Arthur Baker’s remix of New Order’s Confusion) and an extended mix of the edit version. We have sent them to the record company but really don’t know if they have serviced them anywhere. We’ve been told that Undo will try too release the 3 Credo singles on CD (3 cd singles housed into a boxset) with all the extra mixes + the Egomaniac (Fotonovela Remix) but we don’t know if this is going to see the light of day. A bit disappointed with the company not releasing not even one of the 3 singles in physical format, only digitals. It’s different when you have your music on physical cd.
Felix Bloxsom; The vocals on Sky are classic Human League in my opinion. I really like it, I'm happy they have stayed for the most part true to their old sound but it also feels contemporary. It was interesting to hear all the stems separately and to see what was labeled what, synths and drum machines etc. My initial urge (for the Plastic Plates Mix) was to make a retro Human League track, but it was already enough of that in the original so I just went with what first came out. With all of my remixes I try to make them really different from the originals, more like reworks I guess. It’s really fun and challenging coming up with new chord changes and vibe and making it sound natural. Big fans of the artists sometimes don't like it because they're so attached to the original, you can't win them all.
I used only the vocals so I didn't spend too much time with the other parts, that way I wouldn't get attached to hearing them. I cut out the pre chorus which I couldn't get to fit harmonically. I was a bit scared Phillip would be mad at but it got approved straight away. On the Sky remix I used a Korg Polysix, Prophet 5, Omega 8, Pocket Piano, 1964 Gibson 125, upright piano, Fender Rhodes, live percussion, some drum samples, live hats and crashes.. I think that's it for that one... There's a lot of layers.
Martin Brodin; I think (Sky) sounded like Human League and that was the beauty of it. They still have their trademark sound. I (enjoyed the sound of) the song and the synths. It’s processed samples sounded as if they’re from the Love & Dancing album. I wanted it to sound early eightees with a feeling of New York Disco Music of that time, mixed with a bit of Martin Rushent feeling to it. It was 100% virtual synths. Used to have loads (of analogue gear) but these days virtual ones does the tricks for me.
INTO THE NIGHT
Jarrod Gosling; This one didn't prove to be too much like hard work. I thought this was interesting, in that it sounded quite different to typical League. The songwriting I mean.
Nick Burke; At the moment (my) overall favourite song is 'Into the Night'.
Mike Marsh; Used main vocal mix and opened up mix with high frequency EQ along with some additional low freq EQ.
Jarrod Gosling; This one was the first one that I initially worked on at my place. We kept the trancey synth line that runs through the chorus, which was on the demo. I love what Susan and Joanne did on this. That wasn't on the demo, but it really adds a lot to the song.
Nick Burke; My joint favourite from Credo, I love playing Egomaniac (live).
Neil Sutton; I loved playing Egomaniac on tour, but I think we only played it in Europe??
Mike Marsh; I actually thought lots of the tracks stood out and potentially there could be quite a few singles from this album. Immediately obvious ones to me though were Night People, Sky, Egomaniac and Electric Shock. Used main vocal mix and opened up mix with high frequency EQ and a little midrange EQ along with some compressing.
Nikos Bitzenis; “Egomaniac” was my best moment in Credo that’s why we (Fotonovela) asked to remix it. When we are remixing, we always try to have in mind what the band would like. I never liked remixes that you only hear the sound of the remix and lose the initial feeling of the track. We decided to bring up the main theme that was digged down. We build the arrangement in virtual synths and we plug some analogues to add bass lines, leads etc. in the end.
Richard X; It was I Love To Be Loved which became Single Minded. I had an idea to take it into Moroder territory - I upped the tempo and made it more straight ahead dance - just as a possible direction. The original demo felt like it was holding back a little. Also working with a single line chorus at the time" I love to be loved" hinted at this dance world to me in that simplicity of an idea for a chorus rather than something more lyric which immediately goes more "pop" to me. It morphed into "Single Minded" on the album and there's a lot more light and shade in that production than i was going with, and the song is a lot further down the line. I think it highlights why I'm keen to work out the song first - you get a lot more interest and jump off points from that in where it can go, and you can always come back to a little writing as the production develops but the heart of it is all in place.
Jarrod Gosling;; A lesser track I think. The original version that we worked on had a completely different chorus, which had very 'Dare' like properties.
Mike Marsh; Used quieter drums normal vocals mix, added some high frequency EQ, some low freq EQ and some compressing.
Jarrod Gosling; A companion piece to 'Night People'. A clubbier track. I love the vocal break that Susan and Joanne sing in the middle. Reminds me of Buggles for some reason! Which, in my book, is a good thing. A quirky moment, which is important when a track is very linear.
Mike Marsh; Used “Philips’ girls vox down mix” along with a bit of high frequency EQ and some compressing.
Richard X; I think I picked as one to work on for this reason (Dare/Hysteria sound). My version was a bit more dancefloor influenced than the finished version, I think they did it better than where I would have done.
Jarrod Gosling; An early favourite for many of us. A good one to work on, as it's such a great song. This one, out of all of the Credo tracks, sounds the most like something from the Dare-Hysteria era.
Dean Honer; There were certain (demo) tracks that jumped out immediately, Get Together sounded very strong.
Mike Marsh; Used vocal main mix along with a bit of high frequency EQ and some compressing.
Richard X; I think out of my demos this one influenced the direction the most, bringing a 4 to the floor slightly slinkier vibe to the song. I liked and still like slower hypnotic synth tracks. I was using some of the demo vocals, the girls didn’t come down, and I had a what I thought good idea of pitching their vocals down in the middle 8 which I thought sounded great but maybe a step too far! A bit of that ended up in there. Again Phil reworked lyrics from where they were at demo stage I think.
Jarrod Gosling; The most Mark I sounding track on the album. Lots of old synths on here. This was the closest to the Mark I sound we'd dare go (pun intended).
Mike Marsh; Used vocal main mix along with larger amount of high frequency EQ as this mix was a bit duller than the others! Also some gentle compressing.
BREAKING THE CHAINS
Jarrod Gosling; Nicky played a great synth guitar line on the demo of this. We decided to throw that it in as an intro to the song and make more of it and I think it really works. I recorded some Mellotron right at the end. A first for The Human League!
Nick Burke; I made it (the guitar riff) up on the fly as I listened to the demo track while Philip and Rob's eyes slowly glazed over. It was meant to be a nod towards the John Hughes soundtrack-esque vibe on the Ladyhawke album (that I love) and to be honest I think it was more about the tone of the guitar synth getting in there as it is such a weird noise. It was more of an incidental part on the demo, rather than it's more prominent position in the finished version.
Mike Ward Somerset; I enjoyed playing on the track. I played saxophone with a "pitch to voltage" so it triggered a Korg synth. I was just asked to play to the track so I improvised. The producers I Monster edited what I played into what you hear. The band weren't present when I recorded.
Mike Marsh; Used quieter drums mix along with a bit of high frequency EQ and some compressing.
STARS START TO SHINE
Jarrod Gosling; A quirky one. Great. This one always stood out in demo form and wasn't changed too much. A great way to end the set. I always compared this one with 'Into The Night', as it has a 'musicals' feel to the songwriting. I think Phillip should write a musical.
Mike Marsh; Used main vocal mix, added some high frequency and mid-range EQ. Also added some low-mid EQ and used a bit of compression.
According to rumors most copies of the vinyl edition went up in flames in the Sony warehouse fire in London in 2011, which is why the album on vinyl cost about the same as a used car on ebay. But if you want to go old school (and who wouldn't) with a physical copy you can still get the CD album, like here at Amazon.
And why celebrate the anniversary by listening to some exquisite fan mixes of Night People, Sky and Egomaniac;