Dave Simpson
You may want to check the date on this, because the Sheffield electronic legends' comeback single sounds like vintage 80s League. Stark synthesisers, an instantly memorable hookline and lyrics about nightclubbing make for their best track in more than 20 years.


The Sun November 2010

Proving that not everything gets better with age, this drab electro-pop effort is as bad as it is farcical.  November 2010

The Human League are back! And they’re taking names and kicking ass!
Ever since the announcement that The League has signed to Mark Jones’ Wall Of Sound label we’ve been eagerly awaiting the fruits of that union, and here we have it! The first single from their upcoming ‘Credo’ album, ‘Night People’!

We were right in our previous assessment, there is something of ‘The Sound Of The Crowd’ about it. It’s sounding both really 80’s, and pretty contemporary too. Almost like a modern reMix of a classic The Human League track. The second half of the song is particularly epic when it evolves from early THL sounding chants to a sweeping finale.

It’s so good to have them back! November 2010
Chi Ming Lai

After Philip Oakey's sojourns with LITTLE BOOTS and PET SHOP BOYS last year, THE HUMAN LEAGUE finally are back good and proper with
Night People , the lead track from their new album Credo which will be released early 2011. Premiered publicly by Wall Of Sound supremo Mark Jones during his brilliant DJ set at OMD's History Of Modern launch party, this danceable ditty is not only very electronic but also highly contemporary too. And the lyrical couplet "leave your cornflakes in your freezers, leave your chocolates and your cheeses..." shows Mr Oakey hasn't lost his touch for off-the-wall symbolism, "join us now my friends, we hail you!"

Punchy, tight and almost minimal, Night People is a worthy comeback with its wonderfully elastic synthbass, trancey touches and enchanting deadpan vocals. Co-written by Philip Oakey and regular League sideman Rob Barton with Dean Honer and Jarrod Gosling aka I MONSTER who also produce, among those contributing remixes are French disco pioneer CERRONE, Rock 'N' Roll destroyer MYLO, funky electrotech merchant EMPEROR MACHINE and Belgian trio VILLA. November 2010

It feels a little wrong to call this a comeback, given The Human League have never been a prolific group, but this, the first single from their forthcoming 'Credo' album is a fortunately-timed return and a welcome one.

Given that electro-pop is now officially (at least still at the time of writing) the nation's favourite music, you could be forgiven for expecting the League to return after their usual lengthy hiatus with a good but relatively safe synth-pop song of the sort they've been knocking out sporadically ever since 'Dare!' And whilst 'Night People' is no major departure - they've not gone post-rock or anything - it's arguably the group's most surprising and unlikely single since 1984's 'The Lebanon'.

It seems to be striving for some kind of post-Xenomania non-conformist pop wherein standard verse/chorus convention is dismissed for loads of random bits thrown together that end up working by virtue of their individual and synergistic brilliance. There's also the faint, though possibly misleading, suggestion - mainly by way of the ludicrous lyrics and general air of deranged pop - that Oakey has listened to the group's two pre-'Dare!' albums for inspiration.

Thankfully, it's neither awful, nor embarrassing. In fact, after several listens, it eventually reveals itself to be almost a preposterously brilliant pop song from Phil, The Girls and whoever has programmed this album for them.

On the remix front, Cerrone do disco, Mylo pretends it's 1985 for three seconds before going a bit Northern Soul, whilst Emperor Machine try throbbing hi-NRG/Italo. Best of the bunch is Villa's frenetic Frankmusik-esque wonky pop, but none are a match for the original, really. November 2010


My initial response to reviewing this promo was 'Do I really have to write about the same track seven times?' On first listening, however, I was left eating, sleeping and dreaming 'Night People' as it is immediately evident that each remix does bring a uniqueness and new edge to this long awaited comeback

Having only been won over to the remixing idea in the last couple of years, I had mostly found them either a pointless exercise of regurgitating or an irritating corruption of a great single. It does seem some knob twiddling and clever tweaking can personalise a good track for other artists and for the fans alternative listening preferences. This promo illustrates this exceptionally and I think for now my favourite is the Emperor Machine Extended Vocal. As is often the case, favourites change with more listens though.
Out of the originals, the album version is unparalleled in my opinion. Despite the unfathomable lyrics, Philip's penetrating and rich vocals that have barely changed in thirty years take you to an oceanic abyss amongst the synth starkness

The single and radio edits obviously had to be condensed , however, the long intro of repetition with title lyrics 'Night People' is saved at the expense of fade out just as the track gets going which is a pity

What the remixes seem to do is put the punch back in the track that was so evident in the live clip leaked a couple of weeks back whilst also making sure there is something for everybody in The Human League's fan base diversity.
The Cerrone Mix starts with a club feel, four to the floor drum beat adding more depth to the severity of the original with a spine tingling dance floor filling decadence. The backing is more fleshed out with some science fiction bleeping resulting in the poppiest and more commercial remix. It does the trick for a 'club night' but being more a stalker of the experimental early accomplishments such as 'Being Boiled' and 'Empire State Human', I do favour the other remixes which push a few more boundaries.
Pushing those boundaries straight off with a touch of Madonna's 'Lucky Star' the Mylo remix 'twinkles' up the austerity of the original culminating in a more glamorous interpretation.
There is a stuttering vocal that sits uncomfortably for me at one point and interrupts the track but this is made up by Philip's new rallying vocal melody which is used again in the Emperor Remix.
The Emperor Machine Extended Vocal kicks in with a hint of BBC Radiophonic Workshop then shifts effortlessly into some Donna Summer loveliness. Having first heard this on
Eddy Temple Morris
's show on XFM, I couldn't help but feel his infectious excitement as a genuine fan premiering his exclusive remix. The hypnotic, heavily sequenced pulsation in this works brilliantly and results in the quickest nine minutes of pure dance synth pleasure with the added treat of a percussion sample from 'Empire State Human' for its finale.
The Villa remix is oddly engaging and shows how much thought the chosen artists have given these remixes in a bid to avoid producing generic predictability. This track has the nostalgic feel of 90's rave mixed up with the sparkling synth led ambience with a touch The Orb....something to lovelovelove for everyone. December 2010

Nick Levine

Little Boots lined up a duet with Phil Oakey for her album, La Roux borrowed not only their sound but said frontman's hairdo and Lady GaGa herself is apparently a fangirl. Given that electropop's been having a bit of a moment for a couple of years now, the most surprising thing about the re-emergence of The Human League is that it's taken them this bloody long.
Actually, make that second most surprising aspect - with number one being that three decades down the line from Dare the synth-toting trio are still sounding this vital. 'Night People' is an utterly persuasive paean to post-sundown pleasures, smart enough to rhyme "rancour" with "hanker", playful enough to rhyme "freezers" with "cheeses" and catchy enough to co-exist with 'Mirror Man' and the rest on future setlists. In fact, by the time it all goes a bit arms-in-the-air in the final minute, you'll already be on the National Rail website looking up train times to get you into Sheffield city centre for drinkies o'clock.