Thursday 27 October 2011

Better than their best

I am on a bit of an 80s nostalgia kick again this week, following Tuesday's faboo Erasure concert.

Imagine my joy to find that on this very day thirty years ago the seminal synth-pop album Dare by The Human League made its debut at the top of the charts in the UK!

I - like many people I guess - still have a cherished copy of the vinyl on my shelf; and still, if truth be told, have its minimalist cover still fondly etched on my brain.

Dare is as much a part of my DNA as is my accent.

It was (alongside such other works of genius as Grace Jones Nightclubbing, Depeche Mode Speak & Spell and Soft Cell Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret) the soundtrack to my blossoming obsession with the whole electronic "New Romantic" era.

I vividly recall dancing on my own (not an uncommon thing at the time) on a dancefloor to Love Action. I would sit in my bedroom with Sound of the Crowd or The Things That Dreams Are Made Of blaring through the windows.

Everyone went wild for Don't You Want Me, but I preferred Open Your Heart with its magnificently uplifting lyrics (which meant everything to a crazy mixed-up teen like me):

And when it hurts
You know they love to tell you
How they warned you.

They say "Don't be surprised at someone's lies"
They think they taunt you

But if you can stand the test
You know your worst
Is better than their best.

And so you stand here with the years ahead
Potentially calling
With open heart or with a spirit dead
You walk on.

Every track worked harmoniously with the next, and the result even today is a magnificent sum of its parts. In summary, Dare is a phenomenon, never to be repeated...

Here's a YouTube version of a Dare mixtape (quite an 80s thing in itself):

Enjoy the memories...

Dare entry on Wikipedia


  1. What a fun post. I love Human League, and this is probably their finest album. This was a fantastic time in music - we will never have albums again like the ones you mentioned...

    (BTW: I love "Open Your Heart" too!)

  2. It was indeed a classic era in music, and I am very pleased to have been there in the middle of it, during my formative years! Jx

  3. The best memories EVER! thanks for posting!

  4. Dare is part of my DNA- love that! You know HL are part of mine too as well as SC - Soft Cell as well as my hubby's initials!! ;-). Great post x


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