This Week’s Show: Featuring an Interview With Phil Oakey

Written by on July 15, 2008

This Friday night, Revenge of the 80s welcmes The Human League’s Phil Oakey. The band is coming to America in August as part of the Regeneration Tour.

The Human League started out in the late 1970s as a different kind of band; they were more on the experimental side. [amazonify]B0007X9U7Y:right[/amazonify] Oakey actually joined the band after being recruited by founding band members Martin Ware and Ian Craig Marsh (they were kown then as The Future). Oakey was not a singer at the time, but his presence was what attracted the duo to bring him in. Ironically, the Human League saw its best success after Ware and Marsh left the band to form their own hit group, Heaven 17.

Oakey put together a new Human League, which included two women who are still with the band today: Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley. They had several hits in England before crossing over to the US with “Don’t You Want Me,” “Fascination” and “Mirror Man” in the early 80s. They would score another U.S. hit in 1987 with “Human.”

During the interview, Phil Oakey and I talk about:

  • The trio of Oakey, Ware, Marsh and the first incarnation of The Human League
  • The irony of how well they each did after breaking up
  • The thoughts behind the Oakey-led band’s trademark of switching singing parts throughout many of their songs
  • How the band survived through a few extremely down years
  • The Regeneration Tour and plans for future projects

The Regeneration Tour begins in North America on August 1st and runs through the month. Other performers include Naked Eyes, A Flock of Seagulls, Belinda Carlisle and ABC. Information on where the bands are playing and how to get tickets can be found on the Regeneration Tour website.

Revenge of the 80s airs live Friday nights 7-9pm on Q99.1 in the Hudson Valley, NY and on this site’s live webcast. We are also on Wednesdays 12 noon Melbourne time on Radio 80s 87.6FM in Korumburra, Australia. The podcast will be available this Saturday.

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