‘Philip turned up to lớn meet my parents fully made up, with red lipstick & high heels. My dad locked himself in the bedroom và refused to lớn come out’


Christmas No 1 in 1981 … the Human League with Philip Oakey & Susan Ann Sulley (right). Photograph: Pictorial Press/Alamy
Christmas No 1 in 1981 … the Human League with Philip Oakey và Susan Ann Sulley (right). Photograph: Pictorial Press/Alamy

Philip Oakey, vocals, songwriter

I had intended khổng lồ recruit just one female backing singer but when I walked into the Crazy Daisy nightclub in Sheffield, the first thing I saw was Joanne Catherall & Susan Ann Sulley dancing. They somehow looked lượt thích a unit while being clearly different individuals. I knew they were right.

Bạn đang xem: Don't you want me

The band started work on what became the Dare album. Our music was so simple: we’d all laugh when Adrian Wright moved just one finger on the synthesiser và it sounded great. We mainly wrote the songs in a horrible disused vets in Sheffield. Ian Burden, our keyboard player, wrote our first two hits, Love kích hoạt and The Sound of the Crowd. Don’t You Want Me started off as a vocal melody from Adrian. Jo Callis, our other synth player, funked it up but it didn’t have a chorus. When we were recording at Genetic studios in Reading, producer Martin Rushent told me to go into another room. “Don’t come out until you’ve got a chorus.” Two hours later I came out with: “Don’t you want me, baby.”

I recorded the vocals in the toilet. The engineer flushed the loo behind me. We left that off the recordThe first verse came more or less wholesale from a photo romance magazine I was reading. The first line was: “You were working as a waitress in a cocktail bar.” Our former thành viên Martyn Ware’s girlfriend worked in Sheffield’s only cocktail joint, Sinatra’s Style Bar, so maybe cocktail bars were on my mind. I thought pubs and pickled eggs were the work of the devil, but cocktail bars seemed glamorous.

I recorded the vocals in the toilet. David Allen, the engineer, flushed the loo behind me. We left that off the record. We’d been doing shows with left-field bands such as Gang of Four và Joy Division, so I thought Don’t You Want Me was too smooth. When it became the Christmas No 1, it felt weirdly hollow. I thought: “How on earth are we ever gonna beat this?” But the song has given us 40 years of global success. I had always assumed that I’d end up carrying my belongings through Sheffield in a carrier bag with people saying: “That guy thought he was good in 1980.”

Susan Ann Sulley, vocals

When Philip came over to lớn ask if we’d like to audition, we told him we were doing our A-levels so would have to lớn ask our dads. My dad thought it would be sex, drugs and rock’n’roll, and both sets of parents refused, but we secretly auditioned anyway & then arranged for Philip lớn come over lớn meet our parents, but didn’t tell them he was coming until the last minute. He turned up fully made up with red lipstick and high heels, but very businesslike. My dad locked himself in the bedroom and refused to lớn come out. Years later I found out that my grandma told him: “If you don’t go downstairs và give your daughter this chance, she will never forgive you.” and my dad then bundled us over to Joanne’s lớn persuade her father.

Weirdly, Joanne and I had bought tickets lớn see the Human League in Doncaster, which turned out khổng lồ be our first show with the band. We were used lớn posing on the dancefloor, so just added a bit of singing. We went on tour in a trắng Transit van, so it wasn’t very glamorous, but I remember staring at the cathedral in Cologne và thinking: “I can’t believe I’m here.” Before we knew it, we were in a huge studio recording Don’t You Want Me. I laid down the female vocal part in the middle of the night.

Xem thêm: Hình Xăm Khung Hoa Mẫu Đơn, Top 8 Hình Xăm Bít Tay Hoa Mẫu Đơn 2022

The đoạn clip was a take on The French Lieutenant’s Woman, which was a film about making a film. Duran Duran had shot their Rio đoạn clip on a yacht in the Indian Ocean – we got a damp evening in Slough. Jo was supposed lớn be driving a Rover but he couldn’t drive, so he pretended to steer while people behind him were pushing it.

When the tuy vậy went to the đứng top of the charts in Britain & the US, I thought: “This doesn’t happen to schoolgirls from Sheffield.” If we had expected it would be the Christmas No 1, we might have put bells on. When I hear it on the radio today, I still wish I’d sung it better, but I was an ordinary girl doing her best & I think that resonated. I’ve spent 40 years telling people I never worked in a cocktail bar.

The Human League’s Dare 40 tour continues until 18 December. . Human League: Don’t You Want Me at 40 airs on Christmas Day, 7-8pm on đài truyền hình bbc Radio 2 and bbc Sounds.

Xem thêm: Cách Nấu Nước Lẩu Thập Cẩm Tươi Ngon Tại Nhà Nóng Hổi, Cách Nấu Lẩu Thập Cẩm Tươi Ngon Tại Nhà Nóng Hổi

This article was amended on 15 December 2021. In an earlier version the main image, provided lớn us by an agency, had been flipped on the y axis.