NME July 1981

After the shrill unloveable “Sound Of The Crowd”, the League take drastic steps to salvage their reputation. The “A”and “B” sides of the 7 inch are welded together to form a killer 12 inch – this is tasteful, tuneful, witty and danceable, and you can’t ask for much more than that from a single. “Hard Times” builds perfectly into the superior “Love Action”, with Philip Oakey crooning “I believe in truth, though I lie a lot”: such disarming candour (and he’s looking very pretty these days, too). A megahit.


Smash Hits July 1981

This is more like it. Soul music made in Sheffield. First couple of times though I suspected that they’d already lost the confidence that made “Sound Of The Crowd” such a cracker, but that before a splendidly loping chorus and staccato synth had got their hooks in and Phil Oakey’s distinctive baritone had soaked through the song. Sterling stuff.


Melody Maker august 1981 new

Neil Rowland

Oooh! The way they get excited when they aren’t. Is Sal Solo ever sad? Because he is always bad, real bad! Why aren’t The Human League lop-sided like Oakey’s haircut? How about more acute observations about guys and gals? How about stringing more than two words together. The “Human” League?! Bring back the Daleks, Doctor, let’s concerse with Kraftwerk’s computer! Don’t cry on their shoulders; you’ll smudge the lipstick on their circuits.


NME July 1990

Stuart Maconie

…“Love Action” – a brassy, white techno soul number…but still, essentially, a dispassionate futurist mantra…All-singing, all-dancing proof of wider pop sensibilities…Groovy …Proudly studio-born, very ‘80s and owing nothing to the past. Lots of things happen, some of them very funny. The existential proto-rap, the cod James Brownism of “this is Phil talking” and the general joviede vivre


Uncut Magazine 2001 new

David Stubbs

An injection of timeless electro-pop joy that has endured as well as, if not better than, the more succesful "Don't You Want Me"... Producer Martin Rushent's role on the musical side was vital, but it's Oakey's facility for pop melodrama that makes the song. The "This is Phil talking" was inspired by Iggy Pop's "Jesus, this is Iggy" lyric...


The Sunday Times Ireland November 2005 new

Quintessential: throbbing bass, cluttering percussion, squelching synth, hedonistic lyrics. Bliss.