Sarah Zupko

The Human League trolled similar stylistic ground as OMD, though they never matched OMD's consistently superb output. Primarily known for a handful of singles, "Don't You Want Me," "(Keep Feeling) Fascination," "Love Action (I Believe In Love)" and "Mirror Man," The Human League released the hugely popular and artistically strong album Dare in 1981, but were unable to sustain the level of quality thereafter, which makes a hits collection most welcome. The Very Best Of includes the above-mentioned singles, as well as some of the group's better 1990s work. RATING: 7 July1998
Bob Gajarsky

When I heard that a greatest hits album had been slated for the Human League, my initial reaction was positive; finally, there'd be an addendum to the 1988 release of their hits. Perhaps this one would include the Giorgio Moroder / Philip Oakey collaboration "Together In Electric Dreams" which was included on the 1988 UK release, but inexplicably omitted from the stateside version. Hopefully, their later hits ("Heart Like A Wheel", "Tell Me When" and, maybe even the 1996 pseudo-techno remix of "Don't You Want Me" - which doesn't fare well when compared to the original synthpop version but does work if thought of in a separate context - would see the collection. Amazingly, all of these things came to pass. _The Very Best Of The Human League_ (Ark 21), 1998 version, affords today's listeners a glimpse into the American success of one of the pioneers of 80s synthpop, from the original "Don't You Want Me" to its techno remix, and nearly all of the group's American hits. In addition to the thirteen songs comprising this collection, a nearly 10 minute chat with the band about their origins (based around a Kraftwerk record and Donna Summer track), the formation of Heaven 17 from the implosion of the League and their breaking in the states is of curious interest to the loyalists. Since the Human League achieved much of its success outside of America, worldwide fans may want to seek out more comprehensive collections. But for American completists, synthpop fans who didn't purchase the 'hits' album the first time around, or those longing for a CD version of the Electric Dreams title cut, this collection is for you. TRACK LISTING: Don't You Want Me (Original and Snap Remix), Love Action (I Believe In Love), Mirror Man, (Keep Feeling) Fascination, Tell Me When, Stay With Me Tonight, Human, Together In Electric Dreams, Heart Like A Wheel, One Man In My Heart, Being Boiled, The Lebanon July 1998

Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Essentially, it's a slightly reworked version of Greatest Hits, sharing all the obvious tracks ("Don't You Want Me," "Love Action (I Believe in Love)," "Mirror Man," "Fascination (Keep Feeling)," "Human," "Being Boiled," "The Lebanon") and subsituting earlier cuts like "The Sound of the Crowd" and "Open Your Heart" for middle-of-the-road '90s singles "Tell Me When," "Stay With Me Tonight," "Heart Like a Wheel," and "One Man in My Heart." Clearly, this collection is for fans who prefer Crash to Dare, and they'll likely be satisfied, since it's fairly consistent. That said, Dare fans should note that this album features a genuine rarity in "Together in Electric Dreams," Philip Oakey's collaboration with Giorgio Moroder for the 1984 film Electric Dreams. It doesn't pop up all that often on either Human League releases or various-artists collections, which means this is all the more valuable for collectors, who may also enjoy the "Audio Liner Notes" which feature the group retelling their history. The Snap remix of "Don't You Want Me," however, will be of little interest to either camp.