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The Men Biography

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When Virgin} signed the Human League} in April of 1979, they signed them with a sense of apprehension. They questioned the chart viability of a pop} group that relied on synthesizers, and they wanted the Sheffield group to rely less on them. The group agreed to release a single using more traditional instrumentation, but only if they could issue it under a pseudonym and not as the Human League}. As the Men}, Martyn Ware}, Ian Marsh}, and Philip Oakey} recorded the two disco}-influenced songs "I Don't Depend on You"} and "Cruel"} (a largely instrumental version of the former) with hired guns on bass, drums, and background vocals. Produced by Colin Thurston}, the single was released by Virgin} in July of 1979. Although the single is certainly one of the strongest moments of the Human League}'s early years, it didn't fare well on the charts. Its failure to perform commercially probably had a little to do with its pseudonymous nature; more importantly, the group was unable to promote the release as they were recording what would become their debut album, Reproduction}. Thankfully, when Virgin} issued the Human League}'s second album, Travelogue}, on CD, they included both sides of the Men} single as bonus tracks. ~ Andy Kellman, All Music Guide

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