Saturday, May 7, 2016

"Mirror Man" by Human League

Song#:  1638
Date:  10/01/1983
Debut:  79
Peak:  30
Weeks:  12
Genre:  Synthpop

Pop Bits:  Human League grabbed their second Top 10 hit with "(Keep Feeling) Fascination" (#8), the first single from their stop-gap EP Fascination! Up next was this Motown-influenced song which was the band's first new material recorded after their successful Dare! album and tour. The single found its way to the Pop Top 30 (#22 Rock), but that's as far as it could get. Meanwhile, the band was in the UK desperately trying to record material for their next album.

ReduxReview:  I've always loved the retro-Motown feel of this song and thought it was a more than worthy follow-up to "Fascination." I was a bit shocked and disappointed it didn't do better on the chart. I thought for sure it would be another Top 10, or at least get close. It got overlooked then and I think it still does. It's a delicious bit of blue-eyed soul/pop candy coated in 80s synths.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Since Human League broke earlier in the UK than the US, their home audience was ready for new material. After their tour, the band quickly got back in the studio and recorded this song. It was issued in the UK late in 1982. It raced up the chart and peaked at #2. They followed it up with "(Keep Feeling) Fascination," which also reached #2. In the US, the label required some kind of album to sell before singles would be released. A promise of an EP helped to get "Fascination" released in the US and it paid off with the single going Top 10 and the EP selling well. Then, almost a year after it was issued in the UK, "Mirror Man" was finally pushed out in the US.  2) Human League leader and co-writer of this song, Phillip Oakey, later said that "Mirror Man" was about pop/rock star Adam Ant. At the time, Oakey was concerned that Ant was believing too much in his own hype and publicity and was in danger of losing touch with reality. Indeed Ant did have issues and had been diagnosed a bipolar early in his 20's. The struggle with that and the medications associated took a toll on the artist for many years.


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