Octopus (The Human League album)

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Studio album by The Human League
Released 23 January 1995[1]
Genre Pop, electronic
Length 51:46
Label EastWest Records
Producer Ian Stanley
The Human League chronology
Greatest Hits
Singles from Octopus
  1. "Tell Me When"
    Released: 27 December 1994
  2. "One Man in My Heart"
    Released: March 1995
  3. "Filling Up with Heaven"
    Released: 11 June 1995
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[2]
Chicago Tribune 2/4 stars[3]
Entertainment Weekly (B-)[4]
Hot Press (mixed)[5]
Select 2/5 stars[6]

Octopus is the seventh full-length studio album recorded by the British synthpop band The Human League. It was produced by the former Tears for Fears keyboard player Ian Stanley and released by EastWest Records in 1995. It was the first new album from the Human League in five years after the termination of their long-term contract with Virgin Records. Octopus was the first Human League album which presented the band as a trio consisting of the singers Philip Oakey, Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley. The former Human League member Jo Callis and keyboard player Neil Sutton also contributed to the writing of the album.

The album's sound is notable for the nearly exclusive use of analogue synthesizers, a marked change from the band's primarily "digital" sound in the mid-to-late 1980s.

Octopus saw a return to the public eye for The Human League, who had been out of the top ten since their 1986 album Crash. The first single, "Tell Me When", received support from MTV in the UK and the U.S. and the song became the band's first top-ten hit in nine years, peaking at number six in the UK singles chart. The single also climbed to number thirty-one in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The Octopus album also peaked at number six in the UK, becoming the Human League's sixth top-ten album. It was later certified Gold.

The album's second single, "One Man in My Heart", was a ballad sung by Sulley which also reached the UK top-twenty and the third single from the album, "Filling up with Heaven", was also a top-forty UK hit.

Although the album sold well and created a resurgence in interest in the band, East West Records went through a complete change in management and decided to cancel the band's contract as well as those of other established artists. It was another six years before the band released a new album on a new label (Papillion Records).

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Tell Me When" (Beckett, Oakey)
  2. "These Are the Days" (Oakey, Stanley)
  3. "One Man in My Heart" (Oakey, Sutton)
  4. "Words" (Dennett, Oakey)
  5. "Filling up with Heaven" (Oakey, Stanley)
  6. "Houseful of Nothing" (Beckett, Oakey, Stanley)
  7. "John Cleese: Is He Funny?" (Oakey)
  8. "Never Again" (Callis, Oakey)
  9. "Cruel Young Lover" (Beckett, Dennett, Oakey)

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1995) Peak
German Albums Chart[7] 76
UK Albums Chart[8] 6


  1. ^ The Human League Discography at League-Online
  2. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/r218344
  3. ^ Webber, Brad (15 June 1995). "Human League Octopus (eastwest)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  4. ^ Jones, Anderson (5 May 1995). "Music Review: 'Octopus' (1995)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 4 June 2013. 
  5. ^ Crumlish, Niall (25 January 1995). "THE HUMAN LEAGUE: "Octopus" (eastwest)". Hot Press. Retrieved 4 June 2013. 
  6. ^ Pattenden, Sian (January 1995). "New Albums". Select. p. 83. Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "charts.de". charts.de. 25 April 1995. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  8. ^ "Artist Chart History - The Human League". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 22 June 2013.