One Man in My Heart

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"One Man In My Heart"
Single by The Human League
from the album Octopus
Released March 1995
Format 2 x CD single
Recorded 1994
Genre Synthpop
Length 3:45
Label East West Records
The Human League singles chronology
"Tell Me When"
(1995)
"One Man in My Heart"
(1995)
"Filling Up with Heaven"
(1995)

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"One Man in My Heart" is a song recorded by British synthpop band The Human League. It was released as the second single from the band's album Octopus. A ballad, the song differs from all previous Human League tracks as the lead vocal is performed by a female member of the band, Susan Ann Sulley, with spoken word refrains from Philip Oakey and contrasting backing from the third Human League member Joanne Catherall. Released in March 1995 in the UK only, the song received positive reviews from music critics and eventually peaked at number thirteen in the UK Singles Chart, eventually spending 8 weeks in the charts.[1] In 2001 in The Guardian newspaper it was called one of the best love songs of the 1990s.[2]

Background[edit]

The song was written by Neil Sutton and Philip Oakey not only to give Sulley, who was seeking a higher profile on the album, an opportunity to expand her repertoire but also to contrast with the accepted Human League sound of Oakey’s lead and Sulley's and Catherall’s backing which dominated the album. It was devised purely as an album track: the band never intended it to be released as a single.[3]

After the unexpected commercial success of the first single from Octopus, Tell Me When, East West Records wanted another commercial, radio-friendly song to follow up with. They selected 'One Man in My Heart', much to the surprise of the band. Oakey was said to be happy with the choice, but the only person in the band who wasn’t was Sulley herself. To have a single with her on lead vocals with Oakey barely contributing four lines was something never done before; it was an enormous creative and commercial risk. Sulley's vocal ability had been harshly criticized in the past and she expected to be mauled badly by the music critics. If the single bombed it would make it difficult to release a third single from the album. Sulley feared that she personally would be blamed by the media for any failure.[4]

In the event the single was a success and generally well received by the critics. Ironically criticism of Sulley's vocals was that she was too technically proficient making her sound "bland": one critic declared that he missed "The rough edges of the girl plucked from the Sheffield dance floor".[5]

Music video[edit]

Susan Ann Sulley in the "One Man in My Heart" promotional video, 1995

The music video for One Man in My Heart has a similar cinematography style to the video for the previous single Tell Me When and had the same director, Andy Morahan. It is set in a Parisian cafe and principally features (for this song) lead vocalist Susan Ann Sulley sat on her own having a coffee while singing to herself; whilst watching the other customers. Fellow band members Philip Oakey and Joanne Catherall are seated elsewhere in the cafe and the camera pans to them for their backing vocals and Oakey's incidental spoken words.[6]

Known in the media for her regular dramatic style changes Sulley had the look of an elegant business woman for the video. Sulley always insists that she "doesn’t dress up for music videos" and the style seen on screen is how she could be found in her daily life. She changed her style again before the next music video later that year. The video received considerable play on VH1; it also played on MTV. It was cruelly caricatured at the time as a Starbucks commercial by some critics.

Reception[edit]

Billboard were highly favourable, writing: "this sophomore single from the act's comeback album Octopus needs no apologies for its innocent composition. It is a beautiful ballad that should set top 40 afire."[7] Dave Thompson of Allmusic continued this welcoming sentiment, saying: "One Man in My Heart" could have been a total throwaway, a gloopy little love song without a single redeeming quality, beloved by grannies and tweenies, gag-inducing for those outside those age parameters. But the band obviously gave the number time and attention, and thus ensured that it can't be so easily dismissed." He added: "the group produced a love song unlike virtually all typical pop fodder."[8]

Versions[edit]

'One Man In My Heart' was released as 2 CD singles with remixes by Joachim Björklund & Sören Elonsson, credited as T.O.E.C.

  • CD 1 1995, East West (YZ904CD1)
  1. One Man In My Heart
  2. One Man In My Heart (T.O.E.C. Extended)
  3. One Man In My Heart (T.O.E.C. Unplugged)
  4. These Are The Days (Sonic Radiation)
  • CD 2 1995, East West (YZ904CD2)
  1. These Are The Days (Ba Ba Mix)
  2. These Are The Days (Overworld Mix)
  3. These Are The Days (Man With No Name Vocal)
  4. One Man In My Heart (T.O.E.C. Nasty Sue Mix)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Artist Chart History - The Human League". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  2. ^ The Guardian, Culture Supplement April 2001
  3. ^ Interview Journalist Mark Blackham - Susan Ann Sulley March 1995, Unpublished (Avail Mark Blackham Website)
  4. ^ Interview Journalist Mark Blackham - Susan Ann Sulley March 1995, Unpublished (Avail Mark Blackham Website)
  5. ^ Music Week Magazine March 1995
  6. ^ mvdbase.com - the Human League - "One man in my heart"
  7. ^ Flick, Larry (3 June 1995). Single Reviews. Billboard Google Books. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  8. ^ Thompson, Dave. "One Man in My Heart Single Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 

External links[edit]