Only After Dark

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For the Nick Rhodes and John Taylor album, see Only After Dark (album).
"Only After Dark"
Single by The Human League
from the album Travelogue
B-side "Toyota City"
Released May 1980
Format 7" Vinyl Single
Recorded Monumental Studios, Sheffield, England
Genre Synthpop, new wave
Length 3:51
Label Virgin Records
Writer(s) Ronson/Richardson
Producer(s) Colin Thurston
The Human League singles chronology
"Empire State Human"
"Only After Dark"
"Boys and Girls"

"Only After Dark" is a song by English guitarist, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, arranger, and producer Mick Ronson. Co-written with Scott Richardson, it was on Ronson's 1974 debut solo album Slaughter on 10th Avenue; an album Ronson released shortly after leaving David Bowie's backing band The Spiders from Mars. It was the B-side to Ronson's second solo single "Love Me Tender"; a song made famous by Elvis Presley.

Cover Versions[edit]

In 1980, British synthpop group The Human League, recorded a version for the band's second album, Travelogue. The Human League's version was produced by Colin Thurston.[1]

The song was pressed as a single by Virgin Records following the release of the Travelogue album, but it was then decided to re-release the song "Empire State Human" (from the band's first album) instead and include "Only After Dark" as a free single to be given away with the first 15,000 copies of "Empire State Human". This was perceived by the band as a total lack of faith in their newer material, causing great resentment and anger, [2] and would be one of the issues that contributed to the split of this line-up of The Human League some months later. As a free single it wasn't included in the UK chart mechanism, though the re-release of "Empire State Human" to which it belonged peaked at #62.[3] [4]

Fellow Sheffield band, Def Leppard covered "Only After Dark" in 1992, as a b-side to their UK #2 hit single, "Let's Get Rocked". Their version was later included on the 1993 compilation Retro Active; a collection of touched-up versions of B-sides and previously unreleased recordings from the band's recording sessions between 1984 and 1993.


  1. ^ Kolling, Niels [1]
  2. ^ ["Philip Oakey: Which is why we had a very big argument with Virgin Records over Only After Dark, which they pressed without telling us." quoted in the "only after Dark" page of [2]
  3. ^ Turner, Sean [3]
  4. ^ Windle, Rob [4]

External links[edit]