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, minimal 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, 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. ^ "The Human League". Retrieved 2016-10-16. 
  2. ^ "THE HUMAN LEAGUE Blind Youth - the complete guide to The Human League 1977-1980". 2013-04-09. Retrieved 2016-10-16. Philip Oakey: Which is why we had a very big argument with Virgin Records over Only After Dark, which they pressed without telling us. 
  3. ^ "THE HUMAN LEAGUE Blind Youth - the complete guide to The Human League 1977-1980". 2013-04-09. Retrieved 2016-10-16. 
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 August 2007. Retrieved 2010-09-18. 

External links[edit]