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Human League Romantic.jpg
Studio album by
Released17 September 1990 (1990-09-17)[1]
StudioGenetic Studios, Streatley, Berkshire
LabelVirgin Records (UK)
A&M Records (US)
the Human League chronology
Singles from Romantic?
  1. "Heart Like a Wheel"
    Released: 6 August 1990
  2. "Soundtrack to a Generation"
    Released: 12 November 1990
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2/5 stars[2]
Chicago Tribune2/4 stars[3]
Entertainment Weekly(B+)[4]
Ottawa Citizen1/5 stars[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide1.5/5 stars[6]
Telegram & Gazette2/5 stars[7]

Romantic? is the sixth studio album by English synth-pop band the Human League. It was issued by Virgin Records in 1990 and was the band's first album of new material in four years. Romantic? had several producers, most notably Martin Rushent, who worked with the Human League on their biggest commercial success (1981's Dare) and had walked out of the recording sessions for its 1984 follow-up (Hysteria). Also producing several tracks is Mark Brydon, who would be one half of musical duo Moloko several years later.

At the time of the album's release, the Human League had reached the nadir of a decline in popularity following the success of Dare nine years prior; this fall from grace was reflected in the song "The Stars Are Going Out," in which the band reflects upon their loss of fame and its impact on them. The song one writer called a "pointless and bland filler,"[7] was ditched as a potential third single.

The album signalled a critical and commercial low point for the band, which led to their long-standing contract with Virgin Records being terminated.[8] The only significant success came from the album's first single "Heart Like a Wheel", which peaked at No. 29 on the UK Singles Chart and No. 32 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The second single "Soundtrack to a Generation" charted at No. 77 in the UK. The album itself peaked at No. 24 on the UK Albums Chart, and as a result. The band moved to East West Records to release their next album, 1995's Octopus.

The Human League's live performance of "The Stars Are Going Out" on Later... with Jools Holland in 1995 was included on their 2003 The Very Best of the Human League DVD.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Philip Oakey and Neil Sutton, except where noted.

Side one
1."Kiss the Future" 4:13
2."A Doorway?"
  • Russell Dennett
  • Philip Oakey
  • Neil Sutton
3."Heart Like a Wheel"
4."Men Are Dreamers"
  • Dennett
  • Oakey
5."Mister Moon and Mister Sun" 4:42
Side two
6."Soundtrack to a Generation" 4:35
7."Rebound" 3:54
8."The Stars Are Going Out" 4:05
9."Let's Get Together Again"
  • Gerry Shephard
  • John Rossall
10."Get It Right This Time"
Total length:43:37

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1990) Peak
UK Albums Chart[9] 24


  1. ^ [1] The Human League Discography at League-Online
  2. ^
  3. ^ DeKnock, Jan (27 September 1990). "Home Entertainment....Recordings". Chicago Tribune. p. 7.
  4. ^ Sandow, Greg (21 September 1990). "Music Review: Romantic? (1990)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
  5. ^ Erskine, Evelyn (21 September 1990). "Liberty; Duran Duran incites dancing with sassy funk". Ottawa Citizen. p. D6.
  6. ^ Considine, J. D. (2004). "The Human League". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 397–98. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  7. ^ a b Semon, Craig S (27 January 1991). "Is it enough that Human League gets 'Romantic?'". Telegram & Gazette. p. 10.
  8. ^ "The sound of the crowd (hopefully)". The List (266): 36. 3 November 1995. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  9. ^ "Artist Chart History - The Human League". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 22 June 2013.

External links[edit]