The Sound of the Crowd

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"Sound of the Crowd"
Single by The Human League
from the album Dare
Released 20 April 1981[1]
Format 7" single, 12" single
Recorded 1981
Genre Synthpop, new wave
Length 3.58
Label Virgin
Writer(s) Philip Oakey
Ian Burden
Producer(s) Martin Rushent
The Human League singles chronology
"Boys and Girls"
Sound of the Crowd
Love Action (I Believe in Love)

"The Sound of the Crowd" is a song by the British synthpop group The Human League. It became the band's commercial breakthrough, reaching #12 on the UK singles chart in May 1981.[2]

Written jointly by lead singer Philip Oakey and keyboard player Ian Burden, the song was recorded at Genetic Sound Studios, Reading, in March 1981. Originally released as a stand-alone single in April 1981, it was subsequently re-recorded and incorporated into the studio album Dare, later in the year.

"The Sound Of The Crowd" was the first Human League song to feature female vocals, from new band members Susan Ann Sulley and Joanne Catherall, interacting with Philip Oakey's baritone lead.[3]

The single was the first to feature a distinctive, though short-lived, marketing tactic, where Human League singles were labelled 'Red' or 'Blue' to help buyers differentiate between the band's musical styles. 'Red' was for dance tracks, 'Blue' for pop songs. "The Sound Of The Crowd" was designated 'Red'. When asked to explain the system, vocalist Sulley explained that "Red is for posers, for Spandy (Spandau Ballet) types." Oakey added: "Blue is for ABBA fans."[4]

The original 7" B side "The Sound of the Crowd (Add Your Voice)" is the closing track of the remix album Love and Dancing, issued in 1982 under the name of The League Unlimited Orchestra.

The song appears on all The Human League's "Greatest Hits" compilation albums. The bonus remix disc issued with 2003's The Very Best of The Human League contains three different remixes of the song "The Sound of the Crowd (Trisco's PopClash Mix)" "The Sound of the Crowd (Freaksblamredo)" "The Sound of the Crowd (Riton Re-Dub)"

The Original Remixes & Rarities compilation album issued in 2005 includes the Complete or 12" version

The 2012 edition of "Dare/Fascination!" contains the album version, the Extended or Complete version and the Instrumental version as featured on the original 1981 12" single.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "The Sound of the Crowd"
  2. "The Sound of the Crowd (Add Your Voice)"
  1. "The Sound of the Crowd (Complete)"
  2. "The Sound of the Crowd (Instrumental)"
12" EP (Canada only)
  1. "The Sound of the Crowd"
  2. "Tom Baker"
  3. "Boys and Girls"
  4. "Dancevision"
  5. "The Sound of the Crowd (Add Your Voice)"

Promotional video[edit]

No promotional video was made for the song, although recordings of TV performances from Top of the Pops (30 April 1981) and Later... with Jools Holland (25 November 1995) are included on the bonus DVD issued with The Very Best of The Human League.


External links[edit]