STEEL City electronic stars the Human League are set to make their first album in nine years after securing an international record deal.
The group, led by mesmerising frontman Philip Oakey, have signed to record label Wall Of Sound, also home to fellow city band Reverend & The Makers, Mogwai, Royksopp, Propellerheads, Grace Jones and techno artist/producer-cum DJ Vitalic.
The League have sold around 20 million albums in a career that dates back to the late 70s, including Dare, but they have not released a record since Secrets in 2001.
But that hasn't stopped them. The band have continued to tour, playing sold-out shows at Sheffield City Hall in addition to continued demand in the USA – an audience the band broke after the enormous hit Don't You Want Me Baby.
Even now, 40 years since they formed, the Human League remain one of the most influential acts of the past three decades. Over the last ten years the synth-pop sound that the League helped to create in the late seventies has enjoyed a comeback, as demonstrated by the popularity of electro acts such as La Rouz and this year's 'next big thing', Delphic.
Consequently, a new generation of fans have became of aware of the electro legacy of acts such as the Human League, whose renewed popularity was sealed when singer Philip featured in a duet with BBC Sound Of Music 2009 poll winner Little Boots on the track Symmetry.
"Emerging from a decade in which everyone seems to have spent their time looking backwards we are delighted to have the opportunity to march forwards once again and attempt to produce new and exciting music in a new and exciting partnership," said the frontman, who lives in Ecclesall.
"After a break from recording of very nearly eight years we can't think of a better situation than working with Wall Of Sound in our ambition to make the best recordings of our career and to further extend the audience for, and the possibilities of, original electronic popular music."
Signing the deal at Battersea Power Station, the band are now on a label that includes musical mavericks such as Royksopp, Propellerheads and Grace Jones.
Label boss Mark Jones added: "Never before have The Human League been more relevant musically than they are today.
"The evolution and progression of electronic popular music is what brings us together. It's an honour and inspiration to have them signed to Wall Of Sound."
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