[2] The Human League, ‘Love Action (I Believe In Love)’

The Human League

Not a chart-topper like Oakey and Sulley’s “No, I’M in the driving seat” cocktail bar drama, but easily the most dense, intricate and balls-out inspired of Dare’s mega-hits, ‘Love Action’ is arguably (I’m arguing) the shimmering pinnacle of ‘80s synth-pop. How come? It’s packed to the rafters with electronic effects, boasts half a dozen different keyboard riffs – each digression as thrilling as the last – and there’s that beam-me-up ‘meoww’ sound at the start. All this, and it glories in a towering Big Phil rap that casts Lou Reed forever as “the old man”. And Susanne yelps “HARD times”, without sounding awkward for once.

Echoing her confusion at The Man Machine’s cover, Junior sees Phil’s slapped-up face on the front of Dare and asks, “Why’s he a she?” Lord knows what she’d have made of Boy George in autumn 1982. She and my old man could’ve exchanged unhip daddio jokes. The next puzzle is “Why’s he looking through a rectangle?”, and perhaps we’ll never know. Still, these obstacles negotiated, she pops her feet into her dad’s Converse and winds her body to the sci-fi disco.

This is Phil talking:

[10] Kraftwerk, ‘The Model’


There comes a time in every little girl’s life when she has to be introduced to Kraftwerk. Best to leave it late as possible, obviously – they’re a bit scary – but she needs to get familiar with those electro building blocks pretty near the get-go. Junior first heard the teutonic tinkerers nearly two years ago, as ‘Tour De France’ twinkled around the Technics. Only now, though, did I introduce her to the full visuals.

“Why are they wearing lipstick?” Junior cuts to the heart of The Man Machine. Er, because they’re trying to be robots? Will that wash? It appears it might. We get right into the sinister synths and the lads’ hopeless chat-up lines and marvel at the fact this song was already three years old by this point and still had another six months before it would hit No.1. They were so far ahead of their time they even lagged behind themselves.

That’s understood: