The Human League Wiki
Love Action UK 7in 1981 front.jpg

Love Action (I Believe In Love) (also known as "Love Action") is a song written by Oakey/Burden and produced by Martin Rushent and The Human League. It was issued a single by The Human League in July 1981 and later featured on the album Dare. It was the group's biggest hit to date when it reached no. 3 in early September, and remains one of the group's best known songs.

Content and lyrics[]

The song begins with a characteristic electronic 'meow' sound (also known as 'the cat') before launching straight into the first verse. The verses are Oakey's very personal account of being in love and his relationships ("I've been a husband and a lover too"), using the first person and even his own name to address the listener ("this is Phil talking"). The chorus also uses the first person pronoun "I". The bridge is a spoken section which also expresses personal feelings "I believe what the old man said", "I feel the pain from the push and shove".

Single release[]

The single was released on August 1981 and was the follow-up to the group's first Top 20 hit The Sound of the Crowd. The B side was another new track 'Hard Times' and the two were combined on the 12" release in two different versions.

Track listing

Virgin 7" single - VS 435

A. Love Action (I Believe In Love) (3:49)

B. Hard Times (5:10)

Virgin 12" single - CS 435-12

See: Hard Times / Love Action (I Believe In Love)


The front and back sleeve both feature photographs of the five-piece group. The group name is superimposed with the 'RED' marking which also features on the label. Cover design and photography is attributed to Philip (Oakey) and Adrian (Wright) with layout and coordination attributed to Ken (Ansell) at A.S.

Chart performance[]

The single entered the UK charts at no. 29 immediately after its release, making it to the Top 10 the week after, and reaching its peak pos. of no. 3 the week after that. The single has the peculiarity of returning to the same peak position after having dropped down to no. 6.[1] It was kept off the top spot the first time by Shakin' Stevens "Green Door" and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's "Hooked On Classics" medley, and the second time by Aneka's "Japanese Boy" and by another synth-pop classic, Soft Cell's "Tainted Love"

Date Position
04.08.1981 29
11.08.1981 7
18.08.1981 3
25.08.1981 6
01.09.1981 3
08.09.1981 6
15.09.1981 10
22.09.1981 15
29.09.1981 29
06.10.1981 35*
13.10.1981 40*
  • Follow-up single "Open Your Heart" was also on the UK Chart in these weeks, at no. 21 and no. 6 respectively

Promo video[]

No promo video was made for the single at the time of release although one was made later in 1982 to promote the single in the US. The video was one of three included on the group's Video Single issued in 1983, the first of its kind.

The Human League appeared on the weekly BBC programme Top of the Pops to perform the song when it was in the UK charts. The mimed performance was broadcast on 6 August 1981 when the single was at no. 29, and was repeated on 20 August when the single had reached no. 3 for the first time. The group appeared to mime the song again for the Christmas Day edition in 1981. Both performances featured the group as a six-piece with Jo Callis appearing with the group for the first time in the August recording. The Christmas performance was introduced by John Peel who, pretending to forget the group's name, introduced them as "The Human Leagues".

The group performed the song again on the "Multi-Coloured Music Show" (a "Multi-Coloured Swap Shop" special) on 30 May 1982.


video available on
promo video
Top of the Pops, 06.08.81
Top of the Pops, 25.12.81

Versions and remixes[]

version timing available on
7" version 3:50
12"/album version 5:00
  • Love Action (I Believe In Love) - 12"
  • Dare (1981)
  • Dare/Love and Dancing (2002)
  • The Very Best of The Human League (2003)
  • Dare/Fascination! (2012)
  • Don't You Want Me: The Collection (2014)
instrumental remix 5:20
"Love Action (Brooks Red Line Vocal Mix)" 7:09
  • The Very Best of The Human League (2003)
"Love Action (Fluke's Dub Action Remix" 7:13
  • The Very Best of The Human League (2003)

*this version edited slightly compared to the original 12" version

Cover versions[]

  • Aluminum Group - album Reproductions: Songs of the Human League (2006)
  • Homemade Orchestra - album Inside Covers (2004)

Sampled by[]

The George Michael song "Shoot the Dog" samples heavily Love Action (I Believe In Love) and uses the "I believe, I believe what the old man says...." section in its entirety. In the animated promo video Michael is also represented as a caricature of Philip Oakey with the trademark asymmetrical haircut. The singer said in 2002: "Shoot the Dog is intended as a piece of political satire, no more, no less, and I hope that it will make people laugh and dance, and think a little."[2]