The Human League Wiki

Smash Hits, December 10, 1981 - p.01.jpg

Smash Hits was a pop music magazine published fortnightly in the UK from 1978 to 2006.

Links to The Human League[]

The Human League were featured a number of times with interviews, features, full page colour pictures and song lyrics. The group was first mentioned in the August 23 - September 1979 issue in a feature entitled 'Sheffield Rising' documenting the city's music scene and upcoming bands. Although they misspelt Phil Oakey's surname, the feature predicted that "they'll be among the leading groups of the '80s".

The magazine's 'Bitz' news section reported both the group's split ("League Division Two", issue November 13 1980, p.13) and the new band formation (issue November 27 1980, p.14).

The Human League have appeared four times on the prestigious front cover, twice with photographs of Oakey, Catherall and Sulley, once with a photograph of just Oakey and twice with photographs of Catherall and Sulley.

In the March 4 1982 issue, the magazine ran a 'satirical special' cartoon strip drawn by Harry North depicting the history of the group up to that point (pp. 30-33).

The group was featured in the magazine for the last time in the September 5 1990 issue, upon the release of the 'Heart Like a Wheel' single.

List of appearances in Smash Hits[]

Issue date page Feature Journalist/reviewer Notes
August 23 - September 5, 1979 [1] 18-19 Sheffield Rising Martyn Ware first mention of The Human League in Smash Hits
October 18 - 31, 1979 28 Empire State Human (re-release) in Singles reviews David Hepworth "..THL have a sense of humour and fairly catchy choruses,"
November 1 - 14, 1979 [2] 14 Empire State Human single ad and tour dates -
November 15 - 28, 1979 38 Live dates in 'Gigz' section -
May 1-14, 1980 [3] 28 Holiday '80 in Singles review "a small creature in shorts"
May 15-28, 1980 [4] 31 Travelogue in Albums review Red Starr "Great band, great future - buy now. (8 out of 10)"
32 Rock 'n' Roll lyrics, plus b/w photo -
May 29 - June 11, 1980 [5] 40 (back cover) Full page colour pic (playing live) -
July 10 - 23, 1980[6] 12, 13, 14 Very ordinary people with very odd tastes.
  • Full page feature and interview
  • Full page colour picture
  • Empire State Human lyrics
David Hepworth photo of Oakey singing live also on index page [7]
September 18 - October 1, 1980 [8] 31 Fast Product / Being Boiled single ad - ad with Gang of Four's Damaged Product single.
34 Being Boiled singles review Mark Ellen "..a slab of ice that's only two steps ahead of a dirge. A re-issue, too."
October 30 - November 12, 1980 13 Bitz feature on Cash Cows and Machines compilations LPs. -
50 Live section highlighting "rare gig" at Doncaster Rotters, billed for Wednesday 12 November. - small b/w pic of Phil Oakey from behind "and friend".
November 13 - 26, 1980 [9] 13 "League Division Two" reports that The Human League have split into two factions "Marsh and Ware" and "Oakey and Wright", the latter retaining The Human League name. News rather late coming since the two lives dates on 12-13 November had practically already taken place.
November 27 - December 10, 1980 [10] 14 Bitz feature announcing the new line up of The Human League, with Ian Burden (synthesizer) and "Joanne and Suzanne (backing vocals and dancing)". New single "Boys and Girls" expected early in the New Year. -
February 19 - March 4, 1981 24 Boys and Girls in Singles review David Hepworth "Shape up people."
27 Boys and Girls half page b/w ad
March 5 - 18, 1981 13 Boys and Girls full colour page with lyrcis and photo.
16 Bitz item: "Don't Hold Your Breath Dept..."
April 30 - May 13, 1981 29 The Sound of the Crowd in Singles reviews. Mark Ellen
34 The Sound of the Crowd half page b/w column ad


  • selected images