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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 16 November 2005
This year, I have mainly been listening to...The Human League! Being an old Eighties New Romantic, the League are a band that have always been high in my consciousness, but until this summer I had seen them as being very much in the past. On summer holiday in North Wales, I came across their 2003 double album release of 'The Very Best of the Human League' in a chuck-out box, and it has been a constant on my car stereo ever since. This new collection of 'Original Remixes and Rarities' takes this retro feel a step deeper. It was great to hear again such classic b-sides as 'Hard Times', 'Non-Stop' and 'You Remind Me Of Gold' in particular, and to also have extended versions of some of their greatest singles on disc for the first time.
With the possible exception of the opening track, 'Being Boiled', a classic but a bit out of place to include here, this is a great compilation. There's always a long wait for new Human League albums, but this release will keep the many die-hard fans ticking over in the meantime.
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on 31 October 2008
As a Human League die-hard since the age of 12 (and i'll be 40 in 2009)these reviews need balancing up. This release was intended for the die-hard fans ONLY - not the casual fan. Casuals fans won't want "b" sides or anything from an old master tape found in a cupboard from 20 years ago.

I for one was really pleased to see this released - great to finally have "You Remind Me Of Gold" on CD and "Total Panic" which I had on a 3" cd single that got worn out.

Yes...Virgin records COULD have done a better job of the track listing - a lot of stuff left off here (and why wasn't their back catalogue re-released in the UK with these tracks on anyway...like America got. Had to get them on import)

Great artwork though - nice play on the Secrets album - a fantastic Human League release. Having seen them in concert MANY times - The Human League will ALWAYS be my band.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 9 November 2015
I don't think any group reminds me more of the 1980's musically than The Human League. Original Remixes & Rarities is a compilation album; it consists mostly of extended mixes and B Sides that did not appear on re-releases of the band's albums or on compilations. It was released in the UK and US in November 2005. The cover art is a horizontally flipped version of the cover for the group's 2001 album Secrets.

Again this album I feel owes a great deal to the producer Martin Rushent, it was a difficult album to produce as most of these remixes had already been through so many cuts and edits on their original tapes. I think this is one for die-hard Human League fans as it finally gives them the remixes and b-sides that were only available on long ago deleted vinyl.

I would hardly call any of them rarities, but it does all work very well as an album. The songs are either mainly instrumental or dub versions and as such this makes a pretty good companion to the 'Love and Dancing' album, and the producers have stuck very much to the Leagues classic tracks. This compilation provides an interesting overview of that 80’s period but with a new slant.
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on 19 May 2009
Although this collection of remixes from Sheffield's synth-pop pioneers is by no means indispensable, it is still a strong set of Human League favourites, most of which are not on any of their previous albums in these forms. 'Being Boiled' is the lighter and poppier original version (I prefer the edgier and more experimental single version); 'Non-Stop' is a bit Euro-Disco and for me the weakest song on the CD; and the full-length version of 'Hard Times' is as fresh as I remember it being, 27 years ago.
Unless you were an avid collector of 12" records in the 1980s (and I obviously wasn't avid enough!) then it's a timely reminder of how important Phil Oakey and co. were to pop music, and good to be able to have all these songs on one CD.
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I don't think any group remind me more of the 1980's than The Human League. Whether it is because of groundbreaking singles like 'The Sound Of The Crowd' and 'Don't You Want Me', the classic 'Dare' album or the fact that so many of the artists I still love today were in the charts then I don't know. Whatever the reason, it has long been a sense of astonishment to me that the 12" versions of all those classic 80's hits have been unavailable on cd!

'Original Remixes & Rarities' goes some way to addressing that problem but it is rather an odd release in a number of ways. To being with we get the album version of 'Being Boiled' which apart from being rather out of step with the rest of the material here is neither a remix nor rare! Secondly, as nice as it is to finally see tracks like 'You Remind Me Of Gold', 'Non-Stop', 'Hard Times' and various other b sides here I would hardly call any of them rarities in the accepted meaning of the word. In fact, nothing on this cd would count as a 'rarity' in my book and in this respect for long-term fans this release is a bit of a disappointment.

The plus side to this album though is that it actually works very well as an album listen. A lot of the songs are either mainly instrumental or dub versions and as such this makes a pretty good companion to the 'Love And Dancing' album on your ipod. What is also good is that the compilers have stuck very much to the leagues classic tracks and have not say included the abysmal 'I Need Your Loving' 12" from 'Crash' (the worst record they ever made) after 'Human' when they could have done so. Instead we get perhaps the last truly great Human League single of the vinyl era 'Heart Like A Wheel' in its extended 12" form.

Another minor quibble about this release comes in the shape of the cd booklet. Sure we get an interesting essay from 'Becky Ross' about how influential the group are/were but almost all of the people buying this will know that already (hence their purchase!). Why couldn't we have had either some rare photos or something like a personal interview with band members thoughts on these old songs instead?

Summing up...

'Original Remixes and Rarities' is a great listen from start to finish and one sure to bring back happy memories (anyone reading this see them at Croydon supported by Drum Theatre?) but for its content of genuine rarities and as the chance to delight the groups longest serving admirers goes its a bit of trick missed.
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on 15 October 2012
As the title of the review suggests, this compilation was 'better than expected'. I have always been a fan of their 80s material, owned the albums but not many of the singles. This compilation provides an interesting overview of the 80s period but with a new slant. Rather than getting the usual run-through of the 7" singles A-sides, you get a mixture of extended versions and fairly rare B-sides. Personal highlights include: The Sound Of The Crowd (12"), Non-Stop, You Remind Me Of Gold and Total Panic.

If you can get the album at a decent price, well worth buying.
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on 24 August 2006
I must agree in the main with Torch's review. It is difficult to see who this compilation is aimed at. Most really keen Human League fans will have all this stuff already (although not in digital form, granted), and for more fair-weather fans there doesn't seem to be much here that would be of interest. I agree that the "extended" version of Mirror Man is about as extended as an aerial in a car wash - I am a massive fan yet I've had to listen to both the "extended" and the original next to each other to tell the difference. However, it is worth getting just for the excellent "You Remind Me Of Gold" and "Non Stop" - possibly the silliest record ever made, with the exception of the ridiculous "Life On Your Own" remix that is also included here. The ending just sounds like them mucking about in the studio. If you are a massive fan and haven't got digital versions of this stuff then get it - otherwise I wouldn't bother.
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on 15 December 2013
Brought as a christmas gift, packaged well and arrived speedily. Hoping it is well received and works when played. Item looks perfectly fine.
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on 15 June 2014
Another excellent buy the son is over the moon and the CD arrived within the time frame and in excellent condition so thank you
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on 27 August 2013
I was a big Human League fan (and I know I still haven't heard their entire discography), and happy to grab this CD!
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