Friday, 13 October 2017
League Unlimited Orchestra - Love And Dancing (1982)
Love And Dancing, though, is in a different league altogether (pun very much intended) and has become my absolute favourite thing associated with the band. Taking on a different guise - one whose name was apparently in homage to Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra - Oakey and crew pulled together nearly-instrumental versions of seven Dare tracks and one B-side into two continuously mixed sides that made their electronic pop genius shine all the brighter, burnished by Martin Rushent's immaculate mixing & production.
The result on the perfect first side sounded like Kraftwerk circa Man Machine taking time out of a UK tour to stumble into a Northern Soul club and feeding the sheer euphoria into three new songs. The Human League had of course been influenced by Kraftwerk from day one, but this is almost like a full-on homage (is that a cheeky little Europe Endless tribute at the start of Love Action?). I've almost no words to describe the 7-minute version of Don't You Want Me - just sheer perfection in every second, turning a nowadays over-exposed pop evergreen into peerlesss dancefloor magnificence.
On Love And Dancing's second half, the darker tones of Dare mostly hold sway - the tracks that were most obviously a progression from their first two albums. The JFK-assassination inspired Seconds and The Things That Dreams Are Made Of sound particularly ominous here, although the latter does drop in some of Oakey's most humourous lyrics ("Norman Wisdom, Norman Wisdom" dub-style almost makes me crack a smile). Following up Seconds with the bright, chirpy melody of Open Your Heart was yet another stroke of genius. I haven't used the 'favourite albums of all time' tag for a while now, but Love And Dancing sure as hell deserves it.