The Human League - 'Don't You Want Me'

8/16/12

Okay, I am gonna put it out there! I think The Human League's “Don't You Want Me” is the DEFINITIVE song of the 1980s...

Look, I know it comes against a LOT of competition, but, as soon as you hear that opening synth line, are you not immediately transported back to 1981, with lopsided locks and leg warmers? No? Just me? Okay then... ahem... anywaaaaays...

“Don't You Want Me” is lifted from Dare, The Human League's third studio album. Front man, Phillip Oakley, infamously HATED the song and tried to ban Virgin from releasing it as a single, concerned the "poor quality filler track" would ruin the band's building reputation. Luckily, Virgin convinced Oakley to drop “Don't You Want Me,” and, to the band's surprise, it became a worldwide smash, topping both the UK and US charts.

Oakley has said “Don't You Want Me” is a "a nasty song about sexual power politics.” It features vocals from then-new member, Susan Ann Sulley, who was just 17 years old at the time.

The video is incredible, too. Aided by extensive MTV coverage, it would transform The Human League into the visual icons that they are today.

 

And check out this live performance of "Don't You Want Me,” filmed at Brighton Dome in 2003, below. We miss their silly hairstyles :(.

Lyrics:

You were working as a waitress in a cocktail bar
When I met you
I picked you out, I shook you up, and turned you around
Turned you into someone new
Now five years later on you've got the world at your feet
Success has been so easy for you
But don't forget it's me who put you where you are now
And I can put you back down too
Chorus :
Don't, don't you want me?
You know I can't believe it when I hear that you won't see me
Don't, don't you want me?
You know I don't believe you when you say that you don't need me
It's much too late to find
You think you've changed your mind
You'd better change it back or we will both be sorry
Don't you want me baby? Don't you want me oh
Don't you want me baby? Don't you want me oh
I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar
That much is true
But even then I knew I'd find a much better place
Either with or without you
The five years we have had have been such good times
I still love you
But now I think it's time I lived my life on my own
I guess it's just what I must do
(Chorus)
Don't you want me baby? Don't you want me oh
Don't you want me baby? Don't you want me oh
(Repeat four times and fade)

 

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