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The Human League – Heart Like A Wheel (US 12″)

Posted by DjPaulT on 13th March 2015


A. Front

2015 Re-Rip!
Meticulously Remastered!
First Time In 24 Bit Flac!

Originally posted May 25, 2011

“Heart Like a Wheel” is a song by the British synthpop group The Human League. It is taken from their 1990 album Romantic?.

“Heart Like a Wheel” was the first single to be taken from the Human League’s sixth studio albumRomantic? It was written by former band member Jo Callis with Eugene Reynolds (of The Rezillos) and features vocals by Philip Oakey, Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley; with the synthesizer skills of Neil Sutton. It was recorded at Genetic Sound Studios during 1990 and produced by Martin Rushent who was reconciled with the band after an eight-year gap.

The song is a return to the overtly political lyrics that the Human League sometimes do, but dressed up to a poppy hook that makes it palatable to the public. Whereas “The Lebanon” of 1984 was the Human League’s view of the Israeli Invasion of Southern Lebanon and subsequent civil war, “Heart Like a Wheel” is supposedly a commentary on U.S. military imperialism. Callis’s lyrics are suitably vague using references such as “sell your soul to a holy war”. At a time when Jihad was all but unheard of in the West, it went over the heads of most of the song’s listeners. 11 years after its release, the events of ‘9/11, followed by the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, would make the song seem written for that epoch. Although it is rarely something the band dwell on allowing people to read what they want into the lyrics.

Released in the UK in August 1990, “Heart Like a Wheel” reached number 29 in the UK and number 32 in the US. A decade after the release, the record is still popular, featuring in a number of third party remixes including some by William Orbit. Also the band frequently play the song live, as it is a very live-friendly track and although not one of their greatest hits, it is still very popular with audiences. Oakey also now often explains the political message to the audiences usually describing it “an anti-war song”.

Heart Like A Wheel (Extended Mix) 6:51
Remix – Mark Saunders

Heart Like A Wheel (LP Version) 4:28

Heart Like A Wheel (7″ Remix) 4:37
Remix – William Orbit

Vinyl: Near Mint
Cover: Near Mint


Year Single Chart Position
1990 Heart Like A Wheel U.S. Billboard Hot 100 #32
1990 Heart Like A Wheel U.S. Billboard Hot Alternative Songs #17


Label: A&M Records – 75021 2336 1
Format: Vinyl, 12″, 33 ⅓ RPM
Country: US
Released: 1990
Genre: Electronic
Style: Synth-pop

Producer, Mixed By – Martin Rushent
Written-By – Eugene Reynolds, Jo Callis

From the album, cassette & compact disc “romantic?”

Find the 12″ On DISCOGS

B. Back

Turntable: Pro-Ject Debut Carbon (DC)
Cartridge: Ortofon 2M
Stylus: Ortofon OM Stylus 30
Platter: Pro-Ject Acryl-It platter
Stabilizer: Pro-Ject Record Puck 
Phono Pre-amp:
Bellari VP130 Tube Phono Preamp
Tung-Sol 12AX7ECC803-S Gold Electron Tube
ESI Juli@
Record Cleaning:
VPI HW 16.5 Record Cleaning Machine
Artwork Scans:
Brother MFC-6490CW Professional Series Scanner

Recording/Editing: Adobe Audition 3.0 (Recording)
Down Sampling: iZotope RX Advanced 2
Artwork Editor: Adobe Photoshop CS5
Click Removeal: Manual
FLAC/MP3 Conversion: dBpoweramp
M3U Playlist: Playlist Creator

All vinyl rips are recorded @ 32bit/float
FLAC (Level Eight)
MP3 (320kbps)
Artwork scanned at 600dpi

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Password: burningtheground

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Posted in The Human League | 40 Comments »