Philip Oakey
English pop singer
Philip Oakey
Philip "Phil" Oakey is an English composer, singer, songwriter and producer. He is best known as the lead singer, lead songwriter, frontman and co-founder of the English synthpop band The Human League. Aside from the Human League, he has had an extensive solo music career and collaborated with numerous other artists and producers. He is also an occasional DJ. Oakey was one of the most visually distinctive music artists of the early 1980s.
Biography
Philip Oakey's personal information overview.
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News
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CarsTravelFood: New (Old) Road Trip Music
Huffington Post - over 4 years
More Americans go on road trips in the summer than any other time of year and part of the fun is -- what songs do we want to hear on the playlist? Sometimes it's good ol' reliable James Taylor (can never go wrong with his melodic, upbeat tunes) or perhaps the catchy summer hit that's spawned a gazillion YouTube covers "Call Me Maybe" by Canadian Idol contestant Carly Rae Jepsen who told Nightline that she thought of her song as a modern day "Walking On Broken Glass" from Eurythmics. Some of us love our SiriusXM satellite radio because unlike terrestrial radio of old, if you were cruising on a seemingly deserted highway in places like New Mexico, there used to be a dearth of channel selections back in the day. This way, you can listen to a channel that time warps you instantly back to relive a period of time, rediscover old hits we forgot about and always have your favorite channel available and tune into what others are listening to at the same time in the country. S ...
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殿堂級樂隊訪港 - 雅虎香港
Google News - over 5 years
為甚麼要等到今時今日,等到靈魂主音型男Philip Oakey脫盡了頭髮、捧着大肚腩,才來香港會樂迷呢? 這支上世紀八十年代英國電子New Wave樂隊,光是一曲《Don't You Want Me》,已夠你聽一世!這首歌除了是當年Disco播到爛名作之一外,令我最有印象的,可說是軟硬天師的
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The Human League - The Sacramento Press
Google News - over 5 years
Founding member and lead singer Philip Oakey was dressed in black with a black hood for the first song, “Never Let Me Go.” Oakey started by walking slowly into the spot light singing the chorus, “Go/ go/ go,” and then fading back, out of the light,
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Hello, My Name Is Susan - Illinois Entertainer Magazine
Google News - over 5 years
About three years ago, Philip [Oakey, frontman] said he was writing again, which was for his own pleasure at first, but a record label in the UK [Wall Of Sound] came to us and said they wanted to work with us, so we put out the material as the new
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The Human League - Credo - NOW Toronto
Google News - over 5 years
Legend has it Philip Oakey originally hated the Human League's biggest hit, Don't You Want Me, and it was only put on the album and released as a single because the label insisted. Listening to the pioneering synth-pop band's ninth
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Snoop Dogg: Concerto do Dia - Cotonete
Google News - over 5 years
Com 34 anos de carreira, Philip Oakey, Susan Ann e Joanne Catherall constituem o "núcleo duro" de uma das mais representativas bandas new wave do século XX. Formaram-se em 1977, em Sheffield, na Grã-Bretanha, e desde então têm somado inúmeros êxitos,
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Concerto: The Human League apresentam Credo na Praia da Rocha - Algarve Central
Google News - over 5 years
Com 34 anos de carreira, os The Human League, Philip Oakey, Susan Ann e Joanne Catherall constituem o “núcleo duro” de uma das mais representativas bandas “Electro Pop/New Wave/Glam” do século XX. Formaram-se em 1977, em Sheffield, Grã-Bretanha,
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Freedom or Death: airs de déjà-vu... **1/2 - Cyberpresse
Google News - over 5 years
Que reste-t-il à apprécier du travail de Sway Clarke (chanteur à la voix aérienne et claire, manière Philip Oakey) et Steve Fernandez? Un travail d'arrangements qui privilégie la légèreté, un sens de la mélodie qui plaira sans doute à l'auditeur pop
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The Human League: el ´synth pop´ de los 80 vuelve a la isla - Diario de Ibiza
Google News - over 5 years
Philip Oakey sigue siendo el líder del grupo y el único de los músicos que, en 1977, formó The Human League en la localidad inglesa de Sheffield. Tras algunos cambios, la banda alcanzaría un gran éxito en 1981 con su disco ´Dare´, con joyas como el aún
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The Human League to Release New Single 'Sky' Next Week – Listen Now - Stereoboard.com (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
The Human League were founded by Philip Oakey in 1977, although the current line-up featuring vocalists Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley have been together since 1980. The trio experienced the height of their career in the early to mid '80s
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The Human League - Freiburg - 04.07.2011 - Regiomusik das Musikportal
Google News - over 5 years
„Night People“ ist reduzierte Tanzbarkeit: Monotone und vor allem reduzierte Klänge ergänzt Sänger Philip Oakey mit klarer Stimme. Der Song enthält einige Referenzen an die Frühphase der Band, doch verneint moderne Produktion und Eingängigkeit nicht
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'Vice Ganda: Lakas Tama' by Vice Ganda (Vicor Music) - Manila Bulletin
Google News - over 5 years
There's a spare rendering of Gloria Estefan's “Anything For You,” Fra Lippo Lippi's “Everytime I See You,” and Philip Oakey & Giorgio Moroder's “Together In Electric Dreams.” To his credit, Jay delivers an acceptable version of the Human League hit,
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Alte Liebe rostet nicht, oder doch? - WELT ONLINE
Google News - over 5 years
Jetzt sind Human League wieder da, in der populären Besetzung mit Philip Oakey und den Sirenen Joanne Catherall und Susan Sulley. Sie sind einer von vielen Top Acts beim Münchner Sommer-Tollwood (www.tollwood.de). Und die Frage ist, ob man sich diese
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Sónar Barcelona 2011: viernes - Jenesaispop.com
Google News - over 5 years
Hubo que esperar a que se despojara de su abrigo acolchado con capucha para ver en buena forma a un madurito Philip Oakey al frente de Human League, escoltado por Susan A. Sulley y Joanne Catherall, que lucieron modelos, joyas y botines de espejos
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Modernidad de ayer y hoy - El Periódico de Catalunya
Google News - over 5 years
Philip Oakey apareció encapuchado, flanqueado por sus chicas, unas Susan Ann Sulley y Joanne Catherall cargadas de bisutería. El trío vocal que se dio a conocer con el tercer álbum del grupo, el clásico Dare! (1981). De ese disco salieron The sound of
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El 'glamour' ochentero The Human League da pistoletazo de salida Sónar Noche - ABC.es
Google News - over 5 years
El vocalista y compositor Philip Oakey, que lleva al pie del cañón desde el 77, ha aparecido sobre el escenario flanqueado por Joanne Catherall y Susan Ann Sulley, vestidas de negro y cargadas de joyas. Los espectadores, especialmente el numerosísimo
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The Karinthy Connection - ABC Online (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Written and performed by Philip Oakey, also famous for his collaboration with Italian producer and songwriter, Giorgio Moroder (Electric Dreams theme song). Also produced by Giorgio Moroder… Song 4: Donna Summer - I Feel Love
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Human League: 35 let čistega popa - RTV Slovenija
Google News - over 5 years
Human League v aktualni postavi sestavljajo Susan Ann Sulley, Joanne Catherall in Philip Oakey. Foto: Založba Album Credo je prejel mešane kritike. Foto: Založba David Bowie jih je leta 1979 opisal kot "zvok prihodnosti". 33 let kasneje so še vedno tu
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Especial Sónar 2011: Estrellas de otro mundo - SlithersMusicZine
Google News - over 5 years
Como viene siendo habitual en los últimos años, un grupo clásico desembarca en el Sónar de noche y en esta ocasión el trío liderado por Philip Oakey no solo repasará clásico como “Don't You Wante Me o “Fascination”, sino que también presentará su nuevo
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Philip Oakey
    FIFTIES
  • 2009
    Age 53
    Also in 2009, Oakey collaborated with British female synthpop artist Little Boots on her first album Hands, recording the duet track "Symmetry".
    More Details Hide Details Throughout his career and in his personal life, Oakey has been a very flamboyant dresser and fashion trend setter. His entry into music was precipitated by his reputation for style. His outrageous dress sense and original hairstyle would make him an iconic figure of the early 1980s music scene. Pre-1977, during the era of punk rock, Oakey adopted various styles; at one time having a crew cut but later he had collar length hair and had once turned up in one club wearing a household power lead with plug as a necklace. He also often wore bike leathers and rode a classic Norton motorcycle around Sheffield. His natural good looks combined with his flamboyant style was the main reason Martyn Ware invited him to join his pop band The Future in 1977. Ware, who was chasing commercial success, reasoned that half the battle was won "as Oakey already looked like a pop star".
    In early 2009, Oakey collaborated with the Pet Shop Boys on their tenth studio album Yes, supplying vocals for the intended bonus disc song "This Used to Be the Future".
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  • 2008
    Age 52
    In 2008, Oakey worked with Hiem, a band fronted by former All Seeing I lead singer David "Bozz" Boswell, on the song "2 am".
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  • FORTIES
  • 2003
    Age 47
    In 2003, he provided vocals for Sheffield band Kings Have Long Arms on the single "Rock and Roll is Dead"; also in 2003 he worked with producer/DJ Alex Gold and they released the trance single "LA Today".
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  • 1999
    Age 43
    In 1999, he provided vocals for the single "1st Man in Space" by the Sheffield band All Seeing I.
    More Details Hide Details The song was written by Jarvis Cocker.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1991
    Age 35
    In 1991, Oakey was involved with Vic Reeves on the track "Black Night" which is a Deep Purple cover.
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  • 1990
    Age 34
    In 1990, Oakey provided guest vocals on "What Comes After Goodbye", the one-off release by the short-lived Sheffield dance band, Respect.
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    The 1990 album Romantic? failed to sell and in 1992, Virgin Records cancelled the band's recording contract.
    More Details Hide Details This had a devastating effect on the band, causing Oakey to seek counselling for depression, and Sulley to have a breakdown. The emotional problems of the pair nearly caused the band to fold. Thanks mainly to the efforts of Catherall, by 1993 Oakey and Sulley had recovered and the band was back on its feet. They signed to Eastwest Records which resulted in the release of the gold selling album Octopus and the hit singles "Tell Me When" and "One Man in My Heart". Another change of record label saw the release of the critically acclaimed Secrets album in 2001. Secrets failed to sell because the record label went into receivership, curtailing promotion. After the failure of a project he had put so much work and time into, Oakey lost faith in the record industry and changed the band's focus to more lucrative live work. Between 2002 and the present day, they have toured regularly either on their own or as guests at festivals. They have played at such prestigious events as V Festival, Festival Internacional de Benicàssim and to 18,000 fans at the Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles in 2006.
    Oakey and Catherall split amicably in 1990, remaining friends and colleagues.
    More Details Hide Details Contrary to press stories, they never married, though Catherall has since married. The remainder of the 1980s saw the band's success peak and dip, with the follow-up release of the album Hysteria in 1984 underachieving. In 1986, Oakey accepted an offer to work with US producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis which resulted in the release of the album Crash and the single "Human" which became another international hit and went to number one in the US. However, by 1987, the band had lost most of its members leaving only Oakey, Sulley and Catherall. In 1989, Oakey persuaded Sheffield City Council to invest a business development loan for the building of Human League Studios in Sheffield, Oakey's dedicated studio for the band and a commercial venture.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1985
    Age 29
    In 1985, Oakey and Moroder released the joint album Philip Oakey & Giorgio Moroder which generated two further single releases, "Be My Lover Now" and "Good-Bye Bad Times".
    More Details Hide Details Released in both the UK and US, these singles were not as successful as "Together in Electric Dreams" and the Oakey/Moroder partnership effectively ended.
  • 1984
    Age 28
    His highest profile and most commercially successful collaboration was with producer Giorgio Moroder. In 1984 for the film Electric Dreams, he and Moroder provided the film theme song, "Together in Electric Dreams".
    More Details Hide Details When later released as a single it would go on to become an international hit, actually eclipsing the film it was intended to promote. The song went on to become a bigger hit than some of Oakey's Human League singles of the same period.
  • 1983
    Age 27
    Oakey has worked on his own, and also with other artists and producers. His first collaboration was producing the Spanish released single "Amor Secreto" by Nick Fury in 1983 for which he also played synthesizer, together with Jo Callis.
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  • 1981
    Age 25
    For their Romantic? album, Oakey wore denim, leather and readopted his lop sided hairstyle from 1981 in a rebellion against "the male model look of Crash".
    More Details Hide Details The band went through dark times and the style was quickly abandoned. When the band returned in a comeback in 1995, the mature (then 40-year-old) Oakey reappeared with designer clothes and a suave short neat hair cut. In 1998, Oakey began to suffer from male pattern baldness and after advice from his hair stylist, in 1999 he adopted an all over 'number two' crop hairstyle. This is the style he wears today, albeit that his hair has now completely greyed. Today, Oakey is still known for his dapper style, but now generally wears a simple Armani suit on stage. Although he has not lost his desire to shock, and recently boasted during a newspaper interview that he had recently acquired a Prince Albert piercing, which he says "hurt less than having his ears pierced". Studio albums Number-one singles
    Keen to shock, on one of the 'new' Human League's posters in 1981, Oakey posed shirtless displaying pierced nipples linked together by a gold chain.
    More Details Hide Details Oakey says of his early 1980s style: "I deliberately wore clothes that either men or women could wear. But I don't think I ever really looked like a woman. And I never wore very masculine clothes". Another common media error was that Oakey and The Human League were part of the New Romantic movement. Oakey and the band, whose look was unique and pre-dated the start of the Blitz Kids never identified with the New Romantic scene, although they seldom challenged the media label while it helped sell records. It wasn’t just a stage look and Oakey openly went about in public in full make up, dressed in his eclectic style; he claims that "Sheffield was so accepting that no one ever blinked an eyelid". Oakey jokes that when he sought parental permission for the girls to go on the 1980 tour, that the father of Susan Sulley (then aged 17) only let her go on tour with the Human League because "he wasn’t entirely sure I was a man."
    In mid-1981, Oakey and Catherall commenced a long-term relationship that lasted until the end of the decade.
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    By the end of 1981/82 Oakey and the Human League would be famous worldwide.
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  • 1980
    Age 24
    He was married briefly to his girlfriend, whom he met at school, but the marriage did not last long and they were divorced in 1980.
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  • 1977
    Age 21
    Ware went to visit Oakey to ask him to join The Future; finding him away from home, he famously left a note on Oakey's front door asking him to join The Future as lead singer, an offer Oakey quickly accepted, joining the band in mid-1977.
    More Details Hide Details In late 1977, The Future changed its name to The Human League – after an element of a science fiction board game. The new band played their first live gig at Psalter Lane Arts College in June 1978 (a blue plaque now marks the spot) and signed to Fast Records. The early Human League had a reputation for being arty and had little commercial success, releasing two singles, "Being Boiled" and "Empire State Human", with lyrics written by Oakey. They would eventually release two albums, Reproduction (1979) and Travelogue (1980), both recorded at the band's Monumental Pictures studio. Reproduction failed to chart, but after an impromptu appearance on Top of the Pops in May 1980, Travelogue entered the UK Album Chart and peaked at No.16. Despite this, the band still had no hit singles and, dogged by the lack of commercial success, Oakey and Ware's working relationship became increasingly strained. In October 1980, on the eve of a European tour, it reached breaking point and Ware walked out taking Marsh with him. Oakey and director of visuals Adrian Wright were permitted to retain the band name but would be responsible for all band debts and the tour commitment. Ware and Marsh soon recruited Glenn Gregory and became Heaven 17. Facing financial ruin with the tour promoters threatening to sue him, Oakey had less than a week to put a new band together.
    In Sheffield in 1977, Martyn Ware (a school friend of Oakey's), Ian Craig Marsh and Adi Newton had formed a band called The Future.
    More Details Hide Details Although they had recorded a number of demo tapes, they remained unsigned. They were part of an emerging genre of music that used analogue synthesizers instead of traditional instruments, which would later be defined as synthpop. Newton quickly left the band after they were turned down by record companies. To replace him, Ware decided that The Future needed a dedicated lead singer. His first choice was Glenn Gregory, but Gregory was unavailable at the time. So Ware suggested his old school friend Philip Oakey to Marsh. Although Oakey had absolutely no musical experience, he was well known in the Sheffield social scene, principally for his eclectic dress sense and classic motorcycle. The lack of experience didn’t bother Ware as he declared that Oakey "already looked like a pop star".
    Oakey’s entry into music in 1977 was entirely accidental.
    More Details Hide Details He had bought a saxophone but had given up trying to learn how to play it, and had no aspiration to be in a pop group.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1975
    Age 19
    He left school at 18 without finishing his exams and worked in a number of casual jobs: in a university bookshop, and from 1975 as a porter at Thornbury Annex Hospital in Sheffield.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1955
    Born
    Oakey was born on 2 October 1955 in Oadby, Leicestershire.
    More Details Hide Details His father worked for the General Post Office and moved jobs regularly: the family moved to Coventry when Oakey was a baby, to Leeds when he was five and to Birmingham when he was nine, before settling in Sheffield when he was fourteen. He was educated at King Edward VII School in Sheffield.
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