As part of 6 Music Celebrates Sheffield, CAS founder, radio host, DJ and journalist Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy was asked to choose an album that is representative of the city in which it was created. The album is not Sheffield’s biggest-selling or most famous record, but it is a record throughout which different strands of the city’s most defining musical moments have been woven and a jumping-off point for some of the city’s classic acts and albums.
Colleen has chosen The Human League’s ‘Travelogue’ and in this edition of Sounds of a City, she speaks with Martyn Ware, former and founding member of The Human League and currently of Heaven 17. Through research and interviews, she delves into what made this album such a pivotal moment in the landscape of Sheffield’s music scene. From the heavy industry, poverty, and even the space race, everything that went into this album came out the other side to inspire a new generation of musicians, inadvertently starting a synth-pop music revolution in the city.
Cabaret Voltaire’s Richard H. Kirk discusses the album’s pop values, whilst 6 Music’s Jarvis Cocker gives his own unique take on the tracks and their links to his home city. There are also contributions from Phil Oakey (The Human League), Roisin Murphy (formerly of Moloko), Toddla T, Paul Hartnol (formerly of Orbital) and filmmaker and Sheffield historian Lee Ford. From Warp’s signature bleep sounds to the sound of UK rave at large to Detroit’s techno producers, the album and the city’s influence has been felt far and wide.
This is part of a four part series. Coming up in the next few months, Colleen will choose albums from Liverpool, Manchester and Edinburgh.
Sounds of a City: The Human League ‘Travelogue’ will air Sunday, 3 May from 1 to 2 pm on BBC 6 Music. It will be available on BBC iPlayer for one month afterward.