On this day in music history: November 22, 198…

On this day in music history: November 22, 1986 – “Human” by The Human League hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week, also topping the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart for 1 week on October 25, 1986, and peaking at #3 on the R&B and Adult Contemporary singles charts. Written and produced by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, it is the second and final US chart topper for the synth-pop band from Sheffield, UK. On the suggestion of A&M Records executive John McClain, the band flies to Minneapolis to work with producers after falling out with longtime producer Martin Rushent. Fans of Jam & Lewis’ work with The S.O.S. Band and of the record “Change Of Heart” by Change, they eagerly begin work on the project. However, shortly after the sessions begin, the producers clash with the band over their lackadaisical work ethic in the studio, in return the band also feeling they are not being given equal creative input. This leads to keyboardist Philip Adrian Wright to leaving the sessions midway through. Lead singer Phil Oakey also experiences difficulty while recording his vocals for “Human. Not naturally adept to singing ballads, it takes nearly a weeks’ worth of recording sessions to get the final vocal performance from the singer. Released as the first single issued from the band’s fifth album "Crash” in late August of 1986, it becomes the bands’ first major hit in the US since “(Keep Feeling) Fascination” (#2 UK, #8 US Pop) three years earlier. Entering the Hot 100 at #71 on September 13, 1986, it climbs to the top of the chart ten weeks later. “Human” is used in a series of television commercials for Liberty Mutual Insurance beginning in 2012.