Grandfathers of modern electronica, the Human League are most commonly recognized for the hit single ‘Don’t You Want Me Baby?,’ but they also created a love letter in song to my favorite TV program, Doctor Who.
Released as a B-side to Boys and Girls, the 1979 recording entitled Tom Baker is heavily influenced by the incidental music of Doctor Who at the time. This should come as no surprise given that the League were given a private tour of the Radiophonic Workshop during the closing of the Baker era. Fans of pop culture such as Captain Scarlet and Doctor Who, the Human League even used imagery from the series in their live performances.
The song Tom Baker sounds very much like a farewell and in many ways it was. A veteran of the stage and screen, Tom Baker had found enormous success as the charismatic Timelord from Gallifrey. After 7 years as the lead of the program, many viewers wondered if Doctor Who was even possible without the actor. With Baker’s departure the series changed dramatically and was never quite the same. The Human League’s B-side track encapsulates what many fans were feeling as they prepared for the departure of a TV personality that they had grown quite fond of.
The Human League recording ‘Tom Baker’ has been a fascinating curiosity to Whovians for years. Here is a video for Tom Baker put to visuals of Doctor Who.
For more on the history of the Human League and electronic music, please visit: LeagueOnline