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Released: October 16, 1981

Rating: 4.583 (average of 6 ratings)

Genre: pop > new romantic

Quotable: “The moment post-punk’s robotic fascination with synthesizers met a clinical Bowiesque infatuation with fashion and modern art.” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

Album Tracks:

  1. The Things That Dreams Are Made Of
  2. Open Your Heart
  3. The Sound of the Crowd
  4. Darkness
  5. Do or Die
  6. Get Carter
  7. I Am the Law
  8. Seconds
  9. Love Action (I Believe in Love)
  10. Don’t You Want Me

Total Running Time: 40:30

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only 0.5
sales in U.K. only - estimated 0.9
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 1.4


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 3
peak on U.K. album chart 1 4

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • The Sound of the Crowd (5/2/81) #12 UK
  • Love Action (I Believe in Love) (8/8/81) #3 UK
  • Open Your Heart (10/10/81) #6 UK
  • Don’t You Want Me (12/5/81) #1 US, #1 UK, #4 AR, sales: 0.5 m

Notes: Reissues included B-sides “Hard Times” and “Non-Stop.”


Rated one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more. Rated best album of the year by DMDB. Q Magazine’s Top 100 Albums

The Human League
Dare! captures a moment in time perfectly – the moment post-punk’s robotic fascination with synthesizers met a clinical Bowiesque infatuation with fashion and modern art, including pop culture, plus a healthy love of songcraft. The Human League had shown much of this on their early singles, such as ‘Lebanon,’ but on Dare! they simply gelled, as their style was supported by music and songs with emotional substance.” STE

“That doesn’t mean that the album isn’t arty, since it certainly is, but that’s part of its power – the self-conscious detachment enhances the postmodern sense of emotional isolation, obsession with form over content, and love of modernity for its own sake. That’s why Dare! struck a chord with listeners who didn’t like synth pop or the new romantics in 1981, and why it still sounds startlingly original decades after its original release – the technology may have dated, synths and drum machines may have become more advanced, but few have manipulated technology in such an emotionally effective way.” STE

“Of course, that all wouldn’t matter if the songs themselves didn’t work smashingly, whether it’s a mood piece as eerie as Seconds, an antianthem like The Things That Dreams Are Made Of, the danceclub glow of Love Action (I Believe in Love), or the utter genius of Don’t You Want Me, a devastating chronicle of a frayed romance wrapped in the greatest pop hooks and production of its year. The latter was a huge hit, so much so that it overshadowed the album in the minds of most listeners, yet, for all of its shining brilliance, it wasn’t a pop supernova – it’s simply the brightest star on this record, one of the defining records of its time.” STE

Review Source(s):

Last updated February 17, 2010.