"The Lebanon" is a song by the British synthpop group The Human League, released as a single in April 1984. Written jointly by lead singer Philip Oakey and keyboard player Jo Callis, it was the first single from the band's fourth album Hysteria, and was recorded at AIR Studios between 1983-1984.
The song was conceived, written and recorded at a time when the band was under considerable pressure to follow up the enormous international success of their previous album, Dare. The band had taken up residence in the £1000 a day AIR Studios; they were there a full year and were agonizing (and arguing) over every note of every track.
With its heavy use of bass and rock guitars, "The Lebanon" was a radical departure from the established synthpop sound of the Human League. Though the song does employ some keyboards, the use of guitars by the band was not lost on music critics who brought up the "no guitars rule" that the band had publicly adopted in 1981.
The lyrics were an attempt to make a statement on the Lebanese civil war which had been exacerbated by Israeli invasion of southern Lebanon of 1982. In a television interview, Human League member Philip Adrian Wright commented that the Oakley's politically charged lyrics were written specifically about the Sabra and Shatila massacre. Human League singer Susan Ann Sulley said of the song that the band "wanted to speak up for the little people" and say something about the situation in Lebanon at the time, and that the band was not trying to be political for the sake of it.
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