I Don't Depend On You is the name of a song written by Ware/Oakey/Marsh and released as single by The Human League under the pseudonym of The Men in July 1979. It was produced by The Men and Colin Thurston who would g on to produce The Human League's first album Reproduction. Coming ahead of the group's debut album and the single Empire State Human, it is effectively the first Human League release on the Virgin label.
Pressured by Virgin to record and release a potential hit single using conventional instruments, the group agreed to do so on the condition that it would not be released under the name of The Human League.
The song is more conventional in structure and style with respect to the kind of material the group were writing and recording in 1979. The 'disco' style reflects the kind of music which was fashionable at the time, and as such the track was also produced in an instrumental version entitled "Cruel" which appears on the B side of the single. Session musicians were brought in to play drums and bass guitar, and female backing singers were also used for the chorus.
Despite its catchy style and strong commercial potential, the single failed to chart, thus quashing the high hopes on the part of both the group and Virgin. This intelligent proto-synthpop song with its strong dance beat and female vocals was very much however the shape of things to come. In 1990, Stuart Maconie wrote in NME, "The Human League were quite clearly ahead of their own time, never mind anyone else’s".
Virgin 7" - VS 269
A. I Don't Depend On You (4:31)
B. Cruel (instrumental) (4:41)
Both "I Don't Depend On You" and "Cruel" were included on the remastered re-issue of the Travelogue album in 2003.
"I Don't Depend On You" is available on the 2008 Virgin/EMI compilation album Methods of Dance, and on the 2013 Virgin compilation New Gold Dreams (Post-Punk and New Romantic '79-'83).