U.K. Energy Ad Channels Retro Wonder of ‘Electric Dreams’

Reluctant classic by Human League's Philip Oakey

Here's a song I would never have pegged for a retro revival: "Together in Electric Dreams." Sung by the Human League frontman Philip Oakey for the 1984 comedy Electric Dreams, the song is now featured in a charmingly odd commercial for Britain's EDF Energy. The ad shows a gourd-shaped creature, modeled after the popular Keepon toys, dancing to the song around different parts of the house. (This is somehow meant to promote renewable energy.) I hadn't heard Oakey's song since the 1980s, when my sister and I were obsessed with Electric Dreams, a cautionary tale about how computers could someday control our homes and love lives. But it turns out the song has remained popular in Britain, where it is one of the most-requested songs at Human League concerts (despite not actually being a Human League song). Oakey has even bemoaned the fact that the track, which he recorded in about 10 minutes, was a bigger hit than most of the band's more well-crafted work. But hey, swirl-headed blobs just don't look as cute dancing to "Don't You Want Me."