Friday, May 31, 2013

Erasure • Who Needs Hits Like That?

Erasure, Andy Bell and Vince Clarke
Erasure bandmates Andy Bell, left, and Vince Clarke, right.

Sometimes I am working on a post, and I surprise myself with amazing observations like, "No Freakin' way it has been 28 years since I first heard this song!" Yes, I know, I don't really say freaking, but I thought I'd clean it up. But it is true, it has been almost three decades since I first heard the amazing duo Erasure. I had followed keyboardist Vince Clarke since his collaboration with Alison Moyet in Yazoo, as well as his stint in Depeche Mode. So when he paired up with Andy Bell, I was curios to hear the new sound. After all, I had no idea who this Bell kid was, and I was reluctant to let go of the hope Vince and Alison would get back together.

Erasure - Wonderland photo Erasure_Wonderland_Cover_zps04e1ca7d.jpg Erasure - The Innocents photo Erasure_TheInnocents_Cover_zps6709e673.jpg

In the Fall of 1985, before the first album hit the shelves, the group released "Who Needs Love Like That", soon to be featured on the debut album, 'Wonderland'. The song had a strong Synth-Pop sound, and dealt with a faltering dysfunctional relationship, and asks the immortal question, "Who Needs Love Like That"?

While that none of the early singles entered the US Billboard charts, Erasure did have a following in the States, with people who were loving the EuroPop coming in the form of New Wave acts like Howard Jones, Yazoo, Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, Soft Cell, Bronksi Beat, and so many other. In April of 1986, just weeks before the release of 'Wonderland', they released the single "Oh L'Amour" and I remember going to my music import store in the West Village to get it. The sound was so new, so fresh, and so darned fun.

It was another two years before Erasure started to show up on the US Single charts. In 1988, they released 'The Innocents', a fantastic new collection. The month after the album's released, a new song hit the airwaves that would certainly make an impact in the US. "Chains Of Love" was a bold and brash song that stood firm in the stance that all love needs to be honored, not just some. To free all love from the chains restricting those people, we can't really be free. Yes, this was a song I danced to on more than one occasion and in more than one club in New York. "Chains of Love" made it to #12 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #4 on the US Hot Dance Club Songs chart.

That was followed up by a song that instantly spoke to so many people, it was universally loved. "A Little Respect" had so much meaning on so many levels, for the gays marching and trying to feel the respect offered to everyone but themselves. It also spoke to people in relationships, where one one person feels they are working so hard just to have their voice heard, be it with a lover, a friend, or a parent. The song made it to #14 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #2 on the Hot Dance Club Songs chart. Here is the music video for "A Little Respect", also off the album 'The Innocents'.

You can find these hits and more on 'Pop! The First 20 Hits', available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon, or at their online store. To learn more about Erasure, visit their official website. You can also 'like' them on Facebook and 'follow' them on Twitter.


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