Erasure was formed from the ashes of Depeche Mode and Yazoo. Vince Clarke was keyboardist and songwriter to both bands before leaving to pursue other projects. He placed an ad in Melody Maker for a singer. Andy Bell responded, auditioned and in 1985, Erasure was born.
The band’s first three singles – ‘Who Needs Love Like That?’, ‘Heavenly Action’ and ‘Oh L’Amour’ - scraped the UK Top 100, although the latter was later covered in 1987 by Dollar and became a massive hit. Success came in 1987 with the release of the single ‘Sometimes’ which climbed to number two in the UK Singles chart. This boosted sales of their second album, ‘The Circus’. Both ‘The Circus’ and the duo’s follow-up album ‘The Innocents’ achieved platinum sales in the UK.
The duo garnered a huge following, especially among the gay community where the openly-homosexual and flamboyant Andy Bell was an icon. Bell’s voice was often compared with that of Alison Moyet, Vince Clarke’s previous partner in Yazoo.
In 1988, Erasure released the ‘Crackers International’ EP. The lead single ‘Stop!’ gave the pair even more chart success. The ‘Abba-esque’ EP released in 1992 featured cover versions of four Abba songs and gave the band their first number one in the UK Singles chart (be sure to check online for the Halloween-inspired Top of the Pops performance of Take A Chance On Me!). This wasn’t their only foray into cover versions, however: 2003’s ‘Other People’s Songs’ album contained reworkings of ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ by The Buggles and Peter Gabriel’s ‘Solsbury Hill’.
Erasure are currently in the studio writing and recording a new album. In the meantime, an EP of remixes and a remastered version of ‘The Innocents’ marking 21 years since its release will be available from August 2009.
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