..:: audio-music dot info ::..
|B i o g r a p h y|
Following the disbandment of the short-lived synth pop group Yazoo, former Depeche Mode member Vince Clarke formed Erasure in 1985 with singer Andy Bell.
Like Yaz and Depeche Mode, Erasure were a synth-based group, but they
had stronger dance inclinations, as well as a sharper, more accessible
sense of pop songcraft, than either of Clarke's previous bands.
Furthermore, Erasure had the flamboyantly eccentric Andy Bell - one of
the first openly gay performers in pop music -- as their focal point.
Bell's keening, high voice and exaggerated sense of theatrically became
the band's defining image. In their native Britain, Erasure were
successful from their inception. After a few years, the duo achieved
commercial success in America with 1988's "Chains of Love," but they
remained, in essence, a cult band on both sides of the Atlantic,
cultivating a dedicated fan base over the course of their career.
Before forming Erasure, Clarke was one of the founding members of
the groundbreaking synth pop outfit Depeche Mode. He left after
recording only one album with the group, choosing to form Yaz with
Alison Moyet instead. After Yaz released two albums, Moyet left to
pursue a solo career. Clarke participated in a short-lived alliance
with vocalist Feargal Sharkey and producer Eric Radcliffe called the
Assembly in 1984. Following a single with vocalist Paul Quinn, he
decided to form Erasure. Clarke placed an advertisement for vocalists
within a British music newspaper and received over 40 demo tapes, from
which Bell was selected as his partner.
Released in 1986, Erasure's first album, Wonderland, received poor
reviews and weak sales upon its release. The duo quickly followed the
album with "Sometimes," a preview from their forthcoming second album.
"Sometimes" reached number two on the U.K. charts, beginning a string
of successful singles that would run into the '90s. The Circus, the
group's second album, was released in the spring of 1987 and peaked at
number six on the U.K. charts. The Innocents, Erasure's third album,
became their first number one album in Britain upon its release in
1988. The album featured the group's first American hit, "Chains of
Love," which reached number 12 in the U.S.; its follow-up, "A Little
Respect," peaked at number 14 in America. At the end of 1988, Erasure
released the Crackers International EP, which reached number two in
Erasure's fourth album, Wild!, appeared in 1989, and like its predecessor, it reached number one in the U.K., as did its successor, 1991's Chorus. Erasure released the Abba-esque EP, a tribute to the Swedish pop group ABBA, in 1992; it became their first number one single in the U.K. Later that year, Erasure released a compilation of their British singles, Pop! The First 20 Hits. Two years later, the duo released its fifth album, I Say I Say I Say, which featured the hit single "Always," their first American hit since 1988. Erasure's eponymous sixth album was released in the fall of 1995. It was followed in the spring of 1997 by Cowboy. Loveboat surfaced three years later. The all covers Other People's Songs appeared in 2003, the same year as the oddly chosen compilation Hits!. Before the release of 2005's "return to form" album Nightbird, Bell revealed he was HIV positive and had been since June of 1998. The 2006 album Union Street found the duo unplugging and re-recording old album tracks and B-sides with acoustic instruments.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide
|A l b u m s|