Erasure

Erasure is an English synth pop duo band consisting of keyboardist Vince Clarke and singer Andy Bell.

Erasure entered the music scene in 1985 with their debut single “Who Needs Love (Like That)” (see 1985 in music). Beginning in late 1986 with the release of their single “Sometimes”, Erasure established themselves on the British charts; through 1995, Erasure was the greatest pop phenomenon in Britain since ABBA. Albums such as The Circus, Wild!, Chorus, I Say I Say I Say, Erasure, Loveboat and Nightbird demonstrated a further diversity of sound.

Clarke formerly was a member of Depeche Mode and later had a successful career with the duo Yazoo (known as Yaz in the US). Later he split with Yazoo partner Alison Moyet and briefly formed The Assembly with producer Eric Radcliffe. After a successful Assembly single (“Never Never”), Clarke released an unsuccessful one-off single with vocalist Paul Quinn (“One Day”). He then placed a blind advertisement in Melody Maker looking for a vocalist for a new musical project. He selected Andy Bell, who was the forty-first to audition (and whose voice would often be compared to Moyet’s). From the start, their success was founded upon their songwriting skills.

Clarke’s talent for writing melodic, catchy pop songs was evident from his years with Depeche Mode and Yazoo. Bell’s gifts as a lyricist and melodist added depth and character to Clarke’s style (additionally, Bell was openly gay from the beginning, and he reflected this in his lyrics at a time when society as a whole was more ignorant around queer issues than it is today – making Erasure’s success all the more phenomenal).

As pop craftsmen, the pair’s work bears comparison with that of Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, Eurythmics, OMD, Alphaville, a-ha, Roxette and other pop songwriters.

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