Erasure & Related

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Re: Erasure & Related

Postby sarah t » Sat Oct 24, 2015 1:12 pm

Thought you guys might be interested in this 'fully loaded' release...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B015398DAG?refRID=FC5JJFSZ1FSQ3Q19CDH1&ref_=pd_ys_c_rfy_229816_1
;)
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Re: Erasure & Related

Postby SubHuman » Sun Oct 25, 2015 12:24 am

I heard about this today on Absolute 80s Radio, might get it for Sandra as she is a big Erasure fan.
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Re: Erasure & Related

Postby JJ » Sun Oct 25, 2015 10:48 pm

30 years of Erasure

As I'm sure many of you know, this year sees the 30th anniversary of Erasure. For me, that means a case of "holy shit, where have 30 (THIRTY!!) years just gone?" because I can remember those early days like they were yesterday. In those pre-internet days I used to phone Mute to find out what Vince was up to, and in the spring of that year had been very excited to hear that he was teaming up with a new singer. The Assembly's 'Never Never' had done well (number 4 in the charts) but the follow-up 'One Day' with Paul Quinn had sunk like a stone - I think it only reached number 100.

I also used to chat to a lovely young lady called Jackie who worked for Spartan, who used to distribute a lot of the Mute stuff, and she sent me the demo tape for a new single called 'Who Needs Love Like That', under the name Vince Clarke & Andy Bell (they didn't yet have the name Erasure) - it was fabulous! Unfortunately when it was released a couple of months later it too failed to make the top 40, and the follow-up 'Heavenly Action' fared even worse.

I had been deemed "too young" to go and see Yazoo play live in 1982, so had never seen Vince in the flesh. So when Jackie phoned me in October 1985 and said Erasure were to play a gig in London, I was ecstatic! They were playing a gig at Heaven in Kings Cross on 1st December 1985. I found a ticket agency in the City and was able to get one for the gig, and on a cold damp day went along to the venue late afternoon. There was only one other person there, a guy called Andy who'd travelled up from Bath, who remains a friend to this day. We got chatting, as he was very clearly into exactly the same music as me. He told me they'd only played 2 gigs before that one - at Loughborough University, and Chippenham Gold-diggers, so this was their first ever London gig.

When the doors finally opened we made our way down to the front of the stage. I don't remember it getting so packed, but when I looked around there were a LOT of people there, bearing in mind Heaven is only a small club. The gig lived up to the venue's name for me. It was fantastic to see Vince, and like many others at the time I thought then that Andy's voice bore more than a passing resemblance to Alison Moyet's.

I was wondering what songs they would play, as up to then only the 2 singles had been released, so WNLLT, Push Me Shove Me, Heavenly Action and Don't Say No were the only 4 tracks available. But they opened with Love Is A Loser, and basically played every track on Wonderland. In fact when Wonderland was released a little later, I wasn't that keen on it to begin with, having heard and got used to the tracks in their live versions first. Halfway through the gig Vince's computer failed, and I remember Andy standing in the middle of the stage doing some ad-libbing.

The music was fantastic - I even got used to seeing the synth-god Vince playing an acoustic guitar (did I just write that?) The crowd loved the gig, and for an encore they had to do WNLLT and PMSM again as they had no more tracks. At the end of the show they came to the front of the stage, and...OMG1...Vince shook my hand! I was only 18, but had just shaken hands with the man who remains my musical god.

After they'd finally left the stage, I moved to the bar area at the back, and...OMG2...saw Alison Moyet, so had a good chat to her. This was brilliant! But then...OMG3... standing there was Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher, so had a nice chat to them too. Despite all the crap in the press about fallings-out between Depeche and Vince, they were still mates. In fact at the very next gig Martin and Fletch were there again.

Finally it was kicking-out time, so Andy and I left. But I had really wanted to say hello to Vince, so Andy suggested just going back in and trying. He told the guy on the door "this bloke [me] has got a message to give to Vince, can he just pop up?" Bloke on door: "Yeah". Oh my...so I went over and climbed the very narrow staircase at the side of the stage and saw Vince sitting over to one side. So...OMG4...I sat down and had a chat with him. He told me about Wonderland and how they'd probably be doing a few more gigs. Funnily enough, I think Andy Bell was also sitting next to me then, but I don't remember talking to him until the second gig at The Marquee a couple of weeks later.

I'd been in Heaven both literally and figuratively that night - to meet so many heroes in one go - unbelievable! So that was my first ever Erasure gig, and I still can't believe it was 30 years ago!
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Re: Erasure & Related

Postby StevieD » Mon Oct 26, 2015 1:20 am

Nice story JJ. I used to visit Spartan records as they were local to me. They distributed Toyah as well as loads of punk stuff my brother was into. They were great with freebies like posters and badges etc
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Re: Erasure & Related

Postby JJ » Mon Oct 26, 2015 4:26 am

Less than two weeks after that first gig at Heaven, Erasure played at The Marquee. Once again I met up with Andy from Bath, and we were walking down Wardour Street in Soho, where The Marquee used to be, when we saw Jamie and Derek, the two backing singers from the first gig walking towards us. They stopped and said hello, and asked if we knew where the stage door was. "Erm, hello...does the Pope wear a long hat?" I can't remember if it was me or Andy, but one of us (and I do have a nagging feeling it may have been me) said, as nonchalantly as you like "We'll show you if we can come in." =D So in we went!

Vince and Andy were already there, and I think it was the first time I met Andrew Mansi, who was looking after them at the time, usually as Tour Manager. In the year to come Mansi was always very kind to us, in terms of letting us in before the doors opened, and taking us backstage afterwards to have a chat; but you always knew where you stood with him too...

Having been spectacularly successful in getting to meet Vince the last time, this time I took along my records to get signed. It was still only the first two singles that were available - 'Oh l'Amour' wasn't out yet, so I had 6 sleeves (7", 12" and Limited Edition 12" of each). First Vince signed them, then Andy - on seeing 'Heavenly Action', Andy's first comment was "Oh thank God somebody bought it!" As it happens, that Ltd Ed 12" of HA (the Yellow Brick Mix) used to be very difficult to get hold of and Record Collector used to put it at around 100 quid.

We were allowed to stay and take some pictures while they did the sound check, but I remember the crowd was very small. In fact there's a picture on the internet that was actually in one of the tour programmes, of me standing there in front of the stage during the gig, with no other fan in sight. You can see it here http://www.erasuregig.com/1985.html - the picture on the right (JJ with hair!)

Once again I had a fabulous time, and once again Martin and Fletch from DM were there. I remember this specifically, not least because Jackie and Tracy were there from Spartan, and in between those two gigs, Tracy and I had... ahem.... Anyway, Tracy decided that was a really good time to tell Martin and Fletch all about "us". I was still only 18, and super-embarrassed! Mart thought it was hilarious though, and anyone who's heard him laugh will know it carries a long way! :/

It would be another month before I saw them live again, and into the furore surrounding their release of 'Oh l'Amour' with Thomas The Tank Engine on the cover - they had to reissue them due to breach of copyright.

But that was 1985 and my first Erasure experiences. 1986 would be a whole lot more eventful...
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Re: Erasure & Related

Postby Panzermensch » Mon Oct 26, 2015 9:54 am

You're on a roll there JJ ;) Very interesiting to read your stories, keep em coming!
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Re: Erasure & Related

Postby SubHuman » Mon Oct 26, 2015 11:58 am

Thanks JJ, I knew the forum still had some life left in it. I think that The Two Ring Circus is one of the best albums they have ever done and it was the first cd that Sandra bought, after our 70s vintage music centre chewed up yet another tape. We bit the bullet after that and cough up loads of money for a new Sony music centre which is still going strong. I'm not a huge Erasure fan myself but find the music pleasant enough. I think it was the BBC's radiophonic department that got me into electronic music as they used to put out their brand of music concrete on Radio 3.
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Re: Erasure & Related

Postby JJ » Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:51 am

This is obviously moving a year or so forward, but seeing as Dave mentions Two-Ring Circus (which I thought wasn't much to write home about as it happens) I also clearly remember the first time I heard The Circus, as it was in I Start Counting's transit van on the motorway. :)

ISC had been named as the support band for the Circus tour in 1987, and to say I was happy about this was an understatement. Their first two singles 'Letters To A Friend' and 'Still Smiling' and in particular the 12" versions of both, were and still are two of my favourite tracks ever. I'd only bought LTAF in the first place because it was on Mute. But both it, and the fabulous b-side Adman's Dream, were instant like-it-very-much songs for me.

As soon as I heard ISC were doing the tour I phoned Mute to ask if they were doing a warm-up gig. The answer was not one, but seven (at least - there may have been some others I didn't go to). The first Circus gig was in Newcastle on 8th April 1987, but from 5th March ISC did half a dozen warm-ups in and around London, plus one in Coventry. Inexplicably (to me at least) they rarely played Still Smiling, and almost always went down like a sack of potatoes, often being whistled at from early in the gig until they finished. I usually had a tape in the mixing desk, and at one of those gigs, I think at Brunel Academy in Uxbridge (where I'd seen Erasure twice in 1986) after one song, the mic picked up one or two people clapping (one of them would have been me) while someone else shouted "Fuck off!!" To which Simon replied "Cheers Mum!"

Come the time for Coventry, I'd got to know Dave and Simon quite well by then, and they said I should go to the Coventry one. Pre-driving-JJ said I couldn't go as I couldn't get back afterwards, so they invited me to join them in luxury in the back of their transit van. Their tour manager, as such, was Mike Hall who later looked after the keyboards for Erasure. He offered to let me crash at his place in north London that night, seeing as we didn't get back until about 2am - when we got there he played me some of Vince's demo stuff that he'd been working on for TV commercials and stuff. But I digress... so we're driving up the M1, and they put a new CD on - it was the demo of The Circus - I specifically remember hearing Don't Dance and If I Could. So that's how I first heard the album.

I should also add that how I didn't get a perforated ear-drum that night I'll never know. Sitting with ISC backstage before they sound-checked, there was some other band with a real drummer (spit) doing his sound-check. Bang. Bang. Bang. Louder. And louder. And louder. And in the same bloody room as we were all sitting, too. Bloody hell, my eyelids go into enforced-blink-mode now on remembering how painful it was.
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Re: Erasure & Related

Postby SubHuman » Tue Oct 27, 2015 7:49 pm

Sounds like you had an eventful 80s John! I have no such stories being as I was married with a family.
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Re: Erasure & Related

Postby cs15 » Tue Oct 27, 2015 9:57 pm

Lovin' the Erasure/Vince stories JJ. Keep 'em coming.
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Re: Erasure & Related

Postby cs15 » Sun Dec 06, 2015 6:09 pm

The next Erasure album will be 'weird & experimental' according to Vince.

He's also recording a dance album with Oribal's Paul Hartnoll


http://thestar.ie/erasures-vince-clarke ... ing-music/
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Re: Erasure & Related

Postby JJ » Mon Dec 07, 2015 4:37 am

cs15 wrote:The next Erasure album will be 'weird & experimental' according to Vince./


Uh oh. It took me about 10 years to appreciate the Erasure album, about which they said the same thing.
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Re: Erasure & Related

Postby kraftwerkdave » Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:54 am

I read a couple of recent interviews with Andy where he said the plan for the next album was for Vince to write a continuous 45 minute piece of music and Andy would fit melodies round that.
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Re: Erasure & Related

Postby JJ » Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:22 am

Following on from the “JJ’s 1985 Erasure Memoirs” (!) which was basically all about the excitement of a new Vince project and the first chance I got to meet him and a few others, it’s now 30 years since 1986, which for me was really “the” year for both Erasure and Depeche Mode. I saw Erasure live 21 times that year.

They did a number of small London dates in the early part of the year, the best of them (for me) being at Andy’s local pub The Bell in Kings Cross. The “stage” was no more than a foot or so high, and to this day it remains in my top 5 gigs of all time. The energy in that place was unbelievable – they were starting to get into their live groove, Andy seemed to be getting more confident, and Vince was of course god-like anyway. Wonderland was still not released, and “Pistol” was played at this gig for the first time. Other dates were at places like The Marquee (again), Egham College, the Mean Fiddler and Brunel Academy.

In the summer they played a gig at Gloucester Park in Basildon. Once again I went to the gig with Andy from Bath plus his gf, sister and one of their mates. Basildon is of course Mecca to any Depeche / Yazoo / Vince fan and it was a first for me to go there. I didn’t notice any of the concrete as it was a gig in a park with a long list of bands, but I do remember thinking why the f*ck aren’t there any large flags up on buildings with pictures of Depeche Mode and Yazoo – come on Basildon, wake up to your home-bred heroes!! (so naïve… I was still a teenager!)

Anyway, it was an eclectic line-up - Erasure were headlining, and the “top” support to them was a bunch of absolute fruit-cases called Psychic TV. I’d never heard of them but clearly they had their own fans there – dangerous! You couldn’t have been further removed in terms of Erasure’s light synth pop compared to Psychic TV’s unadulterated madness. Further down the bill was a heavy metal band, and it’s the first (and only) time I saw a person actually put his head into the bass speaker. The noise was almost unbearable from where we were further back.

Best of all as far as support was concerned was another first for me – Robert Marlow was on immediately before Psychic TV. This was brilliant! Vince’s best mate, all his stuff released on Vince’s label, I had all of it, and of course also a local boy. Unfortunately Rob played to a backing tape and had two girls on backing vocals, and at one point at the end of “I Just Want To Dance” (in the bit that goes “doobity doobity doobity doo wah” a few times) they stepped back from the mic only for the “doobity”s to continue. As he quickly pointed out “LIVE! in Basildon!!”

At this time, Rob’s solo album was akin to the Holy Grail – I knew it had been recorded, but after all 4 singles had totally bombed the chances of it ever seeing the light of day were dim and distant. But he took a blank tape from me and said he’d send me a copy. I think he must just have been busy for 12 years or something, because I had to wait until 1998 or something bonkers like that to get it when it was finally released! :/

Erasure had to sound-check after Psychic TV so we got to hear Vince running through all the synth-y stuff which was great. Andy had a tape under the stage, and recorded that too – I’ve still got it somewhere.

We saw Vince, Andy and Robert sitting off to one side of the hill so went over and had a chat to them. This was to prove a defining moment in my gig-going "career", as the window of opportunity that was “going abroad to see them” first started opening in my head. Bear in mind that at this time there were hardly any of us that went to the gigs – we had our “core” of 5 that started meeting up at them (me, Andy, Jon, Nick and James Diplock who would later be in a band called Hyper Go Go), before Janet joined our group for the first time in Stoke later that year; Andy Bell referred to us as “The Stomp Crew”.

Certainly no-one had yet gone abroad to see them - what a preposterous idea! who the buggery bobbins goes overseas to see a gig?! - so when I asked Vince “where’s the next gig?” and he answered “Stockholm – you should come!” [my emphasis!] well, blow me down, that was some serious food for thought! And it just so happened that DM were touring in Europe at the same time…
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Re: Erasure & Related

Postby SubHuman » Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:18 pm

Too be continued, I hope, just love people reminiscing about gigs.
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Re: Erasure & Related

Postby SubHuman » Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:47 am

As I was driving home from Bath last night Radio Absolute 80s was advertising a programme, hosted by Andy Bell later at nine, where he would play songs he liked by other people. This was for that station's celebration of the 30th anniversary of Erasure's first release in June 86. I wondered about that as the first single, Who Needs Love Like That, came out in October 85 but on checking I realized they were referring to the release of Erasure's first album, Wonderland.

See the official video of WNLLT below:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZX0VJhrw01w
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Re: Erasure & Related

Postby cs15 » Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:12 pm

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Re: Erasure & Related

Postby octopus » Sat Sep 03, 2016 5:30 pm

cs15 wrote:http://www.erasureinfo.com/from-moscow-to-mars/

Wow!

Er was looking forward to it and was waiting to be wowed but 13 discs ,3 of which are singles an interview one 2 curated discs album tracks etc a live disc,oh Forgot 2 discs if b sides I already have.
That's 9 discs I don't want 10 if you include the DVD.
I think it would just sit gathering dust so it's not for me,and I wanted to buy it.
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Re: Erasure & Related

Postby kraftwerkdave » Sat Sep 03, 2016 6:24 pm

Out of interest, for a career-spanning box set, what you have left off and put on in its place?
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Re: Erasure & Related

Postby cs15 » Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:25 pm

Octopus, on the League one there's only 1 disc I'm remotely interested in.

I never bought the Erasure singles (only the albums) so for me the b-sides will be an interesting listen. Also really, really looking forward to seeing the Wild! tour footage. This collection is far more comprehensive than The Leagues.
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Re: Erasure & Related

Postby octopus » Sat Sep 03, 2016 11:01 pm

I'll start by saying I like erasure but £80 for 3 discs I want is the reason it's not for me.I have all the albums and Cd singles so that's enough for me.
Yes if it was the league I'd buy it.
cs15 wrote:Octopus, on the League one there's only 1 disc I'm remotely interested in.

I never bought the Erasure singles (only the albums) so for me the b-sides will be an interesting listen. Also really, really looking forward to seeing the Wild! tour footage. This collection is far more comprehensive than The Leagues.

Yeah but that's one in three at a fraction of the cost.Not 3 of 13.
kraftwerkdave wrote:Out of interest, for a career-spanning box set, what you have left off and put on in its place?

I know by that comment you think I'm being picky,maybe a bit but,I dont want new mixes or anything live by anyone.I don't want postcards tote bags posters.
I'd rather have each album with all b sides remixes demos from each era in a box then the option to buy it seperate or in a super deluxe box set with them all.
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Re: Erasure & Related

Postby kraftwerkdave » Sun Sep 04, 2016 9:43 am

They did that for the first three albums (although not in order) and then stopped for some reason. 2CDs and a DVD with a relevant tour film. It's a shame they didn't carry it on at least up to Chorus. I think this box set is, like the Marc Almond one, more to represent their whole career rather than a part of it, hence the B sides, curated discs and remixes. It's not going to be definitive but it's certainly better than chucking out a triple CD of all 50 singles and charging 30 quid for it.
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Re: Erasure & Related

Postby octopus » Sun Sep 04, 2016 10:16 am

I liked the reissues of the first three albums,the innocents being in hard book cover,I thought they'd keep it up too.
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Re: Erasure & Related

Postby JJ » Mon Sep 05, 2016 12:25 am

I was only listening to The Innocents yesterday. It remains one of my favourite albums ever, and certainly Erasure's best imho. With very few exceptions, even the album tracks are great: Weight of the World and Phantom Bride are just great. The only down side for me is Ship Of Fools. got bored of that very quickly, but unfortunately it became a live staple, even at Andy's solo shows.

Looking forward to the Anthology.
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Re: Erasure & Related

Postby JJ » Mon Sep 05, 2016 12:54 am

JJ wrote:so when I asked Vince “where’s the next gig?” and he answered “Stockholm – you should come!” [my emphasis!] well, blow me down, that was some serious food for thought! And it just so happened that DM were touring in Europe at the same time…


So following on from the above...

After Vince had said that, I started looking into how I could get to the Stockholm show. The extent of my trips abroad up to then, as a naïve 19 year old, had been on the hovercraft to Boulogne and that was it. I don't think I even thought of flying, to be honest. Anyway, it also happened that Depeche Mode were at the final stages of their Black Celebration Tour at the same time Erasure would be in Sweden. E were playing at Stockholm on the Friday night, then at a famous (in Sweden anyway) Festival in Hultsfred on the Saturday. DM were playing at Bayonne, in the south west corner of France on the Tuesday, and then back up in Copenhagen for the final date of their world tour on the Friday or Saturday. Thus was the timetable formed for my first overseas sojourn for gigs...

I spent literally hours at London Bridge Station planning everything with the lady at the ticket office. I would get the train from London to Harwich, then a 7 hour ferry to the Hook of Holland, then the overnight train from there up to Stockholm via Copenhagen. After that I somehow had to get to the gig at Hultsfred which is in the middle of nowhere (my best "making a train motion" impression was required), and after that back down to Malmo. From there I'd get the ferry to Copenhagen, then an overnight train to Bayonne via Hamburg and Paris. From Bayonne it would then be a train back up to Paris, and then another one north to Copenhagen. I had couchettes booked on the Hamburg - Paris and Paris - Copenhagen legs too. The Thomas Cook Rail Timetable was literally the bible for me at that time!

That overnight train from HofH was a shocker... so noisy, especially when it (ie the train) got on the ferry! It was a specially made train ferry with tracks on it, and the screeching and banging was just unbelievable. My lasting memory of that train ride up through Sweden was how beautiful the countryside was - it was mid summer, the trees were green, and the lakes were blue. Mind you the best scenery of all was sitting next to me, but let's not get into that... ;)

We arrived in Stockholm in the early evening. I found the place where E were playing, a nightclub called The Karlsson, but it was all closed up. I had no ticket for the gig, and nowhere to stay (I hadn't thought of booking hotels for any of the trip, I'd just thought I'd have no trouble getting one. In fact the only ticket I had for any of the 4 gigs was for DM in Bayonne which I'd got from phoning up Dan Silver, DM's agent at the time, and it turned out I didn't need that ticket after all... Anyway, I was a lot cheekier back then, so I just knocked on the door, and someone came out. I can't remember the exact conversation but it would have involved "Hi, I'm here to see Erasure". Next thing I knew Vince poked his head round the door. Quite frankly I've never forgotten the warmth and affection in his voice as he said: "What the f*cking hell are you doing here?!" =( He'd clearly forgotten what I'd interpreted as a personal invitation back on that hill in Basildon...

They took me inside, and before the gig I somehow ended up selling their Wonderland t-shirts for them. Back then apart from Vince and Andy, there were Jamie and Ian on backing vocals, and Andrew Mansi as the tour manager, and perhaps Steev Toth was there to help out too, but I don't remember him until later in my Erasure "journey". On the mixing desk was Paul Kendall, who did a lot with Mute bands, and who I got to know and like, a really nice guy.

More to come...
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