Yazoo (band)

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Yazoo
Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet of Yazoo (1982).jpg
Alison Moyet and Vince Clarke as Yazoo (1982)
Background information
Also known asYaz (North American name)
Vin & Alf (group names)
Yazoo Reconnected (2008 only)
OriginBasildon, Essex, England
GenresNew wave, synthpop
Years active1981–1983, 2008
(One-off appearances: 2011)
LabelsMute/EMI Records
Sire/Reprise/Warner Bros. Records
Associated actsDepeche Mode, The Assembly, Erasure, VCMG
Websiteyazooinfo.com
Past membersVince Clarke
Alison Moyet
 
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Yazoo
Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet of Yazoo (1982).jpg
Alison Moyet and Vince Clarke as Yazoo (1982)
Background information
Also known asYaz (North American name)
Vin & Alf (group names)
Yazoo Reconnected (2008 only)
OriginBasildon, Essex, England
GenresNew wave, synthpop
Years active1981–1983, 2008
(One-off appearances: 2011)
LabelsMute/EMI Records
Sire/Reprise/Warner Bros. Records
Associated actsDepeche Mode, The Assembly, Erasure, VCMG
Websiteyazooinfo.com
Past membersVince Clarke
Alison Moyet

Yazoo (also known as Yaz in North America) are a British synthpop duo from Basildon, Essex. They had a number of Top 10 hits in the UK charts in the early 1980s. Formed in late 1981 by former Depeche Mode songwriter Vince Clarke (synthesizer) and Alison Moyet (vocals), Yazoo were signed to Mute Records in the United Kingdom and (as "Yaz") to Sire Records in the United States.

Yazoo's debut single, "Only You" backed with "Situation", was released on 15 March 1982 and rose to number two in the UK charts. Yazoo released two successful studio albums, Upstairs at Eric's in 1982 and You and Me Both in 1983. Shortly after, Moyet and Clarke decided to break up. Moyet pursued a solo career while Clarke went on to form Erasure, another synth pop duo. Yazoo reunited in 2008 with a tour in Europe and the United States and the release of a four-disc box set.

Though the band's initial run was short-lived, Yazoo continues to influence and inspire many of today's bands, including LCD Soundsystem, Shiny Toy Guns, Thomaz, Blaqk Audio,[1] Hercules and Love Affair,[2] La Roux and Gil Mantera's Party Dream.[citation needed]

History[edit]

Yazoo was formed in late 1981 by Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet in Basildon, Essex, England.[3] Clarke, previously the main songwriter and keyboard player for Depeche Mode, also came from Basildon. At that point, he had recorded one album and three singles for Mute Records, including the hits "New Life" and "Just Can't Get Enough".[4] The name 'Yazoo', according to Moyet, came from the labels of old blues albums: Yazoo Records.[5] Yazoo was signed to Mute Records in the United Kingdom and to Sire Records in the United States. Yazoo's initial foray into the US was disastrous, after they received a £3.5 million lawsuit threat over the band's name.[5] Yazoo was renamed Yaz for the US market because the name was already in use by a small American rock band.[3]

Yazoo's debut single "Only You", backed with "Situation", was released on 15 March 1982 and rose to number two in the UK.[6] Yazoo's next single, "Don't Go", was released on 3 July 1982[6] and hit number three.[3] The video for it became popular on MTV in the United States.[7] They continued their successful streak with their first album, Upstairs at Eric's, which went platinum in Britain.[3] The band received favourable reviews for their pioneering sound. Clarke and Moyet toured briefly, while releasing a stop-gap single, "The Other Side of Love".

The duo's second (and final) album, You and Me Both, yielded more success, hitting the top of the UK charts and featuring the hit single "Nobody's Diary".[8] Commercial success in the US was initially not as strong. Both "Situation" and "Only You" were released as singles, peaking at No. 73 and No. 67 respectively. Despite the modest chart success of those singles and of Upstairs at Eric's (which reached No. 92 on the album chart), by 1989 (seven years after its release), word of mouth helped to push the album to platinum status for sales of over one million copies.

Shortly before the release of You and Me Both, Clarke and Moyet announced they were going to go their separate ways.

Break up and legacy[edit]

Moyet signed with Columbia Records and began her successful solo career after leaving Yazoo.[9] Clarke recorded a single with producer Eric Radcliffe and Undertones singer Feargal Sharkey as The Assembly, and another with vocalist Paul Quinn.[9] Around this time, Clarke also produced "The Face of Dorian Gray" for his friend, singer Robert Marlow. Clarke then started the synth pop group Erasure with vocalist Andy Bell.[9]

Mute Records released a remixed version of "Situation" as a single in 1990, which was moderately successful, reaching No. 14 on the charts. A compilation entitled Only Yazoo — The Best of was released in 1999 and was preceded by a re-release of Yazoo's debut single, "Only You", featuring a new remix of the title track and several more of "Don't Go". The band's output was book-ended with yet another release of "Situation", accompanied by many remixes. Clarke was tapped to remix Moyet's 1994 single, "Whispering Your Name" and, with Erasure, Clarke and Moyet tried to record her single "This House" as a duet. This project never came to surface because Sony Music Entertainment would not permit it.[citation needed]

The band's songs have appeared in a number of films and television shows. In 1988, "In My Room", "Ode to Boy", and "Only You" were used in the film The Chocolate War (the adaption of the book of the same title). "Only You" was used in the film Napoleon Dynamite, the BBC television series The Office, the film Can't Hardly Wait and the Fringe episode Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11; a cover version of "Only You" by Joshua Radin was used in 2007 in a J. C. Penney commercial; "Don't Go" appeared in the BBC series I'm Alan Partridge and was used in the film Tango and Cash. The song "Situation" was used in the 1990 TV movie Exile and was also used in a Nintendo commercial highlighting the classic edition of the Game Boy Advance SP and the classic NES games ported to it. In 2007, "Bring Your Love Down (Didn't I)" was used in The Sarah Silverman Program episode "Not Without My Daughter".[citation needed]

Antony Hegarty, lead vocalist in Antony & The Johnsons, talked with Terry Gross in February 2009 about recording the debut self-titled Hercules & Love Affair album. He said he had been asked by New York based DJ Andy Butler to join the project and that the objective was or became "Let's sound as much like Yazoo as we can .... We loved Yazoo."[2]

2008 reformation and beyond[edit]

Alison Moyet with Yazoo in 2008

In December 2007 Side-line announced that Mute plans to reissue both albums as remastered versions. The band would also plan a live gig to promote the re-releases.[10] The promotional tour received moderate television coverage including a performance on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross broadcast on 16 May 2008, a prime time BBC chat show.[11]

The news was confirmed later on including extra details.[12] In Your Room, a four-disc box set featuring the stereo remasters and 5.1 mixes of the albums Upstairs at Eric's and You and Me Both next to a disc with B-sides and remixes was released in 2008. Add to this a DVD featuring an exclusive short film with new interviews from Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet and the videos for "Don't Go", "The Other Side Of Love", "Nobody's Diary", "Situation (1990)" and "Only You (1999) as well as several original appearances on BBC".

The release as followed by the 'Yazoo Reconnected: Live' tour. Initially, 18 dates were announced, starting in Copenhagen on 26 May.[13] For the first three dates of the US tour, Yazoo performed in Oakland, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Yazoo wrapped up the final two dates of the US tour by returning to New York City for the first time since October 1982. A limited edition vinyl 12" with new dance mixes was also to be released to promote the boxset.[14][15] A video was released in late April 2008, in which Clarke and Moyet discuss Yazoo's first single "Only You".[16] In an interview with Side-Line Magazine, Clarke announced that a live CD was also planned. The recordings were planned to take place during the band's two upcoming performances in London.[17] No live DVD is planned though.[18]

The 10 July 2008 concert that Yazoo played at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles, California was recorded to be re-aired on Richard Blade's Sirius Radio Show.[19]

A live album, Reconnected Live, of their successful European and North American 'Reconnected Tour' was released on 27 September 2010.[20]

In May 2011, Moyet appeared on stage during the Erasure set at Mute Records' Short Circuit music festival, for a one-off performance of three Yazoo songs: "Nobody's Diary", "Ode To Boy" & "Don't Go" with Clarke.

Discography[edit]

Yazoo discography
Releases
Studio albums2
Live albums1
Compilation albums2
EPs2
Singles10

The discography of Yazoo includes two studio albums, one live album, two compilations, two extended plays and ten singles.

Studio albums[edit]

YearAlbum detailsChart peak positionsCertifications
(sales thresholds)
UK
[21]
CANGER
NZSWEUS
1982Upstairs at Eric's2491491192
1983You and Me Both
  • Released: 4 July 1983
  • Labels: Mute, Sire
133151469

Compilation albums[edit]

YearAlbum detailsChart peak positionsCertifications
(sales thresholds)
UK
[21]
GER
US
1999Only Yazoo – The Best of Yazoo
  • Released: 6 September 1999
  • Labels: Mute
22
2008In Your Room
  • Released: 26 May 2008
  • Labels: Mute
193[23]
2012Essential
  • Released: 18 June 2012
  • Labels: Mute
2012The Collection
  • Released: 17 September 2012
  • Labels: Music Club Deluxe

Live albums[edit]

YearAlbum detailsChart peak positionsCertifications
(sales thresholds)
UK
GER
US
2010Reconnected Live
  • Released: 27 September 2010
  • Labels: Mute
177[23]

Singles and EPs[edit]

YearSongChart peak positionsAlbum
AUSBEL
(Vl)

[24]
CAN
(RPM)
[25]
GER
[26]
IRE
[27]
ITA
[28]
NED
[29]
NZ
[30]
SWE
[31]
UK
[21]
USUS
Dance
1982"Only You"772532267Upstairs at Eric's
"Don't Go"614429222531
"Situation" 183116731Upstairs at Eric's (US & Canada only)
"The Other Side of Love"93511282513non-album single
1983"Nobody's Diary"17221851414931You and Me Both
"Walk Away from Love" 2
1990"Situation '90"361446non-album single
1999"Only You" (1999 remix)4738Only Yazoo – The Best of Yazoo
"Situation '99" 31
"Don't Go '99 316
2008Nobody's Diary EP 4100In Your Room
Reconnected EP 4
"—" denotes a single that did not chart or was not released in that region.

Singles with BPI Sliver Certification: Only You, Don't Go, Nobody's Diary

Awards[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc (13 October 2007), "Still inspiring after all these years", Billboard (Nielsen Business Media) 119 (41): 93 
  2. ^ a b Audio interview on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, via NPR 2-3-09.
  3. ^ a b c d Strong, M. C. (1998), The Great Rock Discography, Giunti, p. 935, ISBN 88-09-21522-2 
  4. ^ Crouse, Richard (2000), Big Bang, Baby: Rock Trivia, Dundurn Press, p. 225, ISBN 0-88882-219-7 
  5. ^ a b Miller, Jonathan (2004), Stripped: Depeche Mode, Omnibus Press, p. 128, ISBN 1-84449-415-2 
  6. ^ a b Miller, Jonathan (2004), p. 568  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ MTV Yearbook: 1982, MTV, 2004, retrieved 25 May 2008 
  8. ^ Warwick, Neil; Kutner, Jon; Brown, Tony (August 2004), The Complete Book of the British Charts: Singles and Albums (3rd ed.), Omnibus Press, p. 32, ISBN 1-84449-058-0 
  9. ^ a b c Rees, Dafydd Rees,; Crampton, Luke (1991), Rock Movers & Shakers, ABC-CLIO (published September 1991), p. 195, ISBN 0-87436-661-5 
  10. ^ "Yazoo reunion for reissue albums and first live gig in 25 years", Side-Line, 18 December 2007, retrieved 25 May 2008 
  11. ^ BBC One Programmes — Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, Series 14, Episode 17, BBC, retrieved 25 May 2008 
  12. ^ "Yazoo to release 'In Your Room' 4 disc box set + first dates reunion tour announced", Side-Line, 21 January 2008, retrieved 25 May 2008 
  13. ^ "Yazoo announces more European dates for 'Yazoo reunion Reconnected Tour'", Side-Line, 22 February 2008, retrieved 25 May 2008 
  14. ^ "Yazoo aka Yaz adds US live dates + new dance mixes", Side-Line, 5 March 2008, retrieved 25 May 2008 
  15. ^ "Track list Yazoo 4 disc box set 'In Your Room' announced", Side-Line, 7 April 2008, retrieved 25 May 2008 
  16. ^ "Exclusive Yazoo Video Clip", Side-Line, 23 April 2008, retrieved 25 May 2008 
  17. ^ "Yazoo — It wasn't a well keened out marketing ploy!", Side-Line, 30 May 2008, retrieved 27 May 2008 
  18. ^ "No live DVD from Yazoo's 'Reconnected' reunion tour", Side-Line, 23 June 2008, retrieved 27 May 2008 
  19. ^ "US Yazoo concert to be broadcast on satellite radio", Side-Line, 22 July 2008, retrieved 22 July 2008 
  20. ^ "Yazoo (Vince Clarke & Alison Moyet) News". Yazooinfo.com. 2012-08-31. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  21. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006), British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.), London: Guinness World Records Limited, p. 613, ISBN 1-904994-10-5 
  22. ^ a b "Certified Awards Search". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved on 2011-11-19. Note: User needs to enter "Yazoo" in the "Search" field, "Artist" in the "Search by" field and click the "Go" button. Select "More info" next to the relevant entry to see full certification history.
  23. ^ a b "Chart Log UK: Rachael Yamagata - Malik Yusef". Zobbel.de. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  24. ^ "Radio 2 - Top 30 - Belgian Charts". Top30-2.radio2.be. Retrieved 2012=12=12. 
  25. ^ "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  26. ^ "German Charts". charts.de. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  27. ^ Jaclyn Ward. "The Irish Charts". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  28. ^ "Hit Parade Italia - Indice per Interprete: Y". Hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  29. ^ Steffen Hung. "Dutch Charts Portal". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  30. ^ Steffen Hung (1983-08-21). "New Zealand Charts Portal". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  31. ^ Steffen Hung. "Swedish Charts Portal". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  32. ^ Gregory, Andy (2002), International who's who in popular music, Routledge, p. 97, ISBN 1-85743-161-8 

External links[edit]