Yazoo

Yazoo (aka Yaz) was an English synthpop duo with (ex-Depeche Mode) keyboardist–songwriter Vince Clarke and soul singer Alison Moyet. They released the 1982–83 albums Upstairs at Eric’s and You and Me Both and charted with “Only You,” “Don’t Go,” “Situation,” and “Nobody’s Diary.” Clarke formed the subsequent synth-duo Erasure.

Members: Vince Clarke (keyboards, synthesizer), Alison Moyet (vocals)


Formation

Yazoo formed in late 1981 when Vince Clarke, fresh off his one-album stint with Depeche Mode, answered a Melody Maker ad placed by fellow Basildon, Essex, resident Alison Moyet.

Clarke and Moyet grew up one grade apart in the same area but met for the first time at Yazoo’s inception. He favored electronic music while her roots laid in soul and R&B.

Vince co-founded Depeche Mode in early 1980 and wrote the bulk of their debut album, Speak & Spell, which charted on the strength of their inauguaral hit “Just Can’t Get Enough.” He left due to workload exhuastion and musical differences.

Alison sang in a sequence of unsigned local punk and pub-rock bands, including The Vandals, The Vicars, and The Little Roosters. After the breakup of her most recent band, The Screamin’ Ab Dabs, she placed the Melody Maker ad. Vince was her sole respondent.

Despite their differences, Vince recognized her vocal prowress and asked her to sing on his recently completed ballad “Only You.” He presented the demo to Depeche Mode’s label Mute Records, which requested a full album. They took their name from the American roots label Yazoo Records.


Upstairs at Eric’s

Yazoo released their debut album, Upstairs at Eric’s, on August 16, 1982, on Mute.

1. “Don’t Go” 3:08
2. “Too Pieces” 3:14
3. “Bad Connection” 3:20
4. “I Before E Except After C” 4:36
5. “Midnight” Alison Moyet 4:22
6. “In My Room” 3:52

7. “Only You” 3:14
8. “Goodbye 70’s” Moyet 2:35
9. “Tuesday” 3:22
10. “Winter Kills” Moyet 4:06
11. “Bring Your Love Down (Didn’t I)” Moyet 4:40)

Studio Blackwing (London)

Alison Moyet – vocals, piano
Vince Clarke – instrumentation, spoken words on “I Before E Except After C” and “In My Room”

Additional personnel
Daniel Miller – additional production and noises on “Don’t Go”, “Too Pieces”, “In My Room”, “Only You” and “Situation”
“Eric’s mum” (the mother of producer Eric Radcliffe) – extra chit-chat on “I Before E Except After C”
D. Davis – extra chit-chat on “In My Room”

“Only You” /
Released: 15 March 1982 (UK)

B. “Situation” (2:22) 12″ (5:20)

UK Singles (OCC)[19] 2
Ireland (IRMA)[29] 5
Australia (Kent Music Report)[27] 6
Italy (Musica e dischi)[30] 21
US Adult Contemporary Chart (Billboard)[32] 38

“Don’t Go” / “Winter Kills” (4:02)
Released: 2 July 1982 (UK)
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[8] 1
US Hot Dance/Disco (Billboard)[21] 1
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[13] 2
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[19] 2
France (IFOP)[10] 3
UK Singles (OCC)[20] 3
Ireland (IRMA)[11] 4
Spain (AFYVE)[17] 4
West Germany (Official German Charts)[22] 4
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[18] 5
Australia (Kent Music Report)[6] 6
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[7] 6
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[14] 6
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[9] 7
South Africa (Springbok Radio)[16] 9 

“Situation”
Released: July 1982 (US/Canada)
US 12-inch single (Sire 0-29950)
“Situation” (5:40)
“Situation (Dub Version)” (5:45)
US Hot Dance Club Play (Billboard)[14] 1
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[9] 7
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[11] 16
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[12] 16

UK Independent Albums (MRIB)[28] 1
UK Albums (OCC)[27] 2
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[22] 4
Spanish Albums (AFYVE)[25] 4
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[21] 9
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[24] 9
Australian Albums (Kent Music Report)[19] 10
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[26] 11
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[23] 14


26 Nov 1982
A: The Other Side Of Love (3:05)
B: Ode To Boy (3:37)

Ireland (IRMA)[8] 11
UK Singles (OCC)[10] 13 


You and Me Both

Yazoo released their debut album, You and Me Both, on July 4, 1983, on Mute.

1. “Nobody’s Diary” (Alison Moyet) – 4:30
2. “Softly Over” (Vince Clarke) – 4:01
3. “Sweet Thing” (Moyet) – 3:41
4. “Mr. Blue” (Clarke) – 3:24
5. “Good Times” (Moyet) – 4:18

6. “Walk Away from Love” (Clarke) – 3:18
7. “Ode to Boy” (Moyet) – 3:35
8. “Unmarked” (Clarke) – 3:34
9. “Anyone” (Moyet) – 3:24
10. “Happy People” (Clarke) – 2:56
11. “And On” (Moyet) – 3:12

Recorded November 1982 – February 1983
Studio Blackwing (London)

Alison Moyet – vocals
Vince Clarke – instrumentation; vocals (on “Happy People”)

The Sapphires – backing vocals on “Walk Away from Love”

“Nobody’s Diary” / State Farm
Released: 9 May 1983

UK 7-inch vinyl (Mute YAZ 003)
“Nobody’s Diary” (3:58)
“State Farm” (3:34)

US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[22] 1
UK Singles (OCC)[21] 3
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[20] 9
Spain (AFYVE)[19] 10
Italy (Musica e dischi)[17] 14
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[18] 14
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[16] 15
Australia (Kent Music Report)[14] 17
West Germany (Official German Charts)[23] 18
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[15] 20
UK 12-inch vinyl (Mute 12 YAZ 003)

“Nobody’s Diary” (6:07)
“State Farm” (6:37)

New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[23] 1
UK Albums (OCC)[26] 1
UK Independent Albums (MRIB)[27] 1
Icelandic Albums (Tónlist)[22] 4
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[25] 4
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[19] 11
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[21] 15
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[20] 17
Australian Albums (Kent Music Report)[17] 21
Spanish Albums (AFYVE)[24] 22
Canada Top Albums/CDs (RPM)[18] 33
US Billboard 200[28] 69


Discography:

  • Upstairs at Eric’s (1982)
  • You and Me Both (1983)

Sources:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *