Yazoo was an amalgam of two separate approaches to pop music. Fresh out of leading Depeche Mode and then departing after their first album, Vince Clarke was still interested in the possibilities of European synthesizer music made by the likes of Kraftwerk. Alision Moyet was a dyed in the wool R&B singer.
In some ways, it’s a very odd pairing until you hear a song like “State Farm”, which is one of my favourites, or even their more well known hits “Situation”, “Don’t Go”, and of course their take on “Only You”. All of these tunes pushed them to the top of the charts, with their first album scoring top ten in both their native UK, and in North America.
Yet, as successful as this band was, it would only prove to be something of a way station for the duo. Moyet’s interest in soul would draw her out of the band, and she would enjoy a successful solo career by 1984. Clarke would also flourish with a new band, Erasure and with a new singer in Andy Bell – who to my ears sounds a lot like Alison Moyet!
Recently, the pair have reunited for select shows, playing material from this album as well as from their first album Upstairs At Eric’s. They’ve called it the Reconnected tour.
For more information about Yaz(oo), and more music, check out the Yazoo official site.