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Today’s desert island disc: Yazoo, Upstairs at Eric’s

Yazoo Upstairs at Eric's

What powerful music this was, and still is. Vince Clarke, the original composer/arranger behind Depeche Mode, teams up with blue-eyed soul singer Alison Moyet, and together they create some of the most memorable, path-breaking electronic pop music ever recorded. What makes this so powerful is that it’s two consummate professionals fully bringing themselves to this project – each contributing powerful material, performing as equals. Clarke’s arrangements are flawless and brilliant throughout; perfectly minimalist, hard and shiny electronica that makes the absolute most of the technology at his disposal in 1982. His isn’t an accidental genius – in the sense that we might only recognize it today, since these analogue synth sounds have become so popular once again – but someone completely in charge of both music and technology. His arrangements are the pinnacle of economy and simplicity – just enough, never too much. Moyet’s voice is an instrument of power, clarity and beauty. ‘Only You,’ ‘Midnight’ and ‘In My Room’ ought to be heard by everybody who has even a passing love of pop music. This brand new remaster casts it all in a sheen of extra clarity.

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