#12 - ERASURE: "The Violet Flame"
I don't know who is more surprised to find Erasure on my Top 20 lists, you or me... but I can only assume it is me. I first discovered the music of Erasure, while dancing in a local club, back in 1986. I remember it distinctly. The song, "Who Needs Love Like That" from the 1986 album, "Wonderland" came on. I looked at my friend that I was with and said to her, "I didn't know Yaz(oo) got back together. At the time, the vocals of Andy Bell were not too dissimilar to those of Alison Moyet that, when accompanied by the VERY distinct keyboard sounds of Vince Clark, it sounded enough like Yaz to fool even a huge fan like myself. As the decade progressed and further Erasure albums came out, I found myself becoming a deep rooted fan. The pinnacle of my fandom occurred in 1988, when "The Innocents" came out. That album blew me out of the water. The 90's welcomed us to more good Erasure music, but I began to fade away from the prior status of hardcore devotee.
As we entered the 21st Century, Erasure continued releasing albums... many of which completely escaped my radar. The only exception to that was the acoustic album, "Union St." and it's accompanying live concert CD/DVD, recorded live at Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium. Those two projects were not just uncharacteristic, but completely opposite to the kitschy Electropop sound they were popular for. Stripped down, Bluegrass tinged acoustic versions of their earlier material. Ummmm... yes, please.
Fast forward to 2014, when The Violet Flame was released. Joan and I picked it up and were cautiously optimistic that it was going to be good, especially given the fact that the record was produced by Richard X, someone better known for his work in the world of EDM. That's Electronic Dance Music for you newbs. We were NOT let down. This is, quite possibly, my favorite Erasure album, bar NONE. Nope... not even The Innocents.
I don't mind if Erasure ever lets another producer/co-songwriter have this much influence on their future albums, just as long as they sound THIS good.
"Dead of Night"