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Thursday, November 25, 2021

Yazoo: Three Pieces (3 CD Box - Set) 2018

 

Yazoo (known as Yaz in North America) were an English synth-pop duo from Basildon, Essex, consisting of former Depeche Mode member Vince Clarke (keyboards) and Alison Moyet (vocals). The duo formed in late 1981 after Clarke responded to an advertisement Moyet placed in a British music magazine, although the pair had known each other since their schooldays.
                                                


Over the next 18 months the duo released two albums, Upstairs at Eric's and You and Me Both, which received critical acclaim for their production, particularly the blending of Clarke's synthesizer melodies with Moyet's blues- and soul-influenced vocals.
                                                                 

Yazoo enjoyed worldwide success, particularly in their home country, where three of their four singles

reached the top three of the UK Singles Chart and both their albums made the top two of the UK Albums Chart. In North America, they are known for the song "Situation", which, though originally only a B-side in the United Kingdom, was a club and airplay success in the United States and Canada before being released as the band's debut single in North America.
                                           

Despite their success, the duo split acrimoniously in May 1983 as a result of a combination of Clarke's reluctance to make more records under the Yazoo name, a clash of personalities, and a lack of

communication between the pair. In 2008, 25 years after splitting, Clarke and Moyet reconciled and reformed Yazoo to play a successful tour of the UK, Europe and North America in support of the reissue of Yazoo's two studio albums and a box set, In Your Room of their material. The pair briefly reunited in May 2011 to play three Yazoo songs at a music festival organised by their record label.
                                                       

BMG and Yazoo responded to the minor furore about the lack of a CD edition of the forthcoming Four Pieces release and quickly moved to ensure that this package (which includes remastered albums, remixes and unreleased BBC sessions) would be available on CD.
                                       

So Four Pieces becomes Three Pieces for the 3CD set, but fear not, the content is the same. The three remastered CDs come in a hardback ‘mediabook’ format, with a 32 page booklet containing lyrics and photos. Over 35 years since their formation, Yazoo - Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet - are still

acclaimed as one of the UK’s greatest pop duos. During their short time together, they made two classic albums "Upstairs At Eric's" and "You And Me Both", released iconic hit singles "Only You", "Don't Go" and "Nobody's Diary" and toured before disbanding in 1983. Their legacy was a sentiment and a sonic style which sent shock waves through the early-80s charts and continues to be heard in the latest pop hits and throughout contemporary electronica.
                                       

Yazoo’s genesis was rooted in good fortune from the start. When a Basildon singer, Alison Moyet, quit her punk band the Screamin’ Ab Dabs in 1982, she placed a small ad in Melody Maker looking for new

musicians to work with. The sole person to respond was no stranger. Vince Clarke had just abruptly left his own Basildon group, Depeche Mode, after writing virtually all of their debut album, Speak & Spell, and was already known to Moyet from the local gig scene. When the two got together, they found that opposites did not just attract – they thrived.
                                                                                                                                      
                                         
The studio geek and the larger-than-life blues-soul singer proved to be a match made not just in Essex,
but in heaven. Their debut album, 1982’s Upstairs At Eric’s, soared to No.2 in the UK. Its follow-up the

following year, You And Me Both, went one better. Those two hardy LPs are reissued now both as Three Pieces (3CDs) and Four Pieces (4LPs), together with remixes and original John Peel and David Jensen sessions. They trace a two-year trajectory of near-unbroken success – yet the story could have been very different.
                                                               
Despite his acrimonious departure, Clarke offered the first song he wrote after leaving Depeche Mode,

Only You, to his old group. When they sniffily rejected it, he turned to Moyet to record a demo of it. The result was a revelation. Clarke had got into the habit of referring to his jaunty, upbeat synth doodles for Depeche as ‘U.P. – Ultrapop’. Where they could at times sound tinny and lightweight, like jingles, Moyet gave them balls, heft and soul. The lovelorn Only You powered its way up the singles chart to No.2.
                                                                      

It set the tone for a heady two years in which Yazoo came as close as anyone to marrying the synth revolution to ye olde-fashioned bluesy love songs: Situation and Don’t Go could, and did, appeal to

fans of both Aretha Franklin and The Human League. Upstairs At Eric’s’ truly mighty Bring Your Love Down (Didn’t I) was New Pop Motown. After two years, of course, Clarke got cold feet again and backed out, going on to form the rather more long-lasting Erasure. Moyet went on to inevitable lung-bursting solo success. Yet for a too-brief early 80s moment in time, Yazoo were a nugget of piquant pop perfection.

Yazoo – Three Pieces
Label: Mute – YAZCDBX01
Format:    Box Set, Compilation
CD, Album, Reissue, Remastered
CD, Album, Reissue, Remastered
CD, Compilation
Country: Europe
Released: Nov 2, 2018
Genre: Electronic, Pop
Style: Synth-pop,New Wave


CD1. UPSTAIRS AT ERIC'S

                                                                           

  
01. Don't Go    3:10
02. Too Pieces    3:14
03. Bad Connection    3:21
04. I Before E Except After C    4:42
05. Midnight    4:22
06. In My Room    3:50
07. Only You    3:15
08. Goodbye '70s    2:37
09. Tuesday    3:22
10. Winter Kills    4:04
11. Bring Your Love Down (Didn't I)    4:40

MP3 @ 320 Size: 95 MB
Flac  Size: 220 MB


CD2. YOU AND ME BOTH   

                                                                              


01. Nobody's Diary    4:31
02. Softly Over  4:02
03. Sweet Thing    3:43
04. Mr. Blue    3:27
05. Good Times    4:22
06. Walk Away From Love    3:19
07. Ode To Boy    3:37
08. Unmarked    3:35
09. Anyone    3:26
10. Happy People    2:58
11.
And On    3:13


CD3. EIGHT REMIXES

                                                                 

  
01. Nobody's Diary (Extended Version)    6:09
02. Situation (Richard X Remix) (Remix – Richard X)  5:52
03. Don't Go (Re-Mix)    4:09
04. Only You (2017 Orchestral Version)    3:14
05. Situation (The Aggressive Attitude Mix)  (Remix – Youth)  6:55
06. Don't Go (Tee's TNT Radio Mix)  (Remix – Todd Terry)  3:22
07. State Farm (Madhouse Mix) (Edit)  (Remix – Paul Dakeyne)  3:21
08. Winter Kills (Minute Taker Remix)  (Remix – Ben McGarvey) 4:37

Two BBC Sessions
                                                        
  
John Peel Session, First Broadcast 19 July 1982   

09. Don't Go    2:35
10. Midnight    4:24
11. In My Room    4:41
12. Winter Kills    5:00

David Jensen Session, First Broadcast 16 September 1982   

13. Bring Your Love Down (Didn't I)    3:44
14. In My Room    4:04
15. Situation    4:18
16. Too Pieces    2:26

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