erasure history

Group biography - Andy biography - Vince biography - About Me

Vince Clarke and Andy Bell - ErasureIt was back in 1985, when the Erasure story began. Andy Bell, from Peterborough was the 41st person to audition for a new project from ex-Depeche Mode and Yazoo supremo Vince Clarke. Given the lyrics and tune to two Clarke written songs, Who Needs Love Like That and the Assembly single 'One Day', Bell performed the tunes in front of Clarke and Who Needs Love Like Thatimpressed the keyboard wizard to the extent that he was hired and was subsequently put on a retainer whilst the 'One Day' single featuring Paul Quinn was released. 

It flopped and Vince and Andy recorded Wonderland, the first album. Although the the album was full of great material, Who Needs Love Like That didn't set the UK charts alight and charted at 55. It was not what the duo expected and brought them down to Earth with a thud.

Andy and Vince then started touring universities across the UK building up a small fan base.

Oh L'amourThe next single Heavenly Action charted at a awful 100 and follow up, Oh L'amour, although a hit in France, failed to make an impact in the UK charting at 85.

It was back to the drawing board and after touring clubs and universities Erasure had built up a small fan base and then wrote the lyrics to Sometimes. After writing the mid section to the verses, Andy though HIT and he was right. Sometimes exploded onto the UK charts at #2 and Erasure never looked back.

The rest of the album called 'Circus' was a massive success with all the tracks making the top 15. The follow up, 1988's The Innocents, spurned the classic A Little Respect plus Erasure's first ever American hit, Chains Of Love. The album was their first in a succession of number one albums.

Erasure Live 1990 (the Wild Show - Milton Keynes Bowl)Erasure next released Wild followed by a massive world tour culminating in the massive 65,000 sell out concert at the Milton Keynes Bowl

In 1991 Erasure released what was possibly their most most memorable pop tune ever, "Love To Hate You," followed by the more brooding, "Am I Right". Erasure also toured again with the massive Phantasmogorical Entertainment Tour
which was the biggest most memorable tour yet. The show had Andy arriving on a swan, peforming in a Rhinestone cowboy costume with his rear end exposed (!!!) and the show even had Vince's infamous Abba-Esque dance to Voulez-Vous. Vince says when he looks back on the tour: "I felt very uncomfortable doing it."

Erasure released the Abba-Esque as an EP single and it stormed in at number one and remained there for many weeks. It was Erasure's first and currently only number one single.

After releasing their greatest hits package, Pop! The First Twenty Hits (that got to number one in the album charts) and re-releasing Who Needs Love [Like That] (that got to number ten in the single charts), Erasure took a well earned break through 1993.

I Love SaturdayI Say, I Say I Say saw a welcome return from Erasure after their rest and became yet another number one album. But the promotional videos had something missing, the live presence of Vince. After stating in 1990 that videos were just marketing tools and dressing up at Frida from Abba in the Abba-Esque performances, his presence in 'Run To The Sun' was his glowing head in the middle of the globe, and in 'I Love Saturday', he was just a photograph.

The next album saw Erasure disappear from the top ten. The experimental album, Erasure only charted at fifteen, but still achieved gold selling status.

Now the videos were complete devoid of Mr Clarke. He was busy in his new recording studio, 37B. The strange dome like building became the nerve centre for Erasure releases.

In My Arms - US VideoErasure returned to their pop roots in the next album Cowboy. US recording giants Maverick signed them onto their label for the States release. In the UK, the album made the top ten, peaking at #10. 

In My Arms, the first single charted at a promising 13 with the video being shot at the recent Tiny Tour. This meant that Vince appeared in a video again. However Maverick didn't like the video. Erasure responded with a fabulous US video shot in New York which depicts a young boy climbing a tower block to rescue his love of his life. And he climbs on her hair like a rope ... a la Rapunzel. Vince also stars in the video simply plonking keys on a keyboard ... typical Vince.

Cowboy Concerts 1997 - Vince Clarke in a cactus suitThe group also toured again with the massive Cowboy Concerts, which saw Vince Clarke, predictably enough shuffling about the stage wearing a cactus suit.

The tour saw them support David Bowie in South America and saw them pack out arenas through the UK.

FreedomAfter a three year gap Erasure returned with a new style in October 2000 with Freedom, which reached 27 in the official UK charts. The album, Loveboat reached a terrible 45. The album focussed on harder edge material with hip hop, r & b, techno and beaty music with only Freedom, Alien, Here In My Heart and Catch 22 classic Erasure sing-a-long songs.

The video for Freedom saw Vince direct the whole thing and his presence in the video was again, not real life, but in the form of cardboard cut outs.

In 2001, the group released Moon & The Sky + from the album, heavily reworked into a great pop song which would have made a great impact on the UK charts, but it wasn't eligible having 11 tracks.

After the failure of the 2000 material, Andy teamed up with producer Gareth Jones with the intention of making an album of cover songs with heavy emphasis on Phil Spector material. With Vince busy raising money for charities and creating music companies with Heaven 17's Martyn Ware, this was Andy's chance to show the world he didn't need Vince for chart success.

However progress was slow and it wasn't long before Vince got chatting to Andy. They discussed their favourite songs and before long Vince got involved and this became an Erasure project, 'Other Peoples Songs'.

Make Me Smile (Come Up & See Me)The album brought Erasure back into spotlight with their first top ten hit in nine years, Solsbury Hill and the follow up Make Me Smile (Come Up & See Me) also made the top fifteen.

Solsbury Hill saw another Vince Clarke directed video, and this time no appearance at all from the electro wizard. However, the video for MMS saw Vince back in the actors role, with the video directed by Jonas Odell and the production company, Nexus, created the opening sequence for the latest Steven Spielburg smash 'Catch Me if You Can'. 

The group also toured again the 'The Other Tour' and in October Erasure brought out their Greatest Hits package named Hits and they finally re-released Oh L'amour, now achieving a number 13 in the charts, slightly better than number 85.

The new promotional video for BreatheIn 2005 Erasure were back with a new album Nightbird and the first single from the album -  Breathe, reached an amazing number four in the UK charts. This new material has been claimed to fans on the Erasure Forum to be the best Erasure material in years.

Erasure are also due to tour this Spring with The Erasure Show consisting of a whopping 27 songs including the new material, classic hits and B-sides.

Erasure are back!

Bio written by Steven Tattum. Please do not reproduce without permission.