Upstairs at Eric's by Yazoo

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Upstairs at Eric's by Yazoo
Upstairs at Eric's by Yazoo

Album Released: 1982

Upstairs at Eric

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1.Don't Go3:08
2.Too Pieces3:14
3.Bad Connection3:20
4.I Before E Except After C4:36
6.In My Room3:52
7.Only You3:14
8.Goodbye 70's2:35
10.Winter Kills4:06
11.Bring Your Love Down (Didn't I)4:40


Alison Moyet had sung with several punk rock bands before she advertised in the music press for something different. Along came synth maestro Vince Clarke, who had just got Depeche Mode up and running the year before with their Speak and Spell album, before jumping ship. So together they formed a very brief (two albums) but very successful electro act, where Clarke was able to indulge his synthesizer skills, while Moyet sang spiritedly.

This debut is an interesting mixture of standard but pretty entertaining pop songs like “Don’t Go”, “Bad Connection”, “Goodbye 70's”, and "Bring Your Love Down (Didn't I)", along with more unusual efforts in the form of “I Before E, Except After C”, which is a collage of spoken phrases, gradually accompanied by clunky synth sounds (somewhat along lines of The Beatles’ “Revolution 9”), and “In My Room”, which has Clarke reciting most of The Lord’s Prayer throughout (he stops at deliver us from evil for some reason), even though what connection it has with the lyrics Moyet sings remains a mystery.

The words to all the songs are alright in general, and Moyet demonstrates she's more than just a vocalist by playing piano in “Winter Kills”, as well as penning four of the tracks. Overall, this is a pretty decent album, but it doesn't always work, making it less than the satisfying experience it might have been.

Yazoo (who were known as Yaz in the U.S. and Canada, to avoid confusion with a small record company) brought out more of the same with the following You and Me Both, while this one reached the Top 3 in the U.K.

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by Reviewer: The Doctor