Biography All Music GuideWikipedia
All Music Guide:
Following the disbandment of the short-lived synth pop group Yazoo, former Depeche Mode member Vince Clarke formed Erasure in 1985 with singer Andy Bell. Like Yaz and Depeche Mode, Erasure were a synth-based group, but they had stronger dance inclinations, as well as a sharper, more accessible sense of pop songcraft, than either of Clarke's previous bands. Furthermore, Erasure had the flamboyantly eccentric Andy Bell -- one of the first openly gay performers in pop music -- as their focal point. Bell's keening, high voice and exaggerated sense of theatrically became the band's defining image. In their native Britain, Erasure were successful from their inception. After a few years, the duo achieved commercial success in America with 1988's "Chains of Love," but they remained, in essence, a cult band on both sides of the Atlantic, cultivating a dedicated fan base over the course of their career.
Before forming Erasure, Clarke was one of the founding members of the groundbreaking synth pop outfit Depeche Mode. He left after recording only one album with the group, choosing to form Yaz with Alison Moyet instead. After Yaz released two albums, Moyet left to pursue a solo career. Clarke participated in a short-lived alliance with vocalist Feargal Sharkey and producer Eric Radcliffe called the Assembly in 1984. Following a single with vocalist Paul Quinn, he decided to form Erasure. Clarke placed an advertisement for vocalists within a British music newspaper and received over 40 demo tapes, from which Bell was selected as his partner.
Released in 1986, Erasure's first album, Wonderland, received poor reviews and weak sales upon its release. The duo quickly followed the album with "Sometimes," a preview from their forthcoming second album. "Sometimes" reached number two on the U.K. charts, beginning a string of successful singles that would run into the '90s. The Circus, the group's second album, was released in the spring of 1987 and peaked at number six on the U.K. charts. The Innocents, Erasure's third album, became their first number one album in Britain upon its release in 1988. The album featured the group's first American hit, "Chains of Love," which reached number 12 in the U.S.; its follow-up, "A Little Respect," peaked at number 14 in America. At the end of 1988, Erasure released the Crackers International EP, which reached number two in Britain.
Erasure's fourth album, Wild!, appeared in 1989, and like its predecessor, it reached number one in the U.K., as did its successor, 1991's Chorus. Erasure released the Abba-esque EP, a tribute to the Swedish pop group ABBA, in 1992; it became their first number one single in the U.K. Later that year, Erasure released a compilation of their British singles, Pop! The First 20 Hits. Two years later, the duo released its fifth album, I Say I Say I Say, which featured the hit single "Always," their first American hit since 1988. Erasure's eponymous sixth album was released in the fall of 1995. It was followed in the spring of 1997 by Cowboy. Loveboat surfaced three years later. The all-covers Other People's Songs appeared in 2003, the same year as the oddly chosen compilation Hits! Before the release of 2005's "return to form" album Nightbird, Bell revealed he was HIV positive and had been since June of 1998. The 2006 album Union Street found the duo unplugging and re-recording old album tracks and B-sides with acoustic instruments. A tour with a full band supported the album and was documented on the 2007 live release On the Road to Nashville. Later in the year the return-to-form album Light at the End of the World arrived. Tomorrow's World followed in 2011 with the duo handing production over to Frankmusik, whose previous worked included Lady Gaga and the Pet Shop Boys.
Erasure (pronounced /ɪˈɹeɪʒə/) are an English synthpop duo, consisting of songwriter and keyboardist Vince Clarke and singer and songwriter Andy Bell. They entered the music scene in 1985 with their debut single "Who Needs Love Like That". Following the release of their fourth single "Sometimes", the duo established itself on the UK Singles Chart and became one of the most successful artists of the mid-to-late 1980s and early 1990s.
From 1986 to 1997, Erasure achieved 24 consecutive Top 20 hits in the UK, while only having 3 Top 20 hits in the US (on the Billboard Hot 100): "A Little Respect", "Chains of Love" and "Always". By 2009, 34 of their 45 singles & EPs (of which 8 out of the 45 were not chart eligible in the UK) had made the UK Top 40, with 17 climbing into the Top 10.
The duo are most popular in their native UK and mainland Europe (especially Germany, Denmark and Sweden) and also in South America (especially in Argentina, Chile and Peru). To date, Erasure have sold over 25 million albums worldwide.
The band is also popular within the LGBT community for whom the openly gay singer Andy Bell has become a gay icon.
Vince Clarke was a founding member of Depeche Mode and sole writer of their first three singles (including the breakthrough Top 10 hit "Just Can't Get Enough"). After leaving the band in late 1981, Clarke forged an equally notable career with the duo Yazoo (known as Yaz in the U.S.).
After two hit albums in as many years (1982–1983), he split with Yazoo partner Alison Moyet and briefly formed The Assembly with producer Eric Radcliffe. The project spawned a UK number four hit single, "Never Never," featuring Feargal Sharkey on vocals. Clarke then released another single with vocalist Paul Quinn, "One Day." It flopped, leading Clarke to place an advertisement in Melody Maker looking for a vocalist for a new musical project. He selected Peterborough-born Andy Bell.
The origins of the band's name are unclear. One possible explanation is that in 1985, a Mute Records technician is believed to have accidentally written "erasure" on a demo tape for "Who Needs Love Like That" submitted by Clarke and Bell. At the time, the duo still hadn't chosen a name for themselves, and when they rescued the tape, they decided upon Erasure.
Beginnings and international success: 1985–1994 Andy Bell and Vince Clarke in 1986Andy Bell in 1992Vince Clarke in 1992
Erasure's first three singles were commercial failures in the UK, although the third, "Oh L'amour", charted well in Australia and a few European countries (especially in France, where it still remains Erasure's only hit to date,and Germany where it was a Top 16 success). Their debut album, Wonderland, was mostly recorded in 1985 and released in June 1986. Although it only made the UK Top 75, it made a sizeable impact in Germany, making the Top 20.
It was with the release of their fourth single, "Sometimes", that Erasure finally received recognition in the UK in late 1986. The song peaked at number two in the UK and Germany and spent many weeks in the UK Top 40, marking the beginning of a long string of major hits for the duo.
The single's parent album, The Circus, was released in March 1987 and reached number six and turned platinum in the UK with three additional hit singles: "It Doesn't Have To Be", "Victim of Love" and "The Circus". The album remained on the charts for over a year.
Erasure's third album, The Innocents, was released in April 1988. Preceded by the Top 10 single "Ship of Fools", the album hit number one in the UK on its initial release and returned to the summit a year later, eventually going triple platinum. It also turned platinum in the U.S., generating two Top 20 hits in "Chains of Love" and "A Little Respect". The Innocents was the first of five consecutive number one albums for Erasure in the UK, including the greatest hits compilation Pop! The First 20 Hits. In November 1988, the Crackers International EP, led by the song "Stop!", hit number two in the UK singles chart. The albums Wild! (1989) and Chorus (1991) both contained four Top 20 singles and were major sellers.
Crackers International was bettered in 1992 by another EP, Abba-esque, covering four ABBA hits, which became Erasure's first (and to date only) number one in the UK Singles Chart. It featured a memorable video of the duo dressed in ABBA outfits, and was one of the principal drivers of the ABBA revival scene in the 1990s.
Also in 1990, Erasure contributed the song "Too Darn Hot" to the Cole Porter tribute album "Red Hot + Blue" produced by the Red Hot Organization. In 1992, a singles compilation, Pop! - the First 20 Hits, also hit number one and went triple platinum, featuring all the band's singles released from 1985 to 1992.
In 1994, Erasure released I Say I Say I Say, their fifth consecutive number one in the UK Albums Chart. Its first single, "Always", became the band's third Top 20 hit in the United States and became their final UK Top 5 hit until 2005.
Releases 1995–2007 
The October 1995 release of the album Erasure marked a determined shift away from Erasure's signature three-minute synthpop to a more introspective and experimental sound. Nevertheless, it made the UK Top 15 and spawned two UK Top 20 singles, "Stay With Me" and "Fingers & Thumbs". A mixed,4 minutes version of the original 10 minutes long song "Rock me gently" was released only in Germany as third single.
In spite of a return to three-minute pop songs, the 1997 album Cowboy did not restore the success of their 1986–1994 era. Cowboy enjoyed a short-lived success, peaking at number ten in the UK but lasting only two weeks in the UK Top 40. In the U.S. billboard charts though, it was one of their most successful records. The first single "In my arms" reached number 13 in the U.K. and entered the Top 2 in the U.S. Dance charts.The second single "Don´t say your love is killing me" made the Top 20 in the uk. The third single "Rain" was also only released in Germany.
In October 2000, Erasure released their ninth studio album Loveboat, co-produced with Flood, though only peaking at a lowly number 45. The first single was "Freedom", which made a brief entry into the UK Top 30. In 2001 the released a limited E.P. "Moon & the sky" contained new versions of the title song, a cover of the song "Baby love",and some acoustic versions of some songs from the "Loveboat" album.
The 2003 release Other People's Songs was a collection of cover versions. Its first single, a cover of Peter Gabriel's song "Solsbury Hill", reached the UK Top 10. The second single from the album was a cover of Steve Harley's Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me) – it made No. 14 in the charts and Erasure were invited to perform on Top of the Pops for the first time since March 1997.
In 2003 a new best of compilation was released, called Hits! The Very Best of Erasure including 20 songs.The album became gold in the uk. Also a new version of the 1986 song "Oh l´amour" was released. Original a commercial flop in the U.K.,this new version has hit the U.K. Top 15. Also they started to tour again in 2003, the first time since 1997.
Erasure's 2005 album Nightbird's first single, "Breathe", reached number four in the UK charts (their first Top 5 hit in more than a decade) and achieved the number one position on the U.S. Dance Chart, eighteen years after their first chart-topper.
The next single, "Don't Say You Love Me", which made the UK Top 15, enabled purchasers to configure their own remixes of the single through the band's website, with each variant of the song limited to a single download. The third single was a double a-side, features new versions of "Here I go impossible again" and "All this time still falling out of love" It maded the U.K. Top 20.
Union Street was a 2006 side-project which featured a collection of previously released album tracks that the band reinterpreted in an acoustic/country & western style. The album was named after the recording studio in Brooklyn where it was recorded.
The duo then released a more 'dance-oriented' album than some of their more recent work. Titled Light at the End of the World, the album was produced by Gareth Jones and was released on 21 May 2007 in the UK, and in North America the following day. The album was preceded by its first single "I Could Fall in Love with You", which peaked at 21 the UK Charts. A second single, "Sunday Girl", was released in June. and made No. 33 in the charts. The third single was a e.p. called Storm Chaser and included an exclusive b-side "Early Bird", a duet with Cyndi Lauper
Releases 2009–present 
Total Pop! - the First 40 Hits, a collection of Erasure's first 40 hits plus a new remix of "Always" by Jeremy Wheatley, was released on 23 February 2009. The compilation fractionally missed the UK Top 20, reaching number 21.
On 10 August 2009, Erasure released a six-track EP of classic remixes entitled Erasure.Club.
To celebrate 21 years since its release, the album The Innocents was remastered and re-released on 26 October 2009.
In May 2009 came the news that the band are back working on a new Erasure album. Andy Bell released his second studio album, Non-Stop, on 7 June 2010.
In February and March 2010, the song "Always" enjoyed an unexpected peak of popularity among flash-game players for its prominent role as the soundtrack of the Adult Swim game Robot Unicorn Attack.
Vince Clarke has stated in radio interviews that the band want to complete the concept album of nursery rhymes that they have been working on for some time. However, Erasure for the past two years have been writing and preparing work on their next album of original material, and have finally announced that they will be beginning recording and production in December 2010.
On 6 and 16 December 2010, Erasure's official website announced a brand new studio album planned for release in summer 2011 to be produced by Frankmusik. Also, a world tour was announced (including the Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Florida in March 2011 and the Total Pop! Forest Tour of the UK in June and July 2011) with current dates including stops in Europe and South America.
Erasure played a 27-date US and Canada tour, as well as at Estadio Monumental in Lima, Peru on 18 August. The Tomorrow's World Tour began on 31 August 2011 in Tampa, continuing through September, and finished in Seattle on 6 October 2011. The UK and European leg of the Tomorrow's World tour began on 12 October 2011 in Leicester, UK, continuing through to 14 November 2011 in Dresden, Germany.
On 20 June 2011, it was confirmed via their official website that the new studio album is called Tomorrow's World. This album was released on 3 October 2011 (11 October 2011 in the US). The first single from the album was "When I Start To (Break It All Down)". The album reached number 29 in the UK, number 35 in Germany and number 61 in the US. The second single from Tomorrow's World was "Be with You", which peaked in the top 10 on the US Hot Dance Club Songs, making it their highest peak since "Breathe" in 2005. The third and final single from the album was "Fill Us with Fire" which was released 12 March 2012.
Erasure also toured internationally in 2011; it was one of their longest tours and included visits to some places for the first time, including Russia and Ukraine. They also did a whole South American Tour, including two shows in Buenos Aires, where they last performed in 1997 during the Cowboy Tour.
On their official twitter accounts Erasure have announced that they are working on a Christmas album contains cover songs and own material, planned to release for the end of 2013.