Yazoo (band)


Yazoo (band)

Infobox musical artist |
Name = Yazoo


Img_capt = Early Yazoo promotional photo
(Left: Alison Moyet, Right: Vince Clarke)
Img_size =
Background = group_or_band
Alias = Yaz
Origin = Basildon, Essex, England
Genre = Electropop/Dance New wave/Synthpop
Years_active = 1982 — 1983
2008 (Reunion)
Label = Mute Records
Sire/Reprise/Warner Bros. Records flagicon|USA
Associated_acts = Erasure Depeche Mode The Assembly
URL =
Current_members = Alison Moyet
Vince Clarke
Past_members =

Yazoo (known as Yaz in the U.S.) are an English synthpop duo from Basildon, Essex. They had a number of top ten hits in the British charts in the early 1980s. It was formed in late 1981 by former Depeche Mode songwriter Vince Clarke (synthesizer) and English singer Alison Moyet (vocals), and was signed to Mute Records in the United Kingdom.

Yazoo's debut single "Only You" backed with "Situation," was released on March 15 1982 and rose to number two in the UK charts. Yazoo released successful studio albums, "Upstairs at Eric's" in 1982 and the more successful "You and Me Both" in 1983. Shortly after, Moyet and Clarke decided to break up. Moyet pursued a solo career while Clarke founded Erasure, another synth pop group. Yazoo reunited in 2008 with a tour in Europe and the United States and the release of a four-disc box set.

Though short-lived, Yazoo continues to influence and inspire many of today's bands, including LCD Soundsystem, Shiny Toy Guns and Blaqk Audio. [Citation
publication-date = October 13 2007
title = Still inspiring after all these years
periodical = Billboard
publisher = Nielsen Business Media
page = p. 93
volume = 119
issue = 41
]

History

Yazoo was formed in late 1981 by Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet in Basildon, Essex, England.Citation
last = Strong
first = M. C.
year = 1998
title = The Great Rock Discography
publisher = Giunti
page = 935
isbn = 8809215222
] Clarke was previously the main songwriter for Depeche Mode, who at that point had recorded one album and three singles for Mute Records, including the hits "New Life" and "Just Can't Get Enough". [Citation
last = Crouse
first = Richard
year = 2000
title = Big Bang, Baby: Rock Trivia
publisher = Dundurn Press
page = 225
isbn = 0888822197
] The name 'Yazoo', according to Moyet, came from the labels of old blues albums: Yazoo Records.Citation
last = Miller
first = Jonathan
year = 2004
title = Stripped: Depeche Mode
publisher = Omnibus Press
page = 128
isbn = 1844494152
] Yazoo was signed to Mute Records in the United Kingdom and to Sire Records in the United States. Yazoo's initial foray into the US was disastrous when they received a £3.5 million lawsuit threat over the band's name. Yazoo renamed to Yaz for the US market because the name was already in use by a small American rock band.

Yazoo's debut single "Only You" backed with "Situation," was released on March 15 1982 and rose to number two in the UK.Citation
last = Miller
first = Jonathan
year = 2004
page = 568
] Yazoo's next single, "Don't Go", was released on July 3 1982 and hit number three, and became popular on MTV in the United States. [Citation
date = 2004
title = MTV Yearbook: 1982
publisher = MTV
url = http://www.mtv.com/overdrive/?id=1535819&vid=102962
accessdate = May 25 2008
] They continued their successful streak with their first album, "Upstairs at Eric's", which went platinum in Britain. The band received favourable reviews for their pioneering sound. Clarke and Moyet toured briefly, while releasing a stopgap single, "The Other Side of Love." "Smash Hits" reviewed Yazoo May 13, 1982. The interview was conducted by Neil Tennant, who was later successful in the Pet Shop Boys duo four years later. [Citation
first = Neil
last = Tennant
date = May 13 1982
title = Only Yazoo (Subscription required)
periodical = Smash Hits
publisher = Rock's Backpages
url = http://www.rocksbackpages.com/article.html?ArticleID=10281
accessdate = May 25 2008
]

The duo's second and last album, "You and Me Both", yielded more success, hitting the top of the UK charts, and spinning off one single.Citation
last = Warwick
first = Neil
last2 = Kutner
first2 = Jon
last3 = Brown
first3 = Tony
date = August 2004
title = The Complete Book of the British Charts: Singles and Albums
publisher = Omnibus Press
edition = 3rd
page = 32
isbn = 1844490580
] Commercial success in the US was initially not as strong. Both "Situation" and "Only You" were released as singles and airplay and peaked at #73 and #67 respectively. Despite the modest chart success of those singles and of "Upstairs at Eric's" (which reached #92 on the album chart) word of mouth helped to eventually push the album to platinum status for sales of over one million copies by 1989, seven years after its release.

Shortly before the release of "You and Me Both", Clarke and Moyet announced they were to go their separate ways.Fact|date=June 2008

Breakup and legacy

Moyet signed to Columbia Records and began her successful solo career after leaving Yazoo.Citation
last = Rees
first = Dafydd Rees,
last2 = Crampton
first2 = Luke
publication-date = September 1991
title = Rock Movers & Shakers
publisher = ABC-CLIO
page = 195
isbn = 0874366615
] Clarke recorded a single with producer Eric Radcliffe and Undertones singer Feargal Sharkey as The Assembly, and another with vocalist Paul Quinn. Around this time, Clarke also produced "The Face of Dorian Gray" for his friend and singer Robert Marlow. Clarke then started the synth pop group Erasure with vocalist Andy Bell.

Mute Records released a remixed version of "Situation" as a single in 1990 which was moderately successful.Fact|date=June 2008 A compilation entitled "Only Yazoo - The Best of" was released in 1999, and was preceded by a re-release of Yazoo's debut single, "Only You", featuring a new remix of the title track and several more of "Don't Go". The band's output was bookended with yet another release of "Situation", accompanied by many remixes. Clarke was tapped to remix Moyet's 1994 single, "Whispering Your Name" and with Erasure, Clarke and Moyet tried to record her single "This House" as a duet. This project never came to surface, because Sony Music Entertainment would not permit it.Fact|date=June 2008

The band's songs have appeared in a number of films and television shows. "Only You" was used in the "Napoleon Dynamite", the BBC television series "The Office", and the film "Can't Hardly Wait"; a cover version of "Only You" by Joshua Radin was used in 2007 in a J. C. Penney commercial; "Don't Go" appeared in the BBC series "I'm Alan Partridge", was used in the film "Tango and Cash", and can be heard in the video game ""; the song "Situation" was used in the 1990 TV movie "Exile" and was also used in a Nintendo commercial highlighting the classic edition of the Game Boy Advance SP and the classic NES games ported to it. In 2007, "Bring Your Love Down (Didn't I)" was used in "The Sarah Silverman Program" episode "Not Without My Daughter".Fact|date=June 2008

Reunion 2008

In December 2007 Side-line announced that Mute plans to reissue both albums as remastered versions. The band would also plan a live gig to promote the re-releases. [Citation
publication-date = December 18 2007
title = Yazoo reunion for reissue albums and first live gig in 25 years
periodical = Side-Line
url = http://www.side-line.com/news_comments.php?id=27901_0_2_0_C
accessdate = May 25 2008
] The promotional tour received moderate television coverage including a performance on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross broadcast on 16 May 2008, a prime time BBC chat show. [Citation
title = BBC One Programmes - Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, Series 14, Episode 17
publisher = BBC
url = http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00bbwg4
accessdate = May 25 2008
]

The news was confirmed later on including extra details. [Citation
publication-date = January 21 2008
title = Yazoo to release 'In Your Room' 4 disc box set + first dates reunion tour announced
periodical = Side-Line
url = http://www.side-line.com/news_comments.php?id=28603_0_2_0_C
accessdate = May 25 2008
] "In Your Room", a four-disc box set featuring the stereo remasters and 5.1 mixes of the albums "Upstairs at Eric's" and "You and Me Both" next to a disc with B-sides and remixes was released in 2008. Add to this a DVD featuring an exclusive short film with new interviews from Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet and the videos for "Don't Go", "The Other Side Of Love", "Nobody's Diary", "Situation (1990)" and "Only You (1999) as well as several original appearances on BBC".

The release has been followed by the 'Yazoo Reconnected: Live' tour. Currently, 18 dates have been announced, starting in Copenhagen on May 26. [Citation
publication-date = February 22 2008
title = Yazoo announces more European dates for 'Yazoo reunion Reconnected Tour'
periodical = Side-Line
url = http://www.side-line.com/news_comments.php?id=29494_0_2_1_C
accessdate = May 25 2008
] The first three dates of the U.S. tour will see Yazoo performing in Oakland, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Yazoo wraps up the final two dates of the U.S. tour by returning to New York City for the first time since October 1982. It is now also sure that a limited edition vinyl 12" with new dance mixes will also be released to promote the boxset. [Citation
publication-date = March 5 2008
title = Yazoo aka Yaz adds US live dates + new dance mixes
periodical = Side-Line
url = http://www.side-line.com/news_comments.php?id=29818_0_2_6_C
accessdate = May 25 2008
] [Citation
publication-date = April 7 2008
title = Track list Yazoo 4 disc box set 'In Your Room' announced
periodical = Side-Line
url = http://www.side-line.com/news_comments.php?id=30622_0_2_0_C
accessdate = May 25 2008
] A video was released in late April 2008 in which Clarke and Moyet discuss Yazoo's first single "Only You". [Citation
publication-date = April 23 2008
title = Exclusive Yazoo Video Clip
periodical = Side-Line
url = http://www.side-line.com/news_comments.php?id=31090_0_2_0_C
accessdate = May 25 2008
] In an interview with Side-Line Magazine, Clarke announced that a live CD is also planned. The recordings are planned to take place during the band's two upcoming performances in London. [Citation
publication-date = May 30 2008
title = Yazoo - It wasn't a well keened out marketing ploy!
periodical = Side-Line
url = http://www.side-line.com/interviews_comments.php?id=32146_0_16_0_C
accessdate = May 27 2008
] No live DVD is planned though. [Citation
publication-date = June 23 2008
title = No live DVD from Yazoo's 'Reconnected' reunion tour
periodical = Side-Line
url = http://www.side-line.com/news_comments.php?id=32860_0_2_0_C
accessdate = May 27 2008
]

The July 10th concert Yazoo played a the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles, California has been recorded to be re-aired on Richard Blade's Sirius Radio Show. [Citation
publication-date = July 22 2008
title = US Yazoo concert to be broadcasted on satellite radio
periodical = Side-Line
url = http://www.side-line.com/news_comments.php?id=33889_0_2_1_C
accessdate = July 22 2008
]

Discography

Albums

*1 U.S.-only single
*2 Ineligible for UK singles chart
*NR - Not released in that country

Awards

* 1983 BRIT Awards - Best British breakthrough act [Citation
last = Gregory
first = Andy
year = 2002
title = International who's who in popular music
publisher = Routledge
page = 97
isbn = 1857431618
]

ee also

*List of number-one dance hits (United States)
*List of artists who reached number one on the US Dance chart

References

External links

* [http://www.yazooinfo.com/ Official Yazoo page]
* [http://www.alisonmoyet.com/ Alison Moyet's official website]


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