Album Review: Erasure – Always: The Very Best of Erasure
Erasure were one of the biggest global pop superstars of the late eighties, with music that defined an era and continues to influence the work of chart-toppers today. UK synth-pop pioneers Andy Bell and Vince Clarke have amassed a huge following over the past three decades, producing no fewer than 16 studio albums, 17 top 10 singles and 34 Top 40 hits. To date they have sold a cool 25 million albums and received numerous awards including two BRIT awards and a Novello. Their back-catalogue has not only outshone many of their peers: it’s endured.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the group’s 1985 debut release Wonderland and to celebrate, Erasure have released Always – The Very Best Of Erasure. With such an extensive history from which to compile an anniversary special, the compilation has been made available as a standard 1 CD edition and deluxe 3 CD release that comprises glittering fan favourites that showcase the evolution of Erasure’s sound and the development of their electro-pop style.
The standard edition begins with a reflection of the early years with the very first single Who Needs Love (Like That) and wonderfully camp Oh L’Amour, progressing through a 20 track selection of musical history that brushes through the introspective 90s with Love To Hate You and Chorus and of course includes Top 10 hit A Little Respect. This CD finishes appropriately with the 2015 edition of Sometimes, a reworking by David Wrench with subtle additions to the electronics and more layering to the vocals, an enjoyable modernisation of the original that was released as a single this September, kicking off the anniversary celebrations.
Though there have been other Best Of… releases by Erasure over the years, Always – The Very Best Of Erasure serves to demonstrate the sheer passion and longevity of appeal of Bell and Clarke. The anniversary release is a beautifully nostalgic arrangement for the fans that will remember dancing at clubs in the heyday. Given their phenomenal achievements, Erasure certainly deserve to celebrate!