Yazoo, known as Yaz in the United States, was a successful English duo from Basildon, Essex. England. They performed the synthpop style of music and had a number of Top 10 hits in the early 1980's. They were influenced by groups such as Kraftwerk. The duo consisted of Alison Moyet as the vocalist and Vince Clarke on electronics. Their second album contained more songs written by Moyet.The group was formed in 1981. Clarke was previously the main songwriter for the Depeche Mode. The group was recording on the Mute Records label in England, and also on the Sire Records label in the United States.
Yazoo released their debut single called, Only You, which was backed with the song called, Situation, in April, 1982. The single went to number 2 in the U. K. Clarke had offered to give the song to the Depeche Mode as a going away gift when he left the group, but they refused it. Yazoo had another immediate single hit with their song called, Don’t Go. This one reached number 3 on the U. K. Chart. The song was also very popular on MTV in the United States. The duo released their first album called, Upstairs at Eric’s, was also a huge hit and it went platinum in Britain. The duo toured a little and released another single called, The Other Side of Love. Then they released their second and last album which was called, You and Me Both. This album also reached the top of the U. K. Charts and from it came one single. Just before the release of the album, the duo announced that they were going to split up and go their separate ways. Moyet signed with Columbia Records and went on to pursue a solo career. She had a successful career early on. Clarke went on to record a single with producer Eric Radcliffe and Feargal Sharkey, using the group name, Assembly. He recorded another single with Paul Quinn. After that he formed the group called, Erasure, and recruited Andy Bell as the lead vocalist. This group became very successful.
There have been re-mixes of some of the duo’s singles and their songs have been used in some movies and television shows. Their song, Only You, was used in the movie, Napoleon Dynamite, the television show, The Office, and the movie, Can’t hardly Wait. Some of the songs have also been used in commercials. In 2007, Mute Records announced that there were plans in the works to re-issue both of Yazoo’s albums as re-mastered versions. The band is also planning a live show to promote the new and re-mastered versions. The group released 3 albums, 9 singles, and they received 1 Brit Award in 1984.
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