Who Needs Love (Like That) - Erasure, Clarke, Vince
It Doesn't Have to Be
Victim of Love
Ship of Fools
Chains of Love
A Little Respect
You Surround Me
Love to Hate You
Am I Right?
Breath of Life
Take a Chance on Me - Erasure, Andersson, Benny
A singles band if ever there was one, the hits on Pop make the duo of Andy Bell and Vince Clarke of Erasure sound like the Rodgers & Hammerstein of synth-pop disco. With the exception of The Circus and The Innocents albums... more », most of Erasure's full lengths house only a few brief moments of brilliance, the rest of the songs being limp and uninspired. But putting songs like "Blue Savannah" with its sweeping loveliness, the haunting "Ship of Fools," and the campy, raucous "Love to Hate You" all on the same disc shows that when Erasure is on, they shine like a thousand-carat tiara. The energetic and electronic disco is front and center here with "Oh L'Amour" and the audience participation number "Stop!," but the beautifully crafted "Sometimes" shows the band's true potential. The irrepressible melody line is punctuated by an acoustic riff and a melancholy trumpet solo that actually has to do its best to keep up with Bell's warm lament. An indispensable collection. --Steve Gdula« less
A singles band if ever there was one, the hits on Pop make the duo of Andy Bell and Vince Clarke of Erasure sound like the Rodgers & Hammerstein of synth-pop disco. With the exception of The Circus and The Innocents albums, most of Erasure's full lengths house only a few brief moments of brilliance, the rest of the songs being limp and uninspired. But putting songs like "Blue Savannah" with its sweeping loveliness, the haunting "Ship of Fools," and the campy, raucous "Love to Hate You" all on the same disc shows that when Erasure is on, they shine like a thousand-carat tiara. The energetic and electronic disco is front and center here with "Oh L'Amour" and the audience participation number "Stop!," but the beautifully crafted "Sometimes" shows the band's true potential. The irrepressible melody line is punctuated by an acoustic riff and a melancholy trumpet solo that actually has to do its best to keep up with Bell's warm lament. An indispensable collection. --Steve Gdula
"I had a friend over yesterday and something in our conversation ended up making me think of Erasure. Having an extensive CD collection, I sometimes forget all the CDs I have and I found this gem that I haven't listened to in a long time.I think that one of the reasons why people don't think they know many Erasure songs is that with the exception of a couple like "Blue Savannah" and "Chains of Love," you can't necessarily figure out what the title of the song is by listening to it. The group definitely has its own sound and unless you listen to them a lot, many of the songs tend to sound very similar. This makes me think of bands like Journey and STYX who's greatest hits albums are awesome... it wasn't until listening to the entire CDs that I realized I really did know a lot of songs by those bands. They just kind of suffer from a lack of branding of their songs. What my philosophy/theory brings me to is, that if you've ever heard even one Erasure song that you liked, you need to get this CD... you'll realized you've heard all of these songs before and loved them. Synthesizers and a strong beat give these songs a lot of dance-ability for parties or just grooving in your car and they can be listened to over and over. With all these hits and all the talent, you've gotta wonder, where are these guys? Why don't I hear them on the radio anymore?"
"I'm not often enthusiastic about club-dance-techno-pop bands, most of which seem determined to copy each other to the point of exhaustion. But I'll make an exception for Erasure, which has a great deal more going for it than the vast majority of music you're likely to hear the next time you hit the dance floor.Chief among the band's assets is vocalist Andy Bell, who has a remarkably rich and passionate voice--but Erasure does not rely on Bell pure and simple. It is the combination of Bell's vocals, a bouncy beat, and the often unexpectedly thoughtful and frequently bitter lyrics that do the trick. The result is a consistent sound that crackles with a sensuous passion, and at its best creates one memorable cut after another.POP! suffers from the usual failings of every compilation album, which is to say that it generally goes for the obvious choice even when a lesser-known selection is clearly superior. But even so, it offers a solid overview of Erasure, from the purely danceable to the disquietingly emotional playing against the dancefloor rhythm. "Ship of Fools," "Chains of Love," and "A Little Respect" are perhaps the side of Erasure that are most recognized--but when the selections turn to such intense and lyrically sharp selections as "Drama" and "Love to Hate You," you know that you've stumbled into something special.The compilation, in my opinion, saves the best for last, running a gamut from the intensely passionate and romantic "You Surround Me," to the purely elegant "Blue Savannah," to angry "Chorus," to the moody and introspective "Am I Right"--the latter of which may well be single finest thing in this collection. As a garnish, the collection finishes up with a very enjoyable cover of Abba's "Take A Chance." But whichever you happen to prefer, it's all good stuff. Recommended.GFT, Amazon Reviewer"
A worthy greatest hits album
Gary F. Taylor | 10/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Prior to listening to this album, I was only familiar with Erasure from the radio. When a friend loaned me this album on cassette, I was eager to listen to songs that didn't receive airplay here.This album proves that for every "throwaway" pop hit they released, another one exists which is more introspective and sublime. Starting from The Innocents era (why is this album trashed by the Amazon reviewer?), the duo really began to indulge (thankfully) in material that is melancholy in nature. Listening to "The Circus", for example, you focus first on the theme-park background, but lyrics like "holding back the pieces of a broken dream" show another facet. Similar in lyrical style, "Ship of Fools" from the title alone would seem to be a campy song, but it is really a wonderful, sad song about the pain of growing up. The other "extra" tracks here, for the most part, follow in this vein. "Drama!" is cathartic, and "You Surround Me" is sensual; "Am I Right" is sublime, and "Breath of Life is anthemic. These songs will be a revelation to anyone who only knows Erasure from radio airplay.Of course, any Hits album has to draw the line somewhere, and some great songs are missing, like "How Many Times?", "Heart of Stone", "Brother and Sister", "She Won't Be Home", "If I Could", "S.O.S.", etc... But that only encourages you to buy their other albums to discover these great songs.The bottom line is that anyone with even a passing interest in this group would like this greatest hits album."
Actually better than the newer Hits set.
Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 06/10/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This twenty song collection played the singles route to perfection. "POP!" collected all the singles to date and then ran them chronologically, up to the "Abba-esque" EP and "Take a Chance On Me." Nothing left off, and the "hits" aspect is taken literally. Since Vince and Andy were better at the singles than at the albums anyway, the finest of their singles truly sparkle as gold from the eighties. Given that their later output was lackluster at best (save "Always"), this is a great primer for a fun band.And Erasure is pretty much a sugar candy duo. With two notable exceptions, the songs were campy or beat heavy hook records. Only with the environmental lyrics of "Chorus" or the call to arms of "A Little Respect" did the duo ever push towards anything really weighty. Not that there is anything wrong with that, mindless fun is better than no fun at all. And this was the period where Vince was still innovatively exploring the compositional range of the synthesizer. Which meant that, when he was on, he was brilliant, and Andy almost always found the kind of exuberance to overcome any deficiencies (think "Love To Hate You").So if you are contemplating a choice between this album and the more recent hits collection, I'd actually give the nod to "POP!" The new set adds more from the Abba EP and removes several of the songs here. The dropped songs included some essential (in my opinion, at least) songs like "Drama" and "Who Needs Love Like That." You loose 8 songs here for 7 alternates, and this collection has, simply put, a more concise menu of Erasure at their best."
Charles Sutherland | Indy, IN USA | 08/02/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Vince Clarke was formerly with Depeche Mode, another band that relied heavily on electronic music, synthesizers and enigmatic types of lyrics. Clarke wanted to journey out from Depeche Mode's darker tendency to a much more pop-oriented and dance-oriented sound of his own. He recruited Andy Bell after auditioning many vocalists to front the band Erasure, and after turning out dance music throughout the 80s and 90s, has become one of the better-known unknown musical artists.Erasure never really made it big in America, although they did have a string of top 40 hits, some one which made it into the top 10 for brief stints depending upon what Billboard chart you were looking at. Yet at every dance club even to this day you can put on a remix of "Sometime" or "Chains of Love" and the floor will be filled.Maybe one thing Vince Clarke didn't count on, being a straight man, was how identified the group he just created would be with the .. world. Yet it didn't phase Clarke at all -- he embraced the audience that embraced his music. One can see on the videos that he revels in the atmosphere that his music inspires. One of the more inspired and campy aspects was their remake of Abba songs, one of which appears on this greatest hits collection -- "Take A Chance on Me". The consistency of the beat and the electronic qualities make this a very 80s kind of sound that nonetheless survived into the 90s, seemed to be waning with the MTV refocus of attention to rap and grunge/garage bands, but seems to be making small inroads at returning, much in the way that 70s music made a resurgence. Fortunately, Andy Bell and Vince Clarke are still around and still making music; while their greatest hits are probably behind them, and to be found on this disc, their music will not soon be forgotten, and their influence will continue for a long while to come.Give is a "Little Respect"."