The 1980s wouldn’t have been complete without Yazoo, or Yaz as they had to call themselves in the USA. Far from being a brief spin-off engine for Vince Clarke after leaving Depeche Mode, they quickly developed a life of their own before splitting up before the second album was even released.
Don’t Go, Only You and Nobody’s Diary were enormous hits, just as they should have been. Situation wasn’t – not until the 1990 release, at least, but that’s still four more great singles than many acts can manage.
Where to start
Start with the entire set – the In Your Room box set has pretty much everything you need, including debut Upstairs at Eric’s (1982), follow-up You and Me Both (1983), and a bonus disc of b-sides and remixes from the original era.
What to buy
There’s really not much else you need. The 1990 mixes of Situation and State Farm are good, as are some of the 2008 Reconnected mixes, and the Reconnected Live double album (2010) is definitely worth having if you find yourself in need of more.
Don’t bother with
Anything from 1999 – there’s a pointless remix of Only You, some dreadful versions of Don’t Go, and a whole heap of new versions of Situation. Their only major selling point is that they may help you find the 1990 versions.
I Before E Except After C, often lacking from the CD versions of Upstairs at Eric’s, is largely dreadful but the album seems incomplete without it. The download version of Reconnected Live includes an unreleased 1983 song called Get Set, which is worth owning. And the only real 1990s hookup of Yazoo, Vince Clarke‘s remix of Alison Moyet‘s single Whispering Your Name, is quite brilliant.