Twenty-five years ago, this was number one in the UK for five weeks.
That’s really all you need to know – Erasure held on to the top spot for a very long time. They were huge, and they pretty much single-handedly managed to revive Abba‘s career as well.
There are just four tracks on here – firstly Lay All Your Love on Me, full of electronic flashes and squawks. If you don’t know Abba, you can just accept that this is one of Erasure‘s catchiest moments. If you do, you can enjoy a very different take on a great song.
Perhaps coincidentally, these tracks appear in alphabetical order, so the melancholic S.O.S. comes next, sounding equally brilliant. It’s fascinating to think just how busy Erasure must have been during this period – this EP appeared barely a year after the preceding album Chorus, and also turned up as a four-track video single, the production of which must have really put them through their paces.
Take a Chance on Me was the track that received the most airplay, and was logically therefore the one that appeared on Pop! The First 20 Hits a few months later. It’s great, and definitely every bit as good as anything else that Erasure ever did. Until, at least, MC Kinky turns up for a slightly inexplicable rap halfway through. She was unceremoniously removed from some of the promo radio versions, and I’m not sure she really adds much to the song, but then on the other hand it would be difficult to imagine it without her appearing and rapping about… well, whatever it is she’s going on about, because frankly I’ve never understood a word of it.
Closing the collection is the best of the lot, Voulez Vous. There’s an element of seedy underground darkness, which is of course, entirely as it should be. Four remixes were commissioned for club play, and, so the story goes, weren’t originally intended for commercial release, but were changing hands for such extravagant prices that a non-charting CD and 12″ release followed later. None of them are particularly good, to be honest, but Voulez Vous is probably the closest hint to what’s on there.
Before you know it, the backing has gone a bit crazy, and you’re at the end of this EP already. It’s a shame that it’s over so quickly, but what a fantastic collection of songs!
You should still be able to find second hand copies of this EP, but the original release is no longer widely available in physical form. Try here for starters.