Erasure Tickets for Sale

As the undisputed champs of camp, Erasure have produced a solid body of work during their decade-plus run as the lighter side of Depeche Mode's doom-and-gloom pop. With their bouncy synths, ebullient melodies and tales of lost loves and boyhood crushes, Erasure have over the years become the '90s equivalent of the Village People--a frothy band whose heavy gay subtext still eludes the hordes of screaming young fans yearning for summertime tales of high school love. Over the course of their long career, the duo of multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet-sound-alike Andy Bell has churned out a seemingly endless supply of club hits. Like Sparks and Bronski Beat, Erasure owe their success to a little man with a high voice and a guy behind the keyboards who can write an irresistible pop song.

Following the disbandment of the short-lived synth pop group Yazoo, former Depeche Mode member Vince Clarke formed Erasure in 1985 with singer Andy Bell. Like Yaz and Depeche Mode, Erasure were a synth-based group, but they had stronger dance inclinations, as well as a sharper, more accessible sense of pop song craft, than either of Clarke's previous bands. Furthermore, Erasure had the flamboyantly eccentric Andy Bell — one of the first openly gay performers in pop music — as their focal point. Bell's keening, high voice and exaggerated sense of theatrically became the band's defining image. In their native Britain, Erasure were successful from their inception. After a few years, the duo achieved commercial success in America with 1988's "Chains of Love," but they remained, in essence, a cult band on both sides of the Atlantic, cultivating a dedicated fan base over the course of their career.

Before forming Erasure, Clarke was one of the founding members of the groundbreaking synth pop outfit Depeche Mode. He left after recording only one album with the group, choosing to form Yaz with Alison Moyet instead. After Yaz released two albums, Moyet left to pursue a solo career. Clarke participated in a short-lived alliance with vocalist Feargal Sharkey and producer Eric Radcliffe called the Assembly in 1984. Following a single with vocalist Paul Quinn, he decided to form Erasure. Clarke placed an advertisement for vocalists within a British music newspaper and received over 40 demo tapes, from which Bell was selected as his partner.

Erasure is a British synth pop duo, consisting of Vince Clarke (synthesizers), formerly of Depeche Mode and Yazoo (Yaz in the US), and Andy Bell (vocals, lyrics). Andy is gay and the group enjoys much success within the gay community, as well as elsewhere, in part due to this fact.

Their first album, 1986's Wonderland, stiffed in England and the States; its two singles, "Who Needs Love Like That?" and the gay anthem "Oh L'Amour," failed to crack the top 40 charts in the U.K., a shocking disappointment given Clarke's famous pedigree. The group bounced back though in 1987 with Circus, a winning album containing the mega-singles "Victim Of Love" and "Sometimes." The group was perhaps understandably dismissed by many critics as a lightweight confection, but the critical tide turned with 1988's The Innocents, a spectacular record featuring Clarke's most coherent and focused writing. The songs "Chains Of Love" and "A Little Respect" introduced mainstream America to the group, who welcomed the duo with open arms. 1989's outstanding Wild! followed, an album loaded with sonic experimentation and standout songs. Erasure faltered a bit with 1991's Chorus, which featured the marginal single "How I Love To Hate You."

Erasure really killed their momentum with Abba-esque, a needless covers album of ABBA songs that turned the band into living cartoons. From that point on, the group leaned heavily on camp and silliness and lost the original charm of their Buzzcocks-lite lyrics of teen-love angst. Their last three albums, 1994's I Say, I Say, I Say, 1995's Erasure and 1997's Cowboy have all relied heavily on a dramatic flair often reminiscent of a drag-queen Meat Loaf, but fail to ring with any authenticity of emotion. Their live shows have become more and more spectacular and fanciful (last year's Cowboy tour had a Wild West theme with Vince Clarke playing guitar in a cactus suit) and continue to wow and entertain, but lack the punch inherent in the lyrics of their earlier work. Now they've become perfect Vegas entertainers, but perhaps that's what they want to be. Go see their concert if Siegfried and Roy are sold out.
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Feb 27 Tue 8:00 PM Erasure E-werk Köln
Köln, North Rhine-Westphalia
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Feb 28 Wed 8:00 PM Erasure Mehr! Theater am Grossmarkt
Hamburg, Hamburg
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Mar 1 Thu 8:00 PM Erasure Columbia Halle
Berlin, Berlin
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Mar 4 Sun 8:00 PM Erasure Tonhalle Munchen
München, Bavaria
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Together with Pet Shop Boys, Erasure brought pop-synthesized music to the forefront of the American music scene in the late 80s. Although they have not retained a strong presence on the popular music charts in the United States, they enjoy a large and loyal following throughout the world and continue to release new music and support newer albums with well-known world tours.

Wonderland (1986)
The Circus (1987, #6 UK, #190 US)
The Two Ring Circus (1987, #186 US)
The Innocents (1988, #1 UK, #49 US)
Wild! (1989, #1 UK, #57 US)
Chorus (1991, #1 UK, #29 US)
Pop! - the First 20 Hits (1992, #1 UK, #112 US)
I Say, I Say, I Say (1994, #1 UK, #18 US)
Erasure (1995, #14 UK, #82 US)
Cowboy (1997, #10 UK, #43 US)
Loveboat (2000)
Other People's Songs (2003, #17 UK, #138 US)
Hits! (2003, #15 UK)
Nightbird (2005)

Hit singles
1986 "Sometimes" #2 UK
1987 "It Doesn't Have to Be" #12 UK
1987 "Victim of Love" #7 UK
1987 "The Circus" #6 UK
1988 "Ship of Fools" #6 UK
1988 "Chains of Love" #11 UK, #12 US
1988 "A Little Respect" #4 UK, #14 US
1988 "Crackers International EP" (Stop! / The Hardest Part / Knocking on Your Door / She Won't Be Home) #2 UK, #73 US (on the album chart)
1989 "Drama!" #4 UK
1989 "You Surround Me" #15 UK
1990 "Blue Savannah" #3 UK
1990 "Star" #11 UK
1991 "Chorus" #3 UK
1991 "Love to Hate You" #4 UK
1991 "Am I Right EP" (Am I Right / Let It Flow / Waiting for Sex / Carry on Clangers) #15 UK
1992 "Breath of Life" #8 UK
1992 "Abba-Esque EP" (Lay All Your Love on Me / S.O.S. / Take a Chance on Me / Voulez-Vous) #1 UK, #85 US (on the album chart)
1992 "Who Needs Love Like That" #10 UK
1994 "Always" #4 UK, #20 US
1994 "Run to the Sun" #6 UK
1994 "I Love Saturday" #20 UK
1995 "Stay with Me" #15 UK
1995 "Fingers and Thumbs (Cold Summer's Day)" #20 UK
1997 "In My Arms" #13 UK
1997 "Don't Say Your Love is Killing Me" #23 UK
2000 "Freedom" #27 UK
2003 "Solsbury Hill" #10 UK
2003 "Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)" #14 UK
2003 "Oh L'amour" (remix) #13 UK
2004 "Breathe"
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