5 April 2009
Vince Clarke & Paul Quinn - One Day (b/w "Song For")
Year of Release: 1985
Vince Clarke's post-Depeche Mode, pre-Erasure period was more eventful than some people's entire careers in pop. After forming Yazoo with Alison Moyet and watching that duo dissolve after two albums, he hit upon the idea of recording a series of records with different vocalists fronting each release. The Assembly's under-rated and under-referenced top ten hit "Never Never" (with Feargal Sharkey) was the first. This, recorded with Scottish vocalist Paul Quinn of Bourgie Bourgie, was the second, and got to Number 99. Whoops.
The single's lowly chart position may explain why the project was scuppered, Vince perhaps realising that some kind of consistency was needed for the branding of his songs if they were to actually sell. However, it's difficult to understand quite why this was considered ever likely to sell in large quantities regardless of how it was fronted or badged. It actually sounds uncannily like an Erasure album track, one of the slow-tempo numbers they'd place towards the end of side two to make us realise that synthesisers too can weep. It's very clearly not a smash hit single, and the fact that Paul Quinn remained a largely unknown figure (unlike Feargal Sharkey) probably didn't persuade many radio stations to playlist it either.
For all that, it remains a curio because it does seem like a bridge between Clarke's period with Yazoo and his career with Erasure. "Never Never" didn't really vault over into new territories, sounding as if it could just have easily been a leftover from the "You and Me Both" sessions. "One Day", on the other hand, utilises new noises and styles, and sounds more as if Clarke was attempting to morph into something different.
Download it here
As a footnote, I have to say that I do think it's a pity that Erasure are so readily dismissed by so many people as irrelevant when they created some of the finer pieces of pop in the eighties, from the woozy accordian fuelled worker's protest song "The Circus", through to the Gloria Gaynor-meets-electro-gospel oddness "Drama!", and then of course the album "The Innocents" which is pretty much pure goodness from start to finish. Far from chugging along a predictable route, they produced some of the more engaging pieces of top ten work of that period, although if the only thing you've got stuck in your head is the "Abba-esque" EP, that may explain some of your prejudices.
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