5 April 2009

Vince Clarke & Paul Quinn - One Day (b/w "Song For")


Label: Mute
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.


Tim Worthington said...

It also gets forgotten that Erasure were very much seen as an 'outsider', John Peel/Janice Long kind of band when they first appeared, and it wasn't until the early nineties that they really seemed to elevate to a higher kind of stature. Of course, by then they'd already started to turn out extremely tedious music, but there's a thrill to their earlier singles that still resonates today.

Anonymous said...

Hardly tedious. The music Erasure have been making since the mid 90's until now has been more experimental and far more progressed.

Tim Worthington said...

Well, horses for courses Mr. Anon, I find it tedious because it doesn't chime with my tastes, whereas the earlier stuff did. It just doesn't seem to have the same thrill as something like It Doesn't Have To Be did - at the time it was genuinely exciting to hear something like that in the charts.

djbethell said...

What a let down. I've been after this for years but now I've heard it I really can see why it only reached 99. Paul Quinn's voice really is a bit of a non-descript dirge. And the tune One Day is really lacking so much. Song For is only slightly more interesting but once again that voice kills it stone dead for me. Thank God Vince eventually found Andy to save the day. Thanks for the download anyway. I'm glad I had the opportunity to finally hear the song after all this time.

dokk said...

all the links are dead - any chance of a re-up?

23 Daves said...

Dokk - I'm really sorry to say that it looks as if the mp3 has been removed due to copyright infringement, therefore I'm not going to be in a position to re-up it. This happens from time to time, unfortunately.

Address your complaints to the usual places!