Happy Birthday, Andy Bell of Erasure

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Friday, April 25, 2014
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Happy Birthday, Andy Bell of Erasure

Had things gone another way, it’s possible that Andy Bell might’ve been celebrating his 50th birthday – it’s today, by the way – as a supermarket employee. Oh, sure, you’d like to think that he would’ve moved on from the Sainsburys meat counter where he was working when he decided to answer Vince Clarke’s advertisement in search of a vocalist for his new musical project, but given today’s economy, who knows? But rather than starting to list off a bunch of Erasure songs with their titles tweaked to include references to meat…

Well, all right, we’ll give you one: “Who Needs Lamb Like That.”

Now that that’s out of the way, though, better we should focus on what happened after Bell did answer that advertisement, starting with the fact that, well, Erasure weren’t terribly successful at first. In fact, none of the three singles released from their debut album, 1986’s Wonderland, made it into the UK top 40 (although they all made into the top 10 of the US dance charts). By the time the duo released their second album, however, things had changed significantly for the duo: The Circus made it into the UK Top 10, and not only did the album’s first single, “Sometimes,” hit #2, but it kicked off what would ultimately prove to be a streak of 22 consecutive top-20 UK singles, 12 of which were actually in the top 10.

Erasure is still going strong in 2014, having released a Christmas album (Snow Globe) just this past November, and Bell’s also forged a bit of a solo career for himself, having recorded two efforts under his own name. Granted, even he’d probably admit that they sound a bit like Erasure – he’s the singer, after all – but at least he gets to step out and do something on his own once in awhile.

Today, though, we’re paying tribute to Mr. Bell’s birthday with a playlist focusing on Erasure’s singles…40 of ‘em, in fact, starting with the earlier-parodied “Who Needs Love Like That,” which was originally released in 1985, and stretching all the way through to 2007’s “Storm in a Teacup.” Not that they haven’t continued to put out singles in the intervening years, but 40 just seemed like such a nice, round number to wrap on.

(If you’re wondering, yes, we did almost make it 50 tracks to match his age... and then we promptly decided it might be best not to rub it in.)