STOP! Yes it’s thirty years since Erasure released their “Crackers International” EP!
Thirty years ago Vince Clarke and Andy Bell released their festive EP “Crackers International”, crowning a hugely successful year that saw them top the charts with their third album “The Innocents”, which contained three enormously successful singles “Ship Of Fools”, “Chains Of Love” and “A Little Respect”.
With four new songs including “Stop”, “Crackers International” was released on 28th November 1988 and became an instant hit, making the singles charts around the world throughout the festive season.
The EP debuted at No.7 in the UK and spend Christmas week at No.4 before climbing to the No.2 spot the first week of January 1989, the same week Kylie and Jason would ascend to the top with “Especially For You“. It would equal Erasure’s previous UK singles chart high, “Sometimes”, in January 1986 and sell over 400,000 copies there, becoming (until the ABBAesque EP in 1992) their biggest seller there. The EP equaled this position in Ireland and charted all across Europe and New Zealand. In the US it would peak at No.73, somewhat lower that its predecessor “A Little Respect” had managed two months earlier when it reached No.14 there.
Nevertheless the “Crackers International” EP proved a big success and “Stop” is today a standard at every Erasure concert. The EP was a bridge between the successes of 1988 and what was to come in 1989 with their fourth studio album “Wild”. These were days when groups like Erasure and The Pet Shop Boys ruled the charts with countless and consecutive chart hits and multi-platinum albums year after year after year.
Twenty five years after the EP’s release, Erasure would release a full album of Christmas tunes entitled “Snow Globe” which included their version of Steeleye Span’s 1972 hit “Gaudete”, brilliantly executed by Andy Bells’ outstanding and instantly recognisable vocal.