Erasure 1988

NEWS: ‘Crackers International’ at 30!

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.

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Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!

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