Erasure – “Chorus”
With two chart topping, multi Platinum albums behind them (“The Innocents” and “Wild!“) Erasure spent the second half of 1990 and the beginning of 1991 writing and recording their fifth studio release. Titled “Chorus”, the album would yield another quartet of smash hit singles, continuing Andy and Vince’s popularity well into the 90’s. The album’s title track was the first of these peaking at No.3 in the UK and No.83 in America in June 1991. “Love To Hate You” followed in September, another top five hit at home as well as a big hit all over Europe. Christmas saw the release of the sombre “Am I Right?” (UK No.15) and a later remix of the track at the beginning of 1992, which made No.22. The fourth and final track was the delicious “Breath Of Life” in the Spring of 1992, becoming their twelfth UK top ten hit when it reached No.8. “Chorus” went on to sell over half a million copies in the UK when it registered the duo’s third consecutive number one album there and made No.29 Stateside, bettering “The Innocents” previous chart high there to become their best selling long player until “I Say I Say I Say” three years later.
Now, twenty nine years later, a new deluxe edition of the album has been issued, which features the ten track original album in a 3-CD edition featuring a remastered version of the original album on one disc; a selection of new and classic remixes, b-sides and bonus tracks on disc two and a live version of “Chorus”, recorded on Erasure’s Phantasmagorical Entertainment Tour, on the final disc. The remastered and expanded edition of “Chorus” comes in deluxe hardback book packaging with extensive sleeve notes by Mat Smith with a a limited run of 2000 packs coming with bonus postcards for those die hard Erasure fans to snap up with early advance pre-orders! “Chorus” kicks off in fine style with the lead single and title track with its memorable lines like “Go ahead with your dreamin'” and “your schemin'” and something about the fishes in the sea! The production of this album was down to Martyn Phillips, who helped fashion a much more electro-synth kaleidoscope of various bleeps and overlapping blinks, the fourth Erasure album in succession that a different producer had been used.
“Waiting For The Day” is a gentle, harmless ditty with a very distinctive Yazoo sound and feel to it(!) “Joan” follows suit but with more playfulness and a wicked beat. The superb and sublime “Breath Of Life” grows and grows to the middle-eight, which is a riot of synths and noises all perfectly complimenting each other and playing havoc with the ear and mind as Andy lifts his voice longer and stronger with his promise of “coming back for more”. The creepy and subdued “Am I Right?” takes the tone down but equally classy and thought-provoking. Fan favourite and live favourite “Love To Hate You” is more early-80’s style electro pop and yet it felt so fresh in 1991. This is one of those Erasure songs that you know word for word and are able to quote without fail at any concert where this is played. “Turns The Love To Anger” is another beautiful track that could so well of been a single and another example of building each layer of the song as it progresses to heighten the pleasure and addiction of this number.
“Siren Song” is almost “Chorus” part two taking up with the ‘siren’ that opens the track, although this song is much more laid back and in the style of “Am I Right?” with glorious and angelic keyboard notes played throughout. “Perfect Stranger” takes the tempo back up again with it’s plinky-plonky soundtrack. One thing strikes you with the latter half of this album, that it’s very minimal and understated compared with the likes of “Chorus” and “Breath of Life” and the last track, “Home”, demonstrates this yet again. Just a beat and a few bleeps are all that’s needed to envelope Andy’s low key vocal as he closes the album, repeating “bringing the world to its feet” over and over. “Chorus” follows in the footsteps of Erasure and BMG’s expanded, deluxe editions of previous albums and is definitely one to add to a complete collection of Erasure hit albums with all the B sides and the live tracks from this era in their career, celebrating a time when, apart from the Pet Shop Boys, there was no other peer to Britain’s top and best selling electro-synth-pop acts on the world stage. Viva!