Erasure are 30 years old this year and to celebrate that the band have released a new Best of compilation called Always - The Very Best Of Erasure. Available through Mute, the album is available digitally and on single cd and 3 cd formats. If you're a fan of British pop music then most, if not all, of the songs on the standard release will be familiar to you and will immediately bring a smile to your face. I've been a fan of the band since The Circus and listening to the main cd over the last couple of days has been a joy. It is simply impossible to find fault with the likes of Oh L'Amour, Ship Of Fool, Blue Savannah, yet even songs that good cower in the shadows of A Little Respect, Drama!, Chorus and Love To Hate You which are simply four of the greatest songs ever recorded. Like many other songs I love, A Little Respect thrills me every time I hear it and that will never change. One pleasing aspect of this collection is the inclusion of latter day classics Breathe and Elevation, both of which shows that Erasure can still more than cut it when it comes to electronic pop.
If, for some inexplicable reason you haven't heard it, you need to change that and, if you don't know anything about Erasure, then you need to get the standard cd version of Always - The Very Best Of Erasure as it's as good an introduction to the band as you could get.
Enough of the standard version however as the deluxe 3cd version is far too intriguing a prospect to ignore. Over the additional two cds you'll find 23 remixes, some of them landmark classics and some of them brand new. Of the brand new mixes, two stand out. The Circus (Eternal Eraser Mix by Grumbling Fur) takes the original work theme of the original (the closest Erasure ever came to Industrial - think Depeche Mode's Construction Time Again without the metal) and turns it into a tense, rhythmic track which works splendidly. The second new mix to look out for is Chains Of Love (Vince Clarke Remix) in which Vince turns the original into a dancefloor friendly, electro remix that is quite marvelous. It's similar to the live version from The Violet Flame tour and also has echoes of Vince's outstanding Behind The Wheel remix for the last Depeche Mode remix project.
ERASURE - The Circus (Grumbling Fur Eternal Eraser Mix) from erasureinfo on Vimeo.
It's likely that most Erasure fans will be familiar with the older remixes that feature here. The likes of Drama! (Krucial Mix), Chorus (Vegan Mix) and You Surround Me (Mark Saunders Remix) are all worth hearing again and again and it's a real treat to be reminded of classics like this. Like the songs on the main cd, hearing these remixes transports me back years and I can remember hearing for the first time. The remix of Chorus for example featured originally on the limited edition 12" and cd single for Am I Right? and I still recall seeing an advert for that in Melody Maker on a Saturday morning in Castle Douglas and going straight into Barnstorm in Dumfries to pick up the 12".
Ultimately, Erasure have been with most of us for so long that the vast majority of this album will be familiar and will stir many memories. Some people may have lost touch with them over the years and some people might never have heard them. As a way of reacquainting or introducing yourself to one of the most important bands Britain has produced, Always - The Very Best Of Erasure is a great place to start.
Always - The Very Best Of Erasure is out now and is available through Mute Records on 1 cd, deluxe 3 cd and download
Erasure Official http://www.erasureinfo.com/