Vince Clarke (Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Erasure)

Best known for being a member of the bands Depeche Mode, Yazoo, The Assembly, Erasure, and VCMG, the English singer-songwriter, musician, producer and Synthpop pioneer Vince Clarke was Born 3 July 1960. Clarke’s music career started in the-1970s, When he and schoolmate Andy Fletcher formed the short-lived band No Romance in China. In 1979, he teamed up with Robert Marlow & Martin Gore to form French Look. Next he formed the band Composition of Sound, in 1980 with Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher, providing vocals until singer Dave Gahan joined the band, which was then renamed Depeche Mode. At that time, he adopted the stage-name by which he is currently known: Vince Clarke. The band initially adopted a slick synthesised electro-pop sound, which produced the album Speak and Spell and the Clarke-penned singles “Dreaming of Me”, “New Life” and “Just Can’t Get Enough” in 1981.

Clarke left Depeche Mode shortly after. Clarke then teamed up with singer Alison Moyet (at the time known by the nickname of ‘Alf’) to form Yazoo (known as Yaz in the U.S.), and released the songs “Only You”, “Don’t Go”, “Situation”, “The Other Side of Love”, “Nobody’s Diary” and “Walk Away from Love”.Yazoo split in 1983, and Moyet went on to have a successful solo career. Yazoo reformed in 2008 for a series of live dates to celebrate 25 years since the duo’s split. Then In 1983 Clarke teamed up with Eric Radcliffe to form The Assembly, performing with many different artists including singer Feargal Sharkey on the song“Never Never”. He also founded the label Reset Records with Eric Radcliffe and produced four singles “The Face of Dorian Gray” “I Just Want to Dance”, “Claudette” and “Calling All Destroyers” for his friend Robert Marlow. an album called the Peter Pan Effect was eventually released in 1999. In 1985, Clarke collaborated with Paul Quinn of Bourgie Bourgie, on the single “One Day”

Vince Clarke teamed up with Andy Bell to form Erasure After placing an advert in Melody Maker for a singer. Erasure’s first three singles were commercial failures in the UK, although the third, “Oh L’amour”,was a hit and Their debut album, Wonderland, was released in June 1986 Followed by their fourth single, “Sometimes” which became another hit. Erasures ‘s next album The Circus was released in 1987 containing thE hit singles: “It Doesn’t Have To Be”, “Victim of Love” and “The Circus”. Erasure’s third album, The Innocents, was released in April 1988. Containing the singles “Ship of Fools”,”Chains of Love” and “A Little Respect”. This was follwed by , the Crackers International EP, containing the song “Stop!”, and The albums Wild! (1989) and Chorus (1991). In 1992 they released another EP, Abba-esque, covering four ABBA hits, and featuring avideo of the duo dressed in ABBA outfits, Erasure also contributed the song “Too Darn Hot” to the Cole Porter tribute album Red Hot + Blue produced by the Red Hot Organization. In 1992, a singles compilation, Pop! – the First 20 Hits, was released.In 1994, Erasure released the albu, I Say I Say I Say containing the songs, “Always”, “Run to the Sun” And “I Love Saturday”. The next album Erasure marked a determined shift away from Erasure’s signature three-minute synthpop to a more introspective and experimental sound. This featured the songS “Stay With Me”,”Fingers & Thumbs” and a remixed version of “Rock Me Gently”. In 1997 they released the album Cowboy featuring the songs “In My Arms”,”Don’t Say Your Love Is Killing Me” and “Rain”.

In 2000, Erasure released their ninth studio album Loveboat, featuring the song “Freedom”, In 2001 they released a limited EP “Moon & the Sky” containing new versions of the title song, a cover of the song “Baby Love” and some acoustic versions of Loveboat songs. In 2003 Erasure released Other People’s Songs, featuring covers of Peter Gabriel’s song “Solsbury Hill” and Steve Harley’s “Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)”. In 2003 a new best-of compilation was released, called Hits! The Very Best of Erasure featuring a new version of  “Oh L’amour”. In 2005 Erasure Released the album featuring the songs, “Breathe” and “Don’t Say You Love Me” and double A-side, features new versions of “Here I Go Impossible Again”/”All This Time Still Falling Out of Love”. In 2007 Erasure released the album Light at the end of the World featuring the songs “I Could Fall in Love with You”, “Sunday Girl”. The Storm Chaser EP was also released featuring an exclusive B-side “Early Bird”, a duet with Cyndi Lauper. In 2009 Total Pop! The First 40 Hits, a collection of Erasure’s first 40 hits plus a new remix of “Always” by Jeremy Wheatley, was released Erasure also released a six-track EP of classic remixes entitled Erasure.Club and To celebrate 21 years since its release, the album The Innocents was also remastered and re-released Andy Bell also released his second studio album, Non-Stop, on 7 June 2010.

Erasure’s next album Tomorrow’s World was released in 2011 featuring the songs “When I Start To (Break It All Down)”  “Be with You” and “Fill Us with Fire”. Erasure also toured internationally in 2011 visiting Russia, Ukraine, and South America including two shows in Buenos Aires. In 2013, Erasure released the holiday album, Snow Globe featuring a cover of the 1973 Steeleye Span track “Gaudete”. In 2014 Erasure released, The Violet Flame and In 2015, Erasure released an updated version of “Sometimes” to celebrate their 30 years in the music industry plus a new compilation album entitled Always: The Very Best of Erasure. They also released an anthology box set entitled From Moscow To Mars to mark their 30th anniversary  Erasure’s seventeenth studio album World Be Gone is released in 2017 featuring “Love you to the Sky”. Erasure also headlined at Glasgow’s O2 Academy, Manchester’s Albert Hall and London’s Roundhouse and embarked on a four-month European tour as special guests of Robbie Williams.


Vince Clarke has also collaborated with Stephen Luscombe of Blancmange, Pandit Dinesh and Asha Bhosle. The group, West India Company, released a four track, self-titled EP. He also worked with synthpop producer Martyn Ware (Heaven 17, The Human League) in 1999 as “The Clarke & Ware Experiment” and released the album Pretentious. The duo collaborated again in 2001 for the album Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle. Clarke also wrote “Let’s Get Together” for the pop girl group Girl Authority for their second album, Road Trip and co-wrote “What Do I Want From You?” withFreeform Five, for their album Strangest Things.

In 2001, Clarke founded Illustrious Co. Ltd. with Martyn Ware, to create new forms of spatialised sound composition using their unique 3D AudioScape system For use by artists, educational establishments, the performing arts, live events, corporate clients and educational settings round the world. In 2004, Clarke provided additional music for an episode of Johnny Bravo entitled “The Time of My Life”. Clarke was also involved in a project called Family Fantastic who released the album Nice! And released a second album, entitled Wonderful in 2009, Clarke was awarded by an “Outstanding Song Collection” prize, during the Ivor Novello Awards ceremony, in recognition of 30 years in the music industry and was also featured in the BBC Four documentary Synth Britannia.

In 2012 Clarke collaborated with his former Depeche Mode colleague Martin Gore for the first time since 1981 as techno duo VCMG on an instrumental minimalist electronic dance album called Ssss, containing the songs Spock, Single Blip and Aftermaths In 2012, Vince collaborated with the band The Good Natured on a track called “Ghost Train”, and also produced a cover of the Depeche Mode song “Fly On The Windscreen” featuring Ane Brun.

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