[6] Depeche Mode, ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’

Depeche Mode

Junior’s searing assessment of Vince Clarke’s last Depeche Mode hurrah was “Baaa” – which at least makes the sentence rhyme. I pressed further, asking if she actually liked it, and was hit with the hammer blow: “No. I like The Beatles and Girls Aloud.” So we’re closing the blog.

Before I go, I’ll make some grand claims about this irrepressible little number being the Essex root of Detroit techno, and mention how Vince left the band after penning it because he didn’t like the direction they were headed in. Presumably he’d seen Martin Gore’s leather skirt. As he wavered at the door he wondered if they’d like to record his new tune ‘Only You’, but – for better or worse – we were spared Dave Gahan attempting to emote on us. It would’ve been funny at least.

Dear me: I almost forgot The Saturdays, when the poor girls have got at least another couple of months in the public conscious. It’s a breathtakingly faithful cover, somehow tinnier than the original and all for good causes. Will that do?

Slippin’ and slidin’:

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[2] Yazoo, ‘Only You’

More humanity in machines. Even Alf’s nasal, masculine drone finds some emotion, tripping over itself in the later lines, cracking and interrupting itself. It’s a great performance; she finds more rhythm in her tone as the song goes on and Vince ups the tempo as all the feeling comes pouring out. Gives Junior’s old dad a bit of, erm, hayfever.

The girl herself raises her arms in the air and sways them from side to side. This is a reaction I haven’t seen, more typical of Rod Stewart fan during ‘Sailing’ or a Foreigner fan during, well, anything. Junior’s calling ‘Only You’ a soft rock ballad. Hmm. Swap the synths for power chords, and what have you got?

Right. Depeche Mode, Yazoo, the Assembly, Erasure, countless productions/remixes: where’s Vince’s Outstanding Contribution Brit? Sign my petition now.

[7] Erasure, ‘Drama!’

Erasure

We had The Beatles in 65/66, ABBA in 76/77 and Blondie in 79/80. Top singles bands captured at the very peak of their powers. Erasure were showing this kind of form at the back end of the 80s, unable to stem the flow of startlingly good pop songs. ‘Drama!’ doesn’t even have a CHORUS, not really, but it’s no-sweat Top 10 gold dust.

And I’m nothing if not a sucker for sparkly pop music with killer hooks, squelchy noises, shouts of “GUILTY!” at various pitches and legions of battling synths – always have been. Junior’s going to go this way too, if I have to frogmarch her. She looked pretty sanguine about the whole thing, anyway, her arms propelling her ceilingwards on Vince Clarke’s 303 skyrocket.

Ol’ Vince, eh? 80s pop’s ubiquitous eminence grise. His dread hand will appear twice more in this chart, actual and implied. Oooooo.