YAZ


Yaz was a short-lived but quite successful synth-dance duo from the early ’80s. Comprised of synthesizer player Vince Clarke and singer Alison Moyet, the group (known as Yazoo in Europe) formed in 1981, after Clarke left Depeche Mode (Clarke had penned almost all of Depeche Mode’s debut album, Speak & Spell, including their early dancefloor hit “I just can’t get enough”), and Moyet had recently exited an obscure R&B cover band, the Screamin’ Ab dabs.
The newly formed group scored a hit right off the bat with the single “Only You” b/w “Situation,” which hit number two on the U.K. charts in April of 1982, and shortly thereafter, scored another big hit with “Don’t Go” (which would become their best-known track stateside as its promo video enjoyed airtime on the newly formed MTV). Yaz’s commercial winning streak continued with their debut full-length, Upstairs At Eric’s, which hit number two on the U.K. album charts (eventually going platinum in England) and opened the door to countless other synth-dance bands that would soon follow in Yaz’s wake. But despite a promising career ahead of them, Yaz opted to call it a day after one more full-length recording, 1983’s You and Me Both. Moyet would go on to launch a solo career immediately after Yaz’s split (scoring a major hit with her solo debut, 1984’s Alf, which topped the charts and spawned several hit singles), while Clarke would go on to form another synth-based outfit, Erasure, with singer Andy Bell. Although Yaz issued only a pair of albums during a brief career together, a 15-track “hits” collection was assembled in 1999, The Best of Yaz.

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