Upstairs At Evil’s

Hop on.... it'll be a fun ride!

Hop on…. it’ll be a fun ride!

Did you spend another weekend without an earworm running through your brain?  That sucks.  Lucky for you it’s Monday, so The Nest has your next ear candy fix served up on a silver platter straight out of that musical mind control machine we like to call the Dusty Vinyl Archive!  DJ Scratchy’s ready to make you submit to another lost gem you’ll never be able to shake out of your head, while the Sponkies are on hand to laugh at the torture.  Get ready to turn off your brain…

dusty vinyl

If you’re from some part of the world that doesn’t consider itself part of North America, then chances are you’re already quite familiar with the band and song that has been selected to be a part of this week’s DVA post.  That doesn’t excuse you from getting to listen to the earworm, it just means we aren’t digging up anything you’d consider to be lost… so don’t go!

Nobody leaves until the fat lady sings!

Nobody leaves until the fat lady sings!

Yaz was a duet that was quite popular in the UK and the rest of Europe during the early 80’s….. huh, what’s that you say?  Yaz who?  Actually, Yazoo.  That was the true name of the British twosome formed by vocalist Alison Moyet and keyboardist Vince Clarke in 1981… however since there was apparently some entity on this side of the ocean called Yazoo Records, the group was forced to be known as just Yaz in the US and Canada.  All of this international confusion just because some small fish in the music industry had the name first….

I'm surprised this Yaz didn't force the group to just be called Y, or something liek that.

I’m surprised this Yaz didn’t force the group to just be called Y, or something like that.

Despite all of the success Yazoo/Yaz/Yazzy/Yoyo/Whatever had in the eastern hemisphere, they just couldn’t break into the US pop situation for anything.  They had some pretty big success on the dance charts, which was nice if you were old enough to go clubbing in the early 80’s.  But their lone Top 40 entry on a major US based Billboard chart was when “Situation” peaked at #31 on the…….. R&B chart!?!?  OK, Alison Moyet’s got the soulful voice, but Vince Clarke’s gotta be one of the strangest contributors to a bonafide R&B hit ever…

Who doesn't love that blue eyed, skinhead soul?

Who doesn’t love that blue eyed, skinhead soul?

Anywho, that’s about all they’re still known for in the US…. which is a shame, because its Upstairs At Eric’s album-mate “Don’t Go” is a much better song.  And shockingly, it didn’t register on any US chart at all.  What were we smoking at the time!?!?

Maybe it sounded too much like disco for American ears who seemed to be fed up with that 70’s fad.  Too bad, because this is awesome music to dance to or just bop your head back and forth to while you’re looking up record companies that nobody’s ever heard of before… whose biggest name artist happens to be an outfit called The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band.  Yazoo Records’ pride and joy is a three piece ensemble with a washboard player.  I am NOT MAKING THAT UP

OK.... maybe I need to start paying attention to Yazoo Records...

I smell another R&B hit in the making…

I’ll be back next Monday with another look into the frightening underbelly of independent labels, and maybe have another earworm as well…


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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25 Responses to Upstairs At Evil’s

  1. 1jaded1 says:

    Yay for Yaz! I wore out the cassette and CD. Loved this group.

  2. yes it is a disco-ish, but it is great anyway… the voice is super great…the beaver and the wreckingball should be green with envy… I love alyson :o)

  3. Yep – that’s disco alright……Alyson does have a voice – wonder if she moved on elsewhere or put that big fur coat away after her Yaz experience. The washboard sound just never had a chance did it……unless of course you remember it from the days when Granny used it to wash clothes that is!


  4. Bradley says:

    Having trouble with my audio/video again so I can’t listen. I’ll try later. You have me intrigued

  5. How fun! That was the perfect way to start toe-tapping on a snowy morning. Thanks for this week’s edition of ear worm via the 80’s!

  6. franhunne4u says:

    I am living in Europe (Germany) and when I look up the Wikipedia-article there are not too many singles listed. I remember All Cried Out and Weak In The Presence Of Beauty.

  7. So, like a moth drawn to the flame, Garry looks over, sees your page and said “Who’s writing about Yaz …” You. Of course, only you. And him. Baseball. It’s a thing.

  8. Merbear74 says:

    I though YAZ was a form of birth control?

  9. I kind of like the weirdness, but you’re right about it missing the crumpets and cream for the North American listeners.
    I’ll say this again so you can show it to your sisters or whatever, Evil Squirrel YOU ARE RIGHT. There is a little bit too much Disco in this. By this time my heart belonged to New Wave stuff.

  10. draliman says:

    It’s been years since I heard this, though it was played anywhere and everywhere back “in the day”.
    I didn’t know Alison Moyet was part of Yazoo though – I always thought of her a successful single artist from the olden days.

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