Album #32: “Upstairs at Eric’s” — Yaz (1982)
Before Adele was even born, there was Allison Moyet. Before she went off on a successful solo career, Moyet was half of Yaz (or for the purists, Yazoo, as they were called in England), teaming up with Vince Clarke to create two of the best synthpop records ever, “Upstairs at Eric’s” and “You and Me Both.” Although they broke up after only two albums, Yaz continued to be an influence on bands for the next few decades — partially because of Clarke’s strong clean pop hooks, partially because Moyet’s stunning voice, but mostly because they were not afraid to experiment. “Upstais at Eric’s” swings from the club-friendly “Situation” to the suicide-friendly “Winter Kills.” Yaz’s range is best captured by it’s two extremes, the love song “Only You” and the WTF of “I before E except after C”:
That last number comes closest to what the the inside of my head sounds like, which is why I’m still in love with it 30 years later.