Erasure Union Street

Along with Depeche Mode and the Pet Shop Boys, Erasure are one of those rare electronic pop bands whose careers launched in the ’80s, yet managed to stay relevant today. Well established as legends of bubblegum pop, the duo of Vince Clarke and Andy Bell have mostly been off the musical radar outside of the gay community, even though they have continued to release excellent albums over the years. Union Street will come as quite a shock to many casual fans, as this is an "unplugged” album of songs spanning their entire career. Given that the majority of Erasure’s songs were written with Clarke on the guitar and not a synthesiser, it’s not surprising that these interpretations sound so natural. Staying mostly true to their original form, these acoustic versions benefit from some nice touches like pedal steel, slide guitar and smooth production from Steve Walsh, who recorded the album in Brooklyn. Clarke and Bell have resurrected 11 songs dating as far back as "Spiralling” from their 1986 release The Circus. But if you are hoping for recognisable Erasure hits, you will be disappointed. Instead, they have primarily focused on personal favourites, album tracks and B-sides that they felt needed some additional time in the spotlight. For long-time fans however, this album will be a real treat. (Mute)