Erasure - Wild DeLuxe

Erasure - Wild DeLuxeErasure – Wild! Deluxe Edition (Mute/BMG)

2 x CD

29 March 2019

Legendary British synthpop duo re-package their 1989 album. Louder Than War’s Paul Scott-Bates reviews.

Following on from the pop-stomp of debut album Wonderland and the subsequent pop onslaught of The Circus and The Innocents, Erasure released their fourth long player in October 1989 to continue the claim of being one of the most popular artists of the late 80s-early 90s. With Wild! came a more sophisticated sound with more complex arrangements, the second of what would be four consecutive number one albums in the UK.

Selling over 600,000 copies and achieving double platinum status, Wild! was produced by Gareth Jones (Depeche Mode, Einstürzende Neubauten, Nick Cave) and Mark Saunders (The Cure, Tricky, Neneh Cherry) and contained four top 20 singles following on from their number 23 success, with Stop! arguably one of the finest pop songs of the last fifty years.

Beginning with a minute long instrumental version of album closer Piano Song, the album set up a grandiose entrance which was followed by the albums highest charting single Blue Savannah. Still a live favourite to this date, it was signature Erasure with sweeping piano, faux strings and crisp synth effects with a wonderfully uplifting feel.

The albums opening single, Drama!, stormed to into the UK top 5 and cemented the duo’s dominance on the chart. Starting with a subtle keyboard intro and subdued vocals from Andy Bell, it soon proceeded to one of the most complicated arrangements to hit the airwaves, becoming a startling dancefloor anthem. The multi-layered Bell vocals were an incredible performance from the singer, and the group shout of “Guilty” was added to by Jim and William Reid (The Jesus Mary Chain) who were recording in a next door studio.

In amongst the high paced tracks of Wild! there is also time for some slower tracks to break the chaos – How Many Times, the album’s second single You Surround Me, and Crown Of Thorns – all of which mingle perfectly into the genius wizardry of Vince Clarke, and his extricable melody talents. It is probably on tracks like La Gloria and Brother And Sister that we see the true range of Bell’s vocals in some positively exciting performances.

The success of the album prompted the release of a fourth single in Star, a high powered out-and-out pop song whose lyric gave way to the title of the retrospective box set From Moscow To Mars and tickled the UK top 10 from the safety of the number eleven spot. There were other tracks, namely 2,000 Miles, that could have stretched to a fifth.

Of course, no deluxe edition would be complete without a disc of bonus features and Wild! is no exception, with thirteen extra tracks (including five previously unreleased) comprising remixes, new mixes and live versions: the incredible Drama! (Act 2) and (almost) instrumental Sweet Sweet Baby (The Moo-Moo Mix) from the Drama!12” single, here together with Piano Song (premiered by Louder Than War here) and Brother And Sister, which were both recorded at the London Arena in December 1989. There’s also a huge treat in the Daniel Miller/Phil Legg remix of Cerrone’s Supernature, which appeared on the Extra Limited Edition 12” of You Surround Me along with the Gareth Jones Mix of the single from the same disc.

A brand new mix of Drama! by Richard Norris of The Grid and the Alternative Mix of How Many Times completes the brand new listening, and the experimental 91 Steps (6 Pianos Mix) ends a fascinating disc.

Wild! has stood the test of time as a brilliant pop album and, now updated with additional sought after material, becomes indispensable to all pop fans.

The Erasure website is here: ersaureinfo.com. You can follow them on Twitter as @erasureinfo and Like on Facebook.

All words by Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. Paul’s website is hiapop and you can follow him on Twitter as @hiapop, and on Facebook here.

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Born and bred in Lancashire, currently residing in the Rossendale Valley. Father, Husband, Blogger, home-brewer, poet, chicken-keeper, tweeter - @hiapop. Keen to be green. Childhood ambitions to be a pop-star thwarted due to being unable to sing. Instead, began listening to music of every type. Everything deserves one listen, but, not necessarily a second. Only (ex-Community) DJ to ever play Nat ‘King’Cole followed by Nine Inch Nails, and, eat Fish and Chips live on air. Helping to Save Radio Lancashire’s On The Wire from the BBC cuts – Twitter @SaveOnTheWire. Blogs at http://www.hiapop.com

1 COMMENT

  1. Being the obsessive Erasure fan who already has most all of this material, it was the promise of the ‘remaster’ of the original album and the ‘exclusive’ content of the second disc that reeled me in. I pre-ordered, hoping I’d get a signed copy (I didn’t.) The best thing I can say about disc one is that it’s not brick walled. Having been recorded with digital synths onto digital tape, it still has the very sharp, crisp and dry sound it had before. I supposed I expected the bass sounds to a little warmer, but they don’t, because they never did. The second disc is the real let down. The opening Moo-Moo mix of “Sweet Sweet Baby’ has a very distinct hiss and an almost mono rather than stereo sound to it. The version on the Erasure Box Sets of the singles sounded better – thankfully I still those. A few of the tracks that are listed as ‘Previously Unreleased’ are actually NOT unreleased – they appear on promo discs from 1989-1990. They’re just here in their original (not vinyl-ripped) versions. So what’s missing..? The entire set of Shep Pettibone’s promo mixes of ‘Blue Savannah’ (the dub and single edits called “Out of the Blue” that we STILL can’t get on CD.) The room on disc 2 is instead taken up with non-essential live recordings of a few of the album cuts. I’d honestly rather have new remixes of those (like the new Richard Morris mix of ‘Drama!’) than live recordings. I’ve been to enough Erasure concerts to know that they are VERY hit and miss as far as the quality of not only the performance but the recording as well. Considering I was never a huge fan of the ‘Wild!’ album itself when it was released ( I liked the remixes and b-sides of the singles much better) I can give this ‘Deluxe Reissue’ a 7/10.

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