Saturday, October 29, 2022

"Stop!" by Erasure

Song#:  3966
Date:  07/22/1989
Debut:  97
Peak:  97
Weeks:  2
Genre:  Synthpop, Dance-Pop, Hi-NRG

Pop Bits:  This British duo broke through in the US with their third album, 1988's The Innocents. It would reach #49 and eventually go platinum thanks to a pair of Pop Top 20 hits including the #12 "Chains of Love." The album had been a big #1 back home in the UK earlier in '88, but it didn't get released in the US until later in the year. With success had on both shores, their next album would be released simultaneously in the territories. However, this would cause an extended lag time between albums in the UK, so in order to keep momentum going, an EP for four new tracks titled Crackers International was released in the UK near the end of '88. Chart rules in the UK regarding EPs were different from those in the US. In the UK, an EP was considered a single whereas in the US it was considered an album. Therefore, in the UK, Crackers International would be eligible for the singles chart and it would be a hit getting to #2.  For its US release following the late success of The Innocents, two remixes were added to the EP and then this first single was issue out. It would do well in clubs and get to #4 on the Dance chart while making it to #19 Modern Rock. On the Pop chart, it wouldn't get anywhere spending a short couple of weeks at the bottom. Still, the EP was able to get to #73 on the Album chart.

ReduxReview:  I dunno what happened here. Why this didn't become a hit is beyond me. Energetic and catchy as hell, the tune should have caught on and kept their Top 20 streak alive. The verse is a riff on a basic 12-bar blues structure, which gave it a bit of a soulful feel. Then the chorus hits with a big "Stop!" followed by a hooky melody. It was such a joyous tune and I found it hard to ignore and get out of my head. For whatever reason, it just didn't find an audience on pop radio and the single tanked. Perhaps it just didn't fit in with the hair metal and new jack swing of the day. What a bummer. For me, it certainly ranks among the best tunes from the duo. Another track on the EP, the holiday themed "She Won't Be Home" is another terrific track that should have gotten more attention.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  By the fall of '89, the territories were in sync and would both get Erasure's next LP, Wild!, around the same time. Its first single, "Drama!," would once again do well at Dance (#10) and Modern Rock (#11). However, it would completely miss the Pop chart as would further singles from the LP. Still, thanks in part to a second Dance Top 10, the #4 "Star," the LP would reach #57. While the title track to their 1991 album Chorus would finally get them back on the Pop chart at a minor #83 (#14 Dance/#4 Modern Rock), they would earn one more Pop Top 20 hit with 1994's "Always." It would reach #20 Pop/#6 Dance/#6 Modern Rock. The hit would help the album, I Say, I Say, I Say, become their highest peaking on the US Pop chart at #18. The pair would continue to record over the years with the majority of their albums making the US chart.


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