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Yazoo are releasing a four-vinyl (or three-CD) compendium of their brief career, with remixes and BBC radio sessions

Vince Clarke pulls a can of Modelo out of a well-stocked fridge in the lavish backstage surroundings of Los Angeles’ Wiltern Theatre. In just a few hours, he and his Erasure partner, Andy Bell, are due to perform the second of four sold-out shows to an audience of nearly 2,000. These will be the last dates of a global tour that’s lasted the entire year, as well as the culmination of an exceptionally busy period in the band’s career, one which has delivered two contrasting but intertwined releases – World Be Gone and World Beyond – as well as a live album, World Be Live. No wonder he spent the day before with his wife and son at the beach.

Such an occasion, however, is a strange time to discuss Yazoo, the shortlived band Clarke formed with singer Alison Moyet in late 1981, soon after his departure from Depeche Mode, who’d just released their Top 10 debut album, 1981’s Speak & Spell. Quite apart from the fact Clarke will soon be soaking up the adulation he and Bell have earned over nearly 20 albums, the synth maestro isn’t one for looking back. Whether or not a four-disc vinyl set of Yazoo’s two albums, Four Pieces, accompanied by their long-coveted BBC Radio sessions, is on the horizon, Clarke prefers to dwell in the present. “My life isn’t Yazoo,” he states firmly, though amicably. “My life isn’t Depeche. It’s what I do now, and it has been for 33 years.”

Clarke has further reason for not being especially excited by the prospect of dredging up the past. For both him and Moyet, the 18-month spell during which they worked together was not notable for its contentment. Furthermore, a decade ago – having barely spoken during the intervening years – Yazoo at last reunited, putting to rest many of the ghosts that still hovered over their band’s prematurely deceased corpse. They’d split on the eve of the release of 1983’s You And Me Both, only their second album, and yet there they were in 2008, finally playing its songs across Europe and the United States. They even reformed again in 2011, albeit briefly, performing three songs at London’s Roundhouse as part of Short Circuit, a celebration of their label, Mute Records. Having made this surprise appearance, however, it looked like closure had been achieved. Job done. Show’s over. Mission accomplished.

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About Classic Pop

Issue 46 of Classic Pop magazine is on sale now! In the latest issue we have an exclusive chat with the new line-up of Spandau Ballet – their first major group interview as they relaunch themselves with new frontman Ross William Wild. We also have a must-read interview with Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet who look back on their fractious past life in Yazoo. The legends just keep on coming, too, as we speak to Nile Rodgers about his 40 years of classic tracks as a billion-dollar hitmaker and Chic's hotly-anticipated new album, It's About Time. Elsewhere, we look back at the 80s heyday of Top Of The Pops through the eyes of those who were there – DJ Janice Long and a whole host of TV insiders. Our classic album is the Stone Roses' imperious debut and we also meet Stephen Hague, the producer behind hits by Pet Shop Boys, New Order, Robbie Williams and many more besides. Need a buyer's guide to Michael Jackson? We look at the King of Pop's complete career in our Lowdown feature. As we delve into David Bowie's 80s boxset Loving The Alien, Classic Pop catches up with his closest collaborators who tell us how the legend's most divisive decade made him a global star. New albums from Boy George And Culture Club, Chic, Robyn, and The Prodigy get the once-over alongside reissues including OMD, Bronski Beat, Ultravox, The Police and Massive Attack. We also review Soft Cell's celebratory farewell O2 show plus Kylie Minogue's Golden Tour and more.. Enjoy the issue! Steve