Upstairs at Eric’s is the debut album by Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet’s band Yazoo (known in the US and Canada as Yaz), released on Mute Records on 20 August 1982. Produced by the band and “Eric” E.C. Radcliffe, with assistance from Mute label boss Daniel Miller on some of the tracks. Named after producer Radcliffe’s Blackwing Studios where the album was recorded, Upstairs at Eric’s was preceded by two top three UK singles, the ballad “Only You” and the more uptempo “”Don’t Go”. The singles’ success helped Upstairs at Eric’s reach number 2 in the UK Albums Chart and gain platinum certification for 300,000 copies sold in the UK.
Against the group’s wishes, “Situation”, originally the B-side of “Only You” in the UK and Europe – with “Situation” becoming a dance floor smash hit and “Only You” becoming one of Vince Clarke’s greatest and most familiar songs, next to Depeche Mode’s “Just Can’t Get Enough.”
I was lent “Upstairs at Eric’s” cassette tape of this album on a tour bus in 1988 – a few years after Yaz had split and Vince Clarke started Erasure with Andy Bell. Upon hearing the catchy synth lines and soulful gut belting sound of Alison Moyet, this album was played over and over again. Moreover, having bought the CD in the early 1990s it was on heavy rotation picking up scratches and baked in the dashboard CD player.
Upstairs at Eric’s still sounds fresh, soulful and futuristic in the 2000s.