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Union Street Enhanced

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 18 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced
  • Label: EMI Music Canada
  • ASIN: B000ERU5OA
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #106,865 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Boy (from the album Cowboy)
2. Piano Song (from the album Wild!)
3. Stay With Me (from the album Erasure)
4. Spiralling (from the album Circus)
5. Home (from the album Chorus)
6. Tenderest Moments (Run to the Sun b-side)
7. Alien (from the album Loveboat)
8. Blues Away (from the album I Say I Say I Say)
9. How Many Times (from the album Wild!)
10. Love Affair (from the album Cowboy)
11. Rock Me Gently (from the album Erasure)

Product Description

Product Description

ERASURE - ACOUSTIC! Union Street sees Erasure - the duo of Andy Bell & Vince Clarke - reworking classic tracks from throughout their incredible 20 year career, which has spawned numerous Top 40 hits. Includes Boy, Home, Alien and more.

Erasure with dobro, mandolin, and steel guitar? Believe it. Union Street is the sound of the British synth-pop duo--Andy Bell and Vince Clarke--unplugged. The title comes from the Brooklyn studio in which they re-recorded 11 lesser-known tracks from throughout their career. Ten come from seven albums, while "Tenderest Moments" was a B-side. Designed more for slow dancing than disco dancing, this acoustic set puts the focus on the lyrics and Bell's ardent, yearning voice. Highlights include "Stay With Me," which is graced by a lovely flute solo, and the gospel-tinged "Rock Me Gently," with Jill Walsh providing heavenly counterpoint (both from 1995's Erasure). "Blues Away" (1994's I Say I Say I Say), however, would've worked better without the falsetto, while "How Many Times" (1989's Wild!), ironically, would've worked better in a higher register (Bell is at his best in his natural range). Overall, though, Erasure make this unexpected departure work. If the songs weren't strong enough to begin with, it wouldn't have been worth the effort, but they withstand the changes Bell and Clarke have have put them through quite nicely. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa60e3e28) out of 5 stars 41 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa60ec588) out of 5 stars Erasure - Unplugged. May 2 2006
By The Groove - Published on
Format: Audio CD
You can do yourself a big favor by ignoring many of the negative reviews of Erasure's acoustic LP. Everyone, from Nirvana to Jay-Z, has given their back catalogue of songs the "unplugged" treatment, so why not Erasure? On "Union Street" (named after the Brooklyn location of the recording studio), Vince Clarke and Andy Bell give a handful of tracks an acoustic/country & western feel, but instead of opting for their hits, they dig deep into lesser-known album cuts and b-sides. The results are convincing and effective, as shown on "Boy," "Siren Song," the b-side "Tenderest Moments," and "Blues Away." "Union Street" proves that Erasure's songwriting and craft for melody stand tall even when you strip their songs of their synth-heavy production.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5fd5984) out of 5 stars Just How Far is Union Street From the 59th Street Bridge?? June 19 2006
By ELECTROSAUR - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Pieces of this really did evoke a "Simon and Garfunkel" feeling in me.

Almost all of the songs took the 'treatment" well, the total standout for me was "Tenderest Moments"; simply beautiful,perfect, and touching.

Overall this was beautifully executed, I feel sorry for the naysayers who just can't get it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5fa6c18) out of 5 stars It's More Than Fundamental To Be In The Union Street On 2.006! (Please, Forget About The Critics!) May 7 2006
By F. Santos - Published on
Format: Audio CD
On reading all those negative reviews specially dedicated to this album, I was sincerely shocked, after all it represents to me the definitive slap on all Erasure's knockers... Anyway I'm not so surprised with those commments, since Erasure have been target for jokes since the beginning of their career... But what makes me feel really bothered is to read critics that accuse Erasure of recording the same album every time. What a lie! A pop duo who dared to record such a different albums just like the self-titled or Loveboat or even this last one cannot be accused of repeating themselves. In addition Clarke & Bell aren't worried in following musical trends for conquering new fans indeed. Actually, Erasure's fans know that what makes a good *pop* song is basically good lyrics + good melody and not its position in musical charts, which are basically occupied by artificial and disposable ones. And Erasure own many, many songs that own those two qualities! Well, but let's talk about what really matters here: Union Street is an extremely BEAUTIFUL album and I'm not exaggerating at all! Besides it really owns just gorgeous (and practically ignored) ballads from Clarke & Bell, exception for "How Many Times?", which is just good at my opinion. All the other 10 songs present in this (AMAZING) compilation were very well-chosen. But Erasure own many other underrated ballads that could be perfectly put on this (SUPERB) work, such as: "Witch In The Ditch" & "Hallowed Ground" from Innocents, or "Turns The Love To Anger" and "Siren Song" from Chorus, or "Take Me Back" & "All Through The Years" from I Say (x3), or "Grace" & "A Long Goodbye" from the self-titled, or yet "Surreal" & "Where In The World", both ones from the largely disliked Loveboat, but nothing prevents Erasure from performing all these other ones on The (SENSATIONAL) Acoustic Tour. Regarding the fact this one is totally acoustic, I must confess that I was really worried about how Union Street would sound, but this fear has disappeared as soon as I heard it at the first time! And I almost cried when I did it since all the songs are so well-sung and well-played here. It's really amazing to discover again how great all those songs are. I mean they are all the same ones, but the acoustic instruments gave to them a new chance for being properly enjoyed. In short, Erasure have proved one more time they are far from being a disposable dance-pop band, since Andy's voice has never sounded so beautiful as on this one and Vince could get here a great opportunity for showing he is a brilliant musician (not only a brilliant keyboarder) on creating wonderful acoustic arrangements for all the songs (of course together with the rest of the great team responsible for this REMARKABLE album). By the way, hey, Erasure's haters, don't worry, Erasure will continue to make great records despite all yours bad vibes, after all V&A have flown so high with their talents that your hate will never get them! So if you are looking for some good music to listen to on this year (and on the next years too), it's more than fundamental to go to this Union Street to enjoy great moments of the most perfect musical pleasure.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa652e138) out of 5 stars Re-Union Street....together this time! April 22 2006
By Mael Man - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Erasure fans can often be divided into - please pardon the expression - two camps. The first camp likes to see them experiment and break new ground such as on their self-titled album or Loveboat while the second camp prefers they play it safe and stick to the synthpop formula they've been known for the last twenty-plus years. As you many have guessed, Union Street, with its acoustic reinterpretations of earlier songs, is clearly aimed towards the former group.

Like most Erasure fans I do not listen to acoustic music very often, so I was pleasantly surprised at what I heard. Vince and Andy have indeed proven that great songs work with any type of instrumentation. And unlike what a previous reviewer said, they did not make obvious choices for the album. Obvious choices would have been hit singles, not obscure album tracks and a b-side.

The backings are sometimes a bit sparse, as on "Spiralling", but I think this only showcases Andy's heavenly choirboy voice. Afterall, with Vince playing guitar on only track (he does co-produce as well), this is more of an Andy album. His voice is as smooth as ever, never delving into wild histrionics like so many younger singers do. Although he sings in a lower register on "Tenderest Moments", he proves he still has that remarkable falsetto on "Blues Away".

The highlight on the album is "Stay With Me". The backing woodwinds give you that spine-tingling feeling that only Erasure songs seem to do. It is simply the most beautiful song written this side of "God Only Knows". "Rock Me Gently", also originally from their self-titled masterpiece, is another standout with its new backing vocal arrangements. It makes a wonderful closer even if it does lack the country-esque vibe of the rest of the album. The only skippable track on the album is "Love Affair", which was never one of their better songs to begin with.

So Erasure fans, look at this album for what it is - a showcase for two of the greatest and most underrated songwriters the world has ever known. While we may all still prefer their electronic counterparts, these new reinterpretations offer a nice fresh look at some old favorites.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5ee5b4c) out of 5 stars Strip-Tease April 21 2006
By Steven Housman - Published on
Format: Audio CD
The dynamic duo of Vince Clark and Andy Bell return with Union Street - a disc that is a departure from anything they've ever recorded. To look at the track listing, you'd think this was a repackaged album of previously released material. That is until you take a listen to the first track, "Boy," and realize that this might be the same song they recorded back in 1997 from their Cowboy album, but this "Boy" is not that "Boy" at all. Get the picture? This disc is filled with album tracks that date back as far as the eighties, and they've all had a country-acoustic facelift. When Andy was confronted about this familiar material with a country twist, he joked, "We're going to be the first band ever to cross over from pop to country." He even kidded that they would like to play The Grand Old Opry. To tell you the truth, I don't think he was joking. Judging from the fantastic fresh sound on this album, with carefully selected backtracks such as "Piano Song," "Home," "Love Affair," "Rock Me Gently" and seven more, it makes me feel that Andy took in more than a few screenings of Brokeback Mountain. If the popular TV show, Extreme Makeover had a slot for music, this album would certainly take top honors. Andy explains, "We wanted to show the songs in a different light, and to show that they could work on any instrument, synthesizer or guitar." Vince chimed in "We just felt there were songs on our albums that had been missed as songs." I agree. With most people downloading the "popular" songs to their ipods and ringtones for their cell phones, this was a brilliant concept album to represent the songs that deserve attention that may have been lost on past "hits" collections. And what better way than presenting them in a completely new setting? It will be interesting to see how Union Street is accepted by the public, especially for longtime fans of the pop-electro sound that put Erasure on the map. If anything, this album should not only please those longtime fans, but probably add a few new ones. This is one minimalist album that deserves major attention!