This list of songs is inspired by a list published by radio station, KEXP, from Seattle in 2010, as well as, the latest poll taken in 2021 by Rolling Stone Magazine. For the most part, I will faithfully countdown from their lists, from Song #500 to Song #1. So, when you see the song title listed as something like: “KEXP: Song #XXX”….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. “RS: Song XXX” means the song is coming from the Rolling Stone list. If I post the song title as being: “KTOM: Song #xxx”….it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In either case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Enough said! Let’s get on to today’s song.
KEXP: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.
Song #143: A Little Respect by Erasure.
It is a Friday, as I wrote these words so, let’s end the week off with one of the most uplifting, happy, positive and life-affirming songs of them all…”A Little Respect” by the band, Erasure!
Erasure is a synth-Pop band that enjoyed most of its success in the period from the mid-1980s until the mid-1990s. Erasure was, initially, the brainchild of one of Alternative Rock’s mythic figures, Vince Clarke. As you may recall from previous posts, Vince Clarke’s first foray into music came as keyboardist and chief lyricist for the band, “Depeche Mode”. After penning hits such as “Just Can’t Get Enough”, which helped launch Depeche Mode, Vince Clarke left the band and formed a very prolific partnership with singer, Alison Moyet, in the band, Yaz or Yazoo. After enjoying many hits with Moyet, Clarke broke out on his own and played in several local bands in the UK. After a short time, he yearned to find a Moyet-like singing partner and advertised “Seeking Singer” in a local music zine. A man named Andy Bell answered that advert and the two men hit it off. The partnership they formed ended up being formalized into the band name, Erasure.
Erasure has enjoyed many notable hit songs over the years; earning 24 consecutive Top 40 hits. In 1989, Erasure was named Best British Group at The Brit Awards. Over the course of their career, Erasure has been nominated for dozens of major awards; winning several such as “Best British Band”, “Best International Group”, “Best Live Act” and many more. But, as much as the duo are proud of the recognition they have received from within the UK Music Industry, it is the impact they have had in the LGBQT community that means the most to them. You see, lead singer Andy Bell has been openly Gay right from the very beginning of Erasure’s career and, as such, his willingness to be unapologetically, who he is has meant much to others who have been struggling in their own lives to live as they desire most. To say that Bell is a Gay Icon of unparalleled importance would be an accurate portrayal of who he is and of how Erasure has come to be revered by so many.
The song, “A Little Respect” has become their signature song and is often used to close out their concerts. The song is about a lover demanding better treatment from an Ex. but, in the larger picture of the society in which Erasure exists, the song has become a rallying cry from those in the LGBQT community to those in the hetero-normative world. It is a statement of pride in who they are and in their right to live a life of their choosing, without fear of reprisals or hurt. As you will soon see in the video to come, Andy Bell belts this song out with a strong, confident voice that never wavers, even during the high notes. The audience reacts joyously and the bond between them and the band is clearly evident. As I said off of the top of this post, “A Little Respect” is as happy and uplifting a musical experience as you are likely to have this fine day. That a band could create a song so filled with love for others and that is so inclusive in design and intent, says a lot about who Vince Clarke and Andy Bell are, as human beings, as well as, musicians.
So, without further delay, here is “A Little Respect” by Erasure. Enjoy.
The link to the video for the song, “A Little Respect” by Erasure, can be found here.
The link to the official website for the band, Erasure, can be found here.
Thanks, as always, to KEXP, for playing the best music, in all genres, for all listeners. The link to their wonderful website can be found here.