The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009


Here’s a theory. Great Lost Masterpiece syndrome. The syndrome that anything by an artist which has been ‘lost’ automatically tends to get elevated. As a result of a mixture of the romance of the artist who, like Icarus, failed in their over-reaching ambition, and wish-fulfillment as people fill in the missing blanks with their own What Might Have Beens. It’s responsible for legends like the Beach Boys’ Smile album, or the missing Doctor Who episodes (which are always better than the existing ones), and so on...

The slightly annoying thing about Erasure, when I worked for them, was that they didn’t really have any Great Lost Masterpieces. From what I could gather, they rarely recorded anything they didn’t end up using; the best ‘unreleased’ stuff was an out-take from Cowboy called ‘My Love’ and a song a bit like Human League’s ‘Circus Of Death’ called ‘Twilight’, where Andy tried ad-libbing lyrics and melodies to a backing track – the song eventually evolving into the b-side ‘Ghost’.

Vince’s work with Yazoo and Depeche Mode was more of a mystery. If he ever recorded anything for The Assembly project beyond ‘Never Never’ and ‘Stop-Start’ god knows what happened to it – there was nothing in the archive when I looked!

The same goes for a Yazoo duet of ‘It Takes Two’ with Neil Arthur mentioned in interviews. And the same applies to Yazoo’s ‘Get Set’... AFAIK they never recorded it, so this is the only known performance:

(AIUI the master tapes of this TV show also no longer exist.) The only other great missing Vince track is ‘Let’s Get Together’, demo-ed for Depeche Mode...

...and which has since been recorded by an American group called Girl Authority. I love Vince, and all his stuff... but I can’t watch this without worrying that I might be running the risk of ending up on a certain ‘register’...

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