Following the disbandment of the short-lived synth pop group Yazoo, former Depeche Mode member Vince Clarke formed Erasure in 1985 with singer Andy Bell. Like Yaz and Depeche Mode, Erasure were a synth-based group, but they had stronger dance inclinations, as well as a sharper, more accessible sense of pop songcraft, than either of Clarke's previous bands. Furthermore, Erasure had the flamboyantly eccentric Andy Bell -- one of the first openly gay performers in pop music -- as their focal point. Bell's keening, high voice and exaggerated sense of theatrically became the band's defining image. In their native Britain, Erasure were successful from their inception. After a few years, the duo achieved commercial success in America with 1988's "Chains of Love," but they remained, in essence, a cult band on both sides of the Atlantic, cultivating a dedicated fan base over the course of their career. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Erasure are an English synthpop duo, consisting of singer and songwriter Andy Bell and songwriter and keyboardist Vince Clarke. They formed in London in 1985 as part of the club scene. Their debut was single "Who Needs Love Like That". With their fourth single, "Sometimes", the duo established itself on the UK Singles Chart and became one of the most successful artists of the late 1980s to mid-1990s.
Their highest charting US single (on the Billboard Hot 100) was their 1988 single "Chains of Love", which hit #12 on the chart. They also had Top 20 US hits with the songs "A Little Respect", and "Always". From 1986 to 2007, Erasure achieved 24 consecutive Top 40 hits in the UK. By 2009, 34 of their 37 chart-eligible singles and EPs had made the UK Top 40, with 17 climbing into the Top 10. At the 1989 Brit Awards, Erasure won the Brit Award for Best British Group.
The duo are most popular in their native UK and mainland Europe (especially Germany, Denmark, and Sweden) and also in South America (especially Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, and Peru). The band is also popular within the LGBT community, for whom the openly gay Bell has become a gay icon. They have penned over 200 songs and have sold over 25 million albums worldwide.