Top 40 Vince Clarke songs
Top 40 Vince Clarke songs

Timeless synth-pop nuggets, stunning ambient textures, soaring, life-affirming singles and album cuts – all these, and more, have earned their place in our round-up of the best Vince Clarke songs…

While it may seem easy to some, writing a good pop song is an extremely tricky undertaking; writing a great one, even more so. Believe us, we’ve tried. Mute boss Daniel Miller has penned at least one synth-pop classic during his stint as a pioneer of the genre, and he recognises absolute genius when he sees it. After all, it was Miller that saw the potential in a green, baby-faced Depeche Mode, snapping them up early for the Mute roster. 

When we had the pleasure of speaking to Daniel about Vince, we asked him to offer up his top five tracks from his label’s main man. Of course, he politely refused, likening the task to choosing his favourite children – and, frankly, we’re not at all surprised.

Mute Records’ founding father knows Vince’s expansive catalogue more intimately than most and he’s well aware of the sheer volume of quality material, be it Depeche Mode’s early stuff, Yazoo’s near-perfect soulful electro, well-known hits from Erasure, or some obscure album track made in a one-off collaboration. Nevertheless, as ever, it’s an irresistible challenge. If nothing else, to explore all four corners of Clarke’s creations is always a pleasure; in this case, it’s made the current global situation far more bearable. 

But where, indeed, to start? And how do you compare early Depeche and Yazoo with recent Erasure, or perhaps Vince’s epic synthscapes made with Martyn Ware? As ever, we needed a compass. We agreed our criteria as follows: anything in which Vince was involved was fair game, bar remixes (see p104 for that!), pure production jobs, and covers (so no Abbaesque, and honorary mention goes to Fly On The Windscreen made with vocalist Ana Brun).

This allowed us to survey and weigh up the breadth of Vince’s output. We’ve delved deeper than most, giving some of his rarities a decent chance at entry. As it happens a fair proportion of the tracks included here were singles, but there are some other standouts too.

On another day, this list could have looked completely different, but for now, enjoy our pick of Vince’s finest moments.

4o Green (You Are In A Forest), Vince Clarke & Martyn Ware (2001)

Ware-Clarke’s 2011 album Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle borrowed its name from the futuristic tank-like vehicle seen in Captain Scarlet, and its ethereal synthscapes explore locations from forests to the beach, heaven and inside the womb. Celestial choral pads, flowing water, even birdsong… it’s as entrancing as it sounds. Another empyrean Ware-Clarke creation worth digging out is Open Our Eyes, an immersive morning sunrise of electronic delights, best enjoyed via headphones.

39 It Doesn’t Have To Be, Erasure (1987)

In the wake of Sometimes’ success (UK No.2), this second single from Circus may not have fared quite as well (UK No.12), but it bore a lyrical weight missing from its predecessor’s cheap tales of bedroom ecstasy. It Doesn’t Have To Be set its sights on the injustice of apartheid, with a portion of the track even sung in one of the country’s native tongues, Kiswahili. Flip it over for an epic analog synth take on 19th century composer Edvard Grieg’s creeping odyssey In The Hall Of The Mountain King.

38 The Echoes, Clarke:Hartnoll (2016)

Vince and Orbital’s Paul Hartnoll concocted ‘home house’ as a definition for their one-off album collaboration 2Square, humorously decoded by The Guardian as “electro-pop for dad dancing”. Still, there’s plenty to love even if you’re commandeering the lounge to cut a rug, not least All Out’s funked-up punch with its processed soul timbre by Kenya Hall, VeryRecords launch track Better Have A Drink To Think with its sliced-up hook, and this grandiose build that stretches its cultivated tech tapestry over five and a half engrossing minutes.

37 Dead Of Night, Erasure (2014)

The reach-for-the-lasers uplift of Sacred or Elevation would perhaps be the obvious picks from Erasure’s The Violet Flame, but for us the album’s curtain-raiser does the business. It’s a masterclass in the manipulation of analog synths, from the repurposed disco of its driving arpeggiated central thread to its sumptuous – slightly eerie – chorus hook. As such, the duo created a Halloween-themed video: “A most classic horror Hallowe’en video using clips from the old masters. Some of the best scenes from the genre, they’re all in here,” said Bell. 

Top 40 Vince Clarke Songs – Dead Of Night

36 Hallowed Ground, Erasure (1988)

One of our favourite album tracks from our favourite Erasure album, The Innocents, this brings a potent narrative to life as Bell fleshes out the bleakest of scenes: one of bullets on the streets, of teen mothers surviving in poverty, of regretful lives lost to gambling and the bottoms of bottles, with murder almost a part of the everyday. Around these images Vince lays an equally dramatic foundation, almost A Little Respect’s sullen twin; wounded, never quite willing to let loose a gratifying release, it ably reflects a brutal, “uncertain future”.

35 World Be Gone, Erasure (2017)

The title track of Erasure’s 17th album is a windswept departure from the high-energy fare, immersed in a broken social and political climate. This simplistic, blissful-yet-mournful synth ballad houses one of Andy’s purest vocals as he evokes scenes of illusions as shattered glass, heads in hands and shadows on empty screens. Still, it’s not all doom and gloom – “silver linings in the leaden sky” hint that all could be right in the world. Mojo applauded “a triumph of achingly beautiful pop protest music”. The UK agreed; it made a healthy No.6.

Top 40 Vince Clarke Songs – World Be Gone

34 Take Me Back, Erasure (1994)

The briefest moment of discord in the sequencing unbalances before levelling off, Elysian synths rise and swell, and Andy’s arching falsetto pierces the surface with vivid reflections of a blissful childhood: a past of waterfalls, poppies and butterflies, lost in the blink of an eye. 1994’s I Say, I Say, I Say – the tenderest of junctures in Erasure’s discography – was raised further heavenward by this gorgeous, cascading ballad, cleverly expanded by producer Martyn Ware. It’s a lovelorn gem that crests deliciously before gently petering out. 

Top 40 Vince Clarke Songs – Take Me Back

33 Dreaming Of Me, Depeche Mode (1981)

Wonderfully naïve and more than a little wonky, this first Depeche single proper may be a postcard from the early 80s but it still very much stands up to scrutiny. Having just inked their first deal with Mute, the Basildon teens likely disappointed their new boss, managing only to sneak into the lower section of the charts (surely the reason this never made the debut album, even though it deserved to be there). The early rustlings of a darker edge begin to poke through on the excellent underside, Ice Machine, also featured here.

32 Hideaway, Erasure (1987)

Just as Bronski Beat nailed bitter isolation with their salient synth-epic Smalltown Boy, so Erasure actualised their own indelible portrayal of a boy coming out as gay in an era of debilitating fear and alienation. The protagonist yearns for his father’s touch and grieves his mother’s lost pride over popping synths, deft orchestral augmentations and a stoic, chunky rhythm that binds it all together. Bell was brave enough to lower his guard while other stars were still firmly in the closet, and Hideaway is a commanding moment in Erasure’s catalogue. 

Top 40 Vince Clarke Songs – Hideaway

31 Photographic, Depeche Mode (1981)

 It would be remiss of us not to laud the record that started it all for the fresh-faced Basildon boys – and Vince himself. Not that it isn’t utterly brilliant, of course. With a Korg Rhythm 55 unit beating at its heart, Clarke’s pulsing blastoff moment featured on Some Bizzare’s legendary compilation album, the wonderfully unrefined collection that introduced such talents as Soft Cell, Blancmange and The The. The lyrics may be a tad on the green side, but as various boorish synth lines vie for attention the wide-eyed teenage charm is undeniable.

3o Fingers And Thumbs (Cold Summer’s Day), Erasure (1995)

“Life is a wonderful thing when you’re humming the words to a love song,” sings Andy as we’re drawn into one of the central tracks from Erasure’s seventh album – and, wow, their 22nd consecutive UK Top 20. Originally commissioned to soundtrack Wigstock: The Movie, a doc about a Manhattan drag festival, it was re-recorded for the duo’s mid-90s collection. Flip it over for a effervescent take on Evelyn Thomas’ 1984 sky-scraping classic High Energy (“Hi-NRG” here) – and for Andy in full flight.

29 Who Needs Love (Like That), Erasure (1985)

By this point Vince had a pretty good track record, but few groups muster a debut as strong as this pop-savvy 1985 account opener. 21-year-old Andy was starry-eyed when he recorded his audition tape, part of which comprised an early version of this very song (available on YouTube or on Erasure’s 2006 curios collection Buried Treasure II). It went well: Daniel Miller, Vince and Flood all thought Bell was the man for the job. Though it stalled at No.55, Who Needs Love introduced a phenomenon.

Top 40 Vince Clarke Songs – Chorus

28 Chorus, Erasure (1991)

A space-age, frequency-flexing klaxon announces a rolling arpeggio that fixes up the Moroder-disco of the title track of Erasure’s 1991 album, Chorus. This was a smash hit on the dancefloors of the US and a huge pop hit for the duo in the UK, peaking at No.3. The track was accompanied by a video that depicted Vince and Andy rising from the seafloor to introduce a visual melee – knives, clocks, metronomes, a wedding cake, heads buried in sand, landscapes, a dystopian future lounge, even dungarees… it’s utterly bananas. 

Top 40 Vince Clarke Songs – Chorus

27 Ode To Boy, Yazoo (1982)

Co-produced by Vince Clarke, but written by Alison Moyet, this is up there with our favourite synth-pop hooks and as sparse, atmospheric and sophisticated as early VC-related tracks get. Ode To Boy was originally released as the flipside of Yazoo’s springy hit single (and Moyet’s least-favourite track) The Other Side Of Love. Moyet is on smoky form here, her chatty lyrics adding a sense of urgency to the slowest of tempos. Moyet later revisited the track as an acoustic alt-rocker for her 1994 album Essex, but this is better.

26 Spock, VCMG (2011)

It took a wee while (!), but when Martin Gore and Vince Clarke regrouped in 2012 for VCMG, they took a deep dive into what Gore described as “minimalist techno”. Clarke’s neurons had been sparked by remixing scene godfather Plastikman; Californian EDM bod Timothy Wiles (aka Q/XOQ/Überzone) offered a hand in the production, but perhaps the real allure is the fact that it sounds as if it’s been made by synth-pop artists with an ear for a tune rather than warehouse party tech-heads. For us, at any rate, it’s all the better for it. 

Top 40 Vince Clarke Songs – Spock

25 Nobody’s Diary, Yazoo (1983)

Written by Moyet at just 16 when she was knocking about the Canvey Island scene (“None of my mates were particularly complimentary about it”). Vince viewed the song differently. With the anonymity of the title universalising the fidgeting intimacy of adolescence, and with Clarke’s childlike lead lines lining up in parallel, this was a depiction of innocence and behind-the-bikesheds sincerity. Neil Tennant reviewed it in Smash Hits as “strong on emotion and weak on melody,” but two TOTP appearances led to a UK No.3. 

24 You Surround Me, Erasure (1989)

Never released in the States, Wild!’s second UK single showed off Andy’s sturdy lower-register vocals, nicely complemented by Vince’s serving of pulsating synth, giving added impetus when the falsetto chorus kicks in. It deservedly marked Erasure’s 10th UK Top 20 entry. The approach is subtle, yes, but just as catchy; as Andy Bell sings, “You’ve got your finger on the pulse of my soul” in that warm, deeper timbre, it’s overflowing with genuine feel. For a completely different take on the track, check out the Mark Saunders/Gareth Jones remix.

Top 40 Vince Clarke Songs – You Surround Me

23 Ave Maria (Om Ganesha), West India Company (1984)

A curio in Vince Clarke’s output, this stuttering, sample-heavy take on Ave Maria was the product of a grouping that included Indian vocalist Asha Bhosle (the voice of Bollywood, subject of Cornershop’s Brimful Of Asha and the most recorded artist in history), percussionist Pandit Dinesh and Blancmange’s Stephen Luscombe. As well as a single in its own right, it served as the B-side to Blancmange’s Lose Your Love. Vince’s part in this masterpiece? “Pyrotechnics”.

22 Ice Machine, Depeche Mode (1981)

Hidden on the underside of DM’s Dreaming Of Me was one of Clarke’s more shadowy early exploits, once a demo from the Composition Of Sound days. Aside from painting a picture of the future-obsessed zeitgeist of the early 80s, it’s a vintage moment for many fans, made all the better thanks to Dave Gahan’s untrained baritone. Ice Machine was thrillingly brought up to date by Röyksopp and vocalist Susanne Sundfør; visit YouTube for a rare 1981 live take from DM’s show at Paris’ Paradiso, the blueprint for the Röyksopp version.

Top 40 Vince Clarke Songs – Ice Machine

21 State Farm, Yaz (1983)

“Souped up, jacked up, cracked up, stacked up…” co-writer Alf’s in particularly vociferous form as Yazoo embarked on one of the tougher-edged cuts in their set. Rightfully sharing double-A status with Nobody’s Diary in the US, this sputtering treasure reached the top of the dance charts in the States (as Yaz) thanks to its tapestry of gobby vocal clips, juddering synth stabs and liberal tom-tom fills, ideal for late-night dancefloor gyrations. For the full experience, get your listening gear around the 12” – a marvellous way to spend six and a half minutes of your life.

2o Chains Of Love, Erasure (1988)

Released in spring 1988, this ninth Erasure single is very much of its time (is it just us, or is there something very Stock Aitken Waterman about that melody?), but it still displays the duo’s keen nose for a good hook or three. This second satellite from The Innocents just missed the UK Top 10, but perhaps more pertinently – thanks to some serious love from MTV – cracked the US, landing the No.12 spot, a major deal at the time that, with the help of its popularity in clubs, led to huge units shifted. Over there, it’s still Erasure’s highest charting tune.

19 The Circus, Erasure (1987)

The title track – and final single – from Erasure’s second album was far removed from shiny pop; it featured a haunting accordion and lyrics that highlighted the societal problems caused by receding industry (the experience of Bell’s father at work in his native Peterborough fed into the song’s subject matter, the singer revealed to Hot Press). The single made UK No.6 in September 1987. It was remixed by Grumbling Fur in 2015 for Always, a best-of collection toasting 30 years of the duo.

18 Phantom Bride, Erasure (1988)

 Rumours circulated that Phantom Bride was chalked up to be the fourth single from The Innocents, but for some reason it was never to be. Nonetheless, this upbeat-yet-melancholic Stephen Hague-produced tale of two lovers certainly gave the duo a leg-up to their first No.1 in the UK album charts – and their best-selling long-player to date. All concerned clearly love the track: a remastered version surfaced on the Phantom Bride EP, released in 2009 to celebrate 21 years of The Innocents, accompanied with eight new remixes from Almighty, Frankmusik, Dogmatix and Vince Clarke – unmissable.

17 Love To Hate You, Erasure (1991)

 It’s a boilerplate adage that talent borrows and genius steals – so when, in 1991, Erasure dropped the second single from their fifth album Chorus, melding Dino Fekaris’ string arrangements from Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive with a rhythmic, Moroder-like pulse, it didn’t stop the public (and the critics) liking what they heard. This theatrical, disco-fuelled tale of disingenuous philanderers made the UK Top 5, and soared in several European countries too, no doubt helped by the duo’s Euro-friendly mindset – they recorded versions in Italian (Amo Odiarti) and in Spanish (Amor Y Odio).

16 Home, Erasure (1991)

 It’s not so well-known with the wider audience, but Vince’s all-time favourite track from his own catalogue is more than worthy of attention. Gently drifting into view, coaxing goosebumps on the thickest of skins, it harbours all of the key ingredients that make up a classic Erasure tune: an electro-orchestral arrangement, playful keyboard layers and an emotive tune. Of particular note is the choral backing, grandiose without being overblown, elevating Andy’s rapturous lead line still further. It’s a gorgeous, perfectly-paced blend of touch and melody to close the masterful Chorus album.

Top 40 Vince Clarke Songs – Home

15 Oh L’amour, Erasure (1986)

Funny how certain tracks make little or no impression first time round but prove to be blinding beacons in a group’s catalogue once the dust settles. Their third single is one of those. Arriving after 1985’s debut discs Who Needs Love Like That and Heavenly Action, it only just scraped the Top 100, but has since risen up the playlist to receive full accolades. It really found traction in the clubs and made third spot in the US dance charts. In 2003 it was remixed to promote Hits! The Very Best of Erasure and finally broke the Top 20, reaching No.13.

14 A Victim Of Love, Erasure (1987)

Released as the flowers bloomed in the spring of 1987, this punchy third missive from The Circus gifted Erasure with their second Top 10 hit at home. The key elements that would serve the duo so well going forward were all present – acoustic guitar, cadenced synths, euphoric melody and a splash of tinsel. Empowering loud-and-proud lyrics arrive via Andy’s shining falsetto hook, while Vince proudly enters the Eurozone for the sonics. Daniel Miller and Rito Conning’s bubbling Victim Of Love (Vixen Vitesse Mix) took things up a notch.

13 Never Never, The Assembly (1983)

With Feargal Sharkey at the mic, Never Never is the sole evidence of a planned Clarke/Eric Radcliffe project that would employ guest vocalists (also in the frame: Blancmange’s Neil Arthur). It’s infuriating – this little electro-pop wonder leaves us screaming “What if?!” Sharkey’s quivering tenor gels well with Vince’s style, and this UK No.4 is a unique gem in Clarke’s catalogue. The track was aired live for the very first time when Sharkey was invited to ‘Short Circuit presents Mute’ at London’s Roundhouse in 2011. On BV’s was Andy Bell. 

12 Stop!, Erasure (1988)

 What better way to fill the time between two hit albums than to write one of your boldest, brightest hits? Erasure’s Stop! arrived sandwiched between The Innocents and Wild!, introduced via a montage of wild, flexing electronica that supported the purest of pop melodies. It led the way for the Crackers International EP to climb the UK charts (though, frustratingly, it stalled at No.2 on New Year’s Day 1989, held at bay only by Kylie and Jason – or rather, Charlene and Scott – with their slush-fest Especially For You). Still, it set the duo up for Best British Group at the ’89 Brits.

Top 40 Vince Clarke Songs – Stop!

11 Drama!, Erasure (1989)

Building from a pinging music-box synth into a pumping four-to-the-floor dancer cleverly cued by Andy’s delayed line, “Your shame is ne-veer… ending”, the opening single from Wild! is one of Erasure’s most absorbing, with Eastern-edged harmony, a shameless fairground synth solo, and well… plenty of drama. Is there a touch of early Morrissey about the way Bell sings “just one psychological drama after another”? Talking of fandom: recording next door were indie guitar legends The Jesus and Mary Chain, who provide the chant of “Guilty!” “We needed a football crowd,” Bell told the NME.

1o Ship Of Fools, Erasure (1988)

After three albums and seven singles, the duo clearly felt they could afford to take a risk. The sublime Ship Of Fools was the pair’s first ballad exposed as single, and it clicked, unveiling a new, maturer sound, the ideal mood-setter for The Innocents. With the help of Stephen Hague (PSB’s Actually, New Order’s True Faith) Vince and Andy secured their third UK Top 10, landing No.6. Plus, Bell gave his most stripped-bare performance thus far, both affectionate and melancholy… a vibe reimagined in country form for 2007’s On The Road To Nashville live album.

9 Situation, Yazoo (1982)

One of Yazoo’s finest sides, with a genius preface from Clarke, playfully interrupted by co-writer Moyet’s laugh. Situation started life as the lowly flipside to Only You in the UK, but was given A-side status in the US. While it only managed No.73 over there, its popularity in clubland was reflected by its No.1 standing in the parallel dance chart, a position it reclaimed in 1999 after a flurry of remixes. François Kevorkian’s 12” remix is a must-play, although The Saturdays’ 2008 UK hit If This Is Love – which heavily samples it – is a crime.

Top 40 Vince Clarke Songs – Situation

8 Don’t Go, Yazoo (1982)

Things really caught fire for Vince and Alison on this second mighty dalliance with the UK Top 5. Clarke’s blend of synths – A Pro-1 for the minimal bass, an ARP 2600 for the trumpeting hook – is one of his classiest, while Alf’s passion-loaded vocals are soul power personified. As with many of their tunes, Don’t Go proved to be a magnet on dancefloors in the States, where it stormed the top of the dance chart. What better way to commence their debut album Upstairs At Eric’s… and the spooky, haunted house mis-en-scene in the video added a nice bit of uncharacteristic silliness, too. 

7 Just Can’t Get Enough, Depeche Mode (1981)

The song’s current ubiquity – from hipster clubs to drunken weddings – underlines its genius, but in 1981 Depeche Mode were pretty green, which makes this all the more impressive. The phenomenal New Life had planted the seed, but Just Can’t Get Enough vindicated Vince and the young Essex band as far above the realms of one-hit wonders. The UK No.8 spot gave Mute Records a massive leg-up and helped shove synth-pop into the UK mainstream. Almost overnight, Depeche leapt from the big fish-small pond arena of Essex’s Croc’s night club and onto the world stage.

6  Blue Savannah, Erasure (1989)

As Vince often proves, brevity is everything. On this transcendent love song from Wild!, restrained synth and an unfussy production allow one of Andy’s finest performances to soar. By the time that nimble piano upift bursts through, the sweet surrender of the lyric is inevitable. This UK No.3 remains one of the duo’s best-crafted singles – and we must mention Shep Pettibone’s Out Of The Blue remix; the promo it featured on is hard to find, but Erasure released it on the anthology From Moscow To Mars and on their RSD 2020 release – on blue vinyl, no less.

5 Sometimes, Erasure (1986)

Three singles in, with debut album Wonderland languishing in the lower realms of the charts, Erasure badly needed something to go their way. Producer Flood, Mute’s Daniel Miller and Vince and Andy knew there was a hell of a lot riding on their new track; it had to be perfect. The first mix was rejected, the chorus lyric was tweaked, and Miller spent hours toiling at the mixing desk with Flood. Released ahead of The Circus, Sometimes gave Erasure the big hit they so desperately sought, breaking the Top 40 on release and rising high to No.2. 

Top 40 Vince Clarke Songs – Sometimes

4 New Life, Depeche Mode (1981)

From “an old R&B riff” and some meaningless lyrics rose forth a synth-pop classic, and with Depeche Mode only two proper singles into their innings, it’s extraordinary that Clarke could create such vivid pop music so early on. Taking pole position on Speak & Spell, New Life illustrated the point where naïvety met pure, raw talent. Having journeyed from Basildon on a train with synths underarm, the foursome’s inaugural TOTP performance would invite the major leagues in, allowing them to clock out of their day jobs for good.

3 Always, Erasure (1994)

 The declaration of undying love delivered via the medium of electronic music has thrown up its fair share of horror shows but this ambrosial piece of pop balladry proved that when done right, the two are well suited. Refined programming engaged beautifully with the softer end of Vince’s palette, allowing space for that affirmation of devotion to shine candle-bright, a dance of almost balletic grace. The bleeps, bloops, lifts and dips were filtered through producer Martyn Ware, who helped the duo to a UK No.2 and a US No.20. 

2 Only You, Yazoo (1982)

The celebrated ‘arranged marriage’ of pop in which Alison ‘Alf’ Moyet and Vince Clarke fell into success may be somewhat peculiar, but their union provided the world with one of its brightest crowning pop moments. Perhaps it was serendipity. Friends of friends, the two misfits met when Vince was just 10 years old in Basildon, lived on the same estates growing up, and attended all the same parties.

As Moyet didn’t own a cassette player when Vince asked her to sing on his first post-Depeche material, she saw it as an opportunity to record a vocal demo – in his kitchen, no less, where all great things start. The record label shrugged it off, and Vince almost gave up on it, but the publishers requested an album. The band name was agreed upon when Alison wrote it in the condensation on the car windscreen, and so began Yazoo.

Only You has a nursery rhyme aesthetic,” said Moyet. “It’s easily remembered and not a challenge to sing. It has a melody that invites all comers. Great classics do that. Music hall, family song sheets… it suggests the age-old community purpose of song.” Though this pop marvel falls just one place short of the very top of our Top 40 list, it’s a perfectly measured Vince Clarke arrangement, laden with bags and bags of Alison’s natural, soulful intensity.

1 A Little Respect, Erasure (1988)

No surprises here, we’ll admit, but everything fell into place for Erasure on this career-defining single taken from The Innocents. For us and for many others this is the outright pinnacle of both the duo and Vince Clarke’s achievements. The uplift of the chord pattern is unmistakably Vince, while the seasoned layering of acoustic guitar and Euro-friendly, roof-removing synths gives way to the crescendo of all pop crescendos.

It’s an utterly divine delivery from Andy, who visits all corners of his vocal range, and it’s one of those rare songs that draws out an immediate sing-along whenever it’s aired (albeit with the vast majority floundering at that glorious, sustained, compassionate top note). And all that, filtered by way of producer Stephen Hague, at the height of his powers. How did this miss No.1 in 1988? Well, the limelight was stolen by Whitney’s One Moment In Time, Bobby McFerrin’s Don’t Worry Be Happy and D-Mob’s zeitgeist-capturing We Call It Acieed – but unlike those victors at the time, A Little Respect has transcended the mortal realms of the charts to reach timeless status.

As with Bronski Beat’s Smalltown Boy, the song served to strengthen the LGBTQ cause, a paean for those on the edges of wider acceptance. Simply immaculate.

Read more: Top 20 Vince Clarke Remixes

Read more: Pop Art – Vince Clarke

Read more: Top 40 Synth-Pop Songs

Erasure’s official website