Vincent Clarke began his career in 1979 when he formed a band with school mates Martin Gore and Andrew Fletcher. That original band was named Composition of Sound and was primarily interested in using guitars for their source of music. By 1980 the band decided to trade in the guitars for some synthesizers which they felt would give them a wider range of possibilities on the musical front. Until this point Vince had provided the vocals for the band but had really never felt comfortable in the fronting role. They decided to recruit a front man and consequently heard a fellow Basildonian named Dave Gahan singing David Bowie covers in a night club. Following a short talk with Gahan they decided he was the right man for the job and musical history was made. Shortly after recruiting their new lead singer, they were practicing in Vince's garage and Dave saw a fashion magazine that was named Depeche Mode (which is still around today). He really liked the title and the band decided to change their name. Shortly after this point, Vince met a gentleman named Daniel Miller who had started his own independent music label called Mute records. The band had released the song 'Photographic' on a 'Some Bizarre' compilation album and at this point were being courted by several large labels to sign with them. Vince however, was convinced that Mute Records was the label for them and they decided to release their first single and album with Daniel Miller's new company. The first single was Dreaming of Me and it did very little in the charts. The album was also fairly un-successful and the following single 'New Life' also barely made a dent in the charts. The band at last struck gold with their third single 'Just Can't Get Enough' and were soon playing on Top of the Pops. At this point Vince had decided to part ways with Depeche Mode as he felt that they were in favor of taking a different musical direction than the one he wanted to pursue. He initially felt quite guilty about leaving because he knew the other three weren't musicians and had no idea how to program synthesizers (they would eventually bring in musician Alan Wilder to fill this gap). To ease his guilt he offered them two songs that he had just written ('Only You', and 'Don't Go'), however the band didn't think they could perform those songs and decided not to take the songs from Vince.
A few months later Vince saw an ad from another school mate named Alison Moyet who had seen time playing the Punk and R&B circuits in small no-name bands. The ad called for a "Rootsy blues musician". Vince decided to answer the ad in his typical subtle comedic way (he is neither rootsy, nor blues) and the unlikely duo of Yazoo came into being. Vince originally asked Alison to sing on a demo of 'Only You' (One of the songs he had offered Depeche Mode). A few weeks later, the song was at the top of the charts. Soon Vince and Alison cut their first album together 'Upstairs At Eric's'. At this point they released a few more singles that had very good chart placings and were being hailed as one of the most original bands in music history (indeed, a designation that can still be used about them to this day). Unfortunately, such brilliance often has a tendency to go south very quickly and shortly after recording their second album together 'You and Me Both', Yazoo split up.
At this stage Vince decided to create a band with his good friend and Yazoo producer Eric (EC) Radcliffe. He decided to call the band 'The Assembly' and release singles with different vocalists for each song. Their first and only foray into this project was with Feargal Sharkey and the single was called Never Never. After this single Vince decided to do some production and early in 1985 released a single with Paul Quinn called 'One Day'. Later in 1985 Vince got together with producer Flood and began auditioning for vocalists for a new project. The 42nd vocalist to try-out was a young man named Andy Bell who was currently working as a butcher. The two hit it off immediately and Vince's longest running, and most successful band to date was born, Erasure. Erasure released their first album to very little critical or commercial success. Indeed Andy Bell thought that it was over before it began. However, Vince and he kept at it and recorded a second album which went straight to the top of the charts. The pair have since penned a series of 31 singles and 11 albums. Erasure have in fact become one of the most influential and commercially successful electronic bands in history. In 2000 Erasure released the album 'Loveboat'. This record was a very experimental and dark sounding album that saw Erasure pushing ahead into more distant musical arenas yet again.
Twenty years after beginning, Vince is still going strong. Besides Erasure, Vince has recently ventured into some other musical territory in such bands as Family Fantastic who have released one album 'Nice!', and currently have another album awaiting release 'Wonderful'. Another project that Vince devotes a lot of time to is The Clarke And Ware Experiment who have currently released two albums (1999's 'Pretentious', and 2001's 'Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle'). The Radioactivators released a double A side single 'Knock On Your Door/Bopp' in December of 2001 and represent the newest side project for Vince Clarke. Vince has also recently formed a new company with Martin Ware named The Illustrious Company. They are involved in several different musical ventures providing ambient soundscapes for various companies and events. In December 2001 Erasure released the single 'Moon & The Sky' from the Loveboat album as well as two new box sets compiling their second 10 singles together. Erasure are currently in the studio recording a follow up to the 2000 Loveboat album. The new album is going to consist of cover songs done in a 'Chorus' era style with a strong contemporary sound.
|Tracy Hurley||(17 May 2004 - present) 1 child|
Founder of Depeche Mode; wrote almost all of the songs on the band's debut album Speak And Spell (1981).
Child with Tracy, Oscar
Clarke's band Yazoo was called Yaz in America.
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