Yaz – Upstairs at Eric’s

It was tough to turn on MTV in the fall of 1982 for more than 20 minutes and not see the video for Yaz’s “Don’t Go.” The shoulder pads were big, with big hair to match, and Brit synth-pop ruled the airwaves. Yaz members Alison Moyet and Vince Clarke would go their separate ways a year later, but they were two of the major architects of a sound that would influence many others.

Guilty pleasures confessed, an original copy of this record still lurks in my record collection, and the Mobile Fidelity reissue is superior in every way.  First released on Mute Records, the original is downright harsh and trebly.  What would you expect from a bunch of keyboards and drum machines?
The MoFi crew does an excellent job at giving this dancefloor classic a bit of air and extension, as well an actual soundstage, spread across the speakers with much more substantial bass energy that matches the dynamics of the group’s 45RPM maxi-singles. (yeah, guilty again). These characteristics are particularly evident on “I Before E, Except After C,” on which Moyet’s bubbly giggling fills the room with presence. It’s anemic on the original pressing.
Most importantly, we tip our hats to Mobile Fidelity for continuing to release fun records. If this era was part of the soundtrack of your life, this one’s a must.  -Jeff Dorgay

Mobile Fidelity Silver Series, LP