80’s pop was a brutal business. A popstrel could be riding high one moment and down the proverbial dumper the next. There was no social media to keep the show on the road, there was no reality shows to keep the cheques rolling in. If your brand new single stalled outside the Top40 more often than not it was adios.
Yazz is a fine example of the cutthroat world that was pop music in the 80s. A stunning former model with a voice that would made most of her contemporaries look like amateurs.
She first came to our attention. As the guest vocalist on Doctorin’ The House (Coldcut featuring Yazz & The Plastic Population 🇬🇧 #6 1988)
Within months of her chart debut she had her first #1 with The Only Way Is Up (credited to Yazz & The Plastic Population) – which would go on to be the 2nd biggest single of the year , even out-selling Kylie’s unstoppable debut single.
Her debut album Wanted ( 🇬🇧 #3) produced 3 more big hits (Stand Up For Your Love Rights 🇬🇧 #2, Fine Time 🇬🇧 #9 and Where Has All The Love Gone? 🇬🇧 #16) before the wheels started to come off.
Her third album One on One did manage to get released but failed to chart, and despite some sublime singles she would never trouble the Top 20 again.
If you want to re-live or rediscover the glory days of Yazz, those geniuses at Cherry Red Records have come up trumps. Wanted will get a luxury re-release on November 25th. As is standard with all Cherry Red releases we are being treated to a host of extras, remixes, bonus tracks and, of course the expanded booklet, I don’t know how they do it, but I’m glad they do.
I’ll leave you with one you may have missed. Have Mercy, a 1994 single that missed the Top 40. I live in hope that the experts at Into The Pop Void will one day explain why.
To order your very own copy of the super-deluxe reissue of Yazz’s debut album, pop on over to Cherry Red.