We all have bands that were the soundtrack for our lives at different points. Yaz, or Yazoo as they were known in the UK (being Canadian I heard both and so am still thoroughly mixed up, as in so many things), was mine for those crucial end-of-high-school-beginning-of-college years. Their career as a band was so short lived — two or three years? only two albums — that their original fans, those, who like me, listened to their songs over and over in dorm rooms and scruffy apartments, represent not a whole generation but a sliver of a demographic.
Yet passionate we are, and the whole Chicago branch of that demographic was present at the Chicago Theatre last night for a wonderful reunion concert of their distinctive bluesy electro-pop. I’d like to say “long-awaited” reunion concert but really, who knew? It was the best sort of surprise, one that you don’t even know you want until it happens.
I’d say more, but I’m tempted to revert to sullen teenager mode and just say either you get it about Yaz or you don’t. I was asked last night when I first learned about them and the answer is that I heard about them the way all new music gets transmitted, from the older sister of a friend. She loaned me a mixed tape, which I dubbed and still have. It was my first introduction to music beyond Top 40 and AOR (bonus points if you remember what AOR stood for). For the record, below the fold, the contents of “Lucy’s Tape,” named after her, not me:
- Trio — Da Da Da
- Flock of Seagulls — Space Age Love Song
- Thompson Twins — In the Name of Love
- Clash — Rock the Casbah and Should I Stay or Should I go
- Jon and Vangelis — Friends of Mr. Cairo and Back to School
- Haircut 100 — Love Plus One
- Spoons — Nova Heart
- Marshall Crenshaw — Cynical Girl
- Yazoo — Don’t Go
- Beatles — Ballad of John and Yoko