ARTIST: Alison Moyet
TITLE: The Essential Alison Moyet
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: #16 UK
SINGLES: Top 20 UK: Love Resurrection (#82 US, #10 UK), All Cried Out (#8 UK), That Ole Devil Called Love (#2 UK), Is This Love? (#3 UK), Weak in the Presence of Beauty (#6 UK), Love Letters (#3 UK), Whispering Your Name (#18 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: If you were in the UK, yeah. Here, maybe not.
LINEUP: Alison Moyet plus studio musicians and producers
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Compilation of the first phase of Moyet’s solo career, where she seemed beholden to the record company to make commercial records.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Having reviewed the first solo record from Alison Moyet, I thought it may be best to skip ahead and wrap up her initial phase with a hits collection – since she was rather much forced to be more commercial and less artistic.
Most everything seems ready-made for the radio in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Moyet’s voice is as big and powerful as usual, but the material does seem overly commercial. Some of the lesser songs, especially in the early 90’s, showcase her more dusky, melancholy sound. The interesting thing (or infuriating, if you’re her) is that her two 1990’s albums didn’t fare too well, and even a great song like “Getting Into Something” stiffed, relatively. So, yeah on that commercial mandate.
After 1995, she took a lot of time off, waiting for her contract to expire. When it did, she decided she was going to make records that suited her, not the suits.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The first three songs here are songs that she sang on for Yazoo, while six of them are non-album singles. So almost half of this is from non-album material.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: B: When she cuts loose on songs that aren’t just commercial fodder, it’s shows she’s got talent.