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Alison Moyet


Country of origin:

England

Type of music generally:

Rock

Status:

Most recent release, Other (2017)

See also:

Alison Moyet's site

The Ectophiles' Guide entry for Yazoo

Comparisons:

None

Covers/own material:

Mostly sings songs she's co-written.

General Comments:

Alison has a big voice and a passionate singing style. She is capable of delivering powerful, emotion-charged performances that have more than a hint of the blues about them. She originally came to prominence as the voice of Yazoo (known as Yaz in the U.S.) but has been a solo artist since 1984. None of her studio albums really does justice to her vocal abilities and her voice is perhaps heard to best advantage in some of the standards she's recorded and released on singles (and performs with tremendous gusto live) rather than in the fairly mainstream, synthesiser-led rock music of her albums. (nightwol@dircon.co.uk)

It's true that her material is often beneath the quality of her ability, but I just love to hear her sing. I really loved her last 2 solo albums. (colford@noble.net)

I love Alison Moyet. She is the only one who consistently can send shivers of delight down my spine with her voice. Now if she'd just get some decent material, or do a true blues album, it would be truly magnificent. I think she has the best rock'n'roll voice in music—just wish she had better material. Hers is definitely one of my favorite voices.
To me, raindancing is not that unlike Alf and Hoodoo, though Hoodoo tends to get more "bluesy" than the previous two. I wish she'd do more songs like her cover of Billy Holiday's "That Ole Devil Called Love". The single was great. She's also done a couple of great B-Sides, including a cover of a Lamont/Dozier/Holland tune called "Hitch Hike", and a song called "Don't Burn Down the Bridge". Other favorites of mine are "Blow Wind Blow" from raindancing, "Where Hides Sleep" from Alf, and "Find Me" from Hoodoo. She did a radio interview and said that one of her idols was Janis Joplin. Listening to "Find Me" you can certainly hear the influence. (jjhanson@att.net)

Comments about live performance:

I finally got to see her live, and she was amazing. (stuart@sph.emory.edu)

Her concert was one of the best I've been to. Wow! stunning concert, not quite as energetic as when I saw her in LA but definitely my all-time favorite vocalist/ (1/31/08, jjhanson@att.net)

Still, next up was Alison Moyet, and if this audience was now in the mood for a boogie, she was going to let them have it. She certainly has the voice to fill such a big space and she went for it big time, belting out a few old Yazoo classics as well as some newer stuff. Finished with a stunning version of "Ode to Boy". (martin@mandab.co.uk)

Recommended first album:

Singles/Live (nightwol@dircon.co.uk)

Recordings:

  • Alf (1984; deluxe reissue 2017)
  • Raindancing (1987; deluxe reissue 2016)
  • Hoodoo (1991; deluxe reissue 2016)
  • Essex (1994; deluxe reissue 2015)
  • Singles/Live (1996)
  • Solid Wood (single, 1996)
  • Best of the Best—Gold (compilation, 2000)
  • The Essential Alison Moyet (compilation, 2001)
  • Hometime (2002; deluxe reissue 2016)
  • Voice (covers, 2005;; deluxe reissue 2015)
  • The Turn (2007; deluxe reissue 2016)
  • The Minutes (2013)
  • Minutes and Seconds—Live (live, 2014)
  • Other (2017)

Alf

Release info:

1984—Columbia—CD 26229

Availability:

Generally available

Ecto priority:

High/Medium

Group members:

Alison Moyet—vocals, backing vocals

Guest artists:

Tim Goldsmith—drums
Tony Swain—keyboards
Steve Jolley—guitar, backing vocals

Produced by:

Tony Swain and Steve Jolley

Comments:

After the demise of Yazoo, Alison's first solo album was eagerly awaited by many. The instrumental sound is synthetic (though not as way-out as Yazoo) and provides an energetic, often danceable, setting for Alison's voice (which is much to the fore throughout). Her singing certainly impresses and the hit singles "All Cried Out" and "Love Resurrection" are pop masterpieces. Taken as a whole, the album now seems rather samey but it remains a significant moment in rock music and is worth a place in most record collections. (nightwol@dircon.co.uk)

The arrangements are a little too slick and busy at times, but there are some outstanding songs there nonetheless. "For You Only" and "All Cried Out" are my favorites and they really don't suffer from over-production. I also really think that Alison's voice does shine through, even on the more over-the-top songs. Keep listening, you may come to love it. (stuart@sph.emory.edu)


Raindancing

Release info:

1987—Columbia—450 152 2

Availability:

Generally available

Ecto priority:

Medium/Low

Group members:

Alison Moyet—vocals, backing vocals

Produced by:

Jimmy Iovine, Iovine/Freeman/Hughes, Iovine/Guiot, & Moyet/Bailey

Comments:

Pretty much the mixture as before, with slightly more subdued production this time. Two more monster singles in "Is this Love" and "Weak in the Presence of Beauty". Apart from these, if it weren't for Alison's voice and vocal technique this would not be an album to recommend generally, but for those two reasons alone it is worth checking out. (nightwol@dircon.co.uk)

Hoodoo

Release info:

1991—Columbia—468 272 2

Availability:

Generally available

Ecto priority:

High

Group members:

Alison Moyet—vocals, backing vocals, programming, harmonica
Pete Glenister—guitar, programming, backing vocals

Guest artists:

Bob Andrews—keyboards, programming
Ron Aslan—backing vocals
Dyan Birch—backing vocals
Neil Brockbank—programming
Hugh Burns—guitar
Jimmy Chambers—backing vocals
George Chandler—backing vocals
Frank Collins—backing vocals
Neil Conti—drums
Andy Cox—guitar, programming
Steve Cradock—backing vocals
Michelle Cross—backing vocals
Blair Cunningham—drums
Dave Dix—keyboards, programming
Eugene Ellis—backing vocals
Simon Fowler—backing vocals
Mike Gaffey—programming
Jimmy Helms—backing vocals
Graham Henderson—piano
Phil Legg—programming
Deborah Lewis—backing vocals
Kirsty MacColl—elysian chorus
Paddie McHugh—backing vocals
John McKenzie—bass
Rob Rawlinson—bass
Martin Rex—programming
Jeff Scantlebury—percussion
Steve Sidelnik—percussion
David Steele—bass, programming
Danny Thompson—double bass
Fiachra Trench—strings
Marius de Vries—programming
Joanne Wakeling—backing vocals
Ben Watkins—ergasmatron, backing vocals, programming, noises
The Kick Horns—horns
The Mint Juleps—backing vocals
The Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra—strings

Produced by:

Pete Glenister, Dave Dix, & Andy Cox/David Steele

Comments:

After a long hiatus (and rumours of a recorded-and-suppressed album of standards) Alison's third album marked a significant change of direction: exchanging the chart-friendly pop/rock of her first two in favour of a much more individual style. Intense and dark in places (the single "It Won't be Long" is hardly typical of the album), this record can be hard to penetrate but repays careful listening. Her voice here is primarily at the service of the lyrics rather than being showcased in its own right. Surely the most honest and personal of Alison's albums. Recommended. (nightwol@dircon.co.uk)

Essex

Release info:

1994—Columbia—475 955 2

Availability:

Generally available

Ecto priority:

High

Group members:

Alison Moyet—lead and backing vocals, tambourine
Ian Broudie—guitar
Pete Glennister—guitar
Simon Rogers—programming, guitar, mandoline

Guest artists:

David Ballard—bongos
Steve Craddock—guitar, backing vocals
Pandit Dinesh—percussion
Alan Dubb—accordion
Simon Fowler—backing vocals
Chris Haigh—fiddle
John McKenzie—bass
Christian Marsac—guitar
Phil Overhead—percussion
Dave Ruffey—drums
Alan Taylor—double bass
Electra Strings

Produced by:

Ian Broudie & Pete Glenister

Comments:

Alison seems to have been on auto-pilot for this album. It's as though she had little interest in the material and was just going through the motions in the studio. A shame, because when she is on form she is awesome, and there are enough glimpses of that wonderful voice of hers here to indicate what she can be capable of. But not enough to rescue this album in my view. A dud. (nightwol@dircon.co.uk)

Definitely her most consistent album to date. (stuart@sph.emory.edu)

Just wanted to enthusiastically recommend Alison Moyet's latest album, Essex. What can I say, I found Hoodoo a bit disappointing, but this one finally elevates Alison to goddesshood in my book. She sounds like she's having more flat-out *fun* than ever before, and there's really not a bad song here, unless you count the cheeseball radio remix of "Whispering Your Name". "Satellite" and "Take of Me," the two ballads on the album, are both simply gorgeous, and the more upbeat numbers had me dancing on my balcony Friday night. :) The lyrics are good too; nobody can dis an inconsiderate ex quite the way Alf can. A terrific album to start off springtime with. (drumz@best.com)

Well worth the wait. Alf's maturing nicely and she's definitely in full control of the production, something that couldn't be said about her early solo albums. The album has a nice musical diversity to it. And her voice is stronger than ever. (pmcohen@voicenet.com)


Singles/Live

Release info:

1996—Columbia—480 663 9
Originally released (without live CD) in 1995

Availability:

Generally available

Ecto priority:

Very high

Group members (live):

Alison Moyet—lead vocals, harmonica
Pete Glenister—MD, guitar, backing vocals
James Hallawell—keyboards, backing vocals
Tony Kiley—drums, percussion
Phil Spalding—bass, backing vocals

Produced by:

Steve Chase

Comments:

If you only buy one Alison Moyet album, do get this! By adding a whole CD of wonderful live performances to the original Singles collection of all her best-known songs, Columbia created the definitive Alison Moyet album. Knockout stuff from start to finish. With this CD and Hoodoo you have all the Alison you need! (nightwol@dircon.co.uk)

It's a must for any Alison Moyet fans. It contains 20 songs from both Yaz(oo) and solo days (only 3 from Yaz(oo)). Includes two new tracks, a cover of "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" and a new Moyet-penned song "Solid Wood". Best of the older inclusions are "That Ole Devil Called Love" and the somewhat hard to find "Love Letters". Great buy for both old and new fans. In fact, if it just had 3 more songs ("Midnight", "Where Hides Sleep" and "Blow, Wind Blow"), I'd say it would really be all that's really required to own of Alison. Yeah, it's a greatest hit collection, and those usually don't make it on any album list, but this one is a real winner. Can listen to this one for days on end. Much stronger than any of her individual solo albums. Highly recommended to those of you who loved Yaz(oo) but have been skeptical of her solo work. After raving about the Singles CD last year—a compilation of both solo Alison Moyet songs and a few Yaz(oo) tracks—I was ecstatic to find an import version of the CD with an 11 track live CD. Though quite expensive, I thought it was definitely worth the price. The live versions of "Love Letters", "Chain of Fools", and "There is Nothing I Could Do" are worth the price of the CD alone. But then I'm prejudiced, I think Alison has the best bluesy-rock voice in the business. And her concert I saw in LA was one of the best I've been to, so hearing live versions of the songs helps rekindle those great memories. Alison Moyet has always had my favorite voice in rock—I just wish she used it on better material. The live, stripped down versions of songs really do her voice justice. (jjhanson@att.net)


Solid Wood [single]

Comments:

I picked up the import CD Single of "Solid Wood", which has a new song, "Blue", that sounds pretty typical of the songs on Essex, and a new version of "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" that is much prettier than the version on Singles. It's much dreamier and relaxed—though I think it's the same vocal track. (jjhanson@att.net)

There is also a second import CD single of "Solid Wood" which has "Blue" along with, bizarrely enough, "There are Worse Things I Could Do," a remake of a song from Grease. Alison's version is just her and an acoustic guitar. And, even though the song is really cheesy, I find myself listening to it more than "Blue," which is a more typical Alison song, but not very interesting musically. (stuart@sph.emory.edu)


Hometime

Release info:

2002—Sanctuary—SANCD-128

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Alison Moyet—vocals

Guest artists:

Bob Locke—bass, keyboards, percussion, vibes, guitar, drum programming, vocals
Tammy Payne—congas
David Ballard—drums, percussion
Tim Norfolk—guitar, lap steel, keyboards, percussion, bass, drum programming
Simon Hale—string arrangements
Paul Sherman, Roger Linley—bass
Clive Deamer—drums
Corin Dingley—drums
John Baggott—harpsichord, piano, keyboards
Pete Glenister—guitar, keyboards
Alex Swift—drum programming
Adrian Utley—guitar
Damon Reece—percussion
Eg White—piano, drum programming
Derek Green, Ricci P. Washington—vocals (6)
John Lewis—guitar (7)
Simon Hale—string arrangements (8, 9); piano (9)
Angelo Bruschini—guitar (10)
Stuart Gordon—string arrangements (11)

Produced by:

Anne Dudley

Comments:

This album was touted to be the best of her career, and it's a very solid album. But it lacks the one or two absolute standout tracks that most of her previous albums had. Plus the bass-heavy sounds on about every other track can sound sort of boomy unless listened to on a great stereo—but still, it's always great to hear my favorite singer of all time. She's still got the best "rock n' roll" voice in the biz in my book. (jjhanson@att.net)

Voice

Release info:

2004—Sanctuary—06076-86377-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Alison Moyet—voice

Guest artists:

Anne Dudley—piano, electric piano, glockenspiel, organ
Chris Laurence—bass, double bass
Alasdair Malloy—glass harmonica, marimba, percussion
Nicholas Bucknall—clarinet
John Parricelli—guitar
Ralph Salmins—drums
Derek Watkins—flugel horn, trumpet
Victoria Walpople—cor anglais
Steve Pearce—bass (6)
Jamie Talbot—saxophone
Julian Jackson—harmonica
Rolf Wilson—violin, string leader (1-9, 11)
Roger Garland—violin (1-9, 11)
Boguslaw Kostecki, Rita Manning, Julian Leaper—violins (1, 2, 4, 6-9)
Paul Willey, Gordon Buchan, Simon Baggs, Patrick Kiernan, Maciej Rakowski, John Bradbury—violins (6, 7, 9)
Peter Lale—viola (1-9, 11)
Bruce White, Vicci Wardman—viola (1, 2, 4, 6-9)
Andy Parker—viola (6, 7, 9)
Anthony Pleeth—cello (1-9, 11)
Paul Kegg—cello (1, 2, 4, 6-9)
Martin Loveday, Dave Daniels—cello (6, 7, 9)

Produced by:

Anne Dudley

Comments:

Finally! The album I've been waiting for Alison to put out since she recorded "That Ole Devil Called Love"—an album of standards and covers—material worthy of her voice. While I love her own material, this is definitely her most solid album to date. Her voice sounds incredible as always. Produced by Anne Dudley, the arrangements are all tastefully and beautifully done. The album has a very torchy, languid, dark feel overall—just the kind of music I love—and a great accompaniment to Alison's smoldering vocals. The French songs are beautiful, and the surprise on the album is "The Raggle Taggle Gypsies O!"—a traditional English folk song. Alison's cover of Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach's "God Give Me Strength", originally sung by Kristin Vigard (and lip-synched by Ileana Douglas in Grace of My Heart), is very true to the original—and Alison is a bit more restrained than Kristin. I wish she'd have let herself go a bit more on it and the song really begs for a bit of the over-the-top emotional excess. Despite that it's a great version of the song—Alison also covers Elvis Costello's "Almost Blue". Definitely one of my picks for album of the year! (jjhanson@att.net)

The Turn

Release info:

2007

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Alison Moyet—vocals

Guest artists:

Bob Andrews—Hammond organ
Marcel Azzola—accordion
David Ballard—drums
Karl Brazil—drums
Julian Cox—bass
Marcos d'Cruz—Spanish guitar
Phil Da Costa—programming
David Jack Daniels—cello
Gabi Glenister—saxophone
Pete Glenister—organ, bass, guitar, piano, keyboards, programming
Simon Hale—mandolin, arrangement, conducting
Patrick Kiernan—violin
Bob Knight—drums
Peter Lale—viola
Julian Leaper—violin
Nick Lloy —trombone, euphonium, flugelhorn
Rita Manning—violin
Perry Mason—violin
Adam Mooney—saxophone
Malcolm Moore—bass
Everton Nelson—violin
Tom Pigott Smith—violin
Anthony Pleeth—cello
Mary Scully—double bass
Emlyn Singleton—violin
Louis Skinner—programming
Chris Tombling—violin
Bruce White—viola
John Wilcox—boe
Warren Zielinski—violin, viola

Produced by:

Pete Glenister, John Williams

Comments:

Alison is probably my all-time favorite singer. I don't like this album as much as Voice, but it is a very solid effort, featuring 3 of the songs she performed in Smaller, an off-East End theater production about an aging singer. It's a pretty eclectic mix of song styles, but there is always that voice that elevates it above almost everything else out there (at least in my opinion). (jjhanson@att.net)

Further info:

Write: P.O. Box 9345, London N1 1ZA, U.K.


Thanks to Steve Fagg amd JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2017-11-27 23:49:18.
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