Yaz – Upstairs at Eric’s: #360 of best 1,000 albums ever!

So why is Yaz’s Upstairs at Eric’s on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?

Let’s clear something up at the jump: is this band called Yaz or Yazoo?

The synth pop band I grew up with and came to love was always known as Yaz but in my research for this here best 1,000 albums ever project, I started seeing the band referred to as Yazoo… sometimes. Turns out that the band is called Yazoo in the UK but was branded as Yaz in the U.S. due to some other band already grabbing the Yazoo name in the states.

As this is a U.S.-based production (with a great love for British bands and music), I’m going with Yaz for the purposes of heralding the glory that is Upstairs at Eric’s.

I’ve come to love and appreciate Yaz and Upstairs at Eric’s ever more over the years, with many of the album’s tracks showcased on one of the main Spotify playlists* that I use to work out with these days.

* It’s called Gloom Patrol for absolutely no reason at all, just think it’s a cool name.

Just at the moment, “Situation” is my favorite song on Upstairs at Eric’s. It’s got a killer synth pop hook, and Alison Moyet’s voice has never sounded better. Bonus: I love that little laugh that she does during the song.

A very close second favorite is the deeper cut “Goodbye Seventies,” which probably popped up on my radar ten or fifteen years ago, and I can’t get enough of it ever since. And just as “Video Killed the Radio Star,” by The Buggles, debuted as MTV’s first ever music video to air in the summer of 1981, “Goodbye Seventies” turns the corner into the 1980s with super synth/new wave vibes and lyrics such as the following:

I’m glad that we don’t hear you any more
I’m tired of losing in your fashion war

And of course the chorus – goodbye Seventies! – says it all.

“Don’t Go” is yet another synth pop smasher with a popping, propulsive beat. If you’re into synth pop that was programmed in a lab to get you moving – a Synth Lab, of course – you need to head Upstairs at Eric’s.

This’ll be slightly controversial for Yaz superfans, but “Only You” is not my favorite song, though I’ll fully admit it has a compelling quality. The dance-y synth pop concoction here is slowed way down into synth-y slow dance mode. I’m sure it was featured at many a senior prom or homecoming dance circa 1982, when it was Time To Slow Things Down.

Some stats & info about Yaz – Upstairs at Eric’s

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? British Bands, Synth Pop, Dance Music, New Wave, Pop Music
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating – 4 out of 5 stars
  • When was Upstairs at Eric’s released? 1982
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #360 out of 1,000

Yaz’s Upstairs at Eric’s on Spotify

A lyrical snippet from Yaz’s Upstairs at Eric’s that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe

Can’t stop now, don’t you know I ain’t never gonna let you go, don’t go.

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.