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Alison Moyet

Alison Moyet
2004 album Voice Background information Birth name Genevieve Alison Jane Moyet Born 18 June1961(1961-06-18) (age 46) Origin Billericay, Essex, EnglandGenre(s)Pop, Rock, BluesYears active 1981-present Label(s)Columbia(1983-2002)
W14 Music (2006-) Website official site

Alison Moyet (born Genevieve Alison Jane Moyet on 18 June 1961), is an English pop singer-songwriter noted for her bluesy voice [1].


Early life and career

Moyet was born in Billericay, Essex, England, to a French father and English mother. She grew up in Basildon, where she attended school. After leaving school at 16, she worked as a shop worker and trained as a piano tuner. She was involved in a number of punk rock, pub rock and blues bands in the South East Essex area during the late 1970s and early 1980s, including The Vandals and the Screamin' Ab Dabs, The Vicars and The Little Roosters.


Her mainstream pop career began in 1981 when she formed the electropop duo Yazoo with former Depeche Mode member Vince Clarke. In the United States, the band became known as Yaz, as there was a record label in the region already operating as Yazoo Records that presented trademark issues. Yazoo had several hits, including "Only You", "Don't Go", "Situation" and "Nobody's Diary", and recorded two albums, Upstairs at Eric's and You and Me Both. The group was notable for melding Clarke's trademark electronic sounds with Moyet's warm, soulful voice.

In 1983 Moyet and Clarke decided to disband Yazoo. While Clarke went on to form The Assembly (another duo, this time with former Undertones vocalist Feargal Sharkey) and then Erasure (a duo again, with Andy Bell), Moyet signed to CBS (in part because it had been Janis Joplin's label), and began her solo career. Moyet reunited with Clarke as Yazoo for a series of live dates during the summer of 2008.

Solo career

Alison Moyet's debut solo album, 'Alf' .

In 1984, Moyet released her debut solo album Alf (titled after her punk-era nickname). Alf was produced by the noted UK producing/songwriting team of Swain and Jolley. The album was co-written by the duo and Moyet, with the exception of "Invisible", which was written specifically for her by Motown legend Lamont Dozier. The record was a huge hit in Britain, reaching #1 in the album charts. Alf spawned three international hit singles, "Love Resurrection" (a UK #10), "Invisible" (UK #21) and "All Cried Out" (UK #8). In the US, "Invisible" was a Top 40 hit (something Yazoo had never achieved). In some European territories, a fourth single, "For You Only", was also released.

In 1985, Moyet performed at the historic Live Aid concert alongside Paul Young, and later returned unscheduled to the stage (alongside Bob Geldof, David Bowie and Pete Townshend) to provide emergency vocals on Let It Be when the microphone on Paul McCartney's piano failed, leaving him unable to be heard. Moyet also released a single not featured on Alf, a cover of the standard "That Ole Devil Called Love", which climbed to #2 on the UK singles chart (it remains Moyet's highest-charting UK single).

Moyet had another big UK hit the following year with "Is This Love?" (co-written by the Eurythmics' David A. Stewart under the pseudonym Jean Guiot), followed in 1987 by her second LP, Raindancing. Raindancing spawned further hit singles, including a cover of Floy Joy's "Weak In The Presence of Beauty" and "Ordinary Girl". In 1987, she scored another cover hit with "Love Letters", which peaked at UK #4. The video for the song featured comedy duo French & Saunders.

Following a period of personal and career evaluation, Hoodoo was released in 1991. Hoodoo took several steps away from the glossy pop sheen of Raindancing and was a far earthier and more personal album. Compared to her earlier releases, Hoodoo received little label support and only minimal promotion. The album sold respectably in Britain, and Moyet was nominated for a Grammy for the single "It Won't Be Long". However, the release of Hoodoo marked the beginning of what was to become a long fight for Moyet to secure complete control of her artistic direction. Like many similar artists of Moyet's calibre (including Aimee Mann and the late Kirsty MacColl), Moyet was reluctant to record a radio-friendly "pop" album simply for the sake of creating chart hits.

Moyet's next album, Essex (1994), was also a source of controversy for her; in order for the album to be released, her label (now Sony) insisted that certain Essex tracks be re-recorded and re-produced, and that there be additional material remixed to create a more 'commercial' package. The video for the single "Whispering Your Name" again featured Dawn French.

Following the release of Essex, Sony released a greatest hits compilation of Moyet's work. Singles entered the UK charts at #1 and, following a UK tour, was re-issued as a double CD set which included "Live (No Overdubs)", a bonus live CD. Upon re-issue, Singles charted again, this time in the Top 20.

Due to prolonged litigation with Sony, Moyet did not record or release a new studio album for over eight years after the release of Essex. During this time, however, she recorded vocals for Tricky, Sylk-130, Ocean Colour Scene, The Lightning Seeds, and King Britt, and was featured on the British leg of the Lilith Fair tour. 2001 saw the release of The Essential Alison Moyet CD, and in 2002 The Essential Alison Moyet DVD.

Moyet is a more a fan of Cilla Black than of legendary British soul singer Dusty Springfield (1939-1999). However, when Springfield in 1995 made what was to become one of her very last television appearances, singing "Where Is a Woman to Go?" on the music show Later With Jools Holland (BBC), she had vocal back-up by Sinéad O'Connor and Moyet.

Comeback album, Hometime 2002. Alison's latest album, The Turn 2007.

In August 2002, after years of holding out and refusing to compromise, Moyet was finally released from her Sony contract. Moyet signed to Sanctuary Records and released her first studio album in eight years, Hometime, an album which Sony had refused to release. Hometime was produced by The Insects, who had also produced works by Massive Attack and Madonna. The release of the CD launched Moyet into the top five best-selling female UK artists of 2002 [2] and resulted in a BRIT nomination for Best Female Vocal [3] as well as a nomination for the Mercury Music Prize [4].

Voice, an eclectic collection of covers, was released on 6 September 2004 and entered the UK charts at #7. Scored and produced by Moyet's neighbour (and Academy Award winner) Anne Dudley, the album was later re-issued with a bonus track, "Alfie". A companion DVD, One Blue Voice, was released in 2006.

December 2006 saw Moyet signing a recording contract with W14 Music[1], the new Universal Music Group imprint. The deal sees Alison reunited with label head John Williams, who was her A&R man for her last two albums, Hometime and Voice.

Alison's new album, The Turn, was released on 15th October 2007, preceded by the single 'One More Time' a week earlier. The album features an eclectic mix of self-penned songs, including the three numbers she wrote for the stage play, Smaller. Again, Alison worked alongside producer/songwriter and frequent Moyet collaborator Pete Glenister.

The Turn debuted at #21 on the UK album charts on 22nd October, 2007.

Yazoo reunion

In December 2007 Side-line announced that Mute Records plans to reissue both Yazoo albums as remastered versions. The reunited band also plan a live tour to promote the re-releases[2].

The news was confirmed later on including extra details[3]. Due for release in May 2008 is In Your Room, a four-disc box set featuring the stereo remasters and 5.1 mixes of the albums Upstairs at Eric's and You and Me Both next to a disc with B-sides and remixes. Add to this a DVD featuring an exclusive short film with new interviews from Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet and the videos for "Don't Go", "The Other Side Of Love", "Nobody's Diary", "Situation (1990)" and "Only You (1999)".

The release will be followed by the 'Yazoo Reconnected: Live' tour. Currently, 18 dates have been announced[4], starting in Copenhagen on May 26. The first three dates of the U.S. tour will see Yazoo performing in Oakland (San Francisco), Los Angeles, and Chicago. Yazoo wraps up the final two dates of the U.S. tour by returning to New York City for the first time since October 1982.


Moyet made her critically acclaimed stage debut in the West End production of the musical Chicago in 2001. She played the part of Matron ‘Mama’ Morton, and although initially planned to be a short run, Moyet enjoyed the experience so much that the run was extended to six months.

In 2006, Moyet appeared in the play Smaller, which undertook a regional tour before a West End stint at London's Lyric Theatre. As well as co-starring with Dawn French, Moyet also composed three new songs for the production, which feature on her album The Turn.

Personal life

Alison was first married to hairdresser Malcolm Lee, with whom she has a son, Joe. The marriage ended in divorce. Alison then had a short-lived relationship with tour manager Kim McCarthy with whom she has a daughter, Alex, and is now married to her second husband, teaching assistant David Ballard, with whom she has a daughter, Caitlin. [5]

Alison supports Southend United Football Club and can be occasionally found in the West Stand at Roots Hall. Part of the video for "Is This Love?" was filmed at the ground. In addition, the song "Blue" - originally released as a B-side, but later re-recorded and used as the theme tune of the British TV series Playing the Field - is the singer's ode to her love of football and of Southend United.



Year Album UKUSAdditional information 1984Alf1 45 Debut solo album. 1987Raindancing2 94 Second studio album, originally titled Chasing Rain. 1991Hoodoo11 - Third studio album 1994Essex24 194 Fourth studio album 1995Singles1 - Greatest hits package, Sony Music. 1996Singles/Live20 - Greatest hits package, Sony Music. 2000Best of The Best - Gold- - Greatest hits package, Sony Music. 2001The Essential Alison Moyet16 - Greatest hits package, Sony Music. 2002Hometime18 - Comeback album, released after 8 year delay. 2004Voice7 - Album of cover versions. 2007The Turn21 Seventh studio album, UK release date: 15 Oct 2007.


Year Song UK singlesUS Hot 100Album 1984 "Love Resurrection" 10 82 Alf "All Cried Out" 8 - "Invisible" 21 31 1985 "That Ole Devil Called Love" 2 - - "For You Only" - - Alf 1986 "Is This Love?" 3 - Raindancing 1987 "Weak in the Presence of Beauty" 6 - "Ordinary Girl" 43 - "Sleep Like Breathing" 80 - "Love Letters" 4 - - 1991 "It Won't Be Long" 50 - Hoodoo "Wishing You Were Here" 72 - "This House" 40 - "Hoodoo" - - 1993 "Falling" 42 - Essex 1994 "Whispering Your Name" 18 - "Getting into Something" 51 - "Ode to Boy II" 59 - 1995 "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" - - Singles "Solid Wood" 44 - 2002 "Should I Feel That It's Over" 144 - Hometime "Do You Ever Wonder" 113 - 2003 "More" 127 - 2004 "Almost Blue" / "Alfie" 99 - Voice 2007 "One More Time" 151 - The Turn "A Guy Like You" 144 -

See also


  1. ^ Alison Moyet (ex-Yazoo) joins W14 Music
  2. ^ Yazoo prepares for reissue albums and first live gig in 25 years
  3. ^ Yazoo to release In Your Room 4 disc-box set + first dates reunion tour announced
  4. ^ Yazoo announces more European dates for 'Yazoo reunion Reconnected Tour'

External links

Categories: 1961 births | Living people | English female singers | Yazoo members | People from Billericay

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