Chorus (Erasure album)

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CD cover art
Studio album by
Released14 October 1991
Recorded1989, early winter 1990
LabelMute (Germany/UK)
Sire/Reprise (USA)
ProducerMartyn Phillips[1]
Erasure chronology
I Say I Say I Say
Singles from Chorus
  1. "Chorus"
    Released: 17 June 1991
  2. "Love to Hate You"
    Released: 9 September 1991
  3. "Am I Right?"
    Released: 25 November 1991
  4. "Breath of Life"
    Released: 16 March 1992
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[2]
Smash Hits5/10 stars[3]
Q3/5 stars[4]

Chorus, Erasure's fifth proper studio album, was released on 14 October 1991 by Mute Records in Germany and the UK and on 15 October 1991 by Sire/Reprise Records in the United States. It later made the short list of nominees for the 1992 Mercury Prize. In 1999, Ned Raggett ranked the album at number 45 in his list of "The Top 136 or So Albums of the Nineties".[5]


Upon its release, Chorus became Erasure's third consecutive number-one album in the UK and gave them four more top twenty hits. In the U.S., it was Erasure's highest-debuting and highest-peaking album on the Billboard 200 at the time, entering at #29. It gave Erasure their first Billboard Hot 100 entry since "Stop!" with the title track, which also charted well on the Modern Rock Tracks chart and Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. Chorus also charted well in Germany, where it peaked at number thirteen.


Prior to the album's production, programmer Vince Clarke had noticed technical limitations of the by-then-predominant MIDI sequencing standard, notably that the protocol's low signal rate resulted in timing errors (known as "MIDI slop") when multiple notes were triggered simultaneously. In an effort to eliminate this and give the album a "tighter" feel, he avoided the use of MIDI completely, using primarily analog synthesizers and the Roland MC-4 CV/gate sequencer. The avoidance of MIDI had other side effects on the sound of the album, such as the lack of chorded voices (the MC4 can only trigger one note at a time per instrument) and the absence of digital synthesizers and samplers, due to lack of CV/gate control on available models. Clarke would continue with this production technique for later recordings through the 90s.[6]

Special editions[edit]

Chorus was also released as a limited-edition CD in special packaging. Instead of a jewel case, it came in a folding cardboard box. The cover was also different, with the two portraits taken from the side instead of the front, as on the cassette releases. It included the standard lyrics booklet, as well as 8 picture cards with various artwork. The first four are the stock photography from the booklet and have "e" logo backs: family on the beach (later used for the "Love to Hate You" single cover), a business meeting group, three businessmen at a construction site, and a woman and child bicycling. The next four are the portraits from the album cover, one each of Clarke and Bell from the front and side. The backs of these have patient data from Clarke and Bell's MRI scans.

Another special edition was released as a promotional item for the music industry: a hardcover book entitled Chorus Software User Manual with hidden compartments inside which hold a copy of the CD and cassette as well as the same 8 cards as the other special edition.

2016 "Erasure 30" 30th Anniversary BMG Reissue LP[edit]

Subsequent to their acquisition of Erasure's back catalog, and in anticipation of the band's 30th anniversary, BMG commissioned reissues of all previously released UK editions of Erasure albums up to and including 2007's Light at the End of the World. All titles were pressed and distributed by Play It Again Sam on 180-gram vinyl and shrinkwrapped with a custom anniversary sticker.

2020 Deluxe Edition[edit]

A 3-CD Deluxe Edition of the album was released by BMG on 14 February 2020. This was made up of a remastered version of the original 1991 album (disc 1), a collection of seventeen B-sides, remixes and rare tracks (disc 2) and a recording of the album performed live on their "Phantasmagorical Entertainment" tour of 1992 at the Manchester Apollo theatre.[7]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Andy Bell and Vince Clarke.

  1. "Chorus" – 4:26
  2. "Waiting for the Day" – 3:50
  3. "Joan" – 3:50
  4. "Breath of Life" – 4:07
  5. "Am I Right?" – 4:18
  6. "Love to Hate You" – 3:56
  7. "Turns the Love to Anger" – 3:56
  8. "Siren Song" – 4:44
  9. "Perfect Stranger" – 4:05
  10. "Home" – 4:14


Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1991) Peak
Austrian Albums Chart[8] 5
Canadian Albums Chart[9][10] 21
German Albums Chart[11] 15
Swedish Albums Chart[12] 14
Swiss Albums Chart[13] 21
UK Albums Chart[14] 1
US Billboard 200[15] 29


  1. ^ "Martyn Phillips". Martyn Phillips. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ Dee, Johnny (16 October 1991). "Review: LPs". Smash Hits.
  4. ^ Sutcliffe, Phil (November 1991). "Review". Q.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 January 2000. Retrieved 2011-03-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Vince Clarke article on
  7. ^ "Erasure - Chorus (Deluxe Edition) - 3CD Bookpack "Mute Bank"; Retrieved 3 March 2020
  8. ^ Steffen Hung. "Erasure - Chorus". Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  9. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Archived from the original on 24 June 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  10. ^ "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 24 June 2012.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "". 14 October 1991. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  12. ^ Steffen Hung. "Erasure - Chorus". Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  13. ^ Steffen Hung. "Erasure - Chorus". Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  14. ^ "The Official Charts Company - Chorus by Erasure Search". The Official Charts Company. 6 May 2013.
  15. ^ Erasure. "Erasure - Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 24 June 2012.