Wild!

Onge's Review

Wild! was released in 1989 and ended up being another number one album home to several successful UK singles. Produced by Gareth Jones, Mark Saunders and the band, this release contains some of Erasure's finest songs, but also some of their least popular. The album opens with Piano Song - Instrumental which is a pointless track - it's even too short to be used for karaoke. Clearly an album filler, which is a shame. Blue Savannah gets the album properly under way; a wonderfully diverse song, produced and performed to perfection. Let down by an atrocious video, this single still did well in the UK charts and rightfully so. As too did Drama!, a largely unconventional Erasure number, which builds up from the low-key introduction to an explosion of a climax as the song concludes. Andy's vocals of the line "your shame is never ending" are somewhat overdrawn and over sung, but this is the only downer in this fine Erasure song.

Erasure sidestepped slightly on Wild!, with slightly mixed results. On the one hand, the by-now-established Erasure song formula resulted in a number of tunes sounding like revamps of earlier numbers...On the other hand, Erasure tries stretching its most since the orchestrated rerecordings on The Two-Ring Circus, often with great success. Wild! is a mixed but still worthy affair.

AllMusic Guide

How Many Times? is a nice soothing slowy, one of the band's most beautiful. Andy's singing is gorgeous and understated and whilst the track isn't ground breaking, it is still a fine song. The tempo rises once more for Star, another song with the stigma of an awful video to accompany it as a single. The jungle style beat and undeniable catchiness of this track makes it a song of great enjoyment. The verse lyrics condemn the actions of the bible preachers who claim you can buy your way in heaven (which are rife on American religious television), with the chorus lyrics apparently warning of the perils of a nuclear war. With the fine melody and performance, this is a marvellous musical experience.

La Gloria follows which is a largely unpopular song with fans. I enjoy the flamenco feel to the song, aided by Spanish guitars and maracas clapping their way through this novelty song. Certainly not a track too be taken too seriously, but one that is harshly much-maligned in my view. You Surround Me is another melodious ballad, but one that offers little to excite. A single it may have been, but by no means an Erasure song of outstanding merit. Brother And Sister is another dancey Wild! track, where Andy puts in a sterling performance, particularly as the song begins to draw to a close. Fitting of being a single, the chorus is extremely contagious and enjoyable, making this an undeniable album highlight.

Fans' Best/Worst Of

Top 3 Songs
  1. Drama!
  2. Blue Savannah
  3. Brother And Sister
Bottom 2 Songs
  1. La Gloria
  2. 2000 Miles
Results taken from Poll 2008-09

The bizarre 2000 Miles follows and although the sentiment of needing to be far away from a bitching partner is clear the verses are full of some weak nursery rhyme style concepts. The production is characterless adding to the negative vibes emulating from this particular song. Crown Of Thorns leaves the silliness of 2000 Miles behind with a deep and meaningful assessment of the historical cruelty of mankind. A sombre if depressing song this is a resolute attempt to show a more serious side to Erasure's song writing. Piano Song concludes the album. A simplistic but very effective solo piano compliments Andy's downcast lyrics, concluding the album in satisfactory style.

Summary

The album's mixture of slow numbers and up-tempo dance floor attempts don't really fit snugly. With no real re-occurring thematic style the album does not real flow as a whole, but it still home to some top Erasure songs. By no means an album to overlook, Wild! is a noteworthy enough but will never be regarded as a classic Erasure release.

Fan Reviews

Below are some fan reviews written by visitors to this very site. Once you've read these, please feel free to use the form at the end of the page to write your own review.

  1. I was already in love, but after Wild! I knew just how long Erasure was going to be around, and that was for a very long time. Orchestral and flawless, the album ranges from balladesque country and western to flamenco electronica, symphonic angst to the depths of despair. This will always be my one of my favorite Erasure albums, simply due to its naked truth and power.

    10 out of 10
    Reviewed by Mig, Santa Cruz, CA
    1 January 2006 2:30 pm (GMT)
  2. The first time i heard this i was bemused, but it sounded more and more fantastic the more I listened to it. You begin to hear parts and sounds you had never heard before. The middle 8 in ‘Brother and sister’ blows me away. Great stuff. It sounds very natural and less synthetic than some other albums.

    10 out of 10
    Reviewed by mark, Stratford
    10 January 2006 10:44 pm (GMT)
  3. After the resounding success reached by The Innocents, Clarke & Bell released another record so powerful as that other one, even though Wild! hadn’t gotten the same level of success. It’s an album full of stunning moments, such as: Blue Savannah, a pop masterpiece that talks about love under a very sweet perspective but without sounding stupid ; Star, an irresistible song with its galloping rhythm ; Drama!, a very potent one which is probably the most noisy moment from Erasure’s career (do U know Jesus & Mary Chain band sang “Guilty” on this one?!) ; You Surround Me, a magnificent ballad that reached a weak result when it was released as a single (totally unfair!) ; Piano Song, another gorgeous ballad that ends properly Wild! one in a totally melancholic atmosphere ; Brother And Sister, a very infectious song that reminds me of a depechemodian style, mainly because of its lyrics ; and finally Crown Of Thorns, a ballad with sensational (and a bit underrated, I think) lyrics sung in a Middle-Age atmosphere brilliantly created by Vince, which matches perfectly the tragic poetry written by Andy. Regarding the other 3 ones from Wild! – How Many Times?, 2,000 Miles and La Gloria, I really like all of them but without enthusiasm indeed. For ending my review (cough, cough, cough), I would like to suggest that 4 absolutely essential b-sides from Wild! age were included on this work, which are Supernature, Runaround On The Underground, Paradise and Dreamlike State. Uff!

    10 out of 10
    Reviewed by Ocean Soul, Rio de Janeiro
    21 January 2006 5:51 pm (GMT)
  4. Wild!…not one of Erasure’s best works. This isn’t anything special, nevertheless a good record. It does include two of my favourite tracks; the wonderful “you surround me” and the brilliant “brother & sister”. :D

    7 out of 10
    Reviewed by jemuvompo, Finland
    30 January 2006 6:32 pm (GMT)
  5. This album was my first Erasure’s album. I bought in a small shop. My “Wild” was the lastest MC in the shop.

    8 out of 10
    Reviewed by Kuncz Helga, Hungary
    28 October 2006 4:55 pm (GMT)
  6. PIANO SONG – INSTRUMENTAL [7/10]
    BLUE SAVANNAH [10/10]
    DRAMA [10/10]
    HOW MANY TIMES [7/10]
    STAR [9/10]
    LA GLORIA [5/10]
    YOU SURROUND ME [10/10]
    BROTHER AND SISTER [9/10]
    2,000 MILES [6/10]
    CROWN OF THORNS [9/10]
    PIANO SONG [8/10]

    9 out of 10
    Reviewed by Michael, Amarillo, TX
    27 July 2007 7:19 am (GMT)
  7. Wild! has almost everything, from soft ballads to powerful songs. The beginning is a little piece of Piano Song (called Instrumental) that is convincing and anticipates the use of the piano sound in most of the songs. Blue Savannah is the second track, here they offer an easy listening love song, this is not the best tune but it is indubitably beautiful, a classic. Then, we have Drama!, a tremendously gorgeous melody of Vince leads you to a climax where Andy -with Jesus And Mary Chains as a choir- sings fantastically -curiously, V&A have hated Drama! for years-. The next song is How Many Times?, I remember that when I first listened to it I thought that Andy was not the singer, he does it surprisingly in a low-pitched way, a marvelous ballad. Star is a fine song with very good lyrics against TV preachers but the video is really awful, not the best choice for a single. La Gloria follows being a funny but not memorable song, Andy didn’t have a good Spanish at that time and these mixed lyrics were not necessary. You Surround Me shows a variety and richness unusual in pop music, really relaxing. Brother And Sister is a potential single, adding strong lyrics to a catchy melody. 2000 Miles is the weakest track of Wild!, silly lines and a non-inspired sound. On the other hand, Crown Of Thorns offers an intelligent anti-war allegory along with a beautifully sad music. This album ends with Piano Song, in its full version. This is a nice song but listening to the instrumental part I hoped something more.
    Singles’ extra songs: Sweet, Sweet Baby: very catchy danceable song, a hidden treasure; Paradise: one nice song, it would be better to include this one in the album instead of 2000 miles; Supernature: a very good cover; 91 Steps: irritating song that repeats the same sequence all the time; Runaround On the Underground: a fine melody with potential to be better; No G.D.M.: almost a rarity, no a great thing; Dreamlike State: the elder brother of I Love Saturday –watch the similar lyrics-, as Sweet, Sweet Baby and Paradise this ballad deserved to be included in the album.
    Summary: An excellent record, without 2000 Miles it would be perfect.

    9 out of 10
    Reviewed by Hernán, Buenos Aires-Argentina
    22 July 2008 9:12 pm (GMT)
  8. Piano Song Instrumental – gets you in the mood for what immediately follows. Blue Savannah – a nimble-fingered, keyboard-led feast for the ears which seems to be particularly popular among women. Drama! – does exactly what it says on the tin, and more one for the guys. Perhaps it’s the rapid Stylophone stylus-style key changes in the instrumental bit, or the chance to shout ‘guilty!’ very loudly and often, but I love this one the most on this album. How Many Times? – a lovely ballad giving Andy the chance to explore the deeper end of his range and Vince to include some great instrumental interludes. Star – a bit of a mix. The verses require some fast expulsion of words, but the chorus is a classic and the ‘From Moscow To Mars’ line found its way on to the Milton Keynes Bowl Wild! Party concert ticket. La Gloria – a flamenco frolic using better Spanish than I can manage. You Surround Me – sensual splendour. Brother And Sister – bowls along merrily, much like the sometimes functional family it’s about. 2,000 Miles – as manic as the relationship it depicts. Crown Of Thorns – the third social conscience track, hoping England as a nation can recover some of the glory it seemed to have lost by 1989. Piano Song – a sad but beautiful ending.

    9 out of 10
    Reviewed by Paul, UK
    2 August 2011 3:38 pm (GMT)
  9. not quite the powerhouse of an album that the innocents was (two good but not great tracks perhaps in La Gloria and 2000 miles) but a very good pop album with some wonderful tracks such as how many times, blue savannah and piano song. Why the Americans didn’t like this as much as the innocents is beyond me, while the uk and irish audience ate it up

    8 out of 10
    Reviewed by Paraic Ireland
    25 June 2013 3:57 pm (GMT)
  10. its an album with no hit !

    no single could have been a hit on that time

    there is no song with potential for a hit, but there are a lot of brilliant songs for fans only

    BROTHER AND SISTER and CROWNS OF THORNS for example are the highlights

    9 out of 10
    Reviewed by Christianz Germany
    14 November 2013 9:53 pm (GMT)
  11. Couldn’t wait for the release – Stood outside HMV waiting for; hmmm yes this would have been my first Erasure CD, wow!

    Very much the good the bad the ugly, mainly good though. The music sound was so fresh, very bad like, Blue Savannah still blows me away to this day.

    Great memories of this record, thanks lads, times where great in the dayz

    8 out of 10
    Reviewed by steve
    21 February 2014 3:02 pm (GMT)

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