Thursday, August 23, 2012

Yaz(oo): Situation

Occasionally bands originating in one country are prohibited of using their name in another country due to conflicting trademarks with existing bands of the same name. In the 80s, several bands fell into this category.

One way to combat this is to buy the competing trade mark; however, this is not always possible and the solution is to rebrand the band in the other country or countries. The latter occurred with Yazoo, who was rebranded as Yaz in the US. For the purpose of this post, I will refer to them as Yaz(oo) rather than Yazoo/Yaz.

Yaz(oo) had several dance hits in the US in the 80s and 90s, but had limited mass appeal. “Situation” was the second of four #1 records to hit the top of Billboard’s Dance chart; however, its position on the Hot 100 only made it to 73. The year was 1982.

Yaz(oo) was comprised of two musicians: synthesist Vince Clarke and vocalist Alison Moyet. The synth hook was the compelling feature of this recording. I have fond memories of this song as the band I played keyboards with in 1982 and ’83, Audio Game, performed this number. We loved this song and our lead vocalist Debrin Jenkins shined on it.

“Situation” is our TV Thursday song, as it appears on a current commercial for Esurance.

Esurance Commercial

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