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Alison Moyet (born Geneviève Alison Jane Moyet, 18 June 1961), is an Englishmarker pop singer-songwriter noted for her bluesy voice.

Early life

Moyet was born in Billericaymarker, Essex, Englandmarker, to a French father and Englishmarker mother. She grew up in Basildonmarker, where she attended Nicholas School. After leaving school at 16, she worked as a shop assistant 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 (the latter featuring Gary Lammin formerly of Cock Sparrer).

Yazoo

Her mainstream pop career began in 1981 when she formed the electropop duo Yazoo with former Depeche Mode member Vince Clarke. In the United Statesmarker, 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.

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.

During the summer of 2008, Moyet reunited with Clarke as Yazoo for a series of live dates.

Solo career

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" (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 fan of British singer Dusty Springfield. In 1995, she sang back-up vocals with Sinéad O'Connor for one of Springfield's last television appearances, singing "Where Is a Woman to Go?" on the music show Later With Jools Holland.

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 and resulted in a BRIT Awards nomination for Best Female Vocal as well as a nomination for the Mercury Music Prize

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, the new Universal Music Group imprint. The deal sees Moyet reunited with label head John Williams, who was her A&R man for her last two albums, Hometime and Voice.

Moyet's album, The Turn, was released on 15 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, Moyet worked alongside producer/songwriter and frequent Moyet collaborator Pete Glenister.

The Turn debuted at #21 on the UK Album Chart on 22 October, 2007. Alison left W14 shortly after the release of "The Turn" The album received little promotion from W14.

Sony Music released Revisited: The Very Best of Alison Moyet on 19 October 2009. The track listing has been personally compiled by Moyet including material from her seven solo albums, such as All Cried Out, Invisible, Is This Love? and Windmills of Your Mind. The 'Deluxe' version of the album contains an extra disc with re-recorded version of older songs. In support of the release Moyet will be touring the UK and Ireland during November and December.

Theatre

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 Endmarker 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

Moyet was first married to hairdresser Malcolm Lee, with whom she has a son, Joe. The marriage ended in divorce. She 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. Alison now lives in Hertfordshire.

Moyet supports Southend United Football Club and can be occasionally found in the West Stand at Roots Hallmarker. 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.

Discography

Albums

Year Album UK Albums Chart U.S. Additional information
1984 Alf 1 45 Debut solo album.
1987 Raindancing 2 94 Second studio album, originally titled Chasing Rain.
1991 Hoodoo 11 - Third studio album
1994 Essex 24 194 Fourth studio album
1995 Singles 1 - Greatest hits package, Sony Music.
1996 Singles/Live 20 - Greatest hits package, Sony Music.
2000 Best of The Best - Gold - - Greatest hits package, Sony Music.
2001 The Essential Alison Moyet 16 - Greatest hits package, Sony Music.
2002 Hometime 18 - Comeback album, released after 8 year delay.
2004 Voice 7 - Album of cover versions.
2007 The Turn 21 Seventh studio album, UK release date: 15 October 2007.
2009 Revisited: The Very Best Of Alison Moyet 17 - Greatest Hits package.


Singles

Year Song UK Singles Chart U.S.marker Billboard Hot 100 Album
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" - - Hometime
"Do You Ever Wonder" - -
2003 "More" - -
2004 "Almost Blue" / "Alfie" - - Voice
2007 "One More Time" - - The Turn
"A Guy Like You" - -


See also



References

  1. allmusic (((Alison Moyet > Overview)))
  2. Alison Moyet.com
  3. BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Music | Brit Awards 2003: Winners
  4. BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Music | Debut stars scoop Brits nominations
  5. Alison Moyet (ex-Yazoo) joins W14 Music
  6. alisonmoyet.com
  7. The Scotsman


External links




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