Released on 20 April ‘The Other Live Collection’ from Alison Moyet takes a few listens to get the full depth and breadth of it. Recorded in front of a live audience, it’s 13 tracks of what must be the most beautiful voice in music today.
Alison Moyet is a bit of a UK national treasure: performing in several punk bands she found mainstream success in 1982 with Vince Clarke and their synthpop project Yazoo. The duo released two albums, ‘Upstairs at Eric’s‘, and ‘You And Me Both‘ before going their separate ways the following year. Moyet commenced her solo career and ‘The Other Live Collection‘ marks her tenth full length solo release.
At first glance it looks as though ‘The Other Live Collection’ is merely a live version of ninth release ‘Other‘, but it actually gives the listener an idea of what to expect from Moyet’s shows, and while it contains selections from ‘Other’, it also includes many songs from her extensive back catalogue.
Opening with ‘I Germinate‘, we wonder why she’s never been asked to do a Bond theme – or if she has, why she’s never taken them up on it. Bond is all we can hear in this song: it’s Bassey-esque without the bombasity, and the accompanying instrumentation, although synthy rather than orchestral, nonetheless conjures up visions of James Bond looking down the barrel of his Walther. This continues with ‘Wishing You Were Here‘ – a big big sound from a beautiful voice which after 30 odd years in the business hasn’t lost any of its strength – if anything it’s gained a whole lot, and puts to shame many live performers.
From such a beautiful album, it’s difficult to choose a top track. Being of a certain age we’re of course drawn to the classics we remember from our teens, but it’s songs like ‘The Sharpest Corner (Hollow)‘, which first appeared on her 2007 album, ‘The Turn‘, and the deeply moving ‘The Man in the Wings‘ (incidentally also from ‘The Turn’) which probably do the most for us, if pressed to choose a favourite.
Special mention must be given to the audience. It’s clear Moyet has a devoted fanbase, and she gives that love back in spades. The applause is huge: not just with old fan favourites like ‘Only You‘, and newer tracks like ‘The Rarest Birds‘, her love song to both the LGBTQ community and her adopted city of Brighton, but also with the final track, ‘Whispering Your Name‘ – you can feel the crowd rising as one to give that standing ovation. Moyet’s heartfelt “Thank you so much! Goodnight!” is moving and an inducement to anyone who hasn’t seen her perform to do so at the next possible opportunity.
Live albums often promise much but fail: ‘The Other Live Collection’ is certainly able to convey the atmosphere and warmth of Moyet’s shows. Sure, there’s not the between track banter, or the explanatory background behind the songs, but it’s a further incentive to buy that concert ticket.
‘The Other Live Collection’, by Alison Moyet, is out now on Cooking Vinyl Records. You can stream, download, and buy it from iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and all other digital media platforms. Find Alison Moyet online on her official website, Facebook, and Twitter.