Brilliant. Leaving Depeche Mode, the band he founded, during their first flush of commercial success, Basildon's greatest son Vince Clarke was never one to let the grass grow under his feet. Responding to Alison's Melody Maker ad seeking "blues musicians", Vince's mischevious sense of humour and songwriting talent won over the Billericay diva. No wonder the media dubbed them 'the odd couple'. Somehow, despite being poles apart musically, they joined forces and created something really special.
They lasted just over eighteen months but they packed in more superb songs in that time than most bands do in ten years. Vince maintains even now that 'Only You' - the gorgeous debut single - is the finest song he's ever written and it's easy to see why. 'Don't Go' moved the tempo up several gears and from there on it's into a unique hybrid of electro precision and gutsy blues vocals. Standout tracks include 'Midnight', 'In My Room', 'Bad Connection' (rumoured at the time to be the third single, it remained on the album) and Alison's ballad 'Winter Kills'.
This album was a huge success. The summer of 1983 saw them split on the day its follow-up, You & Me Both, was released. That album is different again. My advice: buy both of them and compare and contrast. 'Upstair's...' is a golden moment still.