Drama!

Summary

"Drama!"
Erasure single drama.jpg
Single by Erasure
from the album Wild!
B-side"Sweet Sweet Baby", "Paradise"
Released18 September 1989 (1989-09-18)[1]
GenreSynth-pop
Length4:08
LabelMute (UK), Sire (U.S.)
Songwriter(s)Vince Clarke, Andy Bell
Producer(s)Gareth Jones, Mark Saunders, Erasure
Erasure singles chronology
"Stop!"
(1988)
"Drama!"
(1989)
"You Surround Me"
(1989)
Music video
"Drama!" on YouTube

"Drama!" is the first single released from English synth-pop duo Erasure's fourth studio album, Wild! (1989). Written by Vince Clarke and Andy Bell, the synthpop song begins with a low-key keyboard line and a subdued vocal from Bell. As the song progresses, the instrumentation and vocals become more hectic, ultimately ending as a full-blown dance track. "Drama!" contains a "Guilty!" exclamation throughout, provided by Scottish band the Jesus and Mary Chain, who were recording in the studio next door.[2]

The single was issued by Mute Records in the UK and Sire Records in the United States. The B-side, "Sweet Sweet Baby" contains a vocal sample from the 1968 Jane Fonda film Barbarella.

Critical reception

"Drama!" was met with critical acclaim from both music critics and fans.

Ned Raggett from AllMusic commented that "Drama!" "has a slightly hysterical tone to it, but its strong dancefloor surge and weirdly droning backing Bell harmonies help make it another winner."[3] The Daily Vault's Michael R. Smith stated that it is "the fastest song Erasure has ever recorded, beginning with a thunderclap and building to an exciting climax, all made even greater by the video that was made for it." He added, "Only Andy Bell can handle a mouthful lyric like "one psychological drama after another" and make it mean something."[4] Chris Gerard from Metro Weekly wrote, "It's a killer dance track with some great keyboard riffs, Bell's vocal is outstanding, and melodically and lyrically it's unforgettable."[5] Christopher Smith from TalkAboutPopMusic noted that "with a clang of a bell, we are summoned back into the church of Erasure and treated to a quintessential piece of late 80's electro-pop perfection that builds and builds to its exciting climax."[6]

Chart performance

Released prior to Wild!, "Drama!" continued Erasure's streak of hits on the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number four. The single also fared well in Denmark, where it reached number 3 and in Germany, where it hit number 12. "Drama!" did not continue Erasure's chart success in the United States, where it failed to enter the Billboard Hot 100. It did, however, climb to number 10 on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart.

Music video

The single was promoted with a music video showing Erasure performing the song in an alley into which plastic bags and bottles are blown by the wind, followed by larger plastic items falling from above. As the items begin to fill up the alley, Clarke and Bell initially escape onto a rooftop, but are ultimately engulfed by the rising tide of plastic.

Track listings

Charts

Chart (1989) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[7] 157
Denmark (IFPI)[8] 3
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[9] 12
Ireland (IRMA)[10] 5
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[11] 35
Spain (AFYVE)[12] 18
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[13] 15
UK Singles (OCC)[14] 4
US Alternative Airplay (Billboard)[15] 11
US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[16]
with "Sweet, Sweet Baby"
10
US Dance Singles Sales (Billboard)[17]
with "Sweet, Sweet Baby"
13
West Germany (Official German Charts)[18] 12

References

  1. ^ "New Singles" (PDF). Music Week. 16 September 1989. p. 36. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  2. ^ Ryan, Gary. "Does Rock 'N' Roll Kill Braincells?! – Andy Bell, Erasure". NME.com. NME. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  3. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Erasure – Wild!". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  4. ^ Smith, Michael R. (17 December 2006). "Wild! – Erasure". The Daily Vault. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  5. ^ Gerard, Chris (17 September 2014). "Erasure's 40 Greatest Tracks". Metro Weekly. Retrieved 21 November 2020.
  6. ^ Smith, Christopher (16 October 2019). "REVIEW: 'WILD!' – ERASURE". TalkAboutPopMusic. Retrieved 21 November 2020.
  7. ^ "Response from ARIA re: chart inquiry, received 14 June 2017". Retrieved 14 June 2017 – via Imgur.
  8. ^ "Top 3 Singles in Europe" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 6, no. 42. 21 October 1989. p. VII. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
  9. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 6, no. 41. 14 October 1989. p. IV. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
  10. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Drama". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  11. ^ "Erasure – Drama!". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  12. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  13. ^ "Erasure – Drama!". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  14. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  15. ^ "Erasure Chart History (Alternative Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  16. ^ "Erasure Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  17. ^ "Erasure Chart History (Dance Singles Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  18. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Erasure – Drama!". GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved 11 October 2019.