Breath of Life (Erasure song)

"Breath of Life" is a 1992 song by English synth-pop duo Erasure, released as the fourth and final single from their fifth studio album, Chorus. It was written by Erasure members Vince Clarke and Andy Bell with additional input from Pat O'Brien. An uptempo synthpop song, its dance music elements were strongly accentuated for the club remixes. For the single release, it was remixed slightly, including a shortened intro. In the United States, it was the third single released from the album.

"Breath of Life"
Breath of Life (Erasure song).jpg
Single by Erasure
from the album Chorus
ReleasedMarch 16, 1992
Length3:56 (single mix)
4:07 (album version)
LabelMute (UK)
Sire (U.S.)
Songwriter(s)Vince Clarke, Andy Bell
Producer(s)Martyn Phillips
Erasure singles chronology
"Am I Right?"
"Breath of Life"
"Take a Chance on Me"
Music video
"Breath of Life" on YouTube

Critical receptionEdit

Ned Raggett from AllMusic said the song is a "polite declaration of love and passion over a gently soaring dance arrangement -- not as full out as other Erasure highlights, but pleasant enough."[1] Larry Flick from Billboard described it as a "pulsating techno/NRG workout", and complimented Bell's voice for being "on target, giving depth to the song's clever wordplay."[2] The Daily Vault's Michael R. Smith noted that "Breath Of Life" "has some great percolating synth work by Vince, but is typical Erasure fare and nothing really much to write home about."[3] Chris Gerard from Metro Weekly wrote, "Driven by dueling keyboard riffs and a sparse, heavy beat", the song is "exciting electronic pop with brilliant melody and vocal by Andy Bell. The vocal arrangement (especially during the 2nd verse) is chilling."[4]

Chart performanceEdit

The track became Erasure's eleventh top-ten hit on the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number eight. Their string of top-forty singles in Germany was broken with this release when it peaked at number forty-four. "Breath of Life" was also a top-ten hit in Finland and Ireland. It did not enter the US Billboard Hot 100 but did reach number twenty-nine on the Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart. Unlike all of Erasure's prior single releases in the UK, all formats of "Breath of Life" contained only remixes and no new compositions as B-side tracks.

Music videoEdit

A music video was made to accompany the song. It was published on YouTube in September 2014. As of November 2020, the video has got more than 4,4 million views.

Track listingsEdit

7": Mute / MUTE142 (UK)

  1. "Breath of Life" (Single Mix)
  2. "Breath of Life" (Swiss Mix)
  3. "Breath of Life" (Accapella Dub Mix)

12": Mute / 12 MUTE142 (UK)

  1. "Breath of Life" (Divine Inspiration Mix)
  2. "Breath of Life" (Umbilical Mix)
  3. "Breath of Life" (Swiss Mix)
  4. "Breath of Life" (Elixir Mix)
  5. "Breath of Life" (Stripped Mix)

CD: Mute / CDMUTE142 (UK)

  1. "Breath of Life" (7" Mix)
  2. "Breath of Life" (Divine Inspiration Mix)
  3. "Breath of Life" (Stripped Mix)
  4. "Breath of Life" (Swiss Mix) [labelled simply 'Breath of Life']
  5. "Breath of Life" (Accapella Dub Mix)

CD: Sire / 40344-2 (US)

  1. "Breath of Life" (Single Remix)
  2. "Breath of Life" (Divine Inspiration Mix)
  3. "Breath of Life" (Swiss Mix)
  4. "Waiting For Sex" (Full Version)
  5. "Breath of Life" (Umbilical Mix)
  6. "Breath of Life" (Elixir Mix)
  7. "Breath of Life" (Stripped Mix)
  8. "Carry On Clangers"


Chart (1992) Peak
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[5] 25
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[6] 9
Germany (Official German Charts)[7] 44
Ireland (IRMA)[8] 8
UK Singles (OCC)[9] 8
UK Dance Singles (Music Week)[10] 36
US Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales (Billboard)[11] 29


  1. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Erasure – Breath of Life". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 November 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard magazine. 16 May 1992. p. 72. Retrieved 12 February 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Smith, Michael R. (10 June 2007). "Chorus – Erasure". The Daily Vault. Retrieved 20 November 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Gerard, Chris (17 September 2014). "Erasure's 40 Greatest Tracks". Metro Weekly. Retrieved 21 November 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ " – Erasure – Breath of Life" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  6. ^ Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 951-31-2503-3.
  7. ^ " – Erasure – Breath of Life" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  8. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Breath of Life". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  9. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  10. ^ "Top 60 Dance Singles" (PDF). Music Week. 28 March 1992. p. 22. Retrieved 29 September 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "Erasure Chart History (Dance Singles Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved 21 October 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External linksEdit