Crackers International

Crackers International is a Christmas EP released by Erasure in 1988, in between the albums The Innocents and Wild!. It reached number-one in Denmark and number 2 in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Crackers International
Erasure crackers.jpg
EP by
Released28 November 1988 (1988-11-28)
Recorded1988
GenreSynthpop
Length24:55
LabelMuteMUTE 93
Sire25904
ProducerErasure
Erasure chronology
The Innocents
(1988)
Crackers International
(1988)
Wild!
(1989)
Erasure singles chronology
"A Little Respect"
(1988)
"Stop!"
(1988)
"Drama!"
(1989)
Alternative cover
Crackers International Part 2 cover
Crackers International Part 2 cover
Music video
"Stop!" on YouTube
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]

HistoryEdit

The EP appeared in several different versions. The original UK release by Mute Records consisted of four original, self-produced tracks. In the UK, where at the time EPs were eligible for the singles chart, it became one of Erasure's most successful releases, matching the number two peak of 1986's "Sometimes". It was promoted with a simple music video for the lead track "Stop!", showing Clarke and Bell performing the song on a stage surrounded by "stop", "no entry", "give way" and similar road signs.

In the U.S., Crackers International was still considered an EP, although two remixes were added (bringing the track list count to six) when Sire Records released it. In the U.S., where EPs chart on the Billboard 200, it hit number seventy-three. The song "Stop!" was also released as its own stand-alone single in the U.S., just barely making an appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 (number 97). On the U.S. Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart "Stop!" / "Knocking on Your Door" peaked at number four as a double-sided entry.

Additionally, a version of the EP was released in the UK by Mute Records in a very limited-edition, seasonal pressing, titled Crackers International Part 2. Released originally in 12" vinyl with extended versions of "Stop!" and "Knocking on Your Door", both remixed by Mark Saunders, it also added the Christmas standard "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen". It was subsequently released as a compact disc containing the original 7" versions of "Stop!" and "Knocking on Your Door" (also of note is the fact that there were two different versions of the single mix of "Stop!", one with a fade, and a slightly longer one with a 'cold' ending).

Sire Records commissioned some mixes for the song by Justin Strauss, who previously had remixed "A Little Respect" for the U.S. market, but the mixes remain unreleased. This versions can be found on the Soundcloud page of Justin Strauss.

Twenty-five years after Crackers International, in 2013, Erasure would finally release a proper Christmas album, titled Snow Globe.

Critical receptionEdit

Ned Raggett from AllMusic called "Stop!" brilliant, noting the "infectious energy" of the song.[2] Chris Gerard from Metro Weekly commented, "Opening with a whirring burst of synthesizer, "Stop!" goes right into a manic and irresistible dance beat completely with a chorus designed for singing along. "Stop!" is 3:02 of pure energy, a sure bet to fill the dance-floor during any '80s night. "Stop!" is a synth-pop classic."[3] Darren Lee from The Quietus noted "the pouting disco throb" of the song, stating that it is one of "the most gloriously effervescent pop anthems ever recorded."[4]

Track listingEdit

  • All tracks written by Clarke/Bell
7", Mute / E Mute 93 (UK)
  1. "Stop!" (fade ending) – 2:55
  2. "The Hardest Part" – 3:40
  3. "Knocking on Your Door" – 2:57
  4. "She Won't Be Home" – 3:28
  • There was also a 2 track 7" produced mainly for jukeboxes (Mute 93) with the same versions of "Stop!" and "Knocking on Your Door" as the 4 track version.
7", Sire-Reprise / 22879-7 (US)
  1. "Stop!" (7-inch version) – 2:55
  2. "Ship of Fools" – 4:01
  • "7-inch version" same as "fade ending"
  • also released on MC (22879-4)
12", Mute / 12 Mute 93 (UK)
  1. "Stop!" (cold ending) – 3:03
  2. "The Hardest Part" (12" version) – 5:07
  3. "Knocking on Your Door" (12" version) – 3:59
  4. "She Won't Be Home" – 3:28
  • also released on CD (CD Mute 93)
12", Mute / L12 Mute 93 (UK)
  1. "Stop!" (Mark Saunders remix) – 5:47
  2. "Knocking on Your Door" (Mark Saunders remix) – 6:07
  3. "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen" – 3:12
  • released as "Crackers International part II"
  • also released on CD (LCD Mute 93)
12", Sire-Reprise / 25904-1 (US)
  1. "Stop!" (7-inch version) – 2:55
  2. "The Hardest Part" – 3:40
  3. "Stop!" (12" remix) – 5:47
  4. "Knocking on Your Door" – 2:57
  5. "She Won't Be Home" – 3:28
  6. "Knocking on Your Door" (12" remix) – 6:07
  • also released on CD (25904-2) and MC (25904-4)
  • 12" mixes by Mark Saunders
CD, Mute / EBX 3.1 (UK)
  1. "Stop!" (cold ending) – 3:03
  2. "The Hardest Part" – 3:40
  3. "Knocking On Your Door" – 2:57
  4. "She Won't Be Home" – 3:28
  5. "The Hardest Part" (12" version) – 5:06
  6. "Knocking On Your Door" (12" version) – 3:59
  7. "Stop!" (Mark Saunders remix) – 5:47
  8. "Knocking on Your Door" (Mark Saunders remix) – 6:07
  9. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" – 3:10
  • part of the CD single box set

ChartsEdit

Chart (1988) Peak
position
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[5] 16
Denmark (IFPI)[6] 1
Ireland (IRMA)[7] 2
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[8] 49
New Zealand (RIANZ)[9] 40
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[10] 15
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[11] 2
US Billboard 200[12] 73
West Germany (Media Control Charts)[13] 18

PersonnelEdit

  • Erasure– producer
  • Cameron Jenkins – assistant engineer
  • Phil Legg – mixing
  • Jock Loveband – assistant engineer
  • Alan Moulder – engineer
  • Mark Saunders – remixing, mixing

RemixersEdit

Mark SaundersEdit

  1. "Stop!" (Mark Saunders remix) – 5:47
  2. "Knocking on Your Door" (12" version) – 3:59
  3. "Knocking on Your Door" (Mark Saunders remix) – 6:07

Mark Saunders and Phil LeggEdit

  1. "Stop!" (cold ending) – 3:03
  2. "Stop!" (fade ending) – 2:55

Phil LeggEdit

  1. "She Won't Be Home" – 3:28
  2. "The Hardest Part" (12" version) – 5:07

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Ruhlmann, William (25 September 2007). "AllMusic review". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  2. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Erasure – Pop! The First 20 Hits". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  3. ^ Gerard, Chris (17 September 2014). "Erasure's 40 Greatest Tracks". Metro Weekly. Retrieved 21 November 2020.
  4. ^ Lee, Darren (27 February 2009). "Erasure – TOTAL POP! ERASURE'S FIRST 40 HITS". The Quietus. Retrieved 21 November 2020.
  5. ^ Steffen Hung. "Erasure – Crackers International". austriancharts.at. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  6. ^ Danish Singles Chart 27 January 1989
  7. ^ Jaclyn Ward (1 October 1962). "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Archived from the original on 1 February 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  8. ^ Steffen Hung. "Erasure – Crackers International". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  9. ^ Steffen Hung. "Erasure – Crackers International". charts.nz. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  10. ^ Steffen Hung. "Die Offizielle Schweizer Hitparade und Music Community". swisscharts.com. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  11. ^ "Official Charts Company". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  12. ^ "Music News, Reviews, Articles, Information, News Online & Free Music". Billboard.com. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  13. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche". musicline.de. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2012.