Yazoo was a British synthpop band consisting of Vince Clarke and Genevieve Alison Moyet, and existant only for two years: 1982-1983.

The history of Yazoo began in 1982 when Moyet put an advertisement in the Melody Maker, looking for "rootsy blues musicians". Vince Clarke replied, and Yazoo was a fact. Their first single, "Only You / Situation", was released in May 1982 by Mute Records.

In August, the same year, the debut album was released. It was called "Upstairs At Eric's" and sold platinum in the UK.

Very soon rumours about a split emerged, but they were not confirmed until 1983, when Yazoo split up at about the same time as they released their second album; called "You and Me Both". That album was also a big success, but Vince Clarke and Genevieve Alison Moyet had decided to go separate ways; Clarke formed The Assembly together with Eric Radcliffe (and in 1985 Erasure together with Andy Bell) and Moyet went on to pursue a solo career.

In September 1999, an album called Only Yazoo - The Best Of containing Yazoo's best songs was released.

Yazoo was called Yaz in the US from the second release of "Upstairs At Eric's" and forward. The reason for this is unclear, but it might have something to do with trademark difficulties because of a blues music label in Mississippi going under the name Yazoo.


Yazoo discography

Only You / Situation (May 1982)
Don't Go / Winter Kills (July 1982)
The Other Side Of Love / Ode To Boy (November 1982)
Nobody's Diary / State Farm (April 1983)

Upstairs At Eric's (September 1982)
You And Me Both (July 1983)
Only Yazoo - The Best Of (September 1999)

The Yazoo begins in Greenwood, Mississippi at the junction of the Tallahatchie and Yalobustia rivers. Now Greenwood is already in that part of the Mississippi River floodplain called the "delta"; you'd think that the river would flow directly west into the Mississippi River.

But no, because the Mississippi has built up a series of natural levees1, the Yazoo flows south for 100 miles or so (through Yazoo City, of course) until it empties into the Mississippi near Vicksburg, probably following an old course of the Mississippi2.

As it turns out, a small river flowing in a larger river's floodplain, running parallel to the larger river, is a fairly common occurrence. The Delta region alone has several dozen of them. The Yazoo River has given its name to this type of landform. The Tallahatchie River, one of the Yazoo's principal tributaries, is a yazoo. In fact, most large river floodplains will have at least one yazoo.
1You can't possibly have thought that Humans thought that up on their own.
2I have also heard of a theory that during the last Ice Age, the Ohio River didn't empty directly into the Mississippi; instead, they flowed parallel to each other through the Delta, only merging near Vicksburg.

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