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Erasure - Chains of Love (1988)

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“Chains of Love” is a song by British synthpop duo Erasure, released in May 1988 as their ninth single overall. The song was released by Mute Records as the second single from Erasure’s third studio album The ...

“Chains of Love” is a song by British synthpop duo Erasure, released in May 1988 as their ninth single overall.

The song was released by Mute Records as the second single from Erasure’s third studio album The Innocents. In the United States, Sire Records released it as the first single. The album version was produced by Stephen Hague and was slightly remixed for its single release (most notably the album version starts cold, while the radio version contains a short synthesizer pattern as an intro).

“Chains of Love” became Erasure’s sixth consecutive Top 20 hit on the UK singles chart, just missing the Top 10 by peaking at number 11. In the United States, it became Erasure’s mainstream breakthrough by climbing to number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and becoming the group’s first entry on the Modern Rock Tracks chart. It also hit number four on the U.S. Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. “Chains of Love” remains Erasure’s highest-charting single in the United States.

The song, written by Vince Clarke and Andy Bell, is an uptempo dance-oriented synthpop track with Clarke’s signature analogue sound and Bell’s lyrics about breaking through any restrictions or stereotypes of what love should be. The lyrics allude subtly to Bell’s desire for wider acceptance of gay couples, his pain evident from the opening lines “How can I explain when there are few words I can choose/How can I explain when words get broken”. The chorus is memorable for Bell’s use of falsetto. The music video featured Clarke and Bell performing the song while being hoisted through the air by thick, metal chains.