“Drama!” by Erasure
It has been suggested that the addressee of “Drama!” would be an individual akin to a drama queen. But relying solely on that conclusion may oversimplify all that’s going on here.
Yes, the person being addressed would obviously be the type that prefers having the spotlight on him or herself by continually introducing some kind of “drama” into the equation of everyday life. It can be said that the addressee is someone who just can’t let a normal, peaceful day go by. Furthermore, the lyrics imply that this individual is self-righteous.
So in the name of rectifying the perpetual need for self-pity on the part of this person, what the vocalist focuses on is encouraging him or her to, number one treat other people better and number two find something constructive to do in the meantime. It can also be postulated, based on the second verse, that part of this strategy also includes making the addressee come to realize that at the end of the day, we’re all equally “fragile”.
So honestly, there’s really a lot going on here. But we can deduce that the vocalist doesn’t favor characters who are overly-sensitive and resultantly conflictual, whether internally and externally.
In fact under Erasure’s estimation, it seems the focus shouldn’t really be on ourselves anyway. Rather, our interest should be in loving one another more. And apparently this is an outlook they’re not only espousing on an individual level but also macrocosmically.
Erasure is a duo of musicians, vocalist Andy Bell and instrumentalist Vince Clarke, from London. The latter, who is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, would relatedly be better known to some readers as one of the co-founders of Depeche Mode. And even though Erasure may not be as well known internationally, they’ve been around almost as long as Depeche Mode, going on four decades as of the writing of this post.
Erasure’s most recent and 18th studio album, The Neon (2020), actually reached as high as number 4 on the UK Albums Chart. But the 1980s going into the 1990s was definitely their decade. During the 1990s, the pair dropped four consecutive studio albums that were UK Albums Chart Toppers. The albums in question are:
- The Innocent (1988)
- Wild! (1989)
- Chorus (1991)
- I Say I Say I Say (1994)
The last of those efforts also marks the highest they ever reached on the Billboard 200, at position 18.
And the song that we’ve covered today, as you can probably deduce from the exclamation mark featured in the title, is from Wild!. In fact “Drama!” was the lead single from that effort, being released as such via Mute Records and Sire Records on 18 September 1989.
This song performed well on the UK Singles Chart, where it peaked at number four. And it also (along with its B-side, Sweet Sweet Baby) also on a couple of Billboard lists stateside.
A Scottish band known as The Jesus and Mary Chain provides backup vocals on this track.
Andy Bell and Vince Clarke are recognized as the writers of this song. They also, under the Erasure moniker, co-produced it with Gareth Jones and Mark Saunders.