On this date – November 5th – 39 years ago, Alison Moyet released her first solo album ‘Alf’. The title of course a nod to her nickname and the name she was using during the Yazoo years.
‘Alf’ was a departure from Vince Clarkes electronics, a “big money” production by Steve Jolley & Tony Swain, who had formerly had succesful working relationships with Spandau Ballet and Bananarama. In 1984 Alison told Number One magazine:
“With Swain and Jolley, I can get on with what I do best, writing lyrics and singing. We had a writing session at my house – two weeks around the piano. Some of the songs were written over the phone.”
The album topped the UK Albums Chart, and by early December, it had achieved a double platinum certification. In April 1985 it had gone triple platinum and in February 1987 it went quadruple. In 1985, the success of the album led to Moyet receiving her first Brit Award for Best British Female Solo Artist.
On November 25th 2016 a Deluxe Edition of the album was released, containing several 12″ mixes and extra tracks.
Despite of the commercial succes, Alison does have love- hate relationship with the album. In 2016 she recalled:
“I have, in the past, distanced myself from Alf. Because there were things about me at 21 that I could no longer relate to and it’s slightly odd singing the lyrics of a 21-year-old as you age. But distance creates a love. I fell out with Alf because I felt like that, after making subsequent records, it was like walking down the street and being told, ‘I liked you better when you were going out with him.’ When you’re older you can see that your first love was actually a really nice soul.”
A big happy birthday to ‘Alf’. Let’s give it a listen in honor of the birthday.