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Chad
February 23, 2013, 6:42pm Report to Moderator
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This album reminds me of the summer of 1997, warm weather, haleys comet and of course Cowboy, in keeping with that fine erasure sound this album had sing along tunes that we should here more of live.
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Savannah
July 15, 2013, 7:42pm Report to Moderator

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I agree: All the songs have something catchy that you just have to sing along, right? At the moment I only hear that one while I do my dishes every day.   "Boy" used to be my favourite tune on this album and it was that song (that I heard first on youtube) that made me buy this CD. With "save me darling" you just have to shout out the chorus-words, don`t you? Just a nice album to listen to one after the other song! I actually didn`t intend to buy this album as I had the prejudice that it would be some kind of American music or western style since it is called "Cowboy"; I thought Vince and Andy had done a tour in America and got inspired by country music. It took me some time to convince myself to give this album a try. And I found out that it has got nothing at all to do with country music! (relieve!!) Where the two get their album-names from, I wonder. But it could lead people the wrong way. I think, "Cowboy" is now my 2nd favourite album.
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Onge
July 20, 2013, 1:57pm Report to Moderator

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Best. Album. Ever. Played it multiple times daily for at least 9 months after release. I doubt it'll ever be bettered by anyone, ever.

And Chad, I think you mean the Hale Bopp comet, not Haley's!


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Savannah
July 20, 2013, 7:23pm Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Onge
Played it multiple times daily for at least 9 months after release.

That`s what I`m going to do now!   Had I known that it is such nice music I would have bought the album a long time ago!!  

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Annie
November 4, 2013, 11:18pm Report to Moderator

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In 1997 I had no idea Erasure existed.  
I learnt about this album a lot later, and it is a pity it wasn't as popular as it deserved. It's one of the best albums indeed, it's very Erasure-like, although the impact of the previous album may have affected Cowboy - although Erasure wasn't a bad album, just different. Anyway... My favourite tracks from this album are Save Me Darling (I agree with you, Savannah, you'll always end up singing the chorus out loud, in my case spoiling the poor chorus tune) and Don't Say Your Love Is Killing Me.

Now, speaking of the devil, I'll go and play it. Nighty night!  
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Mikedepaz
November 5, 2013, 4:56am Report to Moderator

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I wish Cowboy had come as the next album after I Say. I think Erasure (ST) and Loveboat are very close to the experimental ways. I love them all but felt Cowboy would have been a monster hit after i Say. People werent ready for the Erasure (ST) album back in 1995. And Stay With Me was a poor choice for a single ever.


Am I In Tomorrows World or in a Sweltering Violet Flame? oh look- World Be Gone!
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Annie
November 10, 2013, 11:26pm Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Mikedepaz
I wish Cowboy had come as the next album after I Say. I think Erasure (ST) and Loveboat are very close to the experimental ways. I love them all but felt Cowboy would have been a monster hit after i Say. People werent ready for the Erasure (ST) album back in 1995. And Stay With Me was a poor choice for a single ever.

So true! Cowboy would have favoured Erasure's success a lot. It was hard to recover from Erasure. And you're right, the same happened to Loveboat, exactly the same: The first single wasn't their best choice, according to some people (though many of us didn't actually mind) and their experimental style was not convincing to many listeners and even fans. To make things a bit worse, their next album was a set of covers, and many people are not keen on covers, which in the end affected Nightbird. Anyway... Old and well-known story.

Cowboy is a very powerful album with memorable albums. It's one of those albums you can listen to again and again and never get tired of. It brings good memories, mainly as it was their closure for an unforgettable and unique decade.

Gosh, bring back the 90s!
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Mikedepaz
November 11, 2013, 3:14am Report to Moderator

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I saw them 14 times on this tour and each one was as unique as the previous. the US had The Tiny Tour that morphed intoThe Cowboy Tour a couple months later. It was a really fun time but i think this tour killed them. They did over 100+ shows globally that killed touring until 2003 with OPS Tour. Honestly, I thought Erasure would be a studio band after Cowboy andLoveboat. They just did the occasional small club or radio show.


Am I In Tomorrows World or in a Sweltering Violet Flame? oh look- World Be Gone!
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dayalet
January 6, 2015, 4:15pm Report to Moderator
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As i have admitted, i personally find this to be the poorest album Erasure have ever made. I feel i should justify myself as to why...

The songs themselves aren't too bad, although for me they are a tad b-sidey (bizarrely, one of the few tracks i genuinely love from the era is a B side: In the Name of the Heart)

Its the production that really leaves me cold. It is so generic and AOR/MOR radio friendly that i genuinely feel it was a big mis-step .The only other time they had gone for that kinda sound had been The Innocents, and it felt like they were trying to recreate that feel (possibly to recreate US appeal), but without the variety of song styles to complement it.

Admittedly, at this point in the UK, synth music was hardly as popular as it had been, but the total lack of anything new to the Erasure 'analog' sound made it feel really cheap to me (even OPS had a kinda retro 'casiotoney' approach that added something new to the more predictable standards they covered) Everything on Cowboy feels so bland and beige... its a wall of sine tones that really need another sound to liven them up...


The whole era also lacks any cohesion from every department - as if everyone lost faith in the project. The change in Art Direction, the dissonance between Mute and Maverick regarding promotion, the choice (and number) of remixers involved, the inclusion of remixes of well known older songs to boost the packages.....

Even the choice of singles baffled me. In My Arms is an ok song (I cannot understand why Andy feels it's one of his best) As a Lead Single tho, it is pretty poor. After the declining popularity from about I Love Saturday onwards, the really needed to come back with a punchy new earworm of a song. For me, that isn't In My Arms. If it were me, I'd have gone for a punchier version of Rain as lead Single, followed by Treasure, then possibly DSYLIKM.

As for the Remixes, the only ones that made any impact on me at the time were the Matt Darey ones (of a B side and an old track....for shame), and the Blue Amazon mix of Rain. Whoever let Jon of the Pleased Wimmin loose on DSYLIKM and Rain shoulda put their hands up and admitted their mistakes. Two of the only decent songs on the Album reduced to really cheap mixes that no Club at the time would play.


To cap it all off... the Cowboy Tour. Possibly the last time E did a big style tour... and it really makes you see how lucky and talented E had been at selecting talent in the past to back them. from Derek and Ian in the early days, to Val and Emma - and the twins on the Phantasmagorical Tour, every backing vocalist had complimented not only the Band Sound, but also Andy's Voice. The Tiny Tour shoulda been a warning... but The Cowboy Tour took it to extremes. I can't remember the names of the backing vocalists (and can't even be bothered checking) but they really did nothing to assist Andy - and whoever the male singer was, I believe he sang the entire tour in a different key to everyone else - the Key of Yale!!!! Every single recording from that time really highlights how at odds they all sounded to the material. (Honestly-go and listen to some of those recordings.... tell me I'm wrong!) I'd even say that the Audio problems that prevent the Cowboy tour being released is solely down to the awfulness of the Backing Vocals.... possibly.


I value that everyone has different opinions, but I genuinely cannot understand how anyone can rate Cowboy as the best piece of work by Erasure.

When we have the joy and youth of Wonderland.
The bang of both sound and message of the Circus.
The haunting yet feelgood sonic gospel of The Innocents.
The genuine bonkers 'no rules' approach of Crackers and Wild.
The warm analog bleeps and drips of Chorus and Abba-esque.
The fairytale charms of I Say.
The swimming wash of Erasure ST.
The Grungy Dubstyle of Loveboat.
The Casiotone Cheerful Chirp of OPS.
The layers of Nightbird that envelop you like a blanket.
The retro singalong of LATEOTW (that deceptively challenges Andys voice)
The punch, vigour and joy of Tomorrows World
and the Grind, Beats, Bleeps and Melodies of The Violet Flame.


And yet Cowboy still feels like wallpaper to me. Wallpaper that you've copied off something you saw in a neighbours house. In the past. That you only put up to make it look like you've made an effort. And it matches your furniture and existing trimmings.




Apologies for the lengthy rant. I just really dislike this Album. LOL!
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Gareth Pugh
January 6, 2015, 4:47pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from 94
As i have admitted, i personally find this to be the poorest album Erasure have ever made. I feel i should justify myself as to why...

The songs themselves aren't too bad, although for me they are a tad b-sidey (bizarrely, one of the few tracks i genuinely love from the era is a B side: In the Name of the Heart)

Everything on Cowboy feels so bland and beige... And yet Cowboy still feels like wallpaper to me. Wallpaper that you've copied off something you saw in a neighbours house. In the past. That you only put up to make it look like you've made an effort. And it matches your furniture and existing trimmings.




Apologies for the lengthy rant. I just really dislike this Album. LOL!



I may not feel quite as strongly as you do but we're in the same ballpark. I thought 'Cowboy' was very safe and under-ambitious after 1995 self-titled album (or even the nursery-rhyme tones of I Say x 3 - not a fave of mine either, though I don't dislike it). For me, it was the writing, I'm afraid - songs like 'How Can I Say?', 'Worlds on Fire' and 'Save Me Darling' felt a bit like my fave band was on autopilot - like you say, beige. I don't actually dislike it - I haven't yet heard an album from V&A that I didn't think was worthwhile in some department - but this is near the bottom of the heap for me. A bit like Erasure trying too hard to 'be Erasure' in terms of what they felt had connected with the public before. But slightly blander.

Ironically, I much prefer Loveboat - sure, not an easy child to love, you had to put the time and effort in to get into it, but there are some very very strong melodies and lyrics in a lot of it (not Freedom, I grant you - there was a strange choice of lead-off single for sure). If you can get past the conscious decision at the mixing stage to make it quite lo-fi, looped and 'swampy' sounding, things like Alien, Mad as We Are, Moon and The Sky (original), Love is the Rage and especially the under-rated 'Surreal' (one of my fave Erasure album-closers ever) are real gems IMHO.

[I would guess the idea behind picking In My Arms for the lead-off single was that it may have felt to Mute like another mid-tempo anthem with a big chorus a la 'Ship of Fools' and 'Always' which had worked for them in the past; in fairness, when they tried the same with picking Solsbury Hill and Breathe in later years, it worked for them again].

So yeah - I've never quite felt the love in the room for Cowboy, nor the scorn for albums like Loveboat or Light at the End of the World. But each to their own. It'd be boring if we all felt the same about everything!
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dayalet
January 6, 2015, 5:01pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Gareth Pugh



I may not feel quite as strongly as you do but we're in the same ballpark. I thought 'Cowboy' was very safe and under-ambitious after 1995 self-titled album (or even the nursery-rhyme tones of I Say x 3 - not a fave of mine either, though I don't dislike it). For me, it was the writing, I'm afraid - songs like 'How Can I Say?', 'Worlds on Fire' and 'Save Me Darling' felt a bit like my fave band was on autopilot - like you say, beige. I don't actually dislike it - I haven't yet heard an album from V&A that I didn't think was worthwhile in some department - but this is near the bottom of the heap for me. A bit like Erasure trying too hard to 'be Erasure' in terms of what they felt had connected with the public before. But slightly blander.

Ironically, I much prefer Loveboat - sure, not an easy child to love, you had to put the time and effort in to get into it, but there are some very very strong melodies and lyrics in a lot of it (not Freedom, I grant you - there was a strange choice of lead-off single for sure). If you can get past the conscious decision at the mixing stage to make it quite lo-fi, looped and 'swampy' sounding, things like Alien, Mad as We Are, Moon and The Sky (original), Love is the Rage and especially the under-rated 'Surreal' (one of my fave Erasure album-closers ever) are real gems IMHO.

[I would guess the idea behind picking In My Arms for the lead-off single was that it may have felt to Mute like another mid-tempo anthem with a big chorus a la 'Ship of Fools' and 'Always' which had worked for them in the past; in fairness, when they tried the same with picking Solsbury Hill and Breathe in later years, it worked for them again].

So yeah - I've never quite felt the love in the room for Cowboy, nor the scorn for albums like Loveboat or Light at the End of the World. But each to their own. It'd be boring if we all felt the same about everything!



Nice to know it's not just me. I likewise love Loveboat, am a bit indifferent on I Say (I like the sound, but think its a bit too 'ballady' for my liking) I do like some of the stuff on Cowboy-I just feel that it is the one album that has very little in either sound or intent that make it anything other than my lest favourite. And you're so obviously right about In My Arms - i'm just baffled why It was picked over Rain or Love Affair if they wanted a slower track
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glazball
December 14, 2016, 5:56am Report to Moderator
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I felt the same way about Cowboy upon it's release - it seemed a safe step back towards marketable but less inspired 4 minute songs.  In retrospect, it was best because we wouldn't have wanted another Erasure styled album.  I specifically remember thinking that Rain seemed like a nonsense opener, decent enough melody but lyrics that seemed pointless, almost dumb.  Later, after I heard the demo of Rain from Buried Treasure, it confirmed what I thought I had heard...  the lyrics are nonsense and the song itself just slapped together as a radio-friendly product.

I happen to love all of Cowboy though, even though Rain still feels a little hollow for me, I don't hate it and hey it's over first!  I have great memories of that time, even getting a large group of my friends to all see Erasure in Houston.  We all had a great time, but drank a lot and did not have close seats so I missed a lot (visually).  Hope one day we'll see it on DVD or Blu-Ray.


glazball's music collection
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MikeyC
December 14, 2016, 10:40am Report to Moderator

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^ Awww, I LOVE "Rain" so much, including the lyrics!!

And FYI... While the quality isn't great at all, there are a couple of full length "Cowboy" concerts on YouTube, including Chicago and I believe the Radio City Music Hall show, which I was at!
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Big Al
December 14, 2016, 1:16pm Report to Moderator
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One of my favourite albums, certainly for pop songwriting. Precious and How Can I Say are catchy as hell - One of my favourites at the moment is 'Treasure' - any idea what was used to create the 'computer vocal' that echoes Andy in the verses? Such a nice 'accent' to the voice!
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