December 18th will see the first ever digital release of “Crackers International” by Erasure. “Crackers International” is a Christmas EP released by Erasure in 1988, in between the albums “The Innocents” and “Wild!”.
The EP appeared in several different versions. The original UK release by Mute Records consisted of four original, self-produced tracks and became one of Erasure’s most successful releases. It was promoted with a simple music video for the lead track “Stop!”, showing Clarke and Bell performing the song on a stage surrounded by “stop”, “no entry”, “give way” and similar road signs.
Additionally, a version of the EP was released in the UK by Mute Records in a very limited-edition, seasonal pressing, titled Crackers International Part 2. Released originally in 12″ vinyl with extended versions of “Stop!” and “Knocking on Your Door”, both remixed by Mark Saunders, it also added the Christmas standard “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”. It was subsequently released as a compact disc containing the original 7″ versions of “Stop!” and “Knocking on Your Door”.
As for the US market, apart from different formats and versions, Sire Records also commissioned some mixes for the song by Justin Strauss, who previously had remixed “A Little Respect” for the U.S. market, but the mixes remain unreleased. This versions can be found on the Soundcloud page of Justin Strauss. Here’s one below.
Twenty-five years after “Crackers International”, in 2013, Erasure would finally release a proper Christmas album, titled “Snow Globe”.
In further news, the digital edition of the recent “Blue Savannah” EP that came out for Record Store Day is also in the pipeline.