mute records | i mute451 | 05/12/2010
Erasure re-recorded what might well be their signature song, ‘A Little Respect’, in 2010. Released as a one-track download, the single was issued in support of the Hetrick-Martin Institute, a New York-based non-profit organisation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LBGTQ) youths between the ages of 13 and 24.
The charity’s name is taken in honour of its founders, psychiatrist Dr. Emery Hetrick and NYU professor Dr. Damien Martin who founded the Institution for the Protection of Lesbian and Gay Youth (IPLGY) in 1979. The organisation was renamed following the deaths of its co-founders and states its aim as follows: ‘The Hetrick-Martin Institute believes all young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential.’ (Source: HMI website)
‘A Little Respect’ has always had an anthemic quality, whether in the hands of Erasure themselves or in the likes of Wheatus or the many other acts who have subsequently co-opted the song for themselves (and there are plenty). At its heart is a simple, understated message of defiance and a polite demand for equal treatment. As a spirited call to respect a person just because they don’t fit in, have a different sexual orientation, a different belief system or any number of personal values that might not quite fit with the homogeneity that is the so-called ‘norm’, ‘A Little Respect’ has a universally simple appeal and it lends itself perfectly to HMI’s laudable goals. It’s an organisation that Erasure’s Andy Bell is a major supporter of, hence the re-worked version of the track that he and Vince Clarke put together – aided by the Hetrick-Martin Institute Youth Chorus – with proceeds going to the charity.
Fans of the original Stephen Hague-produced track will no doubt bemoan the springy, updated new arrangement (which ditches Vince’s guitar in favour of a crisper beat and shimmering electronic palette), but Andy Bell could probably sing this backward and it would still sound just as uplifting. The addition of the choir inevitably reminds the listener of the crowd at Rangers who seem to have co-opted the track as an unofficial anthem, but some deep soulful ad libs at the very end brings this right back into the warm nod to Motown that many of the tracks on The Innocents carried.
More information on HMI can be found here. A video for the single was released and can be viewed below.
Thanks to Jorge.
1. A Little Respect (HMI Redux)
(c) 2014 Mat Smith / Documentary Evidence