Clarke got his start in Depeche Mode, where he wrote most of the songs for 1981's Speak and Spell, including "Just Can't Get Enough." A disagreement over the musical direction of the band led to his departure that same year, and he formed Yazoo (Yaz if you live in the U.S), where he again wrote most of the material, including "Don't Go." When Alison Moyet opted to go solo in 1983, Clarke worked with Eric Radcliffe and Feargal Sharkey (yes, the same one who was highlighted on this blog on November 15, 2011 ... small world, huh?) in a project called The Assembly who actually had a top 5 hit in the UK called "Never Never" that was written by Clarke (of course).
The Assembly did not work out, and Clarke started Erasure (with Andy Bell) in 1985. After a slow start, they had a string of hits in the UK and Europe, with 22 consecutive top 20 hits in the UK, including 12 that peaked in the top 10. In the U.S., Erasure was more of a cult dance/synth pop band, and had only 2 top 40 hits -- "Chains of Love" (#12) and "A Little Respect" (#14), both from 1988's The Innocents LP.
"A Little Respect" has become one of Erasure's signature songs, and is a great example of a strong dance/synth/pop song. However, it would have to go on the list of least imaginative (i.e., most literal) videos ever. Just check it out (but consider yourself warned ...)