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Depeche Mode

Originally a product of Britain's new romantic movement, Depeche Mode went on to become the quintessential electro-pop band of the 1980s. One of the first acts to establish a musical identity based completely around the use of synthesizers, they began their existence as a bouncy dance-pop outfit but gradually developed a darker, more dramatic sound that ultimately positioned them as one of the most successful alternative bands of their era.

The roots of Depeche Mode date to 1976, when Basildon, England-based keyboardists Vince Clarke and Andrew Fletcher first teamed to form the group No Romance in China. The band proved short-lived, and by 1979 Clarke had formed French Look, another duo featuring guitarist/keyboardist Martin Gore; Fletcher soon signed on, and the group rechristened itself Composition of Sound. Initially, Clarke handled vocal chores, but in 1980 singer David Gahan was brought in to complete the lineup. After one final name change to Depeche Mode, the quartet members jettisoned all instruments excluding their synthesizers, honing a slick, techno-based sound to showcase Clarke's catchy melodies.

After building a following on the London club scene, Depeche Mode debuted in 1980 with "Photographic," a track included on the Some Bizzare Album label compilation. After signing to Mute Records, they issued "Dreaming of Me" in early 1981; while neither the single nor its follow-up, "New Life," caused much of a stir, their third effort, "Just Can't Get Enough," became a Top Ten U.K. hit, and their 1981 debut LP, Speak and Spell, was also a success. Just as Depeche Mode appeared poised for a major commercial breakthrough, however, principal songwriter Clarke abruptly exited to form Yazoo with singer Alison Moyet, leaving the group's future in grave doubt.

As Gore grabbed the band's songwriting reins, the remaining trio recruited keyboardist Alan Wilder to fill the technological void created by Clarke's departure. While 1982's A Broken Frame deviated only slightly from Depeche Mode's earlier work, Gore's ominous songs grew more assured and sophisticated by the time of 1983's Construction Time Again. Some Great Reward, issued the following year, was their artistic and commercial breakthrough, as Gore's dark, kinky preoccupations with spiritual doubt ("Blasphemous Rumours") and psychosexual manipulation ("Master and Servant") came to the fore; the egalitarian single "People Are People" was a major hit on both sides of the Atlantic and typified the music's turn toward more industrial textures.

Released in 1986, the atmospheric Black Celebration continued the trend toward grim melancholy and further established the group as a commercial force; it eventually sold over 500,000 copies in the U.S., which earned it gold status. Released in 1987, Music for the Masses, featuring three Hot 100 singles in "Strangelove," "Never Let Me Down Again," and "Behind the Wheel," propelled the group into the mainstream. The album would sell over a million copies in the U.S. alone. A subsequent sold-out tour yielded the 1989 double live set 101. Recorded at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, it was accompanied by a concert film directed by the legendary D.A. Pennebaker.

With the alternative music boom of the early '90s, Depeche Mode emerged as one of the world's most successful acts. The triple-platinum Violator, released in 1990, was a Top Ten smash that spawned the hits "Personal Jesus" (a number eight single), "Enjoy the Silence," "Policy of Truth," and "World in My Eyes." Their 1993 LP Songs of Faith and Devotion -- featuring a significant change in its heavy use of electric guitars -- entered the charts in the number one slot. However, at the peak of its success, the group began to unravel, beginning with Wilder's 1995 exit. Gahan attempted to take his own life and later entered a drug rehabilitation clinic to battle an addiction to heroin.

After a four-year layoff, Depeche Mode continued onward as a trio and released 1997's Ultra, which featured the hits "Barrel of a Gun" and "It's No Good." A year later, the band embarked on a tour in support of its newly released hits album, The Singles 86>98. Depeche Mode played 64 shows in 18 countries for over one million fans. Each member took some considerable time off after the tour's completion, and Depeche Mode would not regroup for another three years.

Exciter, the band's follow-up to Ultra, was released in 2001, with the singles "Dream On" and "I Feel Loved" finding moderate success on international radio outlets. Two years later, Gahan issued his debut solo album, the dark and sultry Paper Monsters. Gore also followed suit by issuing the all-covers Counterfeit², a full-length sequel to his similarly themed 1989 EP. Each member supported his work with respective tours of the U.S. and Europe; however, the bandmembers soon resumed working together, and Playing the Angel, their 11th studio album, became a Top Ten hit upon its release in October 2005. Produced by Ben Hillier (Doves, Blur, U2, Elbow) and studded with singles like "Precious" and "John (The Revelator)," it topped the album charts in 18 countries and went multi-platinum and/or gold in 20 countries. Depeche Mode went on to play for more than two and a half million fans worldwide, and the DVD release Touring the Angel: Live in Milan (2006) captured one of the band's greatest shows. Sounds of the Universe, also made with the assistance of Hillier, arrived in early 2009 and debuted at number three in the U.S. The 2013 release of Delta Machine made for a trilogy of Hillier albums, while the album was mixed by longtime Depeche associate Flood. ~ Jason Ankeny & Andy Kellman, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Remixes 2: 81-11

Disc 1
Disc 2
Disc 3
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Track List: Remixes 81...04

Disc 1
Disc 2
Disc 3
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Track List: Blasphemous Rumours / Told You So

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Track List: Soothe My Soul (Single)

Comments

everyone here come eat a piece of my s**t
I love Depeche mode, I'm just saying that they talk an electronic s**t. who wouldn't want to do that?
@jlcrowe. Who cares boy. You're just pissy cause I'm right. Nobody's going to read 15 paragraphs of mumbling , nonstop , amount to nothing, nonsense. Pull your tampon out of your a** and stick it in where it belongs lil girl. Geez quit being a pissy little twat.
Halo, one of my many favorites :-) :-). Good times..many moods many levels to music, life and love... Just sit back and let the music take u...
Too much info jcrowe84. Nobody is gonna read all that so why put it. @shigglemcfa g g i n s . . . You're a big ol stinky s**t
Depeche mode takes an electronic s**t
You can't blame Pandora. blame Depeche mode for appearing in every genre guy. do you not like them? more people should listen to them. I've loved them since I was a child, hearing they're music on the radio. they are probably one of the first bands that directed my attention to music. I'd go to sleep listening to my Walkman lol. listening to the top 100 countdown in the early 90s. music for the masses had come out, then violator. I think there were like almost 10 songs on that countdown by DM.
I like DM but they really shouldn't appear in every genre or station. C'mon Pandora. Get a clue.
If I didn't say it before I am saying it now, timeless group.. Never will fade. :-)
there is a pill for that
I poop a lot. maybe it's the illuminati possessing me
Still as good as it was over 20 years ago.
krj972
It never happened to my knowledge. Just would have been an incredible concert to have seen! Sounds like you got as close to it as possible though seeing them all in one year!
TS-19 If I may ask, where was that show? Guessing the before 101...Music for for Masses maybe? Saw all those bands in same year but together, wwow.
Enjoy the Silence is DEF my fave DM song, but I also love Personal Jesus, People are People, Precious, Suffer Well. Great band. I thank my Uncle for introducing me by taking me to their Touring the Angel concert.
Love the songs People are People, Enjoy the Silence, Personal Jesus, and Precious.
Nice
martin has the voice of a god.
People are people so why should it be that you and I get along so awfully.
I just figured out how to do E〽��ji❗
krj972
Thanks @jokin2000. You're quite welcome. Always glad to help a fellow DM fan. I've been one since 1985 when I heard Shake The Disease for the first time. Enjoy!
saw them live over the summer...... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . S T I L L AMAZING!!!!! !
@krj972 - you're freaking brilliant!!! ! Thank you for posting your suggestion! This is turning out beautifully.
I absolutely LOVE Depeche Mode! However, I've struggled with getting the right Pandora station for them. It inevitably ends up being a synthpop hits station rather than anything of DM's recent works.
I'll have to try krj972's suggestion to zackmpotts similar lament.
I liked them as a teen back in the 80's.. .but as a 42 year old, I have a MUCH deeper appreciation for their music. Abosolutely LOVE them!
krj972
@zackmpotts try making a Dave Gahan station. It tends to play some newer DM tracks.
This song. Gets me every time.
I wish my station would play some of their new stuff. :(
krj972
Legendary concert: Depeche Mode, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure, Sisters of Mercy, and The Cult.
annamazing99
@morena66331 5 you sound like my dad with the noise part, but yes i agree.
rashares
F**k yeah. Just remembered 'wrong'
POLICY OF TRUTH
PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE
They don't make music like this anymore. All that noise new bands play is just ... noise and annoying.
a1yayoo
great group to shake the disease
meredithyusk i w
I was about 6 years old when the song, People are People came out and I instantly loved it. I don't know many 6 year olds now with such good taste in music. Now it's all Beiber Fever.
Let's get shitfaced and f**k some midgets tonight!
SO F-CKING GOOD!
@Renard d'Allan: 'Took med' The dose isn't high enough.
I think I see a spammer (O.o)
garammasala1 9 6 8
Best concert I ever saw was Depeche.
Parents play their music a lot & love them my teachers get surprised when I wear my DM shirt
eggert_wade
I second that ModeGirl!!!!
Most amazing band EVER! To have a band stay together so many years through all the trials and tribulations . . . well, that says a lot. They are dedicated to their music and to their fans. Devotee til the day I die...
@sakarasusi: It's a bug in Pandora. Those comments are from songs and got lost.
6th st in Austin Tx on a Friday in 1986. A girl from Argentina named Isolda. A party on lake Travis Saturday til Monday. She went home to Argentina wednesday. Never saw her again. The sound track to those 5 days included a lot of depeche mode. DEEP SIGH
My parents played this song allot when I was growing up.
which is the best smiths song?i like this song but what are the 5 best?
ONE OF MY FAVORITE SONGS!
EVERYTHING COUNTS
I'm wondering, why are people referring vaguely to 'this song' (quotes) without specifying which song they're talking about? They have multiple tracks from most artists on the service, don't they? This bothers me. ;D
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