Depeche Mode

Depeche Mode

Formed 1980, Basildon, UK: Dave Gahan – vocals; Vince Clarke – keyboards; Martin Gore – keyboards, guitar; Andrew Fletcher – keyboards. Named after a French fashion magazine, the band recorded Photographic for the now-legendary Some Bizzare Album before signing to the independent Mute label. After initial success with early singles New Life and Just Can’t Get Enough from début album Speak & Spell, the band’s future was called into question when main songwriter Clarke quit to form Yazoo. With Gore taking over writing duties, the trio released darker second album A Broken Frame (1982, #8) before adding Alan Wilder to return the group to a quartet. A more industrial sound was adopted for albums Construction Time Again (1983, #6) and Some Great Reward (1984, #5), while hit singles such as Everything Counts and People Are People were rounded up on a compilation The Singles 81-85. As the band’s became increasingly downbeat on Black Celebration (1986, #4) and Music For The Masses (1987, #10), conversely their status as an electronic stadium rock act mushroomed, particularly in the US where the last date of a mammoth tour was captured for the live movie and album 101 (1989, #5).

The band’s last single of the decade Personal Jesus (1989, #13) was more guitar based, although there was a distinct dance influence to its parent album Violator (1990, #2) which was especially evident in next single Enjoy The Silence. Adopting a more organic sound, 1993’s Songs Of Faith And Devotion finally gave Depeche Mode their first UK number 1. The album could easily have been the band’s last, however, as Gahan survived a heart attack, suicide attempt and heroin overdose before the release of 1997’s Ultra. Now without Wilder, the band continues to record and tour, interleaving solo projects with albums such as Playing The Angel (2005, #6), Sounds Of The Universe (2009, #2) and Delta Machine (2013, #2), the latter their first release for Sony Music after three decades with Mute, the tiny indie label that signed them back in 1981.

ESSENTIAL ’80s DEPECHE MODE

SINGLES

Everything Counts sleeve

EVERYTHING COUNTS
July 1983, #6

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Shake the Disease sleeve

SHAKE THE DISEASE
April 1985, #18

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Strangelove sleeve

STRANGELOVE
April 1987, #16

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ALBUMS

Construction Time Again sleeve

CONSTRUCTION TIME AGAIN
August 1983, #6

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Black Celebration sleeve

BLACK CELEBRATION
March 1986, #4

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Music for the Masses sleeve

MUSIC FOR THE MASSES
September 1987, #10

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