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Depeche Mode

 

Depeche Mode are an English electronic music band formed in 1980 in Basildon, Essex. The group’s original line-up consisted of Dave Gahan (lead vocals, occasional songwriter since 2005), Martin Gore (keyboards, guitar, vocals, chief songwriter after 1981), Andy Fletcher (keyboards) and Vince Clarke (keyboards, chief songwriter 1980–81). Clarke left the band after the release of their 1981 debut album, Speak & Spell, and was replaced by Alan Wilder (keyboards, drums, occasional songwriter) with Gore taking over songwriting. Wilder left the band in 1995; Gahan, Gore, and Fletcher have since continued as a trio.

Depeche Mode have had 48 songs in the UK Singles Chart and twelve top 10 albums in the UK charts, two of which debuted at No. 1. According to EMI, Depeche Mode have sold over 100 million albums and singles worldwide, making them the most successful electronic band in music history. Q magazine calls Depeche Mode “The most popular electronic band the world has ever known” and included the band in the list of the “50 Bands That Changed The World!”. VH1 ranked the group no. 98 on his list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”.

Formation and debut album (1977–1981)

Depeche Mode’s origins date back to 1977, when schoolmates Vince Clarke and Andy Fletcher formed a The Cure-influence band called No Romance In China, with Clarke on vocals and guitar and Fletcher on bass. Fletcher would later recall, “Why am I in the band? It was accidental right from the beginning. I was actually forced to be in the band. I played the guitar and I had a bass; it was a question of them roping me in.” In 1979, Clarke played guitar in an “Ultravox rip-off band”, The Plan, with friends Robert Marlow and Paul Langwith. In 1978–79, Martin Gore played guitar in an acoustic duo, Norman and The Worms, with school friend Phil Burdett on vocals. In 1979, Marlow, Gore, and friend Paul Redmond formed a band called The French Look, with Marlow on vocals/keyboards, Gore on guitar and Redmond on keyboards. In March 1980, Clarke, Gore and Fletcher formed a band called Composition of Sound, with Clarke on vocals/guitar, Gore on keyboards, and Fletcher on bass.

Soon after the formation of Composition of Sound, Clarke and Fletcher switched to synthesisers, working odd jobs in order to buy or borrow the instruments from friends. Dave Gahan joined the band in 1980 after Clarke heard him perform at a local scout hut jam session, singing to a rendition of David Bowie’s “Heroes”, and Depeche Mode were born. When explaining the choice for the new name taken from a French fashion magazine, Dépêche mode (from French dépêche that means here “dispatch” (from Old French despesche/despeche) or “news report”, and mode that means “fashion”), Gore said, “It means hurried fashion or fashion dispatch. I like the sound of that.” But, in French language, the real and only meaning of the magazine’s name (and hence the band’s) is “Fashion News” or “Fashion Update”. Gore recollects that the first time the band played as Depeche Mode was a school gig in May 1980. The band made their recording debut in 1980 on the Some Bizzare Album with the song “Photographic”, which was later re-recorded for their debut album Speak & Spell.

The band made a demo tape but, instead of mailing the tape to record companies, they would go in and personally deliver it. They would demand the companies play it; according to Dave Gahan, “most of them would tell us to fuck off. They’d say ‘leave the tape with us’ and we’d say ‘it’s our only one’. Then we’d say goodbye and go somewhere else.”

According to Gahan, prior to securing their record contract, they were receiving offers from all the major labels. Phonogram offered them “money you could never have imagined and all sorts of crazy things like clothes allowances”.

While playing a live gig at the Bridge House in Canning Town, the band were approached by Daniel Miller, an electronic musician and founder of Mute Records, who was interested in their recording a single for his burgeoning label. The result of this verbal contract was their first single, “Dreaming of Me”, recorded in December 1980 and released in February 1981. It reached number 57 in the UK charts. Encouraged by this, the band recorded their second single, “New Life”, which climbed to number 11 in the UK charts and got them to appear on Top of the Pops. The band actually went to London by train, dragging their synthesisers all the way to the BBC’s studios.

Discography

Studio Albums

1981 Speak and Spell – http://www12.zippyshare.com/v/YIDtJj97/file.html

1982 A Broken Frame – http://bopping-elf.co.uk/depeche-mode/depeche-mode-a-broken-frame/

1983 Construction Time Again – http://bopping-elf.co.uk/depeche-mode/depeche-mode-construction-time-again/

1984 Some Great Award – http://bopping-elf.co.uk/depeche-mode/depeche-mode-some-great-reward/

1986 Black Celebration – http://bopping-elf.co.uk/depeche-mode/depeche-mode-black-celebration/

1987 Music For The Masses – Coming soon 09/11/2017

Live Albums

101 Live – http://bopping-elf.co.uk/depeche-mode/depeche-mode-101-live/

Unofficial Live Albums (Bootlegs)

Live Esch-Sur-Alzette. Luxemburg 05 06 09 – http://bopping-elf.co.uk/depeche-mode/depeche-mode-live-esch-sur-alzette-lu-05-06-09/

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