v. r. Left to right: Fletcher, Gore, Gahan, together with the live cast Eigner and Gordeno during the Touring the Angel in 2006
|Genre (s)||Synth pop , synth rock , new wave , dark wave|
|Vince Clarke (1980-1981)|
|Alan Wilder (1982-1995)|
|Live and session members|
|Peter Gordeno (since 1998)|
|Christian Eigner (since 1997)|
Depeche Mode [ dɪˌpɛʃmoʊd ] is an English synth-rock - or synth pop - group . The name is borrowed from a French fashion magazine called Dépêche Mode . With over 100 million records sold worldwide, the group is one of the most successful bands in the world. Q magazine named Depeche Mode “The most popular electronic band the world has ever known” and listed the band in 50 bands That Changed The World! ("50 bands that changed the world!").
1976–1983: Foundation and early years
The band's roots go back to 1976, when Vince Clarke ( keyboards , guitar , vocals ) and Andrew Fletcher (keyboards, bass ) founded the group No Romance in China in Basildon ( Essex , England ) . However, the band did not last long. In 1979 Vince Clarke founded the band French Look together with Robert Marlow and the guitarist and keyboardist Martin Gore . Soon after, their classmate Fletcher joined them, and from then on the four of them called themselves Composition of Sound . After first appearances as a trio, Dave Gahan was hired in 1980 , who took over the role of Clarke's singer. At Gahan's suggestion, the band renamed itself Depeche Mode after a French fashion magazine , banned all conventional rock instruments and focused entirely on synthetic sound generators. After the quartet had initially unsuccessfully sent demo recordings to record companies, Depeche Mode was discovered by Daniel Miller , the founder of the British independent label Mute Records , in the autumn of 1980 when the band played in the opening act for Fad Gadget, among others at the London club Bridgehouse. The original line-up Dave Gahan (vocals), Andrew Fletcher, Martin Gore and Vince Clarke (all synthesizers) began recording their first recordings in December 1980. The first single Dreaming of Me was released in February 1981.
Depeche Mode initially profited from the New Romantic wave that emerged in Great Britain in the early 1980s and the accompanying synthesizer boom, which made a number of new bands and artists such as Gary Numan , OMD and The Human League popular. The second single New Life became a hit in Great Britain, the successor Just Can't Get Enough climbed into the British top ten in October 1981. On the 1981 tour, Depeche Mode left the London area and played first concerts on mainland Europe. The band had their first appearance in front of a German audience on September 25, 1981 in the Markthalle Hamburg .
In October 1981, the first album, Speak & Spell , came out, which came up with light-hearted, danceable synth-pop and was also a commercial success, at least in Great Britain. Shortly after the release of the debut, the songwriter Vince Clarke left the band to devote himself first to Yazoo (1981-1983), then The Assembly (1983) and later from 1985 Erasure . Gore, who previously contributed two pieces to Speak & Spell , followed in Clarke's footsteps as a composer and lyricist. Even if many music journalists were convinced that the trio would end quickly after Clarke's departure, the second long-playing record A Broken Frame , released in September 1982, was able to assert itself in the British charts. This album heralds a stylistic change, away from the light disco sound of the early days, towards the melancholy electro-pop that is still formative today.
In early 1982, keyboardist Alan Wilder joined the band through an advertisement in Melody Maker . Initially, he only acted as a replacement for Clarke in television appearances and during the See-You tour, which began in Rayleigh in mid-January 1982 . Only after the publication of A Broken Frame was he accepted as a full member of the band, which then became a quartet again. Wilder was the only one of the quartet to have a classical musical training and was largely responsible for the tonal appearance of the band. His fancy sound arrangements, combined with Gore's catchy melodies and Gahan's pleading baritone, became Depeche Mode's trademark.
The studio album Construction Time Again , released in August 1983, clearly bore Wilder's signature. For the first time, the new technique of sampling was used, the piece of pipeline was based almost exclusively on fragments from industrial and everyday noises. The popularity of the group in Germany was evident during the Construction Time Again Tour , as 14 out of a total of 48 concerts were held in Germany.
The follow-up album Some Great Reward , released in September 1984 and recorded in the Berlin Hansa studios, perfected the sample-based machine sound and contained two singles, People Are People and Master and Servant , that achieved high chart positions for the first time worldwide.
The early work was summarized in October 1985 on the single compilation The Singles 81-85 . With Black Celebration , the band delivered their darkest work, infused with black romanticism, in March 1986, without leaving tried and tested pop terrain. With the video for the third single on the album, A Question of Time , the band's collaboration with Dutch artist Anton Corbijn began , who subsequently not only shot other music videos with the band, but also numerous covers, lettering and media-based stage designs designed and, as art director , has significantly influenced the visual appearance of Depeche Mode to this day.
The LP Music for the Masses , released in 1987, came up with musical innovations. The songs sounded more transparent and varied than their predecessor and showed clear influences of minimal music . In addition, guitar riffs and acoustic instruments such as piano, accordion or flute - albeit in sampled form - were increasingly integrated into the electronic soundscapes. The subsequent 101-concert tour marked the band's career highlight to date. Depeche Mode made its commercial breakthrough in the US and became the first synth band to become a stadium act. A recording of the final concert at Pasadena Rose Bowl Stadium , attended by over 60,000 spectators, was released in early 1989 as a live double album 101 , accompanied by a film of the same name (made by documentary filmmaker DA Pennebaker ) that was made during the US tour.
With a single concert on March 7, 1988 in the Werner-Seelenbinder-Halle in East Berlin with 6,481 visitors, Depeche Mode was one of the few Western bands allowed to perform live in the GDR . The band received 5,000 DM for the concert. The year before, the compilation Greatest Hits had only been published there.
1990–2000: turn to acoustic sounds and crisis
In March 1990 the album Violator was released . The first single, Personal Jesus , released in August 1989, contains acoustic guitar elements that symbolized a further step in their musical development. The second single Enjoy the Silence is considered the band's most successful hit. Accordingly, Violator exceeded all of their previous sales figures. According to the 2006 re-release , the album was sold over 7.5 million times. Rolling Stone magazine has Violator on the list of the 500 best albums of all time at number 342, the single Personal Jesus made it at number 368 of the 500 best songs of all time .
With Songs of Faith and Devotion in 1993, Depeche Mode continued on the stylistic path that had already been suggested in Personal Jesus ; Elements from rock music such as acoustic drum sets or distorted guitars were paired with gospel and soul fragments as well as electronic sounds and created a new style in the band's music. The recordings during the subsequent world tour led to the release of the album Songs of Faith and Devotion - Live (1993), which contains all the songs on the CD as live versions. The photographer Corbijn shot Devotional, a concert film of the tour, also released in 1993, which was nominated for a Grammy in 1995 in the Best Long Form Music Video category. From 1993 until today (2017) the band has released a new studio album every four years.
During the Devotional World Tour and the subsequent Exotic Tour, the band got into an existential crisis: while Gahan and Gore developed drug and alcohol addiction, Fletcher struggled with depression; he went into treatment in the spring of 1994 and was replaced for several months at appearances by Daryl Bamonte , who had accompanied the band since the beginning of their careers. On June 1, 1995, his 36th birthday, Wilder announced that he was leaving the band in order to dedicate himself to his solo project Recoil . As a reason, he gave musical differences and the lack of appreciation of his contributions by the other band members. Gahan attempted suicide in 1995 due to persistent heroin addiction by cutting open his wrists. After injecting himself with a cocaine and heroin speedball at the Sunset Marquis Hotel on May 28, 1996 , he suffered cardiac arrest and was clinically dead for two minutes. Ambulance personnel managed to resuscitate him. He then embarked on a therapy program for drug addicts. In general, the breakup of the band was expected at this time.
Despite all these events, the remaining trio got together and went to the studio in 1996. The first recordings had to be canceled due to Gahan's desperate condition. The song Sister of Night results from this phase. Finally, the album Ultra was released in April 1997 , the first since A Broken Frame , in which only Gahan, Gore and Fletcher were involved. The album met with a positive response from fans and critics. After the appearance of their second hit record The Singles 86-98 in September 1998, the band went on a world tour again.
Since 2001: continuation of the success
In May 2001 the studio album Exciter was released. Following the trend in the music industry to bring out live concerts preferably on DVD, Depeche Mode also released a live concert of the Exciter Tour on DVD in 2002 ( One Night in Paris ). After the tour, Dave Gahan and Martin Gore devoted themselves to solo projects. In 2004 a collection of old and new remixes was released under the name Remixes 81-04 , including Enjoy the Silence 04 by Linkin Park member Mike Shinoda , released as a single .
The following Depeche Mode studio album Playing the Angel was released in Germany on October 14, 2005 and made it to the top of the album charts there and in 17 other countries. New to this album was that Dave Gahan wrote three songs with other musicians, of which Suffer Well was released as a single. The world tour that followed the album was documented on the DVD Touring the Angel - Live in Milan (2006). In cooperation with Live Here Now , recordings of open-air concerts on the tour were also released on double CD. Following the tour, the band members went on solo paths again until work on another Depeche Mode album began in May 2008. At the end of 2006 a CD and a video compilation appeared under the name The Best of, Volume 1 . The CD contains 17 old songs and a new song, Martyr , also released as a single. There are 23 music videos on the DVD. In mid-2008, Depeche Mode announced the separation from their US label (Sire / Reprise Records ).
The twelfth studio album Sounds of the Universe was released in Germany on April 17th, 2009, two weeks after the first single Wrong . The song was premiered live at the Echo Awards 2009 on February 21, 2009 in Berlin. The airplay premiere on all radio stations took place on the same evening. The title reached number 2 in the German single charts. The album reached number 1 in Germany , Austria and Switzerland in the first week after it was released and high positions in the album charts worldwide. The second single Peace was released on June 12, 2009. The third single was released on December 7, 2009, the double A-side Fragile Tension / Hole to Feed .
From May 2009 to February 2010 Depeche Mode was on its tenth world tour. The Tour of the Universe started on May 10th in Tel Aviv , Israel. A warm-up concert took place four days earlier in Luxembourg in Esch-sur-Alzette . Due to an illness of Dave Gahan there were some concert cancellations and changes of dates. The concert in Athens had to be canceled due to severe gastroenteritis . Further investigation revealed a malignant bladder tumor that was removed during surgery in Gahan's hometown of New York. Since Gahan was supposed to pause until June 7th on medical advice, all 15 concerts during this period, including four in Germany, were postponed or canceled. The tour continued with the concert on June 8th, 2009 in Leipzig and ended on June 26th / 27th. February 2010 with the final concerts in the ESPRIT arena in Düsseldorf . A large part of the concerts can be obtained as official recordings on the Live Here Now Internet platform as a double CD or as a download with 320 kBit / s encoded MP3 files.
On February 17, 2010, the band performed for the first time at a fundraiser at the Royal Albert Hall , London . For the first time since the separation in 1995, former band member Alan Wilder was on stage at this concert, the proceeds of which went to the British children's cancer charity, the British Cancer Trust . While Martin Gore sang Somebody , Wilder accompanied him on the piano. Wilder did not rule out a return to Depeche Mode. At the Echo Awards 2010 , Depeche Mode won the Echo in the category “Group of the year rock / pop international”. Martin L. Gore and Andrew Fletcher personally accepted the award at the award ceremony in Berlin from Paul van Dyk , who is a big fan of the group.
The Tour of the Universe: Barcelona DVD emerged from the Tour of the Universe - Depeche Mode played 102 concerts in 40 countries . The recording was made on November 20 and 21, 2009 in the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona and was released in Germany on November 5, 2010. The DVD entered the German album charts at number one immediately after its release. In February 2011, a fan campaign initiated via Facebook and a specially created website meant that the single Dreaming of Me rose to number 45 in the German single charts for a week in March 2011 and thus to the first chart placement of this single in Germany became. The occasion was the 30th anniversary of the band's first single.
After the Tour of The Universe , Gahan and Gore also returned to solo projects. Dave Gahan released the album The Light the Dead See with the Soulsavers , while Martin Gore wrote songs with him for the first time since Vince Clarke's departure from Depeche Mode for the joint album Ssss which they released under the pseudonym VCMG .
With Remixes 2: 81–11 , the band's second remix compilation was released on June 3, 2011. Former band members Vince Clarke with Behind the Wheel and Alan Wilder with In Chains each contributed a remix to the album, and Eric Prydz , Röyksopp and Miike Snow also contributed to the album. The single Personal Jesus 2011 with new versions of the Depeche Mode classic was released on April 15, 2011 as a download. The CD and vinyl versions followed on May 27th. The video for the single Personal Jesus 2011 , entitled Personal Jesus (Stargate Remix) , won the 2011 UK Music Video Award in the “Best Alternative Video” category. On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the U2 album Achtung Baby , the tribute album AHK-toong BAY-bi Covered was released at the end of 2011 , to which Depeche Mode contributed the song So Cruel .
In the spring of 2012, Depeche Mode began work on the 13th studio album Delta Machine , which was released on March 22, 2013 on their new label Columbia Records . The producer was again Ben Hillier. The first single, Heaven , was released in February 2013 and reached number 2 in the German single charts in the first week. This makes the Beatles the only band that has achieved even more top ten positions (28) in the German single charts than Depeche Mode (26). A world tour called The Delta Machine Tour began in May 2013 and ended in March 2014 after 106 concerts. The Delta Machine Tour came in 9th of the most successful tours of 2013 and even made it to 1st place in autumn 2013. In the meantime, the video for the second single Soothe my Soul was released at the end of March 2013 . In the same week it was announced that one week after its release, Delta Machine had sold 142,000 copies in Germany alone. The album climbed to number 1 in the German charts and was the most successful album sales launch in Germany for three and a half years. It also reached number 1 in the Swedish, Swiss, Austrian and Polish charts, and other high chart positions were achieved in other countries such as England and the United States. In May 2013 the second single Soothe My Soul was released as a CD single. The third single from the album Should Be Higher was released in early October 2013. In 2014, Depeche Mode was again awarded the Echo in the group international rock / pop category. Fans criticized that the award was not announced during the gala, but only on the official website of the Echoes.
The live album recorded during the Delta Machine tour and a DVD box set Live in Berlin , which had been recorded in 2013 at O2 World Berlin , were released on November 14, 2014 . Directed by Anton Corbijn . The concert was shown in selected cinemas in Germany beforehand. The DVD entered the German album charts at number two immediately after its release.
Immediately after the The Delta Machine tour , Gore went back to the music studio to revise those already written songs that had not appeared on the Delta Machine album and to publish them in the solo album MG at the end of April 2015. In the spring of 2016, according to Gore, the band will go back to the studio to record a new studio album. In the meantime, the DVD compilation Video Singles Collection was released in November 2016 .
On October 11th, 2016, Depeche Mode held a press conference in Milan , where they announced their fourteenth studio album Spirit for spring 2017 and the accompanying Global Spirit Tour . At the press conference, which was also broadcast live on Facebook, 32 concerts in 21 countries were confirmed, including seven in Germany. The album Spirit was released in Germany on March 17, 2017, at the same time as a deluxe version on two CDs with five bonus tracks. The tour began on May 5, 2017 with the opening concert in Stockholm and ended on July 25, 2018 in the Berlin Waldbühne . Recordings from this concert were also used for the 2019 film " Spirits in the forest ", which portrays six special fans of the band from different parts of the world.
The band named The Velvet Underground , Kraftwerk , David Bowie , Neil Young , Roxy Music , Sparks , Siouxsie and the Banshees as influences; Martin Gore also mentioned Elvis Presley as a personal influence.
- Dave Gahan - vocals
- Martin Gore - guitar, keyboard, synthesizer, bass, vocals
- Andrew Fletcher - keyboard, synthesizer, backing vocals
- Peter Gordeno - keyboard, synthesizer, bass, backing vocals (since 1998)
- Christian Eigner - drums, percussion (since 1997)
- Vince Clarke - keyboard, synthesizer, backing vocals (until 1981)
- Alan Wilder - keyboard, synthesizer, drums, backing vocals (1982-1995)
Former live musicians
- Hildia Campbell - vocals (1993-1994)
- Samantha Smith - vocals (1993-1994)
- Daryl Bamonte - Keyboard (Summer 1994, replacement for Andrew Fletcher)
- Dave Clayton - Keyboard (1997)
- Janet Ramus - vocals (1998)
- Jordan Bailey - vocals (1998-2001)
- Georgia Lewis - vocals (2001)
- 1981: Speak & Spell
- 1982: A Broken Frame
- 1983: Construction Time Again
- 1984: Some Great Reward
- 1986: Black Celebration
- 1987: Music for the Masses
- 1990: Violator
- 1993: Songs of Faith and Devotion
- 1997: Ultra
- 2001: Exciter
- 2005: Playing the Angel
- 2009: Sounds of the Universe
- 2013: Delta Machine
- 2017: Spirit
New releases in 5.1 Surround
In 2005, on the occasion of the upcoming 25th anniversary of Depeche Mode, Mute Records began to remix the previously existing studio albums in 5.1 surround sound. Since then, the first 13 albums have also been available in 5.1 surround. Most of them were output in SACD format with an additional DVD ( DTS 5.1 24bit / 96k; Dolby Digital 5.1 24bit / 48k). This covers many surround playback formats so they can be played on most devices. Deviating from this, Sound of the Universe was only released on DVD and Delta Machine was added as a Blu-ray audio disc to a special edition of the album Live in Berlin . In addition, the newly released albums were placed in the surround sound field or used to slide across the room. The corresponding B-sides of the singles are also enclosed with the individual albums, partly mixed in 5.1 surround.
- 1986: "Rock Group" ( bronze )
- 1987: "Rock Group" ( bronze )
- 1990: "Band Rock / Pop" ( silver )
- 1991: "Band Rock / Pop" ( bronze )
- 1991: "Best British Single" ( Enjoy the Silence )
- 2001: "Act International"
|2010||Group of the year rock / pop international||-||Won|
|Album of the year (national or international)||Sounds of the Universe||Nominated|
|2014||Group of the year rock / pop international||-||Won|
|Album of the year (national or international)||Delta machine||Nominated|
|1995||Best Long Form Music Video||Devotional||Nominated|
|2007||Best dance recording||Suffer Well||Nominated|
|2010||Alternative album||Sounds of the Universe||Nominated|
|Best Short Form Music||Wrong||Nominated|
- 2001: "Best Artist Site Award"
MTV Europe Music Awards
- 2006: "Best Group"
- 2002: "Popkomm Music DVD Award" ( One Night in Paris )
- 2002: "Innovation Award"
UK Music Video Awards
- 2011: "Best Alternative Video" ( Personal Jesus (Stargate Remix) )
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- Dreaming of Me
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