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DEPECHE MODE 1980 - 2005


David Gahan (born David Callcott) 09 May 1962


Martin Lee Gore, 23 July 1961


Andrew John Leonard Fletcher, 08 July 1961


Alan Charles Wilder, 01 June 1959, Depeche Mode October 1982 - 01 June 1995 | one-off show in 17 February 2010)


Vincent John Martin, 03 July 1960, Depeche Mode 1980 - 03 December 1981


New Life

For Depeche Mode

Early in 1980, Fletch, Martin and Vince agree to form a typical guitar trio, with the added accompaniment of a drum machine. Vince writes and sings all their early material - the band is named Composition Of Sound.

The guys spot their new vocalist in a local scout-hut jam session with another band. With a strong cover of the David Bowie number "Heroes", Dave Gahan charms the members of Composition Of Sound and is immediately invited to join the Band.

Dave is recruited as lead singer, and suggests the Band be re-named Depeche Mode after a French fashion magazine, which he has been reading in college.

Depeche Mode perform their first ever gig at St. Nicholas School in Basildon on May 31st, followed by several shows in Essex and London.

Depeche Mode headline the Saturday night electronic showcase at Crocs Club in Rayleigh. At one of their shows, they are approached by Stevo, of Some Bizarre Records, who persuades them to record a track for his Some Bizarre compilation, due out in February the following year.

It is Daniel Miller who eventually produces "Photographic", which appears on this album.

Dave and Vince proudly hand-deliver the Band's demo tape to dozens of club owners and record companies, but Terry Murphy of Canning Town's Bridgehouse is the only other promoter to recognise their ingenuity with a booking.

In December, Daniel Miller of Mute Records witnesses a live performance of Depeche Mode at the Bridgehouse and approaches the Band. Depeche Mode agree to make a single and enter an agreement on the basis of a 50/50 profit-sharing arrangement with Daniel.

Shortly before Christmas, Depeche Mode go into the studio to begin work on their first single "Dreaming Of Me".

"The songs, the arrangements and the presentation of the songs are what inspired me to sign Depeche Mode. I felt they were the first pop group to really use synthesisers as their first instrument." Daniel Miller

"To us, the synth was a punk instrument. Because it was still fairly new, its potential seemed limitless. It really gave us a chance to explore." Martin Gore

"I've never really questioned the band's continued success and have definitely never analysed it. I believe, sub-consciously, I have always known they would get bigger and bigger, almost to the point of taking it for granted. " Daryl Bamonte

"We got turned down everywhere at first, and no-one was interested. Then all of a sudden, everyone was interested and the majors were queuing up to sign us. Suddenly that style of music came in, and they were all after us. We were associated with this movement and we had a tag. But we weren't really anything to do with the Futurist or New Romantic thing." Dave Gahan


Depeche Mode

Say Go!

Depeche Mode play several dates across the UK through most of the year, and some European shows in September.

The first single "Dreaming Of Me" is released on February 20th and although it only reaches number 57, it is a good start, and according to Miller, who produced the single, it begins a long-term crossover trend for Indie releases into mainstream radio.

Shortly after the release of Depeche Mode's debut album "Speak and Spell" on October 5th the Band leaves for their first official tour and play fourteen very successful nights throughout the UK.

The Some Bizarre album is eventually released in March, and although the anthology is considered "the watershed techno-pop album", Depeche Mode would later have mixed feelings about their involvement with the stylised Futurist scene.

With the press behind them, Depeche Mode's popularity grows, and another single is released. "New Life" comes out on June 13th and it is already in the Top 75.

Their third single "Just Can't Get Enough" (September 7th) becomes an international dance hit and climbs to No. 8 in the UK charts. The Band record their first video.

Vince Clarke announces he is to leave the Band in December and Martin is elected as chief songwriter. The Band also decide that a fourth member is necessary for touring. After several auditions, Alan Wilder, a classically trained musician, is chosen from ten finalists.

"Despite the narcissistic title, Dreaming Of Me is as sweetly unassuming a slice of electronic whimsy as anything by early OMD. Deadpan vocals, programmed rhythm rejoinders and a candyfloss melody makes for a pleasant three minutes. Live, they look great, make comfortable background noises, but don't really sustain attention for much longer than that." Chris Bogh, NME

"We've got nothing against guitars, and we have played them in the past. We may experiment with guitars again one day, but it's so much easier with a synthesiser. There is a lot of good guitar music around but you have to be pretty good to use the guitar." Andy Fletcher

"It was the way the whole thing was going. It lost its enthusiasm. It was turning into a production line and that was worrying me. The techniques were improving to an extent, the way we were playing, but even then I found there were things in the way. preventing us from experimenting. We were so busy, there was something going on every day and no time to play around." Vince Clarke


The Meaning

Of Depeche Mode

Alan first performs with Depeche Mode at Croes in Rayleigh in January and the Band continue touring in support of their debut album. They also play in front of a new audience in the US and Canada for the first time.

The single "See You", announcing the forthcoming album, is released on January 29th and peaks at No. 6 on the UK Chart. "The Meaning Of Love" comes out en April 26th, followed by "Leave In Silence" (August 16th), the first DM single bearing the catalogue name BONG.

Following a short break, the Band hit the road again in October, shortly after the release of their second album "A Broken Frame" (September 27th), visiting many European cities in a period of three months. It is during this tour that Fletch, Martin and Dave slowly integrate Alan into the permanent framework of the Band.


Depeche Mode

Told You So

It's not until the recording of "Get The Balance Right" (January 3 1 st) that Alan joins the Band as a full-time member. With this new track moving bodies on the dance floors the World over, the band commence on a Spring tour of North America and the Far East, the most extensive tour outside of Europe do date.

The Band work on new material in The Garden Studios in London and Hansa Studios in Berlin, which provides an ideal location for the album's final mixing. It is also where Depeche Mode shoot the video for "Everything Counts".

"Everything Counts", their new single from the upcoming album, makes its debut on July 11th, followed by "Love In Itself" on September 19th.

Depeche Mode's third studio album "Construction Time Again) is released on August 22nd and like its two predecessors hits the Top 10. The album has a more potent and refined sound and also introduces not only Alan's musical talents, but also an ability to contribute his own songs.

The Band hit the road again in September to introduce the songs of "Construction Time Again" to an audience across the UK and Europe, also reaching North America and the Far East.

"A Broken Frame might give the reason to everyone to find the use of synthesisers very pedant, boring, devoid of ideas etc. We might also think that they let their keyboards play without a control. We can if really necessary remember The Meaning Of Love, which contains a bit of energy and melody. Just enough to make a single, but not an album. Despite a beautiful sleeve featuring a kolkhoz woman cutting wheat under a stormy sky." Rock'n'roll, France

"The lyrics have matured from wide-eyed fun to wide-eyed frustration. A Broken Frame sounds sadly naked, rudely deprived of the formula's novelty." Steve Sutherland, Melody Maker

"I think we all like the idea (sampling). When we actually made the album we did go on a sound hunting expedition. We went down Brick Lane and just hit everything and then recorded it and took it back to the studio and put it into a keyboard. That's how we made the track Pipeline. We were smashing corrugated iron and old cars. The vocals were recorded in a railway arch in Shoreditch…" Andy Fletcher


Stories Of

Depeche Mode

The Band's next single "People Are People" is released on March 12th and its success is followed by a concert on June 2nd, where they share the bill with Elton John, to a crowd of 50,000 in Ludwigshafen.

"People Are People" barrels its way to No. 4 on the British charts and it also holds the No. 1 spot in Germany for three weeks. It eventually reaches number 13 in the US.

The singles "Master And Servant" released on August 20th, and "Blasphemous Rumours" released on October 29th, both receive a lot of media attention for their controversial ideas.

The Band find themselves genuinely satisfied with the end results of their new album "Some Great Reward" which hits stores on September 24th and clinches a No. 5 spot on the British charts.

They immediately set off on a four-month tour to promote the new album, filming a sold-out show in Hamburg for a future video.


It's Called

Depeche Mode

Two new songs are recorded and released, which have no trouble finding their way into the charts. The first, "Shake The Disease" greets music stores on April 29th and the second single "It's Called A Heart" is delivered to the fans on September 16th.

A month later sees the release of the compilation LP "The Singles 8 1-85", appropriately titled "Catching Up With Depeche Mode" in the States, covering all the singles from "Dreaming Of Me" to "It's Called A Heart".

"Some Great Videos", a compilation of the greatest single videoclips, coincides with the release of the album, and "The World We Live In And Live In Hamburg", a live concert recording is also released.

"We've still got a long way to go before people will be proud to have Depeche Mode albums in their collection." Andy Fletcher

"Pop goes to your house! OK, so I already expected to like this album, despite the Test Dept image plagiarism, despite the teen paper glamour and even the pop fashionability, Depeche Mode have always won through with that most endearing of qualities - good tunes" Carole Linfield, Sounds, UK

"...as long as David Gahan s big mascared eyes and Martin Gore's cheeky rouged nipples continue to adorn album covers. they'll be dismissed as teenybop fodder. This complete collection of the boys singles including the latest, It's Called A Heart, provides convincing evidence that such a charge is nonsense." Frank Owen, Melody Maker


World Full

Of Depeche Mode

After three months of extensive recording at Westside Studios in West Kensington, London, then moving operations to Hansa Studio in Berlin, "Stripped" is released on February 10th, giving the listening audience only a taste of what is to come.

"Black Celebration" sees March 1 7th as its official introduction into a "black" society and offers a heavier, darker and harder sound than anything in the band's past.

A world tour in support of the new album "Black Celebration" begins in March and takes the Band across Europe, North America and Far East for nearly six months.

The next singles "A Question Of Lust" (April 14th) and "A Question Of Time" (August 1 1 th) mark a turning point for Depeche Mode as they sound self-assured enough to take risks and succeed.

The filming of the video for "A Question Of Time", in the American desert, sets the beginning of a long running collaboration between the Band and Anton Corbijn, whose unique visual presentation has become a Depeche Mode hallmark...

Depeche Mode return to the recording studio after a few months break following their Black Celebration Tour to begin work on their next album.

"The crew tend to play tricks on us a lot. At one of the last gigs they covered the riser (back bit of the stage that Dave has to climb up on) with all these porno pictures to try and put me off. They succeeded." Dave Gahan on Black Celebration Tour

"Here are some things to admire about Depeche Mode: 1) their self sufficiency; 2) their refusal to follow anything but their own fashion; 3) their refusal to be anything but themselves; 4) their unswerving ability to come up with great, fresh melodies." Betty Page, Record Mirror

"If we are to have bands filling the World's stadiums, then let them be like Depeche Mode." John Peel


Depeche Mode

For The Masses

Recording begins at Studio Guilliame Tell in Paris and finishes up at Konk, London. The new album is mixed at Puk Studios in Denmark.

The first single "Strangelove" is released on April 13th and becomes an immediate favourite. Several months later on, the second single "Never Let Me Down Again" (August 24th) greets music stores.

On September 28th, we see the highly anticipated release of "Music For The Masses", the band's sixth studio album, which immediately goes platinum Worldwide.

Shortly after release of the album, Depeche Mode prepare to launch a six month World tour which is the most extensive one to date, selling out stadiums and concert halls around the globe.

The next single "Behind The Wheel" in released on December 28th, while the tour is underway and is added to the list of Top 20 hits.


Depeche Mode

Are Behind The Wheel

The Music For The Masses Tour brings the foursome together on stage to deliver their passion and soul. Arriving in Los Angeles for their last stop at the Pasadena Rose Bowl Stadium on June 18th, Depeche Mode perform their historic 101 st show of the tour in front of 75,000 fans. The event is recorded and filmed for the later to be released documentary album and D. A. Pennebaker movie bearing the name "Depeche Mode 101".

Just a month before the tour ends, Depeche Mode release "Little 15" (May 16th), yet another track from the "Music For The Masses" album, but only in certain European countries.

"Strange", the first video compilation directed by Anton Corbijn is released. It contains five excellent videos, all in Corbijn's black and white imagery.

Alan and Martin are busy working on side projects of their own. Alan finishes a solo project under the name of Recoil and releases his "Hydrology and 1+2" tracks at the end of the year.

"After six albums and a few thousand singles, you might expect the Mode to be full of 'artistic exhaustion' and all those things that befall groups when they're a bit old. But not for these pop chirperers! Music For The Masses is the Mode's most consistently excellent record yet - as tuneful and thoughtful and moody (especially moody) as anything they've created before. " John Barty, Smash Hits, UK

"This is the band's most lifelike effort to date, and a compelling dance number." David Hiltbrand of Rolling Stone on Never Let Me Down Again

"We weren't able to enjoy the moment because we were just worrying about the logistics of the show too much. Nobody really enjoyed the gig and we didn't play particularly well that night. It's only really when you look back and it's being captured on film and the sound has been tarted up a bit, that you realise what a big, special moment it was for us as a group. We should have just taken the time to enjoy it a bit more." Alan Wilder on the Rose Bowl show

"I'd never been to any concert before with 70,000 people. It wasn't just 70,000 people watching the concert it was 70,000 people participating in the concert, really responding. Everybody there was a fan, it wasn't 'let's go and have a look at this, see what it's like There were 70,000 Depeche Mode fans there." Daniel Miller on the Rose Bowl show


Depeche Mode

Count It In Large Amounts

A live single of the encore favourite "Everything Counts" keeps fans happy even after the tour is over. It is released on February 13th, and contains some live tracks from the Pasadena Rose Bowl performance.

The double compilation album "101" is released on March 13th and showcases the group's entire performance at the Rose Bowl. The album goes gold in France within 24 hours of release!

"101", the D. A. Pennebaker film, a great road movie made up of live action. footage and all the band's hits from the "Music For The Masses Tour" is released internationally on home video.

Martin, continuing work on his solo from last year, releases e. p. titled "Counterfeit". He then begins concentrating on new material for the next Depeche Mode album.

The Band enlists the help of a new producer, Mark "Flood" Ellis and legendary mixer, Francois Kevorkian, and begin work at Logic Studios in Milan, Axis in New York, London's Church and Master Rock Studios and finish at Puk Studios in Denmark.

"Personal Jesus", the first single from the eagerly anticipated album, comes out on August 29th and becomes the biggest selling 12" in Warner Brothers history.

"It would seem that Mute Records have decided it's time to give Depeche Mode the Big Push that will elevate them into the league occupied by stadium rockers like U2. 101 should ensure there will be longer queues for tickets next time Depeche Mode come to town, but on the strength of this piece of vinyl, it II be well worth the wait." Music Technology, UK

"I think we were more nervous about the recording and filming of the show than the actual number of people at the Rose Bowl. Personally, I'm blind so I can only see the front row!" Andy Fletcher



In Depeche Mode Eyes

"Violator", the new album that covers a wide range of moods and styles is released on March 19th and climbs to No. 2 in Britain and No. 7 in the United States.

On March 20th, Depeche Mode appear for a promotional autograph signing of their album "Violator" at the music store The Wherehouse in West Los Angeles. Over 10,000 fans besiege the store to catch a glimpse of the Band and are simply too much for the security staff to handle. The event makes the national news with the headline: "English rock band Depeche Mode stopped the traffic at Beverly!"

Less than a week after its release, "Violator" goes gold in France, Germany, Britain, USA, Spain and Italy! The album later on receives ten platinum awards in UK, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, including double platinum in USA, Canada and France.

The second single from the new LP "Enjoy The Silence" is another million seller released on February 5th, followed by "Police Of Truth" (May 7th) and the final single from the album "World In My Eyes" (September 17th).

Depeche Mode's new tour in support of "Violator" starts in May and takes the Band on nearly a year long trip over five continents and reaches over 1,200,000 people.

A new Depeche Mode video compilation by Anton Corbijn titled "Strange Too - Another Violation" is released on October 22nd.

"The Depeche Mode set-up is a vastly complicated network of interlinked musical computers used to recreate their songs in a live situation, perfectly every time. It takes several months beforehand to program everything up and make the machines communicate correctly, and two full-time technicians to look after the equipment on the road. " Jonathan Roberts, World Violation Tour Technician

"Violator marked a move away from Depeche Mode's more adolescent infatuations, songwriter Martin Gore developing into a surprisingly subtle observer of emotional ruction without losing the gift for pop melodies which was largely responsible for their earlier success." Q. Magazine, UK


Depeche Mode

Enjoy The Silence

Depeche Mode's "Enjoy The Silence", one of the Band's strongest tracks to date wins the Brit Award for Best Single of 1990 voted by the listeners of Radio One.

Martin is honoured by ASCAP (The American Society for Composers, Authors and Publishers) for the songs "Policy Of Truth" and "Enjoy The Silence", both of which are among the most played songs in the US during 1990.

The soundtrack album of the Wim Wenders' film "Until The End Of The World" is released in December and features a beautiful ballad titled "Death's Door" by Depeche Mode.


Faith And Devotion In

Depeche Mode

Martin is busy songwriting and when he comes back, he has a wide assortment of new themes for an album.

Depeche Mode reunite in February and set up a studio in a privately rented villa in Madrid, Spain to work on new material for their eight studio album "Songs Of Faith And Devotion" with Flood in the producer's chair.

"This was the only time ever in the studio when we thought we had a hit single. When I finished the demo of Enjoy The Silence it was more of a ballad and sounded a bit like the harmonium version that came out on one of the formats. Alan had this idea to speed it up and make it a bit more disco which I was really averse to at first, because l thought 'the song is called Enjoy The Silence and it's supposed to be about serenity, and serenity doesn't go with the disco beat'. So I was sulking for about two days but after he sped it up, I got used to it and added the guitar part, which adds to the whole atmosphere. We could really hear that it had a crossover potential. I have to say that I was sulking for two days for no reason." Martin Gore

"A Depeche Mode fan is anyone who still gives us the time of day after having heard It's Called A Heart (Slow Mix)." Alan Wilder

"Right now there's a lot of dance techno music out there. I think everyone expected us to come up with a hard dance album, but there's so much of it out there right now that the songs are really getting lost. I think I subconsciously tried to rebel against that." Martin Gore on SOFAD

"Nobody thought they were going to make it through that album. Even l, for the first time, wasn't sure if they were going to make it. I felt there was a really good chance, but I started having my doubts because of what was going on. I think the fact that they did was a shock to everybody who was close to the band, and to the media, who were watching with interest." Daniel Miller


Walking In

Depeche Mode Shoes

The first Depeche Mode single from the new album "I Feel You" arrives on February 15th and goes straight into the upper reaches of the music charts. The video for the song directed by Anton Corbijn is nominated by MTV's annual Music Awards for the Alternative Video Of The Year.

The newest studio LP "Songs Of Faith And Devotion" is released on March 22nd and goes straight to the top of the music industry, debuting at No. 1 on both the American and British charts, and goes on to dominate album charts the World over.

The sales of the "Songs Of Faith And Devotion" exceed everyone's expectations and the album receives eleven gold disc awards in Britain, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and two platinum awards in the USA and Canada.

To celebrate the release of the long-awaited album, Depeche Mode throw an exclusive "Global Release Party" on March 12th at the club Ministry Of Sound in London. The Band meet fans and take part in an interview that is broadcast World-wide by satellite.

Depeche Mode embark on the extensive Devotional Tour in May, which takes them across the globe twice, playing to devotees throughout Europe and North America by the end of the year.

The second single from the album, "Walking In My Shoes" is released on April 26th, followed by "Condemnation" (September 13th), featuring the haunting ballad "Death's Door".

A live video, directed by Anton Corbijn, is shot during shows in Lieven, Barcelona and Budapest. The video captures Depeche Mode at their finest and is released in December, accompanied with a live album titled "Songs Of Faith And Devotion Live".

"Songs Of Faith And Devotion is a work of untouchable excellence." What's On, UK

"My favourite song from this album has to be Walking In My Shoes' as I love the sounds on it enormously - also it is one of my own favorite videos tor Depeche Mode." Anton Corbijn

"I'd like to feel that this music will lift people and make them feel better in whatever they do. I'm just trying to push myself further." Dave Gahan on SOFAD


On The Road

With Depeche Mode

Depeche Mode are back on the road in February, performing in front of audiences in far off places like South Africa, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong. Philippines, Hawaii, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico.

Depeche Mode return to the United States in May for the final leg of the tour simply called USA 94 where they finish off after 14 months during which Depeche Mode have visited 122 cities in 27 different countries and played for over 2,000,000 people in 156 shows.

Anton Corbijn receives a Grammy nomination for the live video recording of the "Devotional".

"In Your Room", the fourth and final single out of "Songs Of Faith And Devotion" is released on January 10th.


Coming Back To

Depeche Mode

Martin Gore covers a Leonard Cohen song "Coming Back To You" for the Cohen tribute album "Tower Of Song: The Songs of Leonard Cohen".

At the end of May, Alan Wilder announces his departure from Depeche Mode. The remaining band members decide not to seek a replacement.

Depeche Mode are in the recording studio for six before Christmas working on some new material with Tim Simenon producing.

"It's all faultlessly conceived and presented, and equally well filmed and edited. An absorbing experience, even for non-die hard fans. Devotional is a wonderful, creative example of achieving success without artistic compromise." Q. Magazine, UK

"I think that every video I had to do while they were on tour, was the hardest to make and in particular Condemnation because of Dave's mental condition at the time. The easiest was probably Strangelove, as it doesn't feature the band so much…" Anton Corbijn

"I think my decision to leave the band came during the making of that album. I can remember one or two occasions during the recording that stick vividly in my mind, particularly those first sessions where I thought this is just not enjoyable, this is last time I want to be in this situation." Alan Wilder

"Martin's an amazing songwriter, and I want people to take their hats off to him. Songs, songs, songs, that's what it's all about." Tim Simenon


It's All Good For

Depeche Mode

Dave accidentally overdoses on drugs in Los Angeles in May and is arrested. Upon his successful completion of the drug treatment and rehabilitation program, all charges against him are dismissed.

Depeche Mode are recording in New York at Electric Lady Studios. They also put in some extra time in London, including a one day return to Westside Studios (after ten years) to record some strings.

Following a short summer break, the Band are back in the studio in September, mixing the first single at Sarm Studios in London. They later on return to Eastcote and Rak Studios for more recording.

In December, Depeche Mode shoot the video for their first single "Barrel Of A Gun" in Morocco under the direction of Anton Corbijn.

"There's not really a concept or a theme, but quite a lot of the songs deal with destiny. Religion is probably touched on less on this album than it has been in the past, but it's still got a quite spiritual feel." Martin Gore on Ultra

"Ultra reveals a band who have weathered the storms to produce their finest work. Its minimalistic, moody grooves are influenced by recent trip-hop happenings, while Gore's lyrics are his finest yet. From boys to men, through good times and bad, Depeche Mode are still very much around. And they're getting the balance right." Gary Crossing, Big Issue, UK



The first single "Barrel Of A Gun" is released on February 3rd, also featuring an alternative track called "Painkiller". It goes straight into the UK charts at No. 4, equalling their highest ever chart position with "People Are People".

Depeche Mode visit seven European countries on a promotional tour in February, giving interviews to all the major press, TV and radio stations. The promotional trip continues towards the end of April.

The Band spend the last week of February in New York and in addition to loads of interviews, they are shooting the video for the second single "It's No Good" (March 31st) which becomes a smash hit and one of the most requested songs on radio stations everywhere straight after its release.

During March, London's Mute Records organises a chain of listening parties with a playback of the tracks from the new album. The evenings welcome nearly two thousand DM fans and Bong members from all over the UK.

A huge launch party is held by Mute Records on April 10th at London's Adrenaline Village featuring the first live performance by Depeche Mode in three years.

The release date of the long-awaited album "Ultra" is set for April 14th. It is Depeche Mode's 9th studio album, featuring eleven original tracks, all written by Martin Gore and produced by Tim Simenon.

Attacking the highest positions in most of the European countries, "Ultra" sells 3,000,000 in seven months and goes gold and platinum around the globe.

Depeche Mode launch their official web site on May 13th, initially focusing on "Ultra", but creating a centralised resource for Depeche Mode fans world-wide, including the extensive history of Depeche Mode.

"Home", an epic string-drenched ballad sees Martin taking over the vocal duty from Dave, is the third single from "Ultra" released on June 16th.

The gently funky song with the moaning guitar riffs "Useless" and the fourth single from "Ultra" is released on October 20th. The accompanying video is shot at an old lead mine in North Wales at the end of August, with Anton Corbijn directing.

Dave sings "Song For Europe" which is included on a Roxy Music tribute album "Dreamhome Heartaches…Remaking, Remodelling Roxy Music", proceeds of which go to a children's charity.

"Barrel Of A Gun is about understanding what you're about and realising that you don't necessarily fit into somebody else's scheme of things. You can have slight diversions from your path, but I think there is something that is written for us that is meant to be. I'm not being totally fatalistic, I think that we do have a say in things, but I don't think that say is very strong. " Martin Gore

"Trying times for the band, yet with the guidance of producer Tim Simenon, Depeche Mode have come back with an album which will - once the headlines are forgotten - be seen as one of the most outstanding and enganging in their 16-year career. " Music & Media "I'm pleased that we have consolidated our position as an influential and still popular group in the 1990s. The high points for me were playing live at the Ultra launch parties in London and Los Angeles." Andy Fletcher


Lost In

Depeche Mode

Martin is busy writing songs for inclusion on the long awaited double CD package "The Singles 86>98", featuring all the Band's hits since 1986, along with a new song.

In February, the Band meet in London to discuss their plans and ideas. They decide to go into the studio in March to begin work on new material. Tim Simenon, is once again in charge of production.

Depeche Mode hold a press conference on April 20th in Cologne, Germany to announce their upcoming tour The Singles Tour 96-98, coinciding with the release of the retrospective double CD set "The Singles 86>98" (September 28th).

The Band are on location in New York City during July, to film the video for their new single "Only When I Lose Myself" directed by Brian Griffin, who collaborated with Depeche Mode on their first four album covers.

The production rehearsals for the upcoming tour take place during August at Three Mills Island Studios in East London.

The new single called "Only When I Lose Myself", featuring Dave on vocals is released on September 7th. The single also includes two more new titles, "Headstar" and "Surrender".

Depeche Mode embark on a world tour, starting in September, which takes them for the first time ever to Russia, Estonia and Latvia. Following the European leg, the Band tour North America in November and December. As soon as the dates are announced, tickets sell like hot cakes with some shows selling out within hours!

The stage-set design and video projection is provided once again by Anton Corbijn and Depeche Mode are accompanied on stage by Christian Eigner on drums. Peter Gordeno on keyboards and Jordan Bailey and Janet Cooke, the two backing vocalists.

During The Singles 86-98 Tour Depeche Mode visit 29 cities in 15 different countries around Europe, 27 cities in the North America and play 64 shows to almost 800,000 fans.

A new video compilation of the singles coincides with the release date of "The Singles 86>98" and features a special intro and an exclusive short film.

Sales figures of more than 1.5 million copies in a couple of months since its release secure "The Singles 86>98" several gold and platinum disc awards across the world.

Depeche Mode headline at KROO's Almost Acoustic Christmas show on December 12th in Los Angeles. Their one hour performance includes an acoustic version of "Sisters Of Night", and during "Never Let Me Down Again" Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins appeared on stage with the Band.

"With Only When I Lose Myself, I started with the opening motif and the words were suggested to me by what was happening in the music. I find that a very natural way to write." Martin Gore

"Essex electronica veterans don't get out of bed for less than an arena tour. Here (The Singles 86-98 Tour) they're promoting a hits package, a singular pop affair that traces dark-lines between Basildon and Berlin." Evening Standard, UK


Dreaming Of

Depeche Mode

The Band members get together during April to discuss their future plans. Meanwhile, Martin is getting down to some serious work in the song-writing department. The Band hope to be in the studio next year.

In the Music Week Creative and Design Awards 1999, "The Singles 86>98" wins "Best Album Design" and "The Singles 86>98" album campaign wins "Best Design of a Series of Sleeves".

In May, Martin is presented with an "Award for International Achievement", by the British Academy of Composers & Songwriters, at the 44th Ivor Nowello Awards in London. Martin is presented with his award by Daniel Miller.


Depeche Mode

Get Exciting

Depeche Mode celebrate their 20th anniversary since they formed in Basildon, named themselves Depeche Mode and conquered the World.

Martin is songwriting, and working at home in his studio with Gareth Jones and Paul Freegard. The Band announce plans to go in to the studio.

The International Bong Convention is held on April 15th in Depeche Mode's hometown Basildon. It is a celebration of 20 years of Depeche Mode and although the Band members are not present, a concert-like atmosphere is created by more than 250 fans from all over the World.

Several new songs are ready for the Band to work on. Martin is still busy writing more tracks for the new album and the Band start recording during June and July in studios in both London and New York with producer Mark Bell. The recording process continues in September and concludes just before Christmas in New York.

"I think we've always made weird pop. and I think Exciter is a great example of that. I don't think it fits into a defined musical category, but we never have, so that's not a particular worry. I just like being able to make music that's different. and if it's successful as well, then that's good. " Martin Gore

"I'm very proud of the work that i've contributed to this record, and I want people to hear it. I've really enjoyed singing on this album too, and I've enjoyed it more because I'm in a good place, I feel really content. Yes, I want it to sell millions of copies, I'd love to pick up a Grammy next year, and get an MTV award. I'd like to pick up a Brit award - l'd be lying if I said I didn't - but if it doesn't happen, c'est la vie…we've made a great record and we're going to go out and tour. I know our fans are really loyal and they'll be coming out to see us. There's not much else you can really ask for. I'm doing what I want to do in my life." Dave Gahan


Feel Loved By

Depeche Mode

The video for the first single "Dream On" is shot in Los Angeles in February. The man behind the camera this time is the world famous video director and fashion photographer Stephane Sednaoui.

The official web site celebrates a victory in the second annual MidemNet Awards, which are announced in Cannes in January, winning the award for Best Artist Web Site. The site hosts two exclusive MP3 extracts from "Exciter" per day marking the release of the Band's tenth studio album.

The Band finish mixing the album in London in January, and after a well-deserved break and some promotional activities, release their first single "Dream On" on April 23rd, with "Easy Tiger" on the B-side. It enters the German Top 100 Single Charts on pole possition and becomes the first number one single for the Band in Germany since "People Are People" (1984)!

Depeche Mode announce their world-wide tour at a press conference in Hamburg in March and start pre-production in April: The rehearsals begin in London in May and continue in June when the Exciter Tour starts rolling in Canada. The second leg of the tour brings Depeche Mode to Europe towards the end of August.

The excellent and highly anticipated new album "Exciter" is released on May 14th. There are a total of thirteen tracks, including two instrumentals. Anton Corbijn is once again asked to do the album artwork. The new album immediately hits the charts across the World and the sales reach award status gold or platinum in many countries around the globe.

The massive tour sees Depeche Mode performing to 1,2 million people in 24 countries over a five-month period and again features the innovative stage design and unique visual element of Anton Corbijn. Martin, Fletch and Dave welcome the return of the musicians Christian Eigner, Peter Gordeno and backing vocalist Jordan, with newcomer Georgia Lewis.

"I Feel Loved" is the second single from the album with the official release date of July 16th, featuring a cover of the legendary The Stooges song "Dirt" as a B-side. The radio friendly track makes it to heavy rotation on most radio stations across Europe.

The third single from "Exciter" is the beautiful ballad "Freelove" out on November 5th. The video is directed in July by the Australian director John Hillcoat, who is also responsible for the "I Feel Loved" video.

Depeche Mode win The Best International Artist A Music Channel VIVA "Comet" Award ceremony, beating Madonna, Jennifer Lopez and U2!

The Band performed the old time classic "Never Let Me Down Again" at the MTV Europe Music Awards held in Frankfurt in November. The official DM web site receives a nomination and although it doesn't win, it is selected by MTV Europe as one of only five web sites up for Best Band Web Site.

The filming of the video for the new single "Goodnight Lovers" takes place in November in Frankfurt and is once more directed by John Hillcoat.

"The word Exciter sounds like typical Martin word and has a sexual meaning in a way…and that sort of pictures on the album too, but at the same time it's quite a broad nature and it goes down the core of things. I think the music is a bit like that as well…it's quite relaxed…it has beautiful sounds and it's a very different Depeche again." Anton Corbijn

"I'm a lot more confident vocally. I really wanted to bring something beautiful to these songs. When you're singing a song, it's like you can just disappear into it. It's the only way I can describe it really. And I did that. It's really a luxurious place to be. I wanted to do that with every song. On Ultra I was not able to do that because I wasn't physically able to bring all of myself to it. Now I feel like I'm firing on all cylinders." Dave Gahan

"Blame it on the sunshine, or the settled wile-and-kinds lives of all three members, but Exciter is the most optimistic record the band have made in 20 years." Dorian Lynskey, Q Magazine, UK

"Gahan has stripped off his shirt, and proceeds to spin across the stage with comical, sweaty abandon, shouting 'Hello London!' as if he's never been here before. His sheer happiness in his work is hard to resist, as he leads crowd-clapping so synchronised it gives fresh life to the old comparison between stadium shows and Nuremberg rallies. He won't rest until we're singing the new single Freelove as if we've loved it all our lives." Nick Hasted, The Independent, UK


One Night With

Depeche Mode And...

"Goodnight Lovers", the fourth single from "Exciter", is released on February 11th, coinciding with the announcement of two nominations for Depeche Mode in this year's Grammy Awards in the categories of "Best Dance Recording" for "I Feel Loved" and the "Best Remixed Recording/Non-Classical" for Danny Tenaglia's remix of "I Feel Loved". The Band is also nominated for Echo Pop 2002 Awards in the category "Best International Rock/Pop Band".

The eagerly awaited live DVD of the "Exciter Tour" titled "One Night In Paris" hits the stores on May 27th and, apart from the live footage, contains some extras, such as rare personal interviews, stills gallery and many more. The exclusive two-hour event is directed by Anton Corbijn at the sold-out Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy in front of 16,000 wildly enthusiastic fans.

"The venue itself is probably one of the best in the world. We've played this venue many, many times, so for us it's almost like a second home in Paris. Depeche Mode fans will travel from all over the world to see a concert in Paris." Andy Fletcher on Paris's Bercy

"As far as performing goes, I enjoyed this tour more than any other before. I really felt it was the best we've ever played and that the musicians that were playing really brought new life to the older songs and the new songs from Exciter. I was just floating out there." Dave Gahan

"A great project to work on is always the design of an album cover, including photographs and title-lettering. I also enjoy video making and think the band are better when they have to work to a clear idea than standing in front of a stills camera for a photograph. I love doing the stage sets too so in a way I am a happy bunny in whatever discipline I work with Depeche Mode." Anton Corbijn


Songs Of Faith and Devotion


The new, and tenth, Depeche Mode album Songs Of Faith and Devotion, is one of the most eagerly expected awaited albums of 1993. Their last album, Violator, was their most successful to date and, after the tour finished playing to 1,200,000 people over eight months, group decided to take a year's sabbatical.

It took the young Essex group only three weeks to record their first album, Speak and Spell, in 1981. The new work, however, was made by David Gahan, Alan Wilder, Martin Gore and Andrew Fletcher over an eight-month period from April to December, 1992, with long breaks between recording sessions in Madrid, Hamburg and London. "Your standards go up," Martin explains. "It takes longer until everybody is happy. And we've tried so many things before, that to be experimental and different takes longer."

One of the secrets of the lasting appeal of Depeche Mode has been that way are indeed different from any group and any trend. Their music is always a welcome alternative to whoever and whatever happen to be in vogue. The voice of their lead vocalist Dave Gahan is one of the most distinctive and riveting in rock.

Writer Martin Gore deals with subject matter that doesn't even occur to most lyricists, let alone get expressed in song form. Musician Alan Wilder stays on top of the latests developments in recording technology, with added input on the last two albums from co-producer Flood. As Alan explains, "He had the rare ability to be able to step back and have a producer's perspective and also the technical know how to be completely hands on with all the equipment. He's now become a crucial member of our team, and hi contribution is vast."

The group Queen, who were born in the seventies and survived through the eighties, were long considered the classic example of how four very different individuals could maintain a professional partnership that was in all their interests, realizing that people don't have to be personal friends to work well together. With Depeche Mode, conceived in the eighties and destined to outlast the nineties, there has been the pleasant discovery over the years that the four members have naturally gravitated to different tasks, respect each other's performance in the seperate jobs and have no desire to compete. In simplistic terms, Dave is the singer, Martin is the songwriter, Alan the musician and Andrew the co-ordinator. "I think this is the way a modern band should be," says Andy, referred to as Fletch. "If more bands were like that, they could run their affairs more successfully."

Important financial matters that might bore many artists fascinate Fletch. "I liaise with our accountant, our office staff and our business staff, and I really enjoy it, to be honest. It's important to keep an eye on merchandising and royalties. Mute, our record company, didn't have a computerized accounts system until recently, so it's a good thing Daniel Miller (who founded the label) is one of the most honest people I've ever met. We've got one of the best record deals in the music industry."

"There has been a natural delegation of responsibility," Alan confirms. "I've always had a strong interest in the production side. Alot of the time it's myself and Flood who are left there in the early hours of the morning doing what we call 'screwdriver' work. It's sifting through bits of peromance and restructuring it, which bores Martin most of the time and Dave to an extent, but I actually quite enjoy it."

"I prefer the writing," Martin confirms. "Although you know you are creating when you're in the studio, you're starting totally afresh when you're writing. I've always found it a fascinating process. Sometimes I'll look at a song that I've just written and think that I know where it came from."

Some of the most startling Depeche hits have had religious themes, including the 1984 UK top twenty hit "Blasphemous Rumours" and, in 1989-90, "Personal Jesus." "I've always had a fascination with religion," Gore admits. "I don't really understand it, but I've always longed for some sort of belief. A few of the songs on the new album have a sort of gospel feel."

One of them, "Condemnation", is a particular favorite of Dave Gahan. "I think that's the best lyric and melody I've ever sung," he affirms. "I wish I could have written it." Other group members are full of praise for his performance of this and other songs on the album.

"With this record we've tried to make Dave sing in a different way," Alan explains. "In simple things, like raising the register of the song so he had to sing higher than he would normally, forcing him to approach songs differently and making him go over and over things, trying different environments in which he hasn't sung before, not using headphones like we normally do... anything to try and get a different performance. He's responded really well. Dave had a very good attitude. He's willing to try things because he understands that by repeatedly doing over things eventually something will click and a special moment will occur." With "Condemnation", the new environment turned out to be a marble-tiled garage in the Madrid villa.

Five key singles in Depeche's career can be identified. The first is "Just Can't Get Enough", their technopop sound with founding member Vince Clarke, "before the group was a democracy," as Fletch quips. Early Depeche Mode material continues to sell to new fans.

The second crucial Depeche single was "Everything Counts", a 1983 UK hit that brought criticism of the music business onto the airwaves and introduced an adult tone to the young band's music. As Fletch points out, the group had the freedom to make this statement because of it's close relationships with Daniel Miller's Mute Records in the UK and Seymour Stein's Sire in the U.S.

"People Are People" was a particularly important record. It achieved what is still the group's highest British chart position (4) and introduced them to the American top twenty in 1985. Despite these distinction, it is one of Martin Gore's least favorite compositions. "It's just not very subtle," he mourns. "I like the songs to be ambiguous enough for people to get their own meaning from them."

Martin broke new ground for top forty radio with the lyrics of "Personal Jesus," on of the best selling 12-inch discs in American history and their firt U.S. gold single. As happened with Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA", many listener read their own meaning into the song. "We often get fans coming to concerts with meanings that are a million miles away from what I intended," Gore related, "but they still seem very passionate about what they feel. I like that."

A final key single was "Enjoy The Silence", the first Depeche US top ten single and another million seller. In Britain this was chosen as Best Single if 1990 by listeners of BBC Radio for the BPI awards.

Now a new group of songs stand ready to join this select list. First in line is "I Feel You", chosen as the single both because of its infectious appeal and because its hook line "this is the dawning of our love." Other tracks, including "Condemnation", are likely to follow. One piece noteworthy for it's distinctiveness is "One Caress", on which Martin sang live to the accompaniment of a twenty-eight-piece string orchestra.

With this album Depeche Mode continues to make musical progress. As Alan explains, "We've placed the emphasis on performance, using sequencers and other technology to rearrange it in a way we couldn't if we were simply playing through the entire song." Wilder himself will be playing more live drums on tour, and Gore will come forward more to play guitar. Gahan is as fervent as an artist can be about his new work and the opportunity to perform it live.

"I'd like to feel that this music will lift people and make them feel better about themselves and better in whatever they do. I'm just trying to push myself further."

Central to Depeche Mode's determination to excel as a group is its member awareness that each of the other individuals are performing at a peak standard. "I value what Dave does on stage," Alan says. "Without his performance as a front person we would be a very boring band to watch. There are very few good front men around, and I think he does it well."

Gahan returns the compliment to Wilder in a discussion about his studio technique. "Alan will sit there for twenty-four hours until it's right. It's very special to me when people care that much about everything and want it to be that good. That's what is unique about Depeche Mode."

It has been three years since Depeche Mode issued their last album, Violator, which achieved career high chart positions of two in Britain and seven in America. 1990 was spent on the World Violation Tour, which ended at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, and 1992 was predominantly devoted to recording the new work. In between, band members have managed to get some personal time off from the virtually non-stop schedule that has given them nin top ten UK LP's in nine releases and D.A. Pennebaker's documentary film Depeche Mode 101, filmed in part at the Pasadena Rose Bowl concert in front of 75,000 fans.

The way Depeche Mode feels about returning to the road is best summed up by Dave. "We're getting to a stage now where the music's moving onto higher ground, at it really moves me. The most important thing in my life right now is to get out and bring this music to the fans; now it's the circus, now it begins."

Depeche Mode will play near you in 1993.


Playing The Angel


This October, Depeche Mode release their first album since 2001's two million-selling Exciter. "I really felt, before we started this album, that there was unfinished business," says Dave Gahan of their 11th studio album, Playing The Angel. And so it is that the world's foremost subversive electronic pop group have reconvened to, as the singer puts it, "make the best record we can." They just can't shake the disease.

Playing The Angel is an astonishingly fresh, exuberant release from the band who have, over 25 years, sold upwards of 50 million records worldwide and amassed a staggering 38 hit singles in the UK and no fewer than 13 Top 10 albums. And yet they sound like a new group, not one halfway through their third decade together. "Precious", the first single, is quintessential Mode, all cyber pulse and glorious chorus. "The Sinner In Me" perfectly balances the organic and synthetic, and climaxes, as do most of the tracks, with staccato blasts of noise and FX. On "Suffer Well" Dave's voice is more powerful than ever. "Macrovision", sung by Martin Gore, is hi-tech pop with an enormous hook. "John The Revelator" is one of many potential hit singles. "I Want It All" is one of the slower tracks with its minor-key menace, like trip hop from hell. "A Pain That I'm Used To" kicks off what would have been Side 2 in fine, furious style with its savage bursts of guitar.

The title for the album was taken, according to Fletch, from the lyric of a track called "The Darkest Star". The LP was recorded in Santa Barbara, New York and London. Recording began in January 2005 in California, with producer Ben Hillier at the helm providing a sense of challenge. "You have to work hard at reinventing yourself," admits Dave, "so you have to choose new people who push you." Playing The Angel is faster-paced than the last two Mode albums, heightening the sense of urgency and vibrancy. Ben's fondness for analogue synths over digital ones helped shape the sound.

It is also the first Depeche album to feature Dave Gahan credits - three of the tracks ("I Want It All", "Suffer Well" and "Nothing's Impossible") were written by the singer, who was encouraged by the reaction to his debut solo album Paper Monsters (2003). Martin was responsible for the remaining nine tracks. As usual, he was unflinching in his depiction of the dark side of the human condition. In fact, he jokes, the back cover of the LP sleeve may well feature the subtitle: Pain And Suffering In Various Tempos. "Dave said I've made a 25-year career out of one subject. I disagree: it's two!"

When asked what the broad, overarching themes of this record are, Martin smiles: "Anything that appeals to really dysfunctional people." It would be wrong, however, to dismiss Depeche Mode as harvesters of sorrow. "I never see our music as over-dark. There's always an element of hope. And I hope that comes over in the music."

A sense of optimism, of renewed vigour, of pleasure at what they've achieved, can be discerned from Playing The Angel. It's also obvious from the sheer delight Dave, Martin and Andy feel at being back with Depeche Mode, on the eve of the release of a brilliant album and a mammoth, sell-out world tour that confirms the enormity of their global audience.

Dave counts his blessings that he's still actually here to do this. "That we've achieved so much in 25 years, and survived so much... Of all the bands, this is the one I'd have put money on not still being around!" he laughs. "I see ourselves alongside U2 and R.E.M. more than any of the bands we came up with, although really we don't fit in and we never have, and I've come to embrace that - there's no one like Depeche Mode. I might have lost some of my drive in the mid-'90s, but now I've got it back. It's better being in Depeche Mode now than it has been for 15 years."

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