🎵 How Good Are They Really 🎵 Depeche Mode

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Today;

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

0 voters

1 Like
  • Speak & Spell
  • A Broken Frame
  • Construction Time Again
  • Some Great Reward
  • Black Celebration
  • Music For The Masses
  • Violator
  • Songs Of Faith And Devotion
  • Ultra
  • Exciter
  • Playing The Angel
  • Sounds Of The Universe
  • Delta Machine
  • Spirit

0 voters

From The Best Of:

  • Personal Jesus
  • Just Can’t Get Enough
  • Everything Counts
  • Enjoy the Silence
  • Shake the Disease
  • See You
  • It’s No Good
  • Strangelove
  • Suffer Well
  • Dream On
  • People Are People
  • Martyr
  • Walking in My Shoes
  • I Feel You
  • Precious
  • Master and Servant
  • New Life
  • Never Let Me Down Again

0 voters

Ooooh I’ll see if I’ve got time for a big post on this one today. Suffice to say 5/5 from me.

5 Likes

I’ll post more later but 5/5.

2 Likes

1, don’t get em. Actually no 2 cos Enjoy the Silence is great

Living in Central Europe was weird, they’re literally the biggest band in the world there? Went to a festival and everyone over 40 was in a Depeche mode tshirt

3 Likes

4/5, not one of my all-timers, but I do like them a LOT. Violator is a perfect album as far as I’m concerned and they have so many bangers throughout the rest of their catalog.

Great band.

1 Like

do do doodoo do do do do do doodoo do do do do do doodoo do do do PLYMOUTH ARGYLE

3/5

5 Likes

I’ve tried and tried, but I can’t get into them. A great singles band… I’ve got a few friends who are die-hards but I can’t understand it. There’s likely a huge crossover of The Cure / Depeche Mode and I absolutely adore the former. Bafflingly (to these ears) gigantic in Europe.

2/5.

Considered a generous 3, but they broke the streak of “an album every 4 years since 1993” last year.

Gone for a 4.

The early stuff does little for me. Black Celebration and Music for the Masses were good. But Violator and Songs of Faith were really huge for me. Ultra had some great songs too but is a bit of a mixed bag and it was all downhill after that for me (I don’t mind Exciter if I’m in the right mood, but that is an exceedingly misleading title).

It’s not a U2 situation where they have been actively bad for the last 20 years, it’s more that nothing has really grabbed me. Just meh.

Also, Enjoy the Silence is one of the best songs ever written by anyone. * plants flag *

16 Likes

If you’re ever in Tallinn in Estonia, this is a fun place to grab a Personal Jesus cocktail.

3 Likes

Find them intrinsically silly but fun with it rather than annoying. Violator + the early singles comp is enough for me.
3

1 Like

Long rambly post I haven’t bothered going back over because I wouldn’t post it if I did. Not going to change anyone’s mind but a few reasons I love them

Summary

My mum is a huge Depeche Mode fan, saw a lot of small club shows in the 80s etc. and they’re the first band I ever remember hearing around the house growing up. I probably know the words to Violator and SOFAD (whether or not I understood them) at a very young age.

I totally understand why people don’t get them or like them, because they shouldn’t really work. They’re painfully uncool (Dave Gahan has a very misguided ’cool uncle’ vibe that makes me cringe whenever I read an interview with him and most of his solo work is dull, and in any other universe Fletch would be a middle manager at an auditor’s office somewhere). But that’s kind of what also makes them so great, and I suspect so huge; they’re a few really awkward uncool guys from Basildon making (for the most part of their career) unusual, progressive music that connects with millions on a deep level. On the surface it’s like their whole career is a big accident (not to understate what talented songwriters Martin Gore, Alan Wilder and Vince Clarke are). But I think they embrace that and go all-in with a bit of stadium posturing and theatrics.

Personally they’ve had a big influence on my life; Violator, SOFAD and Ultra clicked with a kid/teen discovering rock and they sent me in all sorts of directions to discover new music; on one hand you’ve got the grungy, gothy rock/industrial sound which influenced people like Deftones and NIN, on the other you’ve got a whole ecosystem of extended 12” mixes for every release by people like LFO, Daniel Miller, DJ Shadow, Goldfrapp…

Deftones - To Have And To Hold (Studio Version) - YouTube

Since then I’ve gone back and got much more into their older stuff too; Construction Time Again in particular is a banger. And some of their non-album or B-side tracks are right up with some of my synth-era favourites too. I think Playing the Angel is the last of theirs that I’d play all the way through and enjoy.

But Not Tonight (Extended Remix) - YouTube

A big part of their work and almost another band member in my mind is the visual world created for them by Anton Corbijn. Their concert backdrop films, music videos, record sleeves, photoshoots are a huge body of work that made me get into visual art and then design; the Violator Tour in particular is an amazing thing at quite a bleak time for the band, Dave Gahan strung out on Heroin surrounded by giant plague doctor-like marching shadows.

Walking In My Shoes (Subtitulado) - Devotional Tour 1993 - YouTube

101 is one of the best live recordings and concert films ever, hands down (directed by D A Pennbaker). It really captured the devotion that they seem to stir up in fans. Jeremy Deller made a film more recently about the fanaticism of many fans, particularly in Russia and Eastern Europe and I’d recommend it to anyone, fan or not, because it’s such a heartwarming thing and is free to watch.

Our Hobby is Depeche Mode on Vimeo

Obligatory rating (Violator is objectively their best album but I wanted t throw my weight behind its greebo brother SOFAD)

Violator = Songs of Faith and Devotion > Music for the Masses > 101 > Construction Time Again > Black Celebration > Ultra > Some Great Reward > Exciter > A broken Frame > Playing the Angel > others

12 Likes

Absolutely massive in Mexico (and subsequently Southern California) too. Couldn’t quite believe how often I heard Enjoy the Silence when I was there.

1 Like

Enjoy the Silence is a perfect song and Violator a near-perfect album. Don’t really have an opinion on the rest. 4

Unashamedly love them. For a band that have a cultivated ‘cool’ image they are actually uber uncool, but this only adds to the appeal. Dave Gahan’s rubbish dad dancing and constant ‘Wooh, yeah’ over every song cracks me up. That said, Martin Gore is actually pretty cool when he sings the songs (which he seems to do more of these days).

Caught them live on the Devotional tour way back when (supported by a risible Sisters Of Mercy) and it was an amazing show. It was the tour where they got Anton Corbijn to do a load of the set design and it cost a fortune/lost them money. Worth it though - check out that setlist:

Great day out at ‘The National Sports Arena’ in Crystal Palace…

Coincidentally, the next time I caught them live was at The Olympic Stadium many years later. Something about them and athletics stadiums maybe :thinking:

Enjoy dipping into their early poppy stuff periodically. Lots of fun. From the later stuff, Playing The Angel is probably their best late career classic. From the sessions for that, Martyr (which didn’t make the album) feels like a nice nod to their 80s synthy roots…

3 Likes

They managed to break massive in the US before the UK (where they were definitely not taken 100% seriously throughout the 80s tbf). Their live album 101 is of them playing to 60,000 people at the Pasadena Rose Bowl in 1988 :woman_shrugging:

Amuses me how every single albums of theirs is pretty much nailed on to go to number one in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, France et al every single time they release anything :woman_shrugging: :woman_shrugging:

2 Likes

/Dulwich Hamlet

1 Like

Yeah definitely noticed this in Germany too