Known for their dark, industrial love songs for the modern era,
Depeche Mode earned a massive following by pushing sonic and lyrical boundaries with new synthesizer technology and captivating live performances.
How does any band remain at the cutting edge for over three decades?
Depeche Mode have spent their long and unique career exploring new realms of postpunk, electronic textures and futuristic industrial sounds, with one of the all-time charismatic frontmen in Dave Gahan and a songwriting legend in Martin Gore.
Depeche Mode burst from the U.K. town of Basildon in 1981 with the New Romantic synth-blast of Speak And Spell, as tunesmith Vince Clarke brought his sense of pop classicism to the dance floor in hits like “Just Can’t Get Enough” and “Dreaming Of Me.” When Clarke left the group (to make inventive records with his groups Yaz and Erasure), Gore stepped up to become one of his generation’s most influential songwriters, with his own black-leather blend of existential despair, erotic kink, political bite and sly wit.
Depeche Mode built a diehard cult – and helped invent the goth subculture – with groundbreaking hits like “Master And Servant” (1985), “Stripped” (1986), “A Question Of Lust” (1986) and “Never Let Me Down Again” (1987) – while their electro reboot of “Route 66” showed off their wry take on the R&B verities. Black Celebration (1986) and Music For The Masses (1987) led to Depeche Mode’s masterwork Violator (1990), blending ominous synths with rock guitar for classics like “Personal Jesus” and “Enjoy The Silence.”
Their newfound flair for the blues exploded in the goth-grunge swamp gospel of 1993’s Songs Of Faith And Devotion (“Walking In My Shoes”), as well as, recent global hits like Delta Machine (2013) and Spirit (2017). Depeche Mode have kept evolving through the Nineties and beyond, remaining a legendarily fearsome live act across the planet, with a foot in the underground and another in the club – but always with an eye on the future.
“Dreaming Of Me,” Speak And Spell (1981) • “People Are People,” Some Great Reward (1984) • Black Celebration (1986) • “Personal Jesus,” Violator (1990) • Songs Of Faith And Devotion (1993) • Sounds Of The Universe (2009) • Delta Machine (2013) • “Where’s The Revolution,” Spirit (2017)