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Depeche Mode

Depeche Mode bio, timeline, discography, pics & more

Depeche Mode

Depeche Mode photo 2005

Depeche Mode Biography

The Synth-Pop band Depeche Mode is one of the longest-lived and most successful New Wave acts that originally came together in the neighbouring borough of Basildon, ENGLAND in 1976 and was founded by keyboardist Andy Fletcher and multi-instrumentalists Martin Gore and Vince Clarke; vocalist David Gahan joined the group in 1980 and Depeche Mode was ready to move forward signing with Daniel Miller's Mute Records label.

They soon recorded the single "Dreaming Of Me", followed it up with their first U.K. top 20 hit, "New Life" and their debut album, "Speak & Spell", which became a success all over Europe while a third single track, "Just Can't Get Enough", rose to #8 in the British chart; all of those singles also scored club success in the United States.
Main songwriter, Vince Clarke had left the group after only one album to form Yazoo with Alison Moyet; the remaining three members put out their second LP, "A Broken Frame", in September 1982 and after this, Alan Wilder joined the band taking Clarke's place on synthesizer; the record included three British top 20 singles including the #6 "See You", "The Meaning Of Love" and "Leave In Silence".
January 1983 saw the release of the non-album single "Get The Balance Right" which climbed into the top 20 of the U.K. Pop Sales list and hit the U.S. Club Play Singles chart.
Later, that same year, Depeche Mode unleashed its third full-length disc, "Construction Time Again", which spawned the U.K. #6 smash "Everything Counts" and the top 20 hit "Love In Itself".
Their fourth album, "Some Great Reward" released in September 1984, marked their commercial breakthrough, it peaked at #54 on The Billboard Top 200 chart thanks to the single "People Are People" which became the band's first Billboard Hot 100 entry at #13 and also their best chart-placing to date in the U.K. peaking at #4, the follow-up single, "Master And Servant", debuted at #9 in the same chart and the double-A side, "Blasphemous Rumours / Somebody", hit the top 20.
By the fall of 1985 the group assembled the U.S.-only greatest-hits compilation titled "Catching Up With Depeche Mode", which contained the band's two most recent B-sides as well as two new songs, "Shake The Disease" and "It's Called A Heart"; the set reached the #113 on The Billboard 200 Albums list and both the previously unreleased tracks managed to crack the top 20 of the British Singles chart.
"Black Celebration" appeared just a few months later, in March 1986 to be exact, an album which saw Depeche Mode experiment with Electro-Rock and low-key ballads; it was only a mid-chart entry on the American Billboard Top 200 and included three U.K. top 30 hit singles such as "Stripped", "A Question Of Time" and "A Question Of Lust".
Released in September 1987, "Music For The Masses" provided the band with mainstream success in the States for the first time since "Some Great Reward", the record soared to #35 on The Billboard 200 Albums chart while the main single, "Strangelove" hit #50 on The Billboard Hot 100, "Never Let Me Down Again" reached the #63 and "Behind The Wheel" the #61 spot in the same chart; all of those singles also charted in the top 30 in U.K. where "Music For The Masses" eventually rose to the #10 on the Official Pop Albums chart.
Throughout the second half of the '80s Depeche Mode earned reputation as a great live-act and their concert album "101" snagged a respectable #45 on The Billboard 200 list and regenerated "Everything Counts" which took the band to new levels of fame, re-issued as a single, the track crashed into The Modern Rock chart, peaking at #13.
Premiered by the Modern Rock top 3 "Personal Jesus", the group's seventh studio-LP, "Violator", arrived in spring 1990, it smashed at #7 on The Billboard 200 and also broke into the top 10 in their native England; "Personal Jesus" eventually climbed to the #28 slot on The Billboard Hot 100 and to #13 on the British Pop Singles chart; "Dangerous", a track included on the "Personal Jesus" CD-single, became a smash on alt-Rock radio stations reaching the #13 on Billboard's Modern Rock list. "Enjoy The Silence" was the second single off "Violator", it soared to #8 on The Billboard Hot 100 and enjoyed several weeks at the top of The Modern Rock Tracks chart; the follow-up single "Policy Of Truth" also hit #1 on Modern Rock chart and crashed into the top 20 of The Billboard Hot 100; both these singles charted in the U.K. reaching respectively #6 and #16 spots. The final single, "World In My Eyes", reached the #17 on American Modern Rock chart and hit the top 20 in Britain.
Three years later, Depeche Mode resurfaced with a more Rock-oriented effort "Songs Of Faith And Devotion", the record went straight to #1 on both the U.K. Official Albums chart and the U.S. Billboard Top 200 list highlighted by a couple of masterpieces such as "I Feel You" and "Walking In My Shoes", both these singles peaked at #1 on Modern Rock Tracks chart and debuted respectively at #8 and #14 in the U.K. Pop chart; the album yielded two further British top 10 hits, "Condemnation" and "In Your Room".

Citing “increasing dissatisfaction with the internal relations and working practices of the group”, Alan Wilder quit in May 1995; two months later lead singer David Gahan was alleged to have attempted suicide with a razor blade. The group's shadiest moment came the following year when Gahan was found in his hotel room, after he suffered a heroin overdose; but after nearly nine months of rehab he was ready to rock again; the now three-piece Depeche Mode bounced back yet again and again they climbed back to the top of the U.K. Albums chart with "Ultra" upon its spring 1997 release, the first single, "Barrel Of A Gun", shot to #4 in Britain, to #3 in Canada and reached the #11 on the U.S. Billboard Modern Rock chart; the band's come-back effort hit the top 5 of the North American Albums charts and also birthed a further smash in "It's No Good", the single peaked at #5 in England, cracked the American Top 40 and hit #4 on The Modern Rock chart; the third single, "Home", was quite successful reaching #23 in U.K. and appearing in the lower reaches of The Billboard Hot 100.
A best-of collection, "The Singles 86>98", followed the next year, the set included the new single, "Only When I Lose Myself", which debuted at #17 in the U.K. Pop chart and made a ripple on the Billboard's Modern Rock list.
After a 4-year hiatus, in May of 2001, the group returned with "Exciter", the record smashed into the top 10 on several European albums charts and peaked at #8 on The Billboard 200, its first single, "Dream On", rose to #12 on The Modern Rock chart and to #6 on the British Official chart; it was followed by two more U.K. top 20 hit singles, "I Feel Loved" and "Freelove".
Two years later, both, David Gahan and Martin Gore released solo albums.

Depeche Mode, who have, over 25 years, sold upwards of 50 million records worldwide and amassed a staggering 38 hit singles in the U.K. and no fewer than 13 top 10 albums, are back with their eleventh studio album, "Playing The Angel"; the CD includes the singles, "Precious" and "A Pain That I'm Used To".


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Depeche Mode pictures:

  • Depeche Mode early 80s Depeche Mode early 90s
    The band line-up early '80s
  • Depeche Mode early 90s Depeche Mode early 90s
    [L-R] Andrew Fletcher, Dave Gahan, Martin L. Gore and Alan Wilder (early '90s)