Mode

I have a complicated relationship with Depeche Mode. But first some history.

The very first Depeche Mode song I can remember hearing was Shake The Disease back in 1985. I must have been eleven years old? There was a boy who lived across the street that I was friends with. He was a couple years older than me and had bought the song on 7" single. I can distinctly remember him bringing it over and we listened to it on my Dad's record player in our living room.

I didn't know it at the time, but that would change things forever. I'd found the exact song, the exact band, the exact type of music that would become the soundtrack of my youth.

One of the first albums I ever bought on vinyl with my pocket money was The Singles 81→85. I played that album to death. And it was the start of my teenage Mode vinyl addiction that spread to buying every album and 12" remix of any song I could get my hands on. Any excuse to go into a record shop to look just in case there was a rare mix I didn't own.

It wasn't just vinyl. I'd go on to buy every single VHS tape of videos or concerts – eventually wearing out my copy of The World We Live In And Live In Hamburg. Over the years I'd end up seeing them live six times, the best of which on the Devotional tour at Crystal Palace in London 1993.

So why a complicated relationship?

The Depeche of the Alan Wilder golden years is my favorite band of all time. Hands down. Not even close. To me, this body of work will never be bettered:

Construction Time Again
Some Great Reward
Black Celebration
Music For The Masses
Violator
Songs Of Faith And Devotion

Alan left of course. The band continued without him and would release a further six albums. All of which I still bought, because Depeche Fucking Mode.

But herein lies the rub. Any long time fan will tell you the albums of the later years are (whispers) not great.

And so we fast forward to the year 2022. Two major things happened. Fletch passed away. Dave and Martin announced a new album.

So, yet again, even after being burned so many times before, I find myself looking forward to a new Depeche album. Maybe this time it will be good?

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5 responses to “Mode”

  1. Dave2 says:

    "Songs of Faith and Devotion" is the last album I loved. From there I liked the albums well enough… and loved some of the songs on them… up until "Delta Machine" and "Spirit," for which I think "not great" is being generous. So while I am hoping for a good album (as I always do), this downward spiral makes it a tough hope to have.

    • Dave2 says:

      I had to go back and look. My first DM tour was Music for the Masses (the first time they played Seattle) and I went to every tour after right up until my last, which was Delta Machine (which I went to despite not liking the album, because I was compelled to). I did not see the Global Spirit tour. 30 years of seeing them play live, and I couldn't bring myself to do it. That's how much I hated Spirit.

      • kevin says:

        I've seen some clips of the Spirts In The Forest video and I just…don't like the live style of the band these days. Dave's lounge singer crooning not my cup of tea. Whenever they've come through Phoenix of late I haven't been interested in seeing them. The last one I went to was when they toured Playing The Angel. Which if I'm honest isn't a half bad album.

  2. jake says:

    Possibly an unpopular opinion, but I didn't really like Songs Of Faith And Devotion as much as the three albums that preceded it.

    • kevin says:

      I don't think it's all that an unpopular opinion. If I'm honest, that's the album I play the least from the Wilder era. I play Some Great Reward more!