Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Music Box: Depeche Mode

Vince Clarke (far right): the Farrah Fawcett-Majors of Depeche Mode

A few summers ago we had this whippersnapper intern at work. Nice enough kid, but like most people that age, thought he knew everything. One evening he overheard me discussing Depeche Mode with my music-loving coworker Jesse and tried to set me straight when I declared that "Speak & Spell" was the band's only truly great album. ("Actually, that was their WORST ALBUM!" he informed me.) Sure, there were other singles ("See You," in particular, and "Everything Counts" was nice, too). But when Vince Clarke left, so too did the youthful exuberance and pop genius that made songs like "New Life," "Dreaming of Me" and "Just Can't Get Enough" so utterly irresistible. I remember years later -- after being increasingly repelled by stuff like "Master and Servant" and the whole "Black Celebration"/"Music for the Masses" era -- hearing that the band was playing something like 10 sold-out nights at Dodgers Stadium and had become a bunch of drug addicts so overwhelmed with their superstardom. All I could think was, "Are they still together?" It's funny how something that meant so much to you at one time can simply fade away.

In 2006, Rhino lovingly reissued "Speak & Spell" as a deluxe, two-disc CD/DVD, complete with rare b-sides, and while recalling how much joy that LP brought me back in high school, I gladly shelled out nearly 30 bucks for a fresh copy of the band's BEST ALBUM.

If you're still someone who cares -- did you know they're on tour right now and have a new album out? (I didn't) -- Chloe Sevigny interviews singer Dave Gahan in the new INTERVIEW magazine. But if you're more like me, here's a quick look at the band I fell in love with back in its heyday:

New music
Trouble Lyrics
Backstreet Boys
Good To Me Lyrics
Tyra Lyrics
Bow Wow
Remember The Time Lyrics
Automatic Lyrics
Tokio Hotel
Skyline Lyrics
Rick Ross
My Wena Ep Lyrics
Bowling For Soup
Ringtone Lyrics
Weird Al Yankovic
Ellipse Lyrics
Imogen Heap
Echo Lyrics
Leona Lewis
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philly76 said...

They're on tour at the moment in Europe promoting their recent album, "Sounds of the Universe". The first single off the album is "Wrong" and the video is truly amazing. Luckily, I'll be seeing them in concert in November.

nojarama said...

I guess you & will agree to disagree. DM has just gotten progressively better throughout the years (even without the genius that is Vince Clarke). I adored the Black Celebration/Music For The Masses & Violator periods myself. I actually casually liked the band up to that period. Then I fell out of love with them during the "I Feel You" period (I actually like some of the tunes from that era, but the song "I Feel You" still rubs me the wrong way- I was NOT a fan of the grunge era AT ALL, and anyone who "celebrated" heroin was an idiot IMO). Needless to say, the reunion after that I fell in love with them again. I saw the SB show last week & they still are as fabulous live as they were at that eventful evening at the Rose Bowl so many years ago (I can still see the stains from the food fight that occurred in my tee I wore to that show: a white v-neck. BIG mistake)!!!