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Hugo Fernbom’s Depeche Mode page

In Basildon outside London there lived two guys called Vince Clarke and Andy Fletcher. In 1977 they formed the band “No Romance In China”. In early 1980 their friend Martin Gore was about to buy synthesizer. He joined them and the band changed its name to “Composition Of Sound”. By then they were playing with a synthesizer, a guitar and a bass guitar. 

Vince Clarke was the singer in the band, but he didn’t like it so they were looking for a another singer. In mid 1980 they asked Dave Gahan who they had heard singing David Bowie’s song “Heroes”. When he joined they changed their instruments to synthesizers only and the band’s name to Depeche Mode. The name was taken from a French magazine and it means “fashion news”. 

Their first release was the song “Photographic” on the independent record company Some Bizzare’s compilation “Some Bizzare Album” in January 1981. But it was Daniel Miller who really discovered them and they signed on with his Mute Records. They released their first single “Dreaming Of Me” in February 1981. It reached only No. 57 at the selling chart in UK and the next single “New Life” didn’t become a big hit either, but their third single “Just Can’t Get Enough” was a Top 10 hit. Then they released their debut album “Speak & Spell”, an album with happy and quite naive synthpop. 

Vince Clarke wrote all of their songs, except for two songs written by Martin Gore. So it came as a shock to the fans when he decided to leave Depeche Mode soon after the album. He didn’t like to tour and he didn’t feel comfortable in the band anymore. The shock wasn’t that big for the three remaining members though. Martin Gore took charge of the song-writing and they advertised for a new member. The three released the single “See You” in January 1982.

Vince Clarke soon formed the duo Yazoo with the singer Alison Moyet. Since 1985 he has been playing in the duo Erasure with the singer Andy Bell.

Depeche Mode’s advertisement for a new member read something like: “Synthesizer player wanted, maximum age 21 years”. Alan Wilder was 22 years when he read that, but he answered anyway, because he really wanted a job, even if he would have to lie to get it. He was playing with the band on their “See You”-tour, for example in USA, but he still wasn’t a real member of the band. He wasn’t allowed to be in the studio when they recorded their second album “A Broken Frame”. The music was now not so happy as when Vince Clarke was the song-writer, it was a little more melancholic and dark.

When the single “Get The Balance Right” was released in 1983 Alan Wilder was playing with the band in the studio and he was now regarded as a member of the band. He wrote two songs on their third album “Construction Time Again” and one song on their fourth album “Some Great Reward”, plus a few B-sides. They had international hits with “Everything Counts”, “People Are People” and “Master And Servant”. In 1985 they released the collection “The Singles 81-85”.

In 1986 they released “Black Celebration” which was very dark and melancholic, but their best album so far with hits like “Stripped” and “A Question Of Time”. They went on with that style on “Music For The Masses” in 1987 with hits like “Strangelove” and “Never Let Me Down Again”, but on that album they also began using guitars again. They were now very big in USA too, where they had huge concerts. One of the concerts was recorded and released as the live album “101” in 1989. Later the same year they released the single “Personal Jesus”, where the guitars dominated. In 1990 they released the album “Violator”, which also included their biggest hit ever called “Enjoy The Silence”.

On “Songs Of Faith And Devotion” in 1993 the band was influenced by a lot of different music genres, for example gospel and grunge. The album went high on the selling charts, but some of the older fans were quite disappointed. Later the same year they released the album “Songs Of Faith And Devotion Live”.

Beside Depeche Mode Martin Gore released a solo record called “Counterfeit EP” in 1989 and Alan Wilder has released a few records under the name Recoil. In June 1995 Alan Wilder decided to leave Depeche Mode. He said: “Due to increasing dissatisfaction with the internal relations and working practices of the group, it is with some sadness that I have decided to part company from Depeche Mode.”

In 1997 the three remaining members of Depeche Mode released the album “Ultra”. From that album they released the singles “Barrel Of A Gun”, “It’s No Good”, “Home” and “Useless”.

In 1998 Depeche Mode released a new single “Only When I Lose Myself”, a new collection “The Singles 86-98” and had a huge tour.

In May 2001 the album “Exciter” was released. From that album they released the singles “Dream On”, “I Feel Loved”, “Freelove” and “Goodnight Lovers”. They played in Stockholm on September 21 and in Copenhagen on September 23.

In April 2003 Martin Gore released his second solo record called “Counterfeit 2” and in June 2003 Dave Gahan released his first solo album called “Paper Monsters”.

In October 2004 Depeche Mode released the album “Remixes 81-04” and the single “Enjoy The Silence 04”.

In October 2005 Depeche Mode released the album “Playing The Angel” and the single “Precious”. In December the single “A Pain That I’m Used To” was released. In March 2006 the single “Suffer Well” was released and in June the single “John The Revelator” was released. They played in Copenhagen February 25, in Gothenburg February 26 and in Stockholm March 1 and July 7.

In April 2006 “Speak & Spell”, “Music For The Masses” and “Violator” were rereleased. In October 2006 “A Broken Frame”, “Some Great Reward” and “Songs Of Faith And Devotion” were rereleased. In November 2006 the new single “Martyr” and the collection “The Best Of Volume 1” were released.

In March 2007 “Construction Time Again” and “Black Celebration” were rereleased. In July 2007 Recoil released his new album “Subhuman”. In early October 2007 “Ultra” and “Exciter” were rereleased. In late October 2007 Dave Gahan released his second solo album “Hourglass”.

In April 2009 Depeche Mode released the album “Sounds Of The Universe” and the single “Wrong”. Later the singles “Peace” and “Fragile Tension” were released. They played in Copenhagen June 30, at the Arvika Festival July 3, in Malmö January 25 2010, in Gothenburg January 26 and in Stockholm January 31.

In June 2011 Depeche Mode released the album “Remixes 2: 81-11”, where Vince Clarke remixes “Behind The Wheel” and Alan Wilder remixes “In Chains”.

In October 2011 Depeche Mode covered U2:s “So Cruel” on a cover album for “Achtung Baby”.

In March 2012 VCMG (Vince Clarke and Martin Gore) released the techno album “Ssss”.

In February 2013 Depeche Mode released the single “Heaven”, in March the album “Delta Machine”, in May the single “Soothe My Soul” and in October the single “Should Be Higher”. They played in Copenhagen June 13 and in Stockholm June 27. December 9 they played in Malmö and December 11 in Gothenburg.

In April 2015 Martin Gore released an instrumental solo album called “MG”. In October 2015 Dave Gahan released a second album where he sings with the band Soulsavers.

In November 2016 Depeche Mode released the dvd box “Video Singles Collection”.

In February 2017 they released the single “Where’s The Revolution” and in March the album “Spirit”. They played in Stockholm on May 5 and in Copenhagen on May 31 2017 and January 9 2018.

In May 2022 Andy Fletcher unexpectedly passed away. The band had already began the song-writing for their next album and the album title “remember that you will die” was already decided. Depeche Mode is hereby a duo. In Februariy2023 the single “Ghosts Again” was released and in March the album “Memento Mori”. They played in Stockholm on May 23 and in Copenhagen on June 27 2023 and Februari 10 2024.