It as one of the most successful
electro-synth groups in music history, Depeche Mode
was a dominant and groundbreaking musical force during
the '80s and continues to hold much clout in the neo-synth
The seeds for Depeche Mode were planted as far back
as 1976 when keyboardists Vince Clarke and Andrew
Fletcher formed the group No Romance in China. The
Basildon, Essex-based duo didn't last long, but in
1979 Clarke returned to form French Look with guitarist/keyboardist
Martin Gore. Fletcher soon joined and the band re-christened
themselves Composition of Sound. Although the band
played for several months with Clarke performing vocal
duties, they eventually hired David Gahan in 1980
as the permanent lead singer, and changed their name
one final time to Depeche Mode (French for "Fast
Relying exclusively on their synthesizers, they quickly
gained a following in the post-punk London club scene
with their single "Photographic," and were
soon signed to Daniel Miller's Mute Records. Following
several new singles of up-tempo dance tracks, the
band released their debut album, Speak and Spell,
in 1981. The album was a success, but the departure
of principal songwriter Clarke shortly after its release
seemed like it might kill their chances of a worthy
follow-up. To the contrary, with replacement keyboardist
Alan Wilder, and Gore emerging as the chief musical
force, Depeche Mode continued to build their popularity.
Their fourth album, 1984's Some Great Reward, broke
through to mainstream audiences in both the U.S. and
the U.K. A darker work than their previous efforts,
Reward was highlighted by synth-pop classics like
the scathing "Blasphemous Rumours" and the
sadomasochistic "Master and Servant." The
industrial flavored "People are People"
also became a worldwide smash.
Depeche Mode spent the rest of the '80s cranking out
the hits; issuing Black Celebration (1986), Music
for the Masses (1987) and the live 101 (1989) before
hitting the pinnacle of their success in 1990 with
Violator. Singles like "Enjoy the Silence,"
"Policy of Truth" and "Personal Jesus"
truly made them worldwide stars and the Violator tour
became one of the biggest grossing concert tours of
the year. The grueling schedule, however, took its
toll on the band.
Things held together through 1993's Songs of Faith
and Devotion, which featured a more guitar-oriented
sound and the singles "I Feel You" and "Walking
In My Shoes," but by 1995 Wilder had left the
group. The situation got worse when Gahan was hospitalized,
reportedly because of a drug overdose, and only a
few months later attempted suicide. He entered a rehab
clinic for heroin addiction and the band took a year-long
hiatus. Amazingly enough, Depeche Mode stayed together
and Gahan, Gore and Fletcher released Ultra in 1997,
proving they still had what it took with songs like
"Barrel of a Gun," and "It's No Good."
In 1998, Depeche Mode released the double-disc greatest
hits compilation Singles '86-'98 and followed it with
an extensive worldwide tour.
The band's 2001 release, Exciter, was followed by
another world tour, this one lasting five months and
covering over twenty countries.
Biography was taken from site: http://www.rollingstone.com/