English electronic music band Depeche Mode is among the best-selling international bands in the history of music. They began their career with a distinct sound that ushered them to the forefront of the British new wave movement.
The group developed the electronic rock music genre, transforming it into an outstanding genre in the 1980s.
Depeche Mode, formed in 1980, is one of the few bands that built a reputation around using synthesizers in their instrumentals.
The musical style of each band member has been influenced by German electronic music pioneers, Kraftwerk.
In the beginning, their sound was more of electro-pop, having a happier and brighter outlook that reached out more to teenagers, but that began to change after a line-up switch to a darker and less happy theme with their subsequent releases.
Their lyrics often incorporates elements of politics, sex, and religion.
The band has had an almost consistent line-up since its inception till the time of this writing. Their line-up consists of:
- keyboardist & DJ, Andrew John Fletcher better known as Fletch
- principal songwriter and backing vocalist Martin Lee Gore
- lead vocalist Dave Gahan
Achievements of Depeche Mode
The English band has sold over 100 million records across the globe and has made commercial success both locally and internationally within the last four decades.
14 studio albums released by the band received multiple album certifications, the least number being one with the second studio album A Broken Frame receiving the BPI Gold.
Two of the band’s live albums received the BPI Gold, BVMI Gold, RIAA Gold, SNEP 2x Gold, and the FIMI Gold certifications respectively.
Depeche Mode has been honored and recognized by over 30 award organizations worldwide.
They earned 3 nominations as well as the Best British Single for Enjoy the Silence in 1991 from Brit Awards.
They became recipients of the International Achievement Award from the Ivor Novello Awards in 1999.
The band was named as Best International Group in 2010 and 2014 during the Echo Awards.
Other honors they have received include Popkomm Music DVD Awards in 2002, Best Artist Site in 2001 from MidemNet Awards, Antville Music Video Awards for Best Narrative Video and Best Cinematography in 2009, and the Pop Award at the BMI London Awards in 2007.
As of this writing, the band has earned 41 nominations and 13 awards.
In 2016, they were named the 10th Greatest Dance Club artist of all time by Billboard.
Q has included them in their list of “50 Bands that Changed the World!”.
They were inducted into the Roll N’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2020.
Interesting Facts about Depeche Mode
The name of the band was derived from a French fashion magazine. The term “Depeche” means “dispatch of a message”.
The founder of the group, Vincent Clarke quit the band in the year they released their debut album.
Martin Gore only joined the band because he owned a synthesizer. Former founding member of the band, Vincent Clarke admitted to hiring Martin because he had the Yamaha CS5 the band needed for their sound at the time.
Though the English band was growing popular in the UK, it took a while for them to be accepted in the United States. It wasn’t until 1984, when the band released their platinum-certified album Some Great Reward that they broke through in the US.
In June 1988, the band’s concert, organized at the American athletic stadium in Los Angeles, Pasadena Rose Bowl, sold out with over 60,000 people in attendance.
Depeche Mode had not broken through in the US when they sold out the concert at the Pasadena Rose Bowl.
Lead Vocalist Dave Gahan was addicted to drugs. He attempted suicide in 1995 by cutting the veins of his wrist. The following year, he overdosed on cocaine and heroin.
During the first four decades of the band’s career, they have had only two official line-up changes. The only former members are Vincent Clarke and Alan Charles Wilder.
Depeche Mode has proven its endurance by staying relevant and consistent in the music industry since its inception. With other bands such as A Perfect Circle, Arcade Fire, The Killers and several others attributing their sound to the influence of this band, Depeche Mode is nothing short of influential, especially in the electronic music genre.
In 2020, the band released a box set dubbed Mode. They also announced their plans to record and release more albums as well as continue their tours after the Covid-19 pandemic subsides.
Popular Depeche Mode Songs
- “A Pain That I’m Used To”
- “A Question of Lust”
- “A Question of Time”
- “Barrel of a Gun”
- “Behind the Wheel”
- “Blasphemous Rumours”
- “But Not Tonight”
- “Cover Me”
- “Dream On”
- “Dreaming of Me”
- “Enjoy the Silence“
- “Everything Counts”
- “Fragile Tension”
- “Get the Balance Right!”
- “Going Backwards”
- “Goodnight Lovers”
- “Hole to Feed”
- “I Feel Loved”
- “I Feel You”
- “In Your Room”
- “It’s Called a Heart”
- “It’s No Good”
- “John the Revelator”
- “Just Can’t Get Enough“
- “Leave in Silence”
- “Little 15”
- “Love, in Itself”
- “Master and Servant”
- “Never Let Me Down Again“
- “New Life”
- “Only When I Lose Myself”
- “People Are People”
- “Personal Jesus 2011”
- “Personal Jesus“
- “Policy of Truth”
- “Route 66”
- “See You”
- “Shake the Disease”
- “Should Be Higher”
- “Soothe My Soul”
- “Strangelove ’88”
- “Suffer Well”
- “The Meaning of Love”
- “Walking in My Shoes”
- “Where’s the Revolution”
- “World in My Eyes”