Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Depeche Mode

Lately, VE has been having a Depeche Mode renaissance on her iPod (although I feel uncomfortable about them being described as "electro-goth" by the far-from-exhaustative-but-still-fun "Encyclopaedia Of Classic 80s Pop" by Daniel Blythe).

Depeche Mode (or, 'ver Mode' as Smash Hits used to call them, RIP) are one of those rare acts, like U2 and Madonna, that I grew up with. Their early '80s angst-pop soundtracked my school years and family holidays, their stadium rock era populated my college days and their subsequent, post-drugs hell reoccurrs on my stereo. But a sad fact is, due to the fickle nature of the contemporary music business, it is now impossible for any band to have that kind of regenerative longevity. A big shame.

Obviously, "Violator" is the classic album, but there's a great deal to be said for "Music For The Masses" (this morning's walk-to-work accompaniment), and "Songs Of Faith & Devotion" is a corker – try listening to it in its entirety in the dark... on your own. Even 1997's "Ultra" album produced a heart-rending classic in "Home". The two more recent albums are harder work, but I'll get there.

But my personal favourite moment in the history of the Basildon boys-next-door turned LA tattooed-rawk-gods? The 1996 NME headline: "I Shot A Speedball And Turned Green", in reference to Gahan's hideous heroin and cocaine speedball in LA. He eventually survived, it's OK. I saw them at Birmingham NEC in 1999 and he seemed remarkably well... considering he'd been dead three years previously.


Neil said...

Was that 1999? Damn that's a long time ago!

There's always room for ver Mode!

Velvet Empire said...

Yes... a full eight years. How old does that makes you/me/us feel, eh?!