'Mute Speak', New Musical Express, 2nd May , 1981 Interview with Mute Records boss Daniel Miller
It's fair to say that Depeche Mode's success was helped in no small part by the group's close working relationship with Daniel Miller and his independant record label, Mute Records. This early interview with Miller in New Musical Express (May 2, 1981) goes some way towards illustrating and explaining the reasons for the effectiveness of this ongoing, working partnership. Down-to-earth, funny, uncompromising, pioneering, modest... these are all qualities which Miller shares with the nascent Depeche Mode. Words by Vivien Goldman.
"When I’m introduced to people they all look in horror at me, and say – that’s Daniel Miller?!?
"Which suits me perfectly. That’s what I like. They all expect some kind of Steve Strange character. That," continues Daniel, gleefully chopsticking at the seaweed on his plate, "makes me very happy. That I’m still Normal. Not quite right.
"I’ve never fitted in, I suppose."
His smile works better than underfloor heating.
Daniel Miller, also known as The Normal. Also known as The Silicon Teens. The earmaster behind the various works of Fad Gadget, DAF, and now the chart-enterers Depeche Mode. Founder and pilot of Mute Records. Grace Jones covered his "Warm Leatherette", the flip of his epoch-making "TVOD", positively the first synthesiser weird pop single, released in ’77.
The strangeness of that sound is difficult to conceive of now, with synthesisers almost as common as electric typewriters (both keyboard instruments). Daniel’s newscaster evenness, the accent plummy after months of yobspeak, rattling through a terse morse code of images, all ominous as the froth on bursting pods (really, they’re human clones…).
The rhythm was all machines! If things carried on this way, regular human musicians would be redundant! They were to become clichés in their turn, but moments like the growing entry of random radios, coupled with the teen-appeal of lines like "I don’t need no TV screen, I just stick the aerial into my vein" were shiny new currency then, suggested a marginally less bourgeois origin than Daniel’s bedroom in Golder’s Green.
But that is precisely the glory of Mute. The incongruity of a professional drop-out from a media-conscious middle-class immigrant background, a man who looks more like a messy college lecturer than a pop star, setting the controls for a swathe of svelte synthesisers.
At the time Daniel made "TVOD" he wasn’t in contact with any other musicians. He basically worked in complete isolation, with only the early works of Neu, Kraftwerk, Can and Klaus Schulze pointing vaguely in similar directions. And they weren’t making independent pop singles, either.
He’d just got back from working as a disc jockey in Swiss clubs – this was before the synthadisco boom, so it was down to Abba and Schlager music; heavy metal.
Daniel had already scored some Normal musical credentials; "I played with groups when I was at school. I suppose that’s what decided me to work alone.
"I was really frustrated. I couldn’t play guitar" – I flash on hearing Daniel and Fad Gadget condemn a record with their ultimate insult: "Ugh! They’re a guitar band!" – "I couldn’t express myself musically.
"When I was 14 I used to play noise alone in my room, using metal objects to hit the guitar with. I was always arguing about music with my friends, people in the band. I had very strong ideas. Everybody always thought I was nuts. Our band was terrible. We used to play at dances and parties. That was the best thing about it – we were the worst musicians from all the bands in the school (King Alfred’s in Hampstead) so there was no pressure to be good musically…"
Which helps explain why, when Daniel returned from his Swiss DJ excursion in ’76, he yelled "What the fux this?" with great glee on hearing The Ramones. He loved the noise. He adored the lack of guitar solos.
"Guitars? Well… they have their place. I like Keith Levene, and Marco when he was with Rema-Rema. They’re not using the guitar in the traditional way. It used to play along and provide a rhythmic backing for the voice, then play a melody in the middle, but its function was becoming circular. It was just repeating itself, not leading anywhere in music.
"The good guitarists now are the ones that have been listening to synthesizers. Guitarists used to think they were getting better because they were playing more notes to the minute, playing longer solos, jazz-rock riffs, meaningful classical influences. In fact, it was the same with keyboards and drums too – quantity is quality.
"Not to mention the sexual role of the guitar… I’m not clear on my ideas about this, but it’s – the guitar as truncheon. Why women in bands play guitar, I think that’s really strange. In many ways it’s a very offensive male instrument…"
All of which is in contrast to the synthesizer, which Daniel sees as one of those instruments you can play best when you can’t play at all.
Thus, inspired by the new-found punk do-it-yourself philosophy, Daniel decided to go back to work in the "crushingly boring" field of editing TV commercials, freelance, to raise the money for a £200 Korg 700S synthesiser in early ’77. Then he bought a TEAC four-track, 7½" per second, with small reels, and started mucking about for fun at home – again, without realising that Cabaret Voltaire, Human League and Throbbing Gristle were up to the same japes. Then he decided to make a record, after hearing about The Desperate Bicycles’ self-production.
"I never thought of approaching a ‘major’ label. I didn’t like them because they’d ruined quite a few of my favourite bands – like Can, Faust and Klaus Schultze with Virgin. Maybe the companies just thought it was cool to sign those bands, and didn’t have much judgement of what was good.
"The idea of being an independent appealed to me because if I’m working with someone else I just tend to put the load on them, it’s more personal than ideological" (more power then to Mute’s doughty Hildy Swengard who carries her load like a feather – even down to sneaking the workaholic Daniel off to surprise holidays to prevent total collapse) "So I rented an echo unit for three days…"
Daniel pressed up 500 of "TVOD" / "Warm Leatherette". "It was just the same process as film – you cut, process, approve… I thought nobody would be interested at all. The only thing remotely like it was Kraftwerk. Punk was big then, and getting very boring. I’ve sold 30,000 by now – and that’s just from England. It’s also been released in America, France and Australia.
"When I took the test pressing into Rough Trade, they just loved it and said they’d help me press 2000. I was dead chuffed. Although I didn’t know any music people, I’d heard of Rough Trade, and I knew they were supposed to be – quite cool."
Since the unprecedented success of his single as The Normal, Daniel hasn’t released anything as a solo artiste. Officially, that is. Why?
"I was taken aback by the good reviews. It made me a bit nervous. Does that make sense? I thought I was making a record no one wanted to listen to or buy. I didn’t even want it to be liked all that much. Then I thought – what’s the point of making another record?
"But I was besotted with electronic music. I felt that this was what people should be doing, or listening to, there was so much you could do with it…"
Flash back to Stiff Little Fingers’ first big tour, when "Inflammable Material" had just come out. Daniel and Robert Rental performing on the same bill.
All the black leather’d pogo puppies staring bemused at these two unlikely figures, unglamorous in all the ways expected of people that get up on a stage before a young audience. Quite a polite response, considering so many people seemed to dislike it…
What of the established idea of the musician as poser, extrovert style-setter? Where do you stand with that one?
"I feel like I’m in a different world, musically and ideologically. I don’t feel that I have anything to do with rock and roll music or ideas – not then, anyway. Now I’m more realistic. For example – the Mute night that John Curd’s putting on at the Lyceum. [To read the NME review of the Mute label night, which appeared in the same issue, see 'The Hip Drone Is Connected To The Thigh Drone' in Appendix A ] Life is so full of contradictions.
"It’s hard for a band that if they want huge chart success they still have to follow the old routines, like touring. Some bands, like PiL, get away with it – great band. They should be on Mute, then they’d really go places!
"Yes, I fought against the idea of a Mute night for years. There were all these Rough Trade tours and Factory nights – I hate all that corporate idea. But Fad Gadget and Depeche Mode wanted it, Curd phoned me up and in a moment of weakness I said yes. There aren’t even enough Mute bands to fill the whole bill!
It’s the variety of those few bands that makes Mute so intriguing. They encompass Fad Gadget’s exploitations of dub and bleak rhythm, with those kinky words, the gentle Boyd Rice’s Non extravaganzas of noise – remember the 45 with two holes that could be played in either hole at either speed? That’s some form of liberation, eh what?
The soft-spoken man from New Mexico’s eyes light up as he thrills the ideas of sheer NOOIIIISSSEEEEEEE! "Some melodies are too rational, they structure your thoughts. It gives people a sick impression if the world."
Then compare and contrast with DAF’s bang-bang Teuton rock, the first people Daniel saw that successfully combined synth with the dreaded guitar (even though they’ve now slipped off to Virgin, Daniel’s favourite "major"), and Depeche Mode’s ruffled and frilled glamour-teen synth pop.
DM are less eccentric than most Mute artistes, or perhaps the most obviously timely. Daniel was drawn to them because he loves their songs. The four youths stand in a line staring down at their synthesisers onstage, looking rather like Elizabethan schoolboys studiously bent over their books. Two of them are still in jobs they don’t like, two are unemployed and broke; yet they actually rejected various big money "major" advances. Are one of pop’s new Hot Properties daft, or what?
Vince: "Mute are one of the most honest companies going. We like the one to one way of working. We spoke to all the ‘majors’ and found they weren’t nearly as pleasant as they first appeared, we were a bit dubious about them. I suppose we were just lucky to meet the right person at the right time…"
I couldn’t actually see Daniel twisting Vince’s arm behind his back as he spoke; but then, every "major" label said it was impossible for Depeche Mode to reach anywhere near their full pop potential with Mute, and now that they’re happily tucked away in the charts with all the luxuries of complete control, it does seem as if they will have the best of both worlds – for a while at least.
As to Fad Gadget (Frank), Daniel met him when he was sharing a flat with Sounds’ Edwin Pouncey, who was then a cartoonist drawing the "Savage Pencil" strip. Edwin told Daniel about this geezer who used to lock himself up in a cupboard with a drum machine, and Daniel was instantly intrigued.
It was another right time, right place happenstance. Daniel was "in a very bad way mentally", trying to decide whether he should go back to film editing, or what. Recording reams of reels at home, disliking everything; still so staggered by the success of "TVOD" that it verged on intimidation.
Rough Trade helped him through the crisis by giving him a job in promotion. "I was really bad at it." Meeting Frank decided Daniel to work with other people’s music, that it was just as interesting to him as doing his own things.
Fear of flying; or realism? Daniel’s at least as conscious of his shortcomings as he is of his positive attributes. He says that Depeche Mode write better songs than he ever could, that both Boyd and Frank are better on stage than he could ever hope to be.
And because he’s sufficiently drawn to them to work with them on Mute, yes, he supposes they do reflect different bits of himself, more adequate externalisations of talents that Daniel recognises as there, but not quite there enough.
It’s in the studio that Daniel relaxes into his element, with no need for public image or mask. Mixing at live dates, fingers flying over the board, Normal at the controls.
For those that love a jape and a bit of mystery, Daniel’s greatest wheeze is probably the whole Silicon Teens escapade. Remember The Silicon Teens, the world’s first school-age synthesiser pop band, two boys and two girls? Darryl, Jacki, Paul and Diane, obvious heart-throbs worthy of a centre-spread in Photo Love.
"Yes," says Daniel, "I thought that if I was head of EMI, that’s what I’d pay a million pounds for right now, a two-boy two-girl electronic pop group. So I made one up.
"It was just a bit of a joke, really, which got a bit carried away."
The Silly-con Teens’ "Memphis Tennessee" and "Let’s Dance" are champagne pop, they tickle your ears and make you giggle. Daniel recorded them in his bedroom before "TVOD", with the help of his Chuck Berry Songbook.
"I still love Chuck Berry. I listen to blues. That’s where the guitar belongs, in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s."
Rough Trade’s Sue Dunne, a rock and roll connoisseuse, was chatting with Daniel about cover versions one day, and he played the old tapes to her for a joke. It was only when Rough Traders encouraged him that it even occurred to Daniel to release the tunes that were to provide Mute’s greatest financial security, and purchase the luxury of being able to afford to work with DAF – they’re expensive, because they’re a group, not a solo weirdo.
Daniel would have released the single as The Normal, but decided that was a bit boring. When the record became a hit, Radio One airplay and everything, Daniel decided to form a group for promotional purposes.
"When Radio One asked us to do an interview, I didn’t want to blow it. Fad’s quite useful because he can look very young if he wants…"
Daniel corralled Frank and a woman called Priscilla as Jackie, and coached them the night before the interview. The idea was that the other two couldn’t get leave from school.
"It was great, like a performance," gloats Daniel. With comedian Keith Allen playing the role of the manager, "Chas Barton", and Daniel playing himself, they trotted off to be interviewed by Richard Skinner for Round Table. "I think Richard Skinner half-sussed it, but he went along with the joke."
New Musical Express, true to form, were less gracious: "They phoned me up and got really aggressive – "Will you admit that you’re The Silicon Teens, or we can’t print the story!" I refused. Some people have no sense of humour!"
The Silicon Teens album represents Daniel going along comparatively meekly with rock and roll traditions (hit, single, album, tour… group… ) and tends to pall, apart from the odd instant party flashes. It did fulfil the function of ensuring Mute’s survival via a distribution deal with Phonogram.
"At last I was hated! I did compromise on that album; I did some originals, which was a mistake. Sounds said it was an insult to my rock and roll heritage! Perfect reviews. I enjoyed doing it, and I enjoyed all the reactions."
Plus, there was DAF waiting on the corner like Mr Right…
"They weren’t playing rock, or funk, they weren’t relying on past rock traditions at all – which I suppose is the criterion of what goes on Mute. Like Non – no compromises. I’ve always liked that. And a way of not being serious, even though you’re serious about the music in a way." [That's Depeche! -BB]
Daniel thinks it’s important that he never liked Eno ("too much like laid-back muzak"), Roxy Music, David Bowie, or any of the people he was supposed to like.
Now he and the other intrepid synthesiser explorers of the mid-‘70s have spawned a new generation. Only five years for the new frontier to transmute into prefab housing estates with pocket handkerchief gardens. What does Daniel think of all the pretty, stylish boys who’ve been toying around with half-baked no-heart half-dance ideas? He shakes his head.
"Bad. Very disappointing. It seems as if nothing’s happened since "TVOD" and the Cabs and Throbbing Gristle. It’s all pop stuff, like Landscape – jazz rock played on synthesisers. Horrible. The synthesiser’s not a musician’s instrument."
Daniel shrugs, looking for all the world like a harassed supply teacher. Then brightens, reassuring as a TV announcer.
"Ah, the old clichés. They still ring true…"
Daniel Miller at Mute Records, 1981
Всё о Depeche Mode
07 Sep 2018, 15:42
About the Show
Thursday, September 08, 1988 Hosted by Arsenio Hall
The 1988 MTV Video Music Awards saw a return to the single host, and we liked it so much we kept that format and the same host for four years running. Who was the personality that was so compelling that we couldn't do without him for so long? Say it with us: Arsenio Hall.
That's right, despite the fact that his name starts with "arse" (it's U.K. slang; look it up, kids), we started something we just couldn't stop. You see, Arsenio hadn't even started hosting his own talk show yet. His fist pumping was all ours in 1988. But he was no slouch. A well-known comedian, Hall had just starred opposite former VMA host Eddie Murphy in Coming To America. And Arsenio showed up to Los Angeles' Universal Amphitheatre with his A-game and proved that all it takes is one man with many, many colorful suits to be the ringleader of this circus we call the MTV Video Music Awards.
Unlike the previous year's near-complete sweep of awards by Peter Gabriel, the big winner this year was INXS, who took home a paltry four awards. Oh sure, they included important ones, like Video of the year and Viewer's Choice for "Need You Tonight – Mediate." Well, when you put it that way, it was pretty damned impressive. OK then, moving on!
It was the year that videos by pop/R&B heavyweights Michael Jackson and Prince went head-to-head in the Best Choreography category, but it was Janet Jackson's "The Pleasure Principal" that took the Moonman. It marked the second year in a row that a Janet clip earned the award; the previous year it was Paula Abdul who choreographed her moves; this time it was Barry Lather. (Incidentally, Paula would take the award for one of her own videos the next year, while Janet would get a piece of one for co-choreographing one of hers the year after that. Face it, those girls can dance!)
And 1988 marked the year that VMAs first honored one of our core artists of the time, heralding the arrival of one of the all-time greatest rock bands: Guns N' Roses. Yes, it was then that Axl Rose, Slash & Co. won the Best New Artist Moonman for their enduring anthem, "Welcome to the Jungle."
The VMA performances, as usual, did not disappoint. Jody Watley took the stage in a tailored white suit and cropped black hair only to take her wig off halfway through her performance of "Some Kind of Lover" to reveal long hair underneath, which was obviously a metaphor for, um, nothing. So what? It was interesting, at least.
There was also a leather pants-off as Aerosmith's Steven Tyler (performing "Dude Looks Like a Lady") and Depeche Mode's Dave Gahan (performing "Strangelove") tried to make 'em second skin (it's possibly that Tyler wore then 11 year-old daughter Liv's favorite pair of white Girbauds, but even we can't confirm that).
And the aforementioned Guns 'N Roses ROCKED the house with a blazing performance of "Welcome to the Jungle." That's it. They ROCKED, plain and simple. 'Nuff said.
In Depeche Mode's 32-year history, the synth-rock group has tackled countless subjects across the ordinary and taboo, including suicide, politics, romance, greed, LGBT rights, xenophobia, personal insecurity, religious zealotry, sexual freedom, drug addiction, and more. Have you ever been frustrated and alive? Depeche Mode has a song for you.
Martin Gore, the heart and soul of the band's creative force, is a tortured poet for the ages. He is the voice of all your unspeakable feelings, and frontman Dave Gahan is the dirty, sexual, animalistic voice of that voice. Together, with all-around music-man and fellow founding member Andy Fletcher, they are perhaps one of the most perfect bands to ever exist.
Depeche Mode translates from French to mean “fast fashion,” but disposable is the last word to describe its sound. The band has released a staggering 14 albums, and each one is a step forward. They've had one of the most secure and glorious careers of any rock or electronica band to exist, and it's all based on a well-rounded catalog of exciting, experimental pop music. It's really hard to narrow its career into 20 songs, but herein, I have done my best.
20. Depeche Mode – “Blasphemous Rumors”
As the world of contemporary music finds itself embroiled in the tough but important discussion of suicide prevention and mental health awareness, this Depeche Mode song from 1984's Some Great Reward takes a twisted approach. The tale of a 16-year-old girl whose suicide attempt fails, she is still cut down in her prime two years later in a fatal car wreck. This all after she finds renewed strength in God.
The release of “Blasphemous Rumors” as a single caused a serious stir among religious communities, and the band tacked on “Somebody” as a double A-side in an attempt to appease the god-fearing masses. As a Depeche Mode fan, these are the kind of sick, lyrical twists from Martin Gore one comes to know and love. Musically speaking, “Blasphemous Rumors” is notable for its distinct, heavy percussion samples. It draws on early industrial, and brought that harsh sound to the mainstream world half a decade before Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails.
19. Depeche Mode – “Waiting For The Night”
From 1990's seminal Violator, “Waiting For The Night” may be the band's most poignant tune. It's the closest thing to still silence a song has ever been. Each note of its twinkling melody comes in through haunting darkness like lights that flicker. It's somewhat eery, but it's somehow eve more tranquil. It's the kind of song that immediately drags you into its own mood. It doesn't matter what good news you've just received or what party anthem you were just bumping. When “Waiting For The Night” comes on, we are all transformed into nocturnal creatures, blinking wide-eyed into near-nothingness, anxious but somehow calm, anticipating some unknown for six strange and blissful minutes.
18. Depeche Mode – “Master & Servant”
From 1984's Some Great Reward, this ode to sexy whips and chains is fun for the whole family. With lines about playing “between the sheets,” it's definitely got overtones of BDSM, but it's also a bit of commentary on modern life. “Domination's the name of the game in bed or in life / They're both just the same / Except in one you're fulfilled at the end of the day.” Classic sass. Plus, you've got to love a tune that includes wood block, tiger growls, and whip-crack effects. Those whip-cracks actually got the song banned from many radio stations in the US, but it still broke the Hot 100. Take that, puritans.
17. Depeche Mode – “A Question of Lust”
Move over, Dave Gahan. Martin Gore has something so personal to say, he's taking the mic for himself. “A Question of Lust” was only the second single to feature Gore at the forefront, and as he's the band's main songwriter, it's a special moment. From 1986's goth-spectacular Black Celebration, “A Question of Lust” is one of Depeche Mode's most romantic ballads, and wouldn't you know, it still stings with frailty and cynicism. (It's also really, really fun to sing along to.) Go ahead, throw your hands in the air, do an interpretive dance, twirl about, and let this one soar to the moon.
16. Depeche Mode – “Walking In My Shoes”
John 8:7 reads “let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” Depeche Mode may be slightly sacrilegious, but if there's any Biblical verse that rings true to its lyrical canon, it would be that one. Here, Gore writes of judging our fellow men not for the way they appear or even their actions, but for the trials they've overcome and the beauty that lives within. Even seemingly evil creatures may hide a history fraught with damnation, sacrifice, and joys heartlessly stolen. This song is also just damn good, dark and brooding with the kind of spiritual overtones that makes any song sound regal.
15. Depeche Mode – “Where’s The Revolution”
Ain't no time to pussy-foot around with meaning. Depeche Mode are sick of the angry right, and they want you to do something about it. This ethereal dance song is a straight up rallying cry for action. “Come on, people, you're letting me down,” Gore sings, and doesn't it make you feel some type of way? The thought-provoking video was directed by long-time collaborator Anton Corbijn, and features stockinged men in Nazi-like uniforms waving flags before the band's mirthless mugs. “Where's The Revolution” comes from the band's most recent release Spirit. Hey, there's still time to get on board, folks. Revolution, anybody?
14. Depeche Mode – “Heaven”
From 2013's Delta Machine, this Depeche Mode song stops me in my tracks. Gore and Martin's harmonies are heart wrenching, and that trudging guitar is the perfect, soulful, electric moan. This song plays humanity's futility like a sad angel plays the harp. It's a beautiful, solemn mood, and it makes you wanna bust out your best overly-emotional sing-along performance. “Heaven” topped the Dance Club Songs chart, no easy feat for a down-tempo ballad, and in the wake of EDM's biggest and brashest moments, a cosign that speaks to its universal loveliness. The video was filmed in a former Catholic church in New Orleans, because whenever Depeche Made can make haunting references to Christianity, it will.
13. Depeche Mode – “Dream On”
There isn't much written about Depeche Mode's “Dream On,” but it's compelling without a backstory. It's the intro to 2001's Exciter, and Gahan's raspy voice coming through like a whisper on a telephone. This song's allure is all about how the weird, electronic touches weave in and around the repetitive acoustic guitar. It's very intimate, kind of creepy, and slick with sleeze. It's kind of an anti-party anthem. There's something dangerous in the late nights. It hit both Depeche Mode's strongest markets, peaking at no. 12 on the Alternative charts and topping the Dance Club Songs list. It charted in 17 countries, and ushered the band into a new millennium.
12. Depeche Mode – “Never Let Me Down Again”
Speaking of epic album openers, “Never Let Me Down” is the standout welcome melody to Depeche Mode's landmark album Music For The Masses. It's echo-heavy drum pattern was inspired by Led Zeppelin, led by heavy, swirling guitar riffs from Gore. The song's enigmatic lyrics have been linked to the ethereal euphoria of drug use, while Gore's counter vocal part in the coda references Soft Cell's “Torch.” it grows slow, moving from sparse intro to full-blown cinematic epic. “Never Let Me Down” has become a strong fan favorite, and it was even covered by the Smashing Pumpkins.
11. Depeche Mode – “I Feel You”
The openers just keep coming -- this one, the first track from 1993's Songs of Faith and Devotion. Screeching guitar lights the way into one of the British band's dirtiest riffs. This album marks the band's greatest departure from electronic elements to date, leaning more on organic instrumentation, an interesting departure following predecessor Violator's heavy synth work. “I Feel You” is a strong opening statement toward that sonic departure. It shows so much growth and heralds a new sound for the group. It's also got this twisted Western style, one that reappears in the band's work to follow, with a swinging rhythm heavy with the sound of retribution, and yet, it really is a love song.
10. Depeche Mode – “Shake The Disease”
This Depeche Mode song digs into the band's deep synthpop and darkwave roots. It demarks the end days of the band's more coy, playful, upbeat quirks. It sits squarely between the whimsical compositions of Some Great Reward and the dark turn of Black Celebration. “Shake The Disease” was one of two new songs that appeared on the singles collection Catching Up With Depeche Mode, alongside “It's Called A Heart.” It's a love song for the modern age, in which our lead romantic desperately wishes for happiness with his beloved, but doesn't have the time for complete devotion, and no one here is going to be caught begging.
9. Depeche Mode – “Just Can’t Get Enough”
In terms of lyrics and musicality, this is the most fanciful, bright, joyous, kind of ridiculous beloved song in Depeche Mode's catalog, but oh is it adored. What is not to love about those bouncing synths? How can you frown when that electronic bass is pushing you toward the dance floor? “Just Can't Get Enough” is positively dripping with '80s absurdity, and it hints at Doo-wop influence in that vocal harmony. It comes from the band's debut album Speak and Spell, and if it sounds distinct among the group's work, it certainly is. It was written by Vince Clark, a founding member who promptly left the band after Speak and Spell was released. He went on to perform in Erasure and a handful of other bands, taking his trademark brightness with him, but fans will always be happy for this smily bit on sunshine in Depeche Mode's otherwise quite macabre universe.
8. Depeche Mode – “Strangelove”
First of all, epic shout out to Depeche Mode's song “Master & Servant,” which some people might find unforgivable that I left off, but I digress. “Strangelove” is like the cooler, older sister to that BDSM predecessor. “Strangelove” can be taken a couple of ways. Musically, it sounds similar to the former, especially when considering that the original recordings of “Strangelove” was much faster paced, until band members decided to slow it down in order ot blend better with Music For The Masses' overall tone. “Strangelove,” too, can be seen as an ode to freaky fetishes, but it can also be an admission of emotional instability, or at times unavailability. Look, all is fair in love and war, whether it be whips and chains or infidelity. If you can't stand the devices, get out of the torture chamber, but it's a fine line between pain and pleasure, and we're on a mission to walk that line.
7. Depeche Mode – “John The Revelator”
Back again come the religious motifs on this cut from 2005's Playing The Angel. This is a devilish twist on an old, gospel blues call-and-response song by the same name, most famously recorded by Blind Willie Johnson in 1930. Gahan's voice drips with protestation, similar to the bite on “Where's The Revolution?” This one takes aim at the Christian church, just in case you still thought these guys were conflicted by it, or something. It's a dance tune for its time, featuring heavy drums and gritty, raw synths not unlike the best electroclash songs of the middle-aught era. Of course, this is much sleeker and romantic than Fischerspooner, but this is Depeche Mode, and everything this band touches feeds through a black, gauzy, funeral veil.
6. Depeche Mode – “It’s No Good”
Here, we have another honest-to-goodness love song from Depeche Mode, and of course it sounds like a dark turn on a doomed acid trip. It's like every time Martin Gore falls in love, he's tortured over it. But this is how Depeche Mode pines. It was the second single off 1997's Ultra, an album that reflected the rock sound of its predecessor Songs of Faith and Devotion, but returned to the electronic, gloomy darkness of the band's gothest moments. It was the first album the band released since Alan Wilder left, returning it to trio status for the first time since 1982. It was also the first album to be released since frontman Dave Gahan's near overdose, so, you know, dark themes were to be expected. “It's No Good” is swirling and mysterious, a stand-out of the album, and a definite classic in the overall Depeche Mode story.
5. Depeche Mode – “Everything Counts”
The first sign your happy-go-lucky synthpop band is maturing is a song like “Everything Counts.” This single from 1983's Construction Time Again speaks of corporate greed, the way Pink Floyd's “Have A Cigar.” The xylophone and melodica give the tune a fun, circus-y vibe, but the lyrics speak plain disdain for Britain, and the world's, '80s money-before-humanity business-driven ethos. The song was released at a time when Depeche Mode weren't actually under specific contract. Even cuter is the fact that Gore publishes his own music under a company called Grabbing Hands Music Lmtd.
4. Depeche Mode – “Policy of Truth”
Your mother always told you honesty was the best policy. This Depeche Mode song has a different message. Violator's fate ode to secret keeping is perfect for dancing and hatching sneaky schemes. “Policy of Truth” is one of many near-perfect jams from 1990's Violator, truly a high-point in the band's career commercially and artistically. These dark synthpop melodies are what goth dreams are made of. It's was also what normies wanted to hear when it came out. “Policy of Truth” peaked at no. 15 on the Hot 100, no. 2 on the Dance Club Songs chart, and topped the chart for Modern Rock Tracks.
3. Depeche Mode – “People Are People”
This is the quintessential Depeche Mode dance-pop hit. It plays like a pogo stick bouncing around the floor, but listen to the lyrics, and you'll find a meaningful plea to all human-kind. It's heavy with industrial drums, quirky with its layered synths, and tinged with just enough darkness to fit the mold. Former member Wilder wrote the music, and Gore wrote the lyrics, an ode to finding common ground in the face of hatred's many forms, and the belief that men and women are truly good deep down. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recognized it as one of “500 Songs that Spahed Rock and Roll.”
It's been said that Gahan find its lyrics too obvious, and the band reportedly has not performed the song in concert since 1986. That's kind of depressing, because this song is all the right amounts of cheesy to be absolutely divine. I can't understand what makes a man hate this song. Maybe one day they'll come around.
2. Depeche Mode – “Personal Jesus”
If your name is Faith, this is your favorite song, and if the world compiled a list of the best songs ever written, this song would make a lot of people's lists. It's been covered by Marilyn Manson, Sammy Hagar, Hillary Duff, Johnny Cash, and Mindless Self Indulgence, among others. That must be one of the motliest lineups in fandom history.
It was a turning point for the band, one of its biggest hits in its career, and what a strange hit to have: A song about being somebody's own private savior. Gore was inspired to pen it after reading Priscilla Presley's autobiography, Elvis and Me. Apparently, Ms. Elvis found the King to be god-like. Perhaps it was that rock 'n' roll influence that inspired the band to first prominently feature the guitar. Not that the drum machine or synthesizers should be jealous. When “Personal Jesus” plays, there is plenty of brooding, stomping, graveyard electricity in the air. It charted in 15 countries, landed on four Billboard charts, and marked the band's second top 40 hit in the US. It's also the best song to feature a strange breath breakdown in the history of recorded sound.
1. Depeche Mode – “Enjoy The Silence”
Run the tally, and we might have to all agree Violator is the band's greatest release. “Enjoy The Silence” comes from that 1990 collection of genius, and it's truly the epitome of Depeche Mode's greatness. Gahan's performance is strong but tender, the melodies ache and sing with joy. The beat is hard, relentless, and perfect for dancing. Its message is ironic, in that words could so well describe the magic of silence. When love is real, you don't need words. It's something you feel. A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet, and so on, and so forth.
What good are all these words when they fail us so often in our hours of need? At least we have Gore to tell our stories for us. “Enjoy The Silence” charted in 17 countries, peaking at no. 8 on the Hot 100, and followed its predecessor “Personal Jesus” to become the band's first back-to-back top 40 hit. Surprisingly, it had a chart recent reprise in Poland, where it landed at no. 63 on the airplay charts in 2016. That's because, when you write a song this good, it's timeless.
Всё о Depeche Mode
20 Apr 2019, 10:26
Издательство "БОМБОРА" Дата выпуска: апрель 2019 г.
ISBN: 978-5-04-098051-2 Код продукции: ITD000000000927108 Возрастное ограничение: 18+ Количество страниц: 176 Размер: 165x260
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Всё о Depeche Mode
21 May 2019, 22:41
E-mu Emulator II - Shining Moments (see description)
In '84-'86, it cost more than an average new car in the U.S. * Intro - 0:00-0:08. * Ferris Bueller - 0:08-0:38. * Depeche Mode - 0:44-2:48. * Paul McCartney/Chevy Chase - 2:49-3:00. * Tears For Fears - 3:01-3:11. * Pet Shop Boys - 3:12-4:35. * New Order - 4:35-4:59. * Mr. Mister - 5:00-5:22. * Front 242 - 5:22-5:53. * OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) - 5:54-6:06. * Laura Branigan - 6:07-6:14. * Michael Cretu - 6:15-6:52. * Ultravox/Midge Ure - 6:53-7:27. * Adrian Star - 7:28-8:51. * Alan Wilder of Depeche Mode (Demonstration) - 8:51-9:56. * People Are People Drums - 9:56-End.
Stream my full albums (that I used my Emulator II on) for FREE on your phone, pad, or computer right now at one of the links below!
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Всё о Depeche Mode
21 May 2019, 22:47
Depeche Mode - Just what exactly does Fletch do ?
Andrew Fletcher's role in Depeche Mode has often been misunderstood and sometimes undervalued. In this video, we discuss Fletch's role within the band and also look at some of the keyboard parts which he plays in the live performances.
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Всё о Depeche Mode
21 May 2019, 22:50
Depeche Mode - Alan Wilder vs Martin Gore, a balanced perspective
In this video we discuss the dynamics between Alan Wilder and Martin Gore. Alan Wilder is the interpreter of Martin Gore's songs and we examine the influence of how both men helped shape the distinctive and iconic sound of Depeche Mode.