Depeche Mode

 Depeche Mode

 Dave Gahan – circa 1990

 

“Precious and fragile things / Need special handling / My God, what have we done to you? / We always tried to share / The tenderest of care / Now look what we have put you through” – ‘Precious’ (Martin L. Gore)

Master…Jesus…God…hate…grabbing…servant…sin…broken…grace…

What do these words have in common?  Are they excerpts from the personal diary of some self-flagellating sado-masochistic monk?  No.  They are key words from the lyrics of songs by the British synth-pop band Depeche Mode.  Obviously, they have some issues to work through…

The story of Depeche Mode begins with Vince Clarke.

Vince Clarke is born Vincent John Martin on 3 July 1960 in South Woodford, England.  He is the son of Dennis and Rose Martin.  Vince has two brothers, Rodney and Michael, and a sister named Carol.  The Martin family moves from South Woodford to Basildon in Essex, the town that comes to be recognised as the birthplace of Depeche Mode.  Basildon is ‘a working class suburb of London.’

“There really wasn’t that much music in our family when I was a child,” says Vince Clarke.  Nonetheless, Vince studies violin and then piano.  One of Vince’s schoolmates is Andy Fletcher, another future member of Depeche Mode.

Andrew John Leonard Fletcher is born on 8 July 1961 in Nottingham, England.  ‘Fletch’ is the son of John and Joy Fletcher.  John Fletcher is an engineer; Joy Fletcher is a housewife.  The family moves from Nottingham to Basildon when their son is 2 years old.  “My parents were among the first to move to Basildon when it was still a very new town in the early 1960s,” explains Fletch.  The Fletcher family expands in size as their son is joined by three younger siblings: Karen (born in 1964), Susan (born in 1966) and Simon (born in 1976).  In reference to his future Depeche Mode colleagues, Andy Fletcher claims, “We all basically had protected childhoods in Basildon.  I was a born-again Christian, so I went to church every Sunday.  Only [lead vocalist] Dave Gahan’s youth was a bit fragmented.  There was something with his father.”  (There will be more about Dave Gahan’s childhood later.)  From an early age Andy Fletcher is active in the local Boys’ Brigade, a Christian youth organisation.  Fletch learns to play football at the Boys’ Brigade.  It is also there that he first meets Vince Clarke (or Vince Martin as he is still known at that time).  “As the factories closed down and unemployment grew in the 1970s it [i.e. Basildon] became a violent town,” observes Fletcher.

Vince Clarke (Vince Martin) leaves school when he is 15 years old.  “The first job I had was working in the yoghurt factory,” recalls Clarke.  “After that I worked at a cosmetics factory, and I worked for the post office for a bit.  I worked for the supermarket, stacking shelves, and I worked in the plastics factory…I worked at a small airport…It was my job to empty the buckets of the toilets and also prepare food for the flight…I really only worked in order to earn money to buy guitars.”

Andy Fletcher says, “Vince [Clarke] and I had a group when we were 16 called No Romance In China which tried to be like [British post-punk band] The Cure.”  In No Romance In China, Vince is the vocalist and keyboards player while Fletch plays bass.  This is a ‘short-lived band’ that exists only in 1977.

In 1979 Vince Clarke (still known as Vince Martin) forms a new band, The Plan.  His confederates in this enterprise are Robert Marlow and Paul Langwith.  Marlow knew Vince – and Andy Fletcher – from the Boys’ Brigade.  The Plan is described as an ‘Ultravox rip-off band.’  Ultravox is ‘one of the first post-punk bands to swap guitars for synthesisers.’  Vince Clarke’s interest in them is a signpost towards Depeche Mode’s future.  For the moment, The Plan – like No Romance In China before it – does not outlast its year of formation.

While Vince Clarke is working various odd jobs and performing with The Plan, Andy Fletcher remains at school.  In 1979 Fletch does his A-levels in politics, but then begins training at the Sun Life Insurance company instead.

In 1980 Andy Fletcher meets Martin Gore at the Van Gogh pub on Paycocke Road in Basildon.

Martin Lee Gore is born on 23 July 1961 in London, England.  Martin’s biological father is a U.S. serviceman stationed in Britain.  Martin doesn’t learn that this man was his biological father until Martin is 13 years old.  It is not until 2000 – when Martin is almost 40 years old – that Martin Gore discovers his biological father is actually an African-American.  He later meets this man in the U.S. South.

“I was actually born in London.  Hammersmith hospital,” says Martin Gore.  “[I was] raised as a kid in Dagenham where dad was a Ford’s worker and mum was a telephonist at the car factory.”  ‘Dad’ is Martin’s stepfather David, who the boy grows up thinking is his biological father.  Martin’s mother is named Pamela.  Martin Gore has two younger half-sisters, Karen (born in 1967) and Jacqueline (born in 1968).  Martin continues, “Then we moved to Hornchurch in Essex.  After a brief stay of one year we moved again to the centre of the universe – Basildon.”  If it is not obvious that Martin is being sarcastic, this quote should make his attitude towards Basildon clear: “I really hated Basildon.  I wanted to get out as quickly as I could…There was very little to do.  It’s one of those places where you go drinking because that’s your only option.”

Martin Gore attends Nicholas Comprehensive.  “When I was about 12 my mum and dad bought me a guitar for my birthday,” Martin recalls.  He begins writing songs as a 12 year old.  “Somebody taught me two chords on a guitar when I was 13,” Martin adds.  Towards the end of his school life Martin Gore learns a foreign language.  “I studied German at school,” he acknowledges.  Later in life, Gore will be quite fluent in German.  When he is 17, Martin Gore quits school and takes a job as a bank cashier.  “Aah, the bank, my first job,” he muses.  “I worked at the NatWest clearing house in the city for a year and a half.”  In parallel with his last school days and this job, Martin Gore plays in an ‘acoustic duo’ called Norman And The Worms (1978-1979) with vocalist Phil Burdett.  In 1979 Martin Gore creates a new band, French Look, with Robert Marlow (who had been in The Plan with Vince Clarke) and Paul Redmond.

From 1979 to 1982 Martin Gore is in a romantic relationship with Anne Speedwell.

From 1980 to 1981 Andy Fletcher is in a romantic relationship with British comic Jennifer Saunders.

In March 1980 a group called Composition Of Sound begins.  This outfit brings together Vince Clarke (vocals, guitar), Martin Gore (keyboards) and Andy Fletcher (bass).  Although Vince Clarke is acting as the group’s vocalist, there is a growing consensus amongst the lads that it might be a good idea to find an actual singer and frontman.  After seeing him perform a version of David Bowie’s 1978 song ‘Heroes’ at a local scout hut jam session in 1980, Dave Gahan is asked to become the group’s lead singer.

Dave Gahan is born David Callcott on 9 May 1962 in Epping, Essex, in England – though his birthplace has also been listed as Chigwell in Essex.  Dave is the son of Leonard William F. Callcott and Sylvia Callcott.  Len Callcott is of Malaysian descent.  Len is a bus driver while Sylvia has been a ‘clippy’ (a conductress) on London buses.  Dave is brought up in a ‘working class’ environment.  He is the second child in the family; Dave has an elder sister named Sue (born in 1960).  Len Callcott leaves his family when baby David is 6 months old.  A divorce is granted two years later.  Dave’s mother Sylvia remarries.  Her second husband is Jack Gahan.  He adopts Sylvia’s kids Sue and David.  This is how David Callcott becomes Dave Gahan.  (The surname is Irish and is pronounced ‘Gaan’.)  When Jack and Sylvia marry, the new family moves to Basildon where Jack Gahan is an administrator for Shell Oil.  Sylvia’s children, Sue and Dave, are raised to think that Jack Gahan is their father.  The family expands when Jack and Sylvia have two sons together, Peter (born in 1966) and Phil (born in 1968).  Jack Gahan dies in 1972 when Dave is 10 years old.  Dave’s biological father Len Callcott visits for a while – and then disappears.  According to Dave’s mother, Len moves to Jersey and opens a hotel.

Dave Gahan attends Barstable School on Timberlog Close in Basildon.  Perhaps due to the upheavals of his childhood, Dave’s adolescence is troubled.  “It was one of those things that I carried through my teens – being the odd kid, the kid who didn’t fit in anywhere,” he says.  Dave Gahan plays truant, missing classes.  He gets in trouble with the police and is suspended from school.  The wayward youth faces juvenile court three times on charges including car theft, criminal damage and creating graffiti.  “I was pretty wild,” Gahan admits.  “I loved the excitement of nicking a motor [i.e. stealing a car], screeching off and being chased by the police.”  In his last year at school, Dave Gahan applies for a job as an apprentice fitter with North Thames Gas.  The lad’s probation officer advises him to be honest about his criminal record when he gets an interview.  Consequently, his application is rejected.  In a fit of anger, Gahan smashes up the office of his probation officer – and gets sent to ‘a sub-Borstal attendance centre in Romford for a year.’  (Borstal is perhaps Britain’s best known facility for juvenile offenders.)  Dave Gahan leaves Barstable School in July 1978.  It is estimated that the teen goes through something like twenty different jobs.  These jobs include: selling soft drink, working in a greengrocer’s at Basildon bus station, being a cashier at a Sainsbury’s petrol station in a Savacentre [a supermarket shopping centre] and working on a construction site.  After all that, Dave Gahan returns to school.  He gets a place at Southend Technical College.  After two years, he earns a British Display Society Award – meaning he is qualified to design shop window displays.

Dave Gahan brings more than just his vocals to the group he joins.  It is Gahan who renames Composition Of Sound as Depeche Mode.  He takes the name from a French fashion magazine.  Martin Gore explains that, “It means hurried fashion or fashion dispatch.  I like the sound of that.”  Actually, ‘depeche’ means dispatch or news report and ‘mode’ is French for fashion so the meaning of Depeche Mode is closer to fashion news or fashion update – which is fitting for the magazine ‘Depeche Mode’.  After the group becomes famous, the French periodical from which they ‘borrowed’ their name considers suing the band – but they decide against it since the success of the musicians is actually good publicity for their magazine.

The first gig the band plays as Depeche Mode is in May 1980 at James Hornsby School in Basildon.  Both Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher are former students of that school.

In 1981 the members of Depeche Mode ‘dispense with guitars to become [an] all-electronic band.’  They ‘work odd jobs to buy or borrow the instruments [i.e. synthesisers] from friends.”  Basically, synthesisers are electronic keyboards.  Synthesisers first came into use via Walter Carlos (who, after gender reassignment, later became Wendy Carlos), who recorded the album ‘Switched On Bach’ (1968).  From classical music, they became a novelty.  Synthesisers were featured on ‘Popcorn’ (1972), a weird but wonderful one-off hit by Hot Butter.  Around the turn of the 1970s, rock groups like The Who began using sequencers, a kind of hi-tech player piano.  Instead of a paper roll, it was programmed like a computer to repeat a given sequence of notes.  Synthesisers and all manner of electronic keyboards were also popular with prog rock acts in the early 1970s for lending other worldly textures to their ambitious sonic landscapes.  Synthesisers were also well loved by arty experimental musicians for their purist function of ‘synthesising’ sounds from non-instrumental, real world sources (e.g. bird songs, raindrops, jackhammers, etc.).  By the mid-1970s, pub rock and punk rock almost wiped synthesisers off the musical landscape, scorning them as overindulgences of an earlier self-involved generation of bands.  When the quirkier new wave supplants punk, icy synthesisers often feature in their music – though not at the expense of guitars and drums.

Vince Clarke’s 1979 band The Plan was described as being a rip-off of Ultravox.  In the post-punk days of the late 1970s, Ultravox is one of a number of bands whose music is entirely – or almost entirely – created electronically on synthesisers and keyboards.  Other acts of this era to influence Depeche Mode include Cabaret Voltaire, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, Human League, The Normal and Fad Gadget.  Also important in the development of synthesiser music is the German act Kraftwerk.  Active since 1970, they exist in parallel to the novelty acts, prog rock, experimentalists and Britain’s late 1970s-early 1980s synth acts, lending continuity to the whole movement.

Depeche Mode is ‘one of the first acts to establish a musical identity based completely around the use of synthesisers.’  This style of music comes to be known as synth-pop; it is pop music played on synthesisers.  Depeche Mode’s adoption of this style is at least partly motivated by practical concerns.  ‘The group could go to gigs on the train, carrying their instruments under their arms, and plug into the P.A. [Public Address system] without [guitar] amplifiers.’  A drum machine, a sort of programmable metronome, is used for percussion.  While vocalist Dave Gahan gyrates and poses out front, the other three pale-faced lads take to the stage with rack-mounted keyboards, computers and enough cables and wiring to run a nuclear power plant.  Bent over their keyboards and devices with furrowed brows, they chant back-up vocals.

Vince Clarke offers this run-down of the technical aspects of Depeche Mode’s music: “With Depeche we were using the ARP sixteen-step sequencer.  Then it was a Roland MC-4 and then a sixteen-step sequencer made by a company called Umi, which was made to be used with BBC micro.  They all did what we needed them to do.”  Clarke also states, “I used to do all my programming on a BBC computer.  It was limited to sixteen tracks, and used the keyboard, not a mouse, to input, but I was using it so long I got quite fast at it.”

At first, Vince Clarke is the main songwriter for Depeche Mode.  This situation will not persist throughout the group’s history, but – undeniably – it is Clarke who creates the initial template for the group’s synth-pop.

Up to this point, Vince Clarke has been known by his birth name of Vince Martin.  “I was doing an interview for a newspaper and I suddenly realised they were going to mention that we were gigging around,” says Vince.  The problem with that is the musician is still claiming unemployment benefits from the U.K. government under the name of Vince Martin.  Thinking quickly, he tells the newspaper reporter his name is Vince Clarke.  “I had to [do that in order to avoid getting into trouble with the dole authorities],” he confesses.  This is how Vince Martin adopts the stagename Vince Clarke which stays with him throughout his subsequent career.

Around this time, Vince Clarke’s girlfriend is Deb Danahay.  In later years, she will host tours of Basildon for pilgrims drawn to the town by Depeche Mode’s fame.

Depeche Mode makes a demo tape in order to try to secure a recording contract.  Most bands mail copies of their demo tape to various record labels; Depeche Mode takes the tape in person to each label.  “Most of them would tell us to f*** off,” recalls vocalist Dave Gahan.  “They’d say, ‘Leave the tape with us’ and we’d say, ‘It’s our only one.’  Then we’d say goodbye and go somewhere else.”

One of those with whom the band meets is Daniel Miller, the boss of the Mute label.  Miller is also a pioneer of synth-pop having recorded the song ‘Warm Leatherette’ under the name of The Normal (one of Depeche Mode’s influences).  However, after a ‘bad meeting,’ Depeche Mode instead offers their song ‘Photographic’ to Stevo Pearce of the Some Bizarre label.  Apparently this happens in 1980 but the multi-artist sampler ‘Some Bizarre Album’ (1981) – including ‘Photographic’ – is not released until the following year.  In the meantime, Daniel Miller attends a Depeche Mode gig at Canning Town and approaches the band with a recording contract.  This begins a long association between Depeche Mode, Mute and Daniel Miller.  “He’s one of our best friends,” says keyboardist Martin Gore.

The first single by Depeche Mode, ‘Dreaming Of Me’ (UK no. 57), is recorded in December 1980 and released on 20 February 1981.  ‘Dreaming Of Me’ is a one-off single; it will not be included on their first album.  The song is written by Depeche Mode’s chief keyboard player Vince Clarke.  The single is produced by Daniel Miller and issued on the Mute label.  The lonely feel of ‘Dreaming Of Me’ is heightened by the robotic, alien synthesisers.  The cinema-obsessed lyrics refer to “Filming and screening / Picture the scene.”

‘Speak & Spell’ (1981) (UK no. 10, US no. 192, AUS no. 28), the first album by Depeche Mode, is released on 5 October.  Like almost all their work, ‘Speak & Spell’ is issued on the Mute label.  This disc is co-produced by Depeche Mode and Mute label boss Daniel Miller.  The album title refers to a popular electronic toy of the time, ‘Speak & Spell.’  This reinforces the playful side of synth-pop.  Indeed, ‘Speak & Spell’ is ‘significantly lighter in tone and melody than their later work.’  This album includes ‘Photographic’, the pulsing piece with hushed vocals that the band previously contributed to the ‘Some Bizarre Album’ (1981).  However the album does not include Depeche Mode’s debut single, ‘Dreaming Of Me’.  Two songs are lifted from ‘Speak & Spell’ to become singles.  ‘New Life’ (UK no. 11) boasts a hyperactive computer sound with crashing drum pads.  The lyrics for ‘New Life’ prophesy, ‘Complicating, circulating / New life, new life / Operating, generating / New life, new life.”  Depeche Mode’s early style is fully formulated with the release of ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’ (UK no. 8, AUS no. 4).  They are ‘bouncy electrobabes,’ bopping like ‘battery operated [versions of 1960s pop group The] Monkees in a space age cartoon.’  This poppy synthesiser song finds vocalist Dave Gahan (singing Vince Clarke’s words) claiming that, “When I’m with you, baby / I go out of my head / And I just can’t get enough / I just can’t get enough / All the things you do to me / And everything you said / And I just can’t get enough / I just can’t get enough.”  It’s not just catchy, it’s maddeningly addictive.  ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’ remains their biggest hit in Australia for Depeche Mode’s whole career.  Both ‘New Life’ and ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’ are written by Vince Clarke.  Keyboardist Martin Gore contributes two songs to this album, but the bulk of the compositions are by Clarke.  “We were really bubblegum pop when we started out,” comments Gore.  Depeche Mode is a ‘bouncy dance-pop outfit’ and the members of the band become ‘teen idols.’  ‘Speak & Spell’ summarises the synth-pop era.

After ‘Speak & Spell’, in late 1981 Vince Clarke – the main songwriter and sonic architect of Depeche Mode – leaves the group.  Vocalist Dave Gahan claims that Clarke, “suddenly lost interest in it and he started getting letters from fans asking what kind of socks he wore.”  With the later benefit of hindsight, Clarke muses, “We were pretty young and very lucky, and things happened very quickly for us and I don’t think we were really mature [enough] to handle the situation.”  He considers Depeche Mode’s ‘later material as being a little dark for his tastes, but good nonetheless.’  Clarke feels a bit guilty at first about quitting Depeche Mode because he believes his former bandmates ‘don’t known how to program synths.’  To assuage his conscience, Vince Clarke offers a couple of songs to Depeche Mode – but they decline them.

After leaving Depeche Mode, Vince Clarke’s first project is Yazoo (1981-1983).  This is a duo pairing songwriter and keyboardist Vince Clarke with vocalist Alison ‘Alf’ Moyet.  A gutsy rhythm and blues singer, Moyet advertises for a ‘rootsy blues band.’  Perversely, Vince Clarke answers the advertisement, though he is the exact opposite of what Moyet is seeking.  Nevertheless, the high contrast partnership works like hot apple pie (Moyet’s vocals) paired with ice cream (Clarke’s synthesisers).  Yazoo release two albums, ‘Upstairs At Eric’s’ (1982) (UK no. 2, US no. 92, AUS no. 10) and ‘You And Me Both’ (1983) (UK no. 3, AUS no. 21).  Their hit singles are: ‘Only You’ (UK no. 2, US no. 67, AUS no. 7), ‘Don’t Go’ (UK no. 3, AUS no. 6), ‘Situation’ (US no. 73), ‘The Other Side Of Love’ (UK no. 13, AUS no. 86) and ‘Nobody’s Diary’ (UK no. 3, AUS no. 17).  Nearly all of these songs come from the act’s debut album; only ‘Nobody’s Diary’ is from Yazoo’s second album.  (‘Only You’ and ‘Don’t Go’ were the songs Vince Clarke offered to Depeche Mode but were declined by his former colleagues.)  Yazoo is known as Yaz in the U.S.A. because an ‘ethnic U.S. record label had already registered the name of Yazoo.’  Alison Moyet goes on to a successful solo career though there is a Yazoo reunion for a while in 2008 before she and Clarke again resume separate paths.

The Assembly (1983) is a duo made up of Eric Radcliffe (songwriting, production) and Vince Clarke (keyboards).  The Assembly issues only one single, ‘Never Never’ (UK no. 4), in 1983.  The vocals on this single are by Feargal Sharkey.  Some may remember Feargal Sharkey as lead vocalist of Irish new wave band The Undertones (1975-1983); others may be more familiar with his subsequent solo hit in 1985 ‘A Good Heart’ (UK no. 1, US no. 74, AUS no. 1).

Erasure (founded in 1985) is Vince Clarke’s longest-running enterprise.  This duo consists of Andy Bell (vocals, co-songwriter) and Vince Clarke (keyboards, co-songwriter).  In the following listing, Erasure’s hit singles are shown [in brackets] after the titles of the albums for which they are taken.  Erasure’s releases are: ‘Wonderland’ (1986) (UK no. 71, AUS no. 89); ‘The Circus’ (1987) (UK no. 6, US no. 190, AUS no. 97) [‘Sometimes’ (UK no. 2, AUS no. 45), ‘It Doesn’t Have To Be’ (UK no. 12), ‘Victim Of Love’ (UK no. 7), ‘The Circus’ (UK no. 6)]; ‘The Innocents’ (1988) (UK no. 1, US no. 49) [‘Ship Of Fools’ (UK no. 6), ‘Chains Of Love’ (UK no. 11, US no. 12), ‘A Little Respect’ (UK no. 4, US no. 14); ‘Wild’ (1989) (UK no. 1, US no. 57) [‘Drama’ (UK no. 4), ‘You Surround Me’ (UK no. 15), ‘Blue Savannah’ (UK no. 3, AUS no. 159), ‘Star’ (UK no. 11); ‘Chorus’ (1991) (UK no. 1, US no. 29, AUS no. 93) [‘Chorus’ (UK no. 3, US no. 83, AUS no. 77), ‘Love To Hate You’ (UK no. 4), ‘Breath Of Life’ (UK no. 8)]; ‘Pop! The First 20 Hits’ (1992) (UK no. 1, US no. 112) [‘Who Needs Love Like That’ (UK no. 10, AUS no. 120) – a remix of their first single from 1985]; ‘I Say, I Say, I Say’ (1994) (UK no. 1, US no. 18) [‘Always’ (UK no. 4, US no. 20, AUS no. 78), ‘Run To The Sun’ (UK no. 6), ‘I Love Saturday’ (UK no. 20); ‘Erasure’ (1995) (UK no. 14, US no. 82) [‘Stay With Me’ (UK no. 15), ‘Fingers & Thumbs (Cold Summer’s Day) (UK no. 20, AUS no. 198)]; ‘Cowboy’ (1997) (UK no. 10, US no. 43, AUS no. 74) [‘In My Arms’ (UK no. 13, US no. 55), ‘Don’t Say Your Love Is Killing Me’ (UK no. 23)]; ‘Loveboat’ (2000) (UK no. 45) [‘Freedom’ (UK no. 27)]; ‘Other People’s Songs’ (2003) (UK no. 17,US no. 138) [‘Solsbury Hill’ (UK no. 10, US no. 2), ‘Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)’ (UK no. 14)]; ‘Hits! The Very Best Of Erasure’ (2003) (UK no. 15) [‘Oh L’Amour’ (UK no. 13) – a remix of a song from the duo’s debut album, ‘Wonderland’ (1986)]; ‘Nightbird’ (2005) (UK no. 27, US no. 154) [‘Breathe’ (UK no. 4, US no. 1), ‘Don’t Say You Love Me’ (UK no. 15, US no. 2, AUS no. 8), ‘Here I Go Impossible Again’ (UK no. 25)]; ‘Union Street’ (2006) (UK no. 102); ‘Light At The End Of The World’ (2007) (UK no. 29, US no. 127) [‘I Could Fall In Love With You’ (UK no. 21, US no. 1), ‘Sunday Girl’ (UK no. 33, US no. 1); ‘Tomorrow’s World’ (2011) (UK no. 29, US no. 61); ‘Snow Globe’ (2013) (UK no. 49); ‘The Violet Flame’ (2014) (UK no. 20, US no. 48); and ‘World Be Gone’ (2017) (UK no. 6, US no. 137).

On 17 May 2004 Vince Clarke marries publicist Tracy Hurley.  Vince and Tracy go on to have a son, Oscar (born on 8 September 2005).

VCMG (2011-2012) is a side-project that reunites Vince Clarke with his former Depeche Mode colleague Martin Gore.  VCMG takes its name from their combined initials.  The duo release an ‘instrumental minimalist electronic dance album’ titled ‘Ssss’ (2012) on 12 March.  They also make three EPs available only on the internet: ‘Spock’ on 3 November 2011, ‘Blip’ on 20 February 2012 and ‘Aftermaths’ on 20 August 2012.

Given the key role played in Depeche Mode by Vince Clarke, his departure ‘leads many to write off’ the group.  Fellow keyboardist Martin Gore rises to the challenge and becomes the group’s main songwriter.  “Songwriting is a mysterious art,” says Gore.  “The end result should be mysterious and have this dark quality.”  From this point on, all Depeche Mode songs referenced here are – unless otherwise stated – composed by Martin Gore.  A further change is that Gore contributes more vocals.  He sings one song on the band’s debut album, but will assume the role of lead vocalist on some more songs to come.  Dave Gahan definitely remains the group’s main singer, but Martin Gore takes second place in the featured vocalist stakes.  Sometimes Gahan and Gore share vocals, Gahan’s baritone in stark contrast to Gore’s angelic tenor voice.

‘A Broken Frame’ (1982) (UK no. 8, US no. 177), released on 27 September, is the second album by Depeche Mode.  As with their debut, this disc is co-produced by Depeche Mode and Daniel Miller.  Following the departure of Vince Clarke, Depeche Mode is reduced to the trio of Dave Gahan, Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher, with Gore assuming the role of main songwriter.  This set yields three singles.  On ‘See You’ (UK no. 6) the synthesisers fit together like blocks of Lego.  “All I want to do is see you again / Is that too much to ask for?” sings Martin Gore in his first showing as lead vocalist on a Depeche Mode single.  “You can keep me at a distance / If you don’t trust my resistance / But I swear it’s true,” he adds in the refrain of ‘See You’.  Dave Gahan is the featured vocalist on the album’s other two singles.  In ‘The Meaning Of Love’ (UK no. 12), the group is cast as young Romeos full of naiveté.  The accompanying music is a mixture of plastic drums, icicle-like synth notes and – on the chorus – rattling percussion.  ‘Leave In Silence’ (UK no. 18) is introduced by something close to a Gregorian chant.  This is juxtaposed with the bleeping synthesisers that carry the bulk of this song about love breaking down.  Keyboardist, songwriter and vocalist Martin Gore describes ‘A Broken Frame’ as “my least favourite album…Some of the [songs] I just made up as I went along…I was dropped in at the deep end with it.”  Despite this, Depeche Mode has ‘weathered the potentially calamitous departure of chief songwriter Vince Clarke’ and ‘contrived to remain very popular.’

Late in 1982 Depeche Mode becomes a quartet again with the addition of Alan Wilder.

Alan Charles Wilder is born on 1 June 1959 in Hammersmith, London, England.  Alan is the third child of Albert and Kathleen Wilder.  His elder brothers are Stephen (born in 1952) and Andrew (born in 1954).  Alan Wilder is raised in a middle class environment in Acton, West London.  “Classical music was played at my house all the time, mainly due to my brothers practising the piano,” says Alan.  He begins playing piano himself when he is 8.  The classically trained youngster also learns flute at St Clement Danes Grammar School.  Alan Wilder leaves school in the sixth form and goes on the dole.  “Then I went back to school and tried to study for the A-levels but it didn’t work really,” says Alan.  After finishing school, Alan Wilder works as a studio assistant at DJM [Recording] Studios, learning the craft of capturing a band’s sound.  In parallel to this, Alan Wilder is part of a number of short-lived bands.  These acts include: The Dragons (1977) who record the single ‘Misbehavin’’; Daphne And The Tenderspots (1979) who record the single ‘Disco Hell’; Real To Real (1979); and The Hitmen (1980).  However, the most famous act Alan Wilder is involved with in this period is pop/new wave/synth-pop group The Korgis (1978-1982).  Although Wilder is never officially a member of The Korgis, he plays on their 1979 single ‘If I Had You’ (UK no. 13).  (The Korgis’ biggest hit comes later.  They release ‘Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime’ (UK no. 5, US no. 18) in 1980.)  During this time Alan Wilder is arrested once for shoplifting.  “I stole a chicken and got caught.  I was a struggling musician at the time, destitute and hungry,” he explains.  Alan Wilder joins Depeche Mode in January 1982 as ‘a tour keyboardist’ but does not become a full member until later in the year after the release of ‘A Broken Frame’.  He can be first seen in the video for ‘See You’ – even though Alan Wilder does not contribute to that song or its parent album.  Alan Wilder becomes the ‘musical director’ for Depeche Mode and attends to the synthesiser programming that was previously done by Vince Clarke.  Over the course of his career with Depeche Mode, Alan Wilder writes a few songs but his ‘more notable contributions to Depeche Mode are as a musician, arranger and producer.’

Bassist/keyboardist Andy Fletcher describes the chemistry of the new Depeche Mode line-up in these terms: “Martin [Gore] is the songwriter, Alan [Wilder] is the musician, Dave [Gahan] is the vocalist and I bum around.”  Fletch is being a bit modest.  He is seen as ‘the tiebreaker’ who ‘brings the band together.’  Although he is the only one of the quartet never to have a songwriting credit, he attends to a lot of the group’s business affairs since they don’t always have a manager.

The stand-alone single ‘Get The Balance Right’ (UK no. 13) is released by Depeche Mode on 21 January 1983.  This track is co-produced by Depeche Mode and Daniel Miller.  It is the first Depeche Mode recording on which new keyboardist Alan Wilder plays.  The arrangement for ‘Get The Balance Right’ alternates synthesiser textures with deep pseudo-horns and offsets them both with sparkling piano notes and tinkly-bonk percussion.  The song has a kind of urgency to it.

The third album by Depeche Mode, ‘Construction Time Again’ (1983) (UK no. 6), is released on 22 August.  The disc is co-produced by Depeche Mode and Daniel Miller.  The sound here is darker.  It is described as ‘industrial.’  ‘Everything Counts’ (UK no. 6) is ‘a commentary on the perceived greed of multinational corporations.’  Over a throbbing pulse, Dave Gahan sings the verses while Martin Gore handles (most of) the chorus: (Martin) “The grabbing hands / Grab what they can / All for themselves / After all,” (Dave) “It’s a competitive world”, (Martin) “Everything counts in large amounts.”  Alan Wilder plays the oboe on ‘Everything Counts’.  ‘Love In Itself’ (UK no. 21) finds the group adopting a bigger, wide-shouldered sound than was their earlier hallmark.  “Consequently, I’ve a tendency to be unhappy,” advise the despondent lyrics.  “Now I find that most of the time / Love’s not enough…in itself.”

From 1984 to 1987 Depeche Mode keyboardist Martin Gore is in a romantic relationship with German girl Christina Friedrich.  “I lived in Berlin for two years and had a German girlfriend for five years, so I didn’t find speaking German particularly difficult,” says Gore – though the ‘five years’ time-frame seems slightly out of synch with the relationship running from 1984 to 1987.

Depeche Mode’s 1984 single ‘People Are People’ (UK no. 4, US no. 13, AUS no. 25) is the group’s first U.S. hit.  It ties with two other (later) songs for the honour of being their biggest U.K. hit.  ‘People Are People’ possesses a big, anthemic sound.  “People are people / So why should it be / You and I should get along so awfully?”  This rhetorical question given voice by Dave Gahan gets underscored when Martin Gore’s saintly voice pleads, “I can’t understand what makes a man hate another man so / Help me understand.”  The song is taken to heart by the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual) community.  The song’s author, Martin Gore, claims it is actually one of his least favourite songs because it is not subtle enough, the message being too baldly delivered.  The song’s ‘dancy, pop feel may be credited to [keyboardist] Alan Wilder.’

On 2 July, Sire Records – Depeche Mode’s U.S. label – puts out the compilation album ‘People Are People’ (1984) (US no. 74).  This set assembles material from ‘A Broken Frame’, ‘Construction Time Again’ and some B sides of singles.  On the group’s 1984 U.S. tour, keyboardist Martin Gore is ‘shocked by the way fans are turning up in droves at the concerts.’

‘Some Great Reward’ (1984) (UK no. 5, US no. 54) is released on 24 September.  This Depeche Mode album is co-produced by Depeche Mode, Daniel Miller and Gareth Jones.  The disc is a mixture of pop, electronic and industrial sounds, even if it is ‘automatically filed under synth-pop.’  The album’s title is taken from a lyric in the song ‘Lie To Me’.  ‘People Are People’ is included on ‘Some Great Reward’.  ‘Master And Servant’ (UK no. 9, US no. 87, AUS no. 89) is ‘overtly sexual [and comes] complete with synthesised whip-and-chain sound effects.’  Actually, the sound of a real whip was not satisfactory in the mix so producer Daniel Miller hissed and spat in the studio to achieve the final result.  Vocalist Dave Gahan coquettishly sings, “There’s a new game we like to play / The game with added reality / You get me down on my knees / We call it master and servant.”  The vocals swap back-and-forth from the choir boy-like ‘It’s a lot like life” to the chocolate dark “Master and servant.”  The song is banned by many U.S. radio stations.  ‘Blasphemous Rumours’ (UK no. 16, AUS no. 87) sounds like Morse code from a technoverse.  It refers to a girl of 16 who “Slashed her wrists / Bored with life.”  This leads to the chorus stating, “I don’t want to start / Any blasphemous rumours / But I think God’s / Got a sick sense of humour.”  ‘Blasphemous Rumours’ is ‘a dark yet wry look at the misery in the world and what part religion plays in this.’  Like ‘Master And Servant’, ‘Blasphemous Rumours’ is banned by many U.S. radio stations.  When it is released as a single, ‘Blasphemous Rumours’ is backed with another track from this album, ‘Somebody’ – which features a lead vocal from keyboardist Martin Gore.  ‘Some Great Reward’ is an album that sees Depeche Mode burrowing into weightier themes.

On 5 August 1985 Depeche Mode vocalist Dave Gahan marries U.K. actress Joanne Fox.  Dave and Joanne go on to have a son, Jack (born on 14 October 1987).  The boy is named after Dave’s stepfather, Jack Gahan, who passed away in 1972.

‘The Singles 81 – 85’ (1985) (UK no. 6, US no. 114, AUS no. 135) is a compilation album released on 15 October.  This collection includes two new songs, both of which are released as singles.  ‘Shake The Disease’ (UK no. 18) has keyboards as neat as needlepoint.  “I’m not going down on my knees,” asserts Dave Gahan in the vocals in contrast to the sentiments of the earlier ‘Master And Servant’.  ‘Shake The Disease’ is a more serious and heartfelt piece than ‘Master And Servant’ as evidenced by its plea to “Understand me” (from co-vocalist Martin Gore).  The other new single, ‘It’s Called A Heart’ (UK no. 18), is relentlessly rhythmic and has a strong bottom end.  ‘Shake The Disease’ is co-produced by Depeche Mode, Daniel Miller and Gareth Jones, but Jones is absent from the production credit for ‘It’s Called A Heart’.  This perhaps indicates that the latter is an older song.  Sire, the band’s American label, issues another compilation, ‘Catching Up With Depeche Mode’ (1985) (US no. 113), on 11 November.

‘Black Celebration’ (1986) (UK no. 4, US no. 90, AUS no. 69) is released on 17 March.  Like ‘Some Great Reward’, this album is co-produced by Depeche Mode, Daniel Miller and Gareth Jones.  ‘Despite not being a commercial success’ (at least not in the U.S.A.), this is ‘one of the most influential albums of the 1980s.’  The reason for this is that the growing goth subculture identifies with the group’s ‘increasingly dark and serious tone in their songs.’  “It’s very difficult to sort of take the darkness out of Depeche Mode,” claims vocalist Dave Gahan.  Songwriter Martin Gore counters, “I’ve never seen our music as being over-dark.  I think that there is always an element of hope in our music.”  The most commercially successful single from ‘Black Celebration’ is ‘Stripped’ (UK no. 15).  “Let me see you / Stripped down to the bone,” demands Dave Gahan over this song’s atmospheric backing and clock-tick timing.  Keyboardist Martin Gore provides the lead vocals for ‘A Question Of Lust’ (UK no. 28).  Contrary to the expectations engendered by the title, this is a gentle, tender and careful song marked with ringing tambourine shots.  Although ‘A Question Of Time’ (UK no. 17) sounds like a matching pair for ‘A Question Of Lust’, it is musically quite different.  This is an upbeat, propulsive piece with squawking electronics.  From the 16 year old girl of ‘Blasphemous Rumours’, this song shifts down to a 15 year old girl as its focus.

Like some mysterious priests, Depeche Mode offers up ‘Music For The Masses’ (1987) (UK no. 10, US no. 35, AUS no. 60) on 28 September.  This disc is co-produced by Depeche Mode, Daniel Miller and David Bascombe.  In terms of sales, ‘Music For The Masses’ represents a ‘breakthrough in the American market’ even if the singles’ chart performance ‘proves to be disappointing in the U.K.’ – at least by Depeche Mode’s previously established standards.  The appropriately titled ‘Strangelove’ (UK no. 16, US no. 76) is one of the songs on this album.  Dramatic synth chords and squeaks usher in the words, “Strangelove / That’s how my love goes,” before pausing to ask, “Will you take the pain / I will give to you / Again and again / And will you return it?”  Though its written by keyboardist Martin Gore, he seems to have articulated vocalist Dave Gahan’s own manifesto in the lines, “There will be times / When my crimes / Will seem almost unforgivable / I give in / To sin / Because you have to make this life liveable.”  Is it any wonder that ‘Never Let Me Down Again’ (UK no. 22, US no. 63, AUS no. 82) enunciates the notion, “I’m taking a ride with my best friend / I hope he never lets me down again”?  This song also conjures up the sonic equivalent of the bold graphics of a Soviet era poster of the worker as a hero.  As for the connection between Gahan and Gore, the former later tells a reporter, “I’ve always said, and I’ve always felt, that there’s a connection between Martin and I that’s beyond anything that we think about ourselves individually.”  On ‘Behind The Wheel’ (UK no. 21, US no. 61) – as on ‘Never Let Me Down Again’ – Gahan and Gore share the vocals.  The song’s theme is built around the idea of surrendering control.  Unusually, there are some guitar sounds fighting against the synths in ‘Behind The Wheel’, but the guitar is not the dominating instrument.  ‘Little 15’ (UK no. 60) is another in the band’s series of songs about very young girls.  It is a melancholy piece with almost orchestral synths.

In 1988 Depeche Mode issues two singles, both of which have links to the previous year’s album ‘Music For The Masses’.  ‘Strangelove ‘88’ (US no. 50) is a remix of the featured single from ‘Music For The Masses’.  This remixed version performs better than the original on the U.S. singles chart – even if the remix goes unloved in the U.K.  When ‘Behind The Wheel’ was released as a single in 1987, the flipside was a cover version of ‘Route 66’ – a song first recorded by The Nat King Cole Trio in 1946.  The sides are reversed in May 1988 and Depeche Mode’s take on ‘Route 66’ (AUS no. 98) (with Martin Gore on lead vocals) charts in Australia – albeit at a very modest level.

‘101’ (1989) (UK no. 5, US no. 45, AUS no. 71), released on 13 March, is Depeche Mode’s first live album.  It was recorded at the band’s show at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, on 18 June 1988.  This American gig was the final show on Depeche Mode’s most recent tour – and the one hundred and first gig of the tour.  It is keyboardist Alan Wilder who suggests this statistic be used as the album’s title.  ‘Everything Counts (Live)’ (UK no. 22) is released as a single from this set.

Depeche Mode’s main songwriter, Martin Gore, releases a solo EP, ‘Counterfeit’ (UK no. 51, US no. 156), on 13 June 1989.

‘Violator’ (1990) (UK no. 2, US no. 7, AUS no. 42), released on 19 March, is Depeche Mode’s best album.  For the first time, Daniel Miller (the boss of Mute Records) is absent from production duties on a Depeche Mode album.  This disc is co-produced by Depeche Mode and Flood (a.k.a. Mark Ellis).  In a departure from the group’s usual method of operation, most of the songs on this album are not built up from demo recordings by songwriter Martin Gore in pre-production work, but are generally executed in the recording studio (though Gore is still songwriter-in-chief).  Gore says of the album’s title, “We called it ‘Violator’ as a joke.  We wanted to come up with the most extreme, ridiculously heavy metal title that we could.  I’ll be surprised if people will get the joke.”  ‘Personal Jesus’ (UK no. 13, US no. 28, AUS no. 134), the first single from ‘Violator’, is one of Depeche Mode’s best known songs.  For the first time, the guitar (played by Martin Gore) is the chief instrument on a Depeche Mode song.  ‘Personal Jesus’ has a ‘catchy blues riff’ and is ‘radically different from anything the band has released thus far.’  The lyric seems straightforward enough as vocalist Dave Gahan offers a loved one his services as “Your own / Personal / Jesus / Someone to hear your prayers / Someone who cares.”  The inspiration for the song comes from the book ‘Elvis and Me’ (1985) by Priscilla Presley, the wife of the 1950s rock ‘n’ roll star who is the subject of the book.  The author of ‘Personal Jesus’, Martin Gore, explains, “It’s a song about being a Jesus for someone else, someone to give you hope and care.  It’s about how Elvis Presley was her man and her mentor and how often that happens in love relationships; how everybody’s heart is like a god in some way, and that’s not a very balanced view of someone is it?  Two of the members of Depeche Mode (Alan Fletcher and Vince Clarke) met as lads in the Christian organisation the Boys’ Brigade and the group has previously toyed with religious imagery (e.g. ‘Blasphemous Rumours’) but this is the most blatant usage of the Saviour himself.  So what does vocalist Dave Gahan actually feel about religion?  “When it comes to religion, it’s very confusing,” he claims, “and always has been for thousands of years and probably will be for thousands of years more.  I don’t know what it is I believe in, but I know that I feel a sense of some kind of higher power for lack of better words.”  Songwriter Martin Gore notes that, “God knows why – no pun intended – but every time I write a song, I feel a need to touch on religion.”  When ‘Personal Jesus’ is issued as a single, it comes with a variety of back covers.  Each cover shows a member of the band with a nude female model who has her back to the camera.  A group shot with the back of the same model also exists.  ‘Violator’ also contains ‘Enjoy The Silence’ (UK no. 6, US no. 8, AUS no. 71), the best song in the Depeche Mode catalogue.  Martin Gore’s guitar sets the scene where “Words like violence / Break the silence.”  With breathy urgency, Dave Gahan sings, “All I ever wanted / All I ever needed / Is here / In my arms / Words are very unnecessary / They can only do harm.”  Keyboardist Alan Wilder gets the credit for reimagining Martin Gore’s ‘melancholy ballad-esque demo’ for ‘Enjoy The Silence’ as a dance track.  In reference to ‘Enjoy The Silence’, Dave Gahan says, “There’s something about that song that’s really timeless.”  That’s the reason it is the group’s finest song.  It doesn’t evoke synth-pop or any other style really; it is distinctive, original and powerful.  ‘Enjoy The Silence’ is also Depeche Mode’s all-time biggest hit in the U.S.  ‘Policy Of Truth’ (UK no. 16, US no. 15, AUS no. 143) is almost funky.  “It’s time to face the consequence,” it warns.  “Never again is what you swore / The time before.”  Dave Gahan is quoted as saying, “I definitely have a dark side of me that can be pretty vicious…as we all do.”  ‘World In My Eyes’ (UK no. 17, US no. 52, AUS no. 153) is a bit oddball with stuttering synths, breathless beats and a sound effect that resembles the noise of a spring uncoiling.  Although Depeche Mode has not abandoned electronic keyboards, what surprises about ‘Violator’ is the electric guitar.  “For years, I was stuck behind a keyboard rig.  When I started playing guitar on stage, it was a bit of a release,” admits Martin Gore.  ‘Violator’ is the first Depeche Mode album to crack the UI.S. top ten; it ‘propels the band to international stardom.’  “During that time in our career,” says Martin Gore, “we were quite experimental in our choices of recording locations, and we loved the idea of going off and making each album an adventure.  We recorded the majority of ‘Violator’ in Milan [Italy], which was really good fun.  How we got anything done, I don’t know because we were out partying most nights.”  Other recording sessions for this album take place in London, New York and Denmark.  Gore describes ‘Violator’ as “the pinnacle of us having fun.”  ‘For many Depeche Mode fans, “Violator” is the crowning glory of the boys’ black leather period.’

In 1991 Depeche Mode keyboardist Alan Wilder marries Jeri Young.  They have been living together since 1984.  Jeri is a bit older than Alan and has a son, Jason (born around 1972), from an earlier relationship.  Alan and Jeri do not have any children of their own together.

The marriage of Depeche Mode vocalist Dave Gahan and Joanne Fox comes to an end in 1991.

In April 1992, Dave Gahan marries his second wife, journalist Teresa Conway.  Dave and Teresa do not have any children together.

On 16 January 1993 Depeche Mode keyboardist/bassist Andy Fletcher marries his long-time girlfriend Grainne Mullan.  The couple already have a daughter, Meghan (born on 25 August 1991), but go on to also have a son, Joseph (born on 22 June 1994).

A new Depeche Mode album, ‘Songs Of Faith And Devotion’ (1993) (UK no. 1, US no. 1, AUS no. 14), is released on 22 March.  Like its predecessor, this album is co-produced by Depeche Mode and Flood.  During 1992 vocalist Dave Gahan was influenced by the music of grunge acts like Nirvana, Jane’s Addiction and Soundgarden.  Accordingly, the songs on this album have ‘more organic arrangements, based as much on heavily distorted electric guitars and live drums (played by Alan Wilder) as synthesisers.’  The first single, ‘I Feel You’ (UK no. 8, US no. 37, AUS no. 37), is described as ‘grunge influenced.’  Arising from an unholy screech comes an out of kilter guitar and the words, “I feel you / The sun it shines / I feel you / Within my mind.”  The song gathers pace with the pronouncement, “This is the dawning of our love.”  ‘The song is ostensibly about “connection” between two individuals.’  The panoramic ‘Walking In My Shoes’ (UK no. 14, US no. 69, AUS no. 74) is built on trudging piano chords.  Dave Gahan wearily intones, “Now I’m not looking for absolution / Forgiveness for the things I do / But before you come to any conclusions / Try walking in my shoes.”  Perhaps Dave (via Martin Gore’s lyrics) is trying to make a point?  When later asked to nominate Depeche Mode’s best song, Gahan singles out ‘Condemnation’ (UK no. 9, AUS no. 78) from this album.  It is ‘a gospel-esque song with a rock twist.’  This stately piece has percussion that sounds like big hand-claps.  “Because my duty / Was always to beauty,” insist the lyrics, “If you see purity / As immaturity.”  Gahan’s affection for the song is “because for me it was real turning point in finding that I had a voice.  I found my voice on that song.”  ‘In Your Room’ (UK no. 8, AUS no. 40) is a clean mesh of chiming guitar and majestic piano.  Noisy sound effects are at the start of the song and between the verses.  A fuzzed out guitar colours the latter stages of ‘In Your Room’.   For those keeping count of the number of Depeche Mode songs with semi-religious indications, this disc’s ‘Judas’ and ‘Mercy In You’ can be added to the tally.  “By the time we got to ‘Songs Of Faith And Devotion’, things had gotten derailed and people had changed,” notes songwriter Martin Gore.  “It was much more of a struggle to make [than ‘Violator’].”

The subsequent tour is a troubled affair.  By this time, vocalist Dave Gahan’s ‘heroin addiction is starting to affect his behaviour, causing him to become more erratic and introverted.’  Guitarist Martin Gore says, “I knew at quite a young age that I had an issue with drinking.”  As well as struggling with alcohol, Gore has seizures during this tour. Bassist/keyboardist Andy Fletcher battles depression and declines to participate in the second half of the tour due to ‘mental instability.’  He is replaced on stage by the band’s personal manager, Daryl Bamonte (the younger brother of Perry Bamonte of The Cure).  Long-time keyboardist Alan Wilder plays live drums on this tour, highlighting the less electronic nature of the band’s recent work.  In October 1993 vocalist Dave Gahan suffers a (non-fatal) heart attack on stage in New Orleans.  The band performs an encore without him.  A concert album, ‘Songs Of Faith And Devotion Live’ (1993) (UK no. 46, US no. 193, AUS no. 27), is released on 6 December.  This disc has songs recorded on 27 May 1993 in Copenhagen (Denmark), on 29 July 1993 in Lievin (France) and on 8 October 1993 in New Orleans (U.S.A.).

On 27 August 1994 Depeche Mode songwriter, guitarist, sometimes vocalist and sometimes keyboardist Martin Gore marries Suzanne Boisvert.  The couple met in Paris in 1989.  Suzanne Boisvert is said to be both a lingerie designer and a disc jockey.  Martin and Suzanne are already the parents of a daughter, Viva Lee Gore (born on 6 June 1991).  They go on to have another daughter, Ava Lee Gore (born in July 1995), and a son named Kalo (born on 27 July 2002).

In 1994 the marriage between Depeche Mode keyboardist Alan Wilder and his wife Jeri Young ends in divorce.

On 26 June 1995 Alan Wilder leaves the band.  He says, “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 with Depeche Mode…The remaining band members have my support and best wishes…”

After leaving Depeche Mode, Alan Wilder is invited to join The Cure but he declines the offer.  Instead, Wilder devotes his musical energies to a project called Recoil.  This is an act that started while Wilder was still in Depeche Mode.  Recoil has previously issued the following works: a 1986 EP called ‘1+ 2’; ‘Hydrology’ (1988); a repackaging of these two recordings as ‘Hydrology Plus 1 + 2’ (1988); and ‘Bloodline’ (1992).  Recoil’s only charting single is 1992’s ‘Faith Healer’ (UK no. 60).  After Alan Wilder splits from Depeche Mode, Recoil releases the following albums: ‘Unsound Methods’ (1997), ‘Liquid’ (2000), ‘subHuman’ (2007) and the compilation album ‘Selected’ (2010).

In his personal life, Alan Wilder is married to his second wife, Hepzibah Sessa, from 1995 to 2010.  A U.K. musician, she is also part of her husband’s band, Recoil.  Alan and Hepzibah have two children, a daughter named Paris (born in September 1995) and a son named Stanley (born in January 2001).  After he divorces his second wife, Alan Wilder and his new partner, Norwegian journalist Britt Rinde Hvll, have a daughter together.  The child is named Clara Lake (born in November 2011).

Depeche Mode does not replace Alan Wilder.  The band continues as a trio consisting of Dave Gahan, Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher.

In August 1995 Depeche Mode vocalist Dave Gahan attempts to commit suicide by slashing his wrists while he is talking to his mother on the telephone.  Gahan says, “It was definitely a suicide attempt but it was also a cry for help.  I made sure there were people who might find me.”

During 1995-1996 songwriter Martin Gore attempts to get Depeche Mode back into the recording studio but, mainly due to vocalist Dave Gahan’s ‘increasingly severe personal problems,’ nothing comes from these efforts.

On 28 May 1996, at the Sunset Maquis Hotel in Los Angeles, Dave Gahan suffers a drug overdose after combining heroin and cocaine in a ‘speedball.’  His heart stops for two minutes before he is revived by paramedics.  Gahan denies that this was another suicide attempt.  “I’m painfully aware that was not what I was trying to do.  All I was trying to do was disappear for a while, and that became a lost weekend.”  (This is a reference to the motion picture ‘The Lost Weekend’ (1945).  In this film, Ray Milland plays an alcoholic who goes on a destructive bender.)

In mid-1996 Dave Gahan goes to a ‘court-ordered rehabilitation program to battle cocaine-heroin addiction after his near fatal overdose.’  From this point, Gahan begins to get his act together until he is clean and sober.

Dave Gahan’s marriage to his second wife, Teresa Conway, ends in 1996.

A new Depeche Mode album, ‘Ultra’ (1997) (UK no. 1, US no. 5, AUS no. 7), is released on 14 April.  This disc is produced by Tim Simenon.  ‘Ultra’ is Depeche Mode’s first album issued by their new U.S. label, Reprise (replacing Sire).  The first single from this set, ‘Barrel Of A Gun’ (UK no. 4, US no. 47, AUS no. 33), ‘brings back the industrial music sound [and is] one of the band’s darkest songs.’  Cloaked in highly processed blackness, ‘Barrel Of A Gun’ sounds like plunging down a hole.  The narrator to whom Dave Gahan gives voice professes to wear the “Mark of Cain” in another religious reference.  According to the Bible, Cain was history’s first murderer.  “I never agreed to be your holy one…Whatever I’ve done / I’ve been staring down the barrel of a gun.”  The ‘lyrics are thought to be an allusion to [the] difficult times for the band and its members.’ (i.e. Alan Wilder’s departure, Dave Gahan’s suicide attempt and drug overdose, Martin Gore’s alcoholism and seizures and Andy Fletcher’s depression.)  Along with the earlier ‘People Are People’ and another song yet to come, ‘Barrel Of A Gun’ is in a three-way tie for Depeche Mode’s biggest U.K. hit.  On ‘It’s No Good’ (UK no. 5, US no. 38, AUS no. 52), radio-like modulations give way to long eerie notes as Dave Gahan sings, “Don’t say you want me / Don’t say you need me / Don’t say you love me / It’s understood / Don’t say you’re happy / Out there without me / ‘Cos it’s no good.”  Dave sings the song as if it is ‘about being in a tunnel and at the end you can see a white light, as if the song is not about a girl that you have all the time in the world to make yours, but about life itself, which you have to believe in or it drops out from underneath you.’  ‘Home’ (UK no. 23, US no. 88, AUS no. 102) begins like a poetry recitation over mechanical sounds with a life of their own.  The song blooms into a calming chorus with cloudy pillows of synth-strings.  Guitarist Martin Gore is lead vocalist on ‘Home’.  ‘Useless’ (UK no. 28, AUS no. 134) is built on a fuzzy guitar riff, brooding synths and pseudo horns.  “All my useless advice / All my hanging around,” says the dismissive vocal.

Depeche Mode does not go on tour to promote ‘Ultra’.  “We’re not fit enough,” contends keyboardist/bassist Andy Fletcher.  “Dave [Gahan] is only eight months into his sobriety and our bodies are telling us to spend time with our families.”

‘The Singles 86 > 98’ (1998) (UK no. 5, US no. 38, AUS no. 42), released on 28 September, is a compilation album by Depeche Mode.  As well as the hits from the second part of the band’s career, this set also includes a new song (actually a leftover from the recording sessions for ‘Ultra’), ‘Only When I Lose Myself’ (UK no. 17, US no.61, AUS no. 34).  Framed by bruised and crushed electronics, the lyrics claim, “Only when I lose myself in someone else / That I find myself…I belong inside / Your velvet heaven / Did I need to sell my soul / For pleasure like this.”  When Depeche Mode goes on tour to support this album, the trio is augmented by two additional musicians.  Austrian drummer Christian Eigner was hired in 1997 and British keyboardist Peter Gordeno joins in 1998.  Eigner and Gordeno effectively take the place of Alan Wilder, but they are ‘touring members’ only; they are not official members of Depeche Mode.

On 14 February 1999 Depeche Mode vocalist Dave Gahan marries his third wife, U.S. actress Jennifer Sklias.  Like Dave, Jennifer is also a recovering addict.  Dave adopts Jennifer’s son, Jimmy (born around 1992).  Dave and Jennifer go on to have a daughter together, Stella (born on 29 July 1999).  This gives Dave Gahan a total of three children: Jack (born on 14 October 1987, from Dave’s first wife, Joanne Fox), Jimmy and Stella.  (No children came from his marriage to his second wife, Teresa Conway.)

‘Exciter’ (2001) (UK no. 9, US no. 8, AUS no. 20), released on 14 May, is the next album by Depeche Mode.  This album is produced by Mark Bell.  The front cover is a close-up of a plant.  It is an acave attentuata, the plant used to produce the alcoholic drink tequila.  ‘Exciter’ has a ‘minimalist, digital sound.’  Martin Gore had to overcome a bit of a writer’s block, but still pens all the songs on this album.  On ‘Dream On’ (UK no. 6, US no. 85), for the first time an acoustic guitar is used as the musical foundation for a Depeche Mode single.  The lyrics say, “Paying debt to karma / You party for a living / What you take won’t kill you / But careful what you’re giving.”  ‘Maybe Martin was passing on some kind of request to [vocalist] Dave [Gahan], or himself, to be careful with the self-medication, the late nights, the long exhaustive journey into self-loathing.’  ‘I Feel Loved’ (UK no. 12, AUS no. 95) is a kind of burnished disco, synth-pop throwback with a throaty vocal.  ‘Freelove’ (UK no. 19, AUS no. 110) has a skeletal sound like a slow motion thud.  “No hidden catch / No strings attached / Just free love,” it promises.  ‘Goodnight Lovers’ (AUS no. 113) is a chilled lullaby of joy and despair.  “During the making of ‘Exciter’, sometimes I felt a bit frustrated that there was a lack of experimentation,” grumbles vocalist Dave Gahan.

‘The Singles 81 > 98’ (2001) (UK no. 103) is a Depeche Mode compilation album released on 31 August.  It effectively puts together their 1985 and 1998 ‘Best Of’ sets.

In 2003 both Depeche Mode vocalists, Dave Gahan and Martin Gore, release solo albums.  Gahan’s album – issued on 2 June – is titled ‘Paper Monsters’ (2003) (UK no. 36, US no. 127).  From this disc come the singles ‘Dirty Sticky Floors’ (UK no. 18), ‘I Need You’ (UK no. 27) and ‘Bottle Living / Hold On’ (UK no. 44).  Martin Gore’s album, ‘Counterfeit’ (2003) (UK no. 102), shares a title with Gore’s 1989 solo EP.  ‘Stardust’ (UK no. 44) is the single taken from Gore’s album.

‘Remixes 81-04’ (2004) (UK no. 24) is released on 25 October.  As the title indicates, this album contains reworkings of past Depeche Mode songs with varied instrumentations and emphases.  From this set, ‘Enjoy The Silence (Reinterpreted)’ (UK no. 7) – remixed by Mike Shinoda (of Linkin Park) – makes it to the British singles chart.

Depeche Mode reconvenes for ‘Playing The Angel’ (2005) (UK no. 6, US no. 7, AUS no. 45), released on 17 October.  This is the first of three consecutive Depeche Mode albums produced by Ben Hillier.  The band’s chemistry has shifted a bit.  This was foreshadowed by vocalist Dave Gahan’s reservations about the lack of experimentation on their previous album ‘Exciter’ and by the solo recordings of Gahan and vocalist/guitarist Martin Gore.  It is keyboardist/bassist Andy Fletcher who brokers a peace between Gahan and Gore in regard to songwriting.  ‘Playing The Angel’ is the first Depeche Mode album since ‘Some Great Reward’ (1984) to include songs not written by Martin Gore – though Gore remains their main songwriter.  ‘Precious’ (UK no. 4, US no. 71) wisely observes that “Things get damaged / Things get broken / I thought we’d manage / But words left unspoken / Left us so brittle / There was so little / Left to give.”  Martin Gore and his wife Suzanna Boisvert are going through a divorce and Martin writes ‘Precious’ with the couple’s children in mind.  “If God has a master plan / That only he understands / I hope it’s your eyes / He’s seeing through,” is the prayer on ‘Precious’ before the guitar digs in.  ‘Precious’ ties with ‘People Are People’ and ‘Barrel Of A Gun’ as Depeche Mode’s biggest U.K. hit.  ‘A Pain That I’m Used To’ (UK no. 15) sits at the intersection of glam, electro and funk and has an underlying buzz.  ‘Suffer Well’ (UK no. 12) is co-written by vocalist Dave Gahan, the band’s touring drummer Christian Eigner and Andrew Phillpott.  Over a sturdy electric guitar figure, Dave asks, “Where were you when I fell from grace? / A frozen heart / An empty space.”  He goes on to claim that, “I just hang on / Suffer well / Sometimes it’s hard / It’s hard to tell.”  ‘John The Revelator’ (UK no. 18) is an ‘uptempo electronic track with a running religious theme.’  It is not a cover version of the 1930 blues song by Blind Willie Johnson, though it may have been inspired by this namesake.  The Depeche Mode song is an attack on corruption and religious righteousness.  It is quite fiery and more political/satirical than is customary for Depeche Mode.

In 2006 the marriage between Depeche Mode guitarist Martin Gore and Suzanna Boisvert ends in divorce.  From 2006 to 2008 Gore is in a romantic relationship with American woman Adelle Linau.

‘The Best Of Depeche Mode, Volume 1’ (2006) (UK no. 18, US no. 148) is a compilation album released on 13 November.  This set includes a new single, ‘Martyr’ (UK no. 13) – though it was actually recorded during the sessions for ‘Playing The Angel’.  A catchy – yet rubbery – guitar figure gives way to pulsing electronics on ‘Martyr’ as Dave Gahan professes, “I’ve been a martyr for love / Nailed up on the cross.”  The religious references remain a familiar characteristic of the band’s output.

Depeche Mode vocalist Dave Gahan issues his second solo album, ‘Hourglass’ (2007) (UK no. 50, US no. 120), on 22 October.  This set yields the singles ‘Kingdom’ (UK no. 44) and ‘Saw Something / Deeper And Deeper’ (UK no. 103).

From 2008 to 2009 Depeche Mode guitarist Martin Gore is in a romantic relationship with American woman Castira Twigg.

A new Depeche Mode album, ‘Sounds Of The Universe’ (2009) (UK no. 2, US no. 3, AUS no. 32), is released on 17 April.  The previous year Depeche Mode split from their U.S. label (Reprise, a subsidiary of Warner Bros.), so this is the band’s first release on EMI Worldwide – though they remain on the Mute label in the U.K.  Keyboardist/bassist Andy Fletcher explains the album’s title, ‘Sounds Of The Universe’, this way: “We wanted to come across as a bit arrogant, but in a funny way.”  The first single, ‘Wrong’ (UK no. 24), is a wonky chant-along: “I was born with the wrong sign / In the wrong house…That led to the wrong tendencies…There’s something wrong with me chemically / Something wrong with me inherently.”  Songwriter Martin Gore shares the lead vocals with Dave Gahan for ‘Peace’ (UK no. 57).  This is a song that sounds like synth-pop squeezed through EDM (electronic dance music) and aimed at the club crowd.

Depeche Mode’s 2009-2010 ‘Tour of the Universe’ is incident packed.  On 12 May 2009 at a Depeche Mode gig in Athens, Greece, vocalist Dave Gahan says he feels ill while still in his dressing room.  He is taken to hospital.  It is found that Gahan has a malignant tumour in his bladder.  The growth is removed but some shows have to be postponed.  Gahan undergoes cancer treatment through the rest of the tour.  On 9 July 2009 Dave Gahan tears a calf muscle while on stage in Bilbao, Spain.  Two shows are cancelled due to the injury.  Rounding out this run of misfortune, a show in Seattle in the U.S.A. on 10 August 2009 has to be cancelled because Dave Gahan has strained his vocal cords.  Doctors sagely order the singer to get some rest.  Another notable show on this tour is at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 17 February 2010 that is used as a fundraiser for the teenage cancer trust.  Former Depeche Mode keyboardist Alan Wilder makes a guest appearance with his old comrades for this gig.

‘Remixes 2: 81-11’ (2011) (UK no. 24, US no. 105), released on 6 June, is a second set of reworkings of Depeche Mode songs, a sequel to the 2004 ‘Remixes 81-04’ album.  ‘Personal Jesus 2011’ (UK no. 119, AUS no. 73) is lifted from this new set as a single.  ‘Remixes 2: 81-11’ is the last Depeche Mode album in their brief association with EMI.

In 2011-2012 Depeche Mode guitarist Martin Gore teams up with former Depeche Mode keyboardist Vince Clarke under the banner of VCMG.  The duo releases the album ‘Ssss’ (2012) on 12 March.  VCMG also issues three EPs via the internet for download: ‘Spock’ on 30 November 2011, ‘Blip’ on 20 February 2012 and ‘Aftermaths’ on 20 August 2012.

Depeche Mode vocalist Dave Gahan lends his talents to ‘The Light The Dead See’ (2012) (UK no. 69).  This album is credited to Soulsavers, the ‘electronica production duo’ of Rick Machin and Ian Glover.  Dave Gahan not only provides vocals for this disc, he also pens the lyrics and collects a co-songwriting credit.  ‘The Light The Dead See’ is the fourth Soulsavers album but Gahan was not involved in their earlier albums.

‘Delta Machine’ (2013) (UK no. 2, US no. 6, AUS no. 16) is the title of the new Depeche Mode album released on 25 March.  It is the last of three consecutive Depeche Mode albums produced by Ben Hillier.  ‘Delta Machine’ is the band’s first work for their new record labels, Columbia (in the U.K.) and Sony (in the U.S. and other territories).  The disc still carries the Mute logo despite the new arrangement ‘due to their devotion to the label.’  (Mute continues its business even without Depeche Mode.)  The first single from ‘Delta Machine’ is the ‘dramatic ballad’ ‘Heaven’ (UK no. 60, AUS no. 22).  It is slow and deliberate, gospel-flavoured in a decadent kind of way.  “It flopped a bit because of the sound,” observes keyboardist Andy Fletcher.  “We’re old timers.  We thought radio might play a slower track.  Turns out, they won’t.  It does set the scene for the album though.”  Songwriter Martin Gore shares lead vocals with Dave Gahan on ‘Soothe My Soul’ (UK no. 88), a track marked by swaggering electronics and hand-claps.  ‘Should Be Higher’ (UK no. 81, AUS no. 60) is co-written by Dave Gahan and Kurt Uenala.  With whip-click percussion it sounds like a computer age version of film noir, the old-fashioned, shadowy tales of death and lust.

On 13 June 2014 Depeche Mode guitarist Martin Gore marries his second wife, a dancer named Kerrilee Kaski.  Martin and Kerrilee go on to have two daughters: Johnnie Lee (born on 16 February 2016) and Mazzy Lee (born on 13 March 2017).  This gives Martin Gore a total of five children, four daughters and a son.  The other three children – Viva (born on 6 June 1991), Ava (born in July 1995) and Kalo (born on 27 July 2002) – come from Martin’s marriage (1994-2006) to his first wife, Suzanne Boisvert.

‘Depeche Mode Live In Berlin’ (2014) (UK no. 64), released on 17 November, is a concert album recorded on 25-27 November 2013 at the O2 World venue in Berlin, Germany.

Depeche Mode guitarist Martin Gore releases his second solo album, ‘MG’ (2015) (UK no. 50), on 24 April.  On 9 October 2015 a (non-charting) ‘MG Remix’ EP is also issued.

Depeche Mode vocalist Dave Gahan reunites with Soulsavers for the album ‘Angels & Ghosts’ (2015) (UK no. 27), released on 23 October.  The fifth Soulsavers album is officially credited to ‘Dave Gahan + Soulsavers.’

Depeche Mode reconvene for ‘Spirit’ (2017) (UK no. 5, US no. 5, AUS no. 14), released on 17 March.  This disc is produced by James Ford.  The single ‘Where’s The Revolution’ is electronic rabble rousing ‘inspired by the outcome of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.’  ‘Where’s The Revolution’ fails to make a mark on the singles chart.  ‘You Move’ is the first Depeche Mode song to be co-written by regular author Martin Gore and newer songwriter Dave Gahan.  ‘Spirit’ is said to demonstrate that Depeche Mode ‘is still highly aware of their legacy and still refuse to let their quality control slip.’

So why were the songs of Depeche Mode characterised by religious imagery and dark sexuality?  Since the bulk of Depeche Mode’s material was composed by guitarist Martin Gore, perhaps the answer lies with him.  Although bassist Andy Fletcher and original keyboardist Vince Clarke met in the Boys’ Brigade – a Christian youth organisation – Martin wasn’t involved in that.  He met Fletch in a pub.  So organised religion was not as much a part of Martin’s development as it was for his bandmates.  Vocalist Dave Gahan flirted with the darker side of humanity – with his teenage lawbreaking, his drug indulgences – and Dave sometimes seemed to feel some link between his life experiences and Martin’s songs, but it doesn’t really explain Martin’s fascination with the subject.  “I always hate explaining away songs, because for me they mean something, and for other people, they’ll mean something absolutely different,” said Martin Gore.  Perhaps part of the appeal of Depeche Mode was this mystery, this inexplicable depth.  Listening to their songs over and over, searching for meaning, may be fruitless or it may be enlightening depending on the perceptions of the listener.  Whatever the result, the music of Depeche Mode exerted a strong and fascinating allure.  ‘Even when they positively glowed with brand new ambition and sweet driving youth, there was an insidious otherness about them, somewhere between shifty and charming, that suggested there was something powerful about this pop group.  They wanted to make the listener a believer – in the group, in what the group believed in – with a kind of dark force that could make a catchy throwaway pop song almost religious in intensity’.  ‘From shaky, synth pop beginnings, floppy-haired Depeche Mode defied their apparent disposability to become one of the world’s most popular and enduring electro-rock outfits’.

Sources:

  1. wikipedia.org as at 13 June 2017
  2. depechemodebiographie.de – no author credited – as at 15 June 2017
  3. ‘The Illustrated Rock Handbook’ – Edited by Roxanne Streeter, Ray Bonds (Salamander Books, 1983) p. 60, 126, 127, 218, 235, 256
  4. ‘Friday On My Mind’ by Ed Nimmervoll (Five Mile Press, 2004) p. 130, 135
  5. thewigfitsallheads.com – ‘Interview: Erasure’s Vince Clarke’ by Dagmar Patterson (15 July 2007) via 2 (above)
  6. ‘No. 1 Magazine’ – ‘Andy Fletcher – The Brigade Boy’ (18 May 1985) via 2 (above)
  7. ‘Die Welt’ (‘The World’ – German newspaper) – Interview with Andy Fletcher conducted by Max Dax (2009) – reproduced on electronicbeats.net – ‘From the Vaults – an Interview with Depeche Mode’s Andy Fletcher’
  8. ‘Mojo’ (U.K. rock magazine) – ‘Songs of Innocence and Experience’ – interview with Andy Fletcher conducted by Danny Eccleston (November 2005) via 2 (above)
  9. Notable Names Database – nndb.com – as at 15 June 2017
  10. Internet Movie Database – imdb.com – as at 17 June 2017
  11. thequietus.com – ‘People Are People: Martin Gore on Brexit & Finding Acceptance in the U.K.’ – interview conducted by Tim Burrows (10 April 2017)
  12. ‘No. 1 Magazine’ – ‘Part 2: Martin Gore – The Decadent Boy’ by Max Bell (11 May 1985) via 1 & 2 (above)
  13. ‘A Broken Frame Tour Programme’ (1982?) via 2 (above)
  14. ‘Uncut’ (U.K. rock magazine) – ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’ – interviews conducted by Stephen Dalton (May 2001) via 2 (above)
  15. brainyquote.com as at 18 June 2017
  16. whosdatedwho.com as at 15 June 2017
  17. ‘Washington Post’ (Washington, D.C., U.S.A. newspaper) – ‘Spotlight – Dave Gahan: In Full Work Mode’ – interview conducted by Richard Harrington (9 December 2005) (reproduced on washintonpost.com)
  18. ‘Stripped: The True Story of Depeche Mode’ by Jonathan Miller (Omnibus Press, 2004) p. 31 via 1 (above) [Dave Gahan]
  19. allmusic.com – ‘Depeche Mode’ by Jason Ankeny as at 16 June 2017
  20. thump.vice.com – ‘Depeche Mode Co-Founder Vince Clarke Finally Understands Dance Music’ – interview conducted by Bruce Tantum (11 June 2016)
  21. ‘Rolling Stone’ (U.S. rock magazine) – ‘This Band Wants Your Respect’ – interview by Jeff Giles (26 July 1990) p. 84-87 via 1 (above) [Depeche Mode]
  22. discogs.com as at 16 June 2017
  23. metrolyrics.com as at 17 June 2017
  24. ‘The Best of Depeche Mode Volume 1’ – Sleeve notes by Paul Morley (Mute, 2006) p. 3, 4, 8, 9
  25. ‘VH1 Behind the Music’ (U.S. cable television program) via 1 (above) [Vince Clarke – no date]
  26. ‘The History Of Rock’ by Mark Paytress (Parragon Books, 2011) p. 217
  27. HotNewsTV.ro (2 April 2010) via 2 (above) [Alan Wilder]
  28. ‘No. 1 Magazine’ – ‘Alan Wilder – The Band Boy’ (20 May 1985) via 2 (above)
  29. recoil.co.uk – via 2 (above) [Alan Wilder]
  30. ‘Depeche Mode: 101’ (1989) or ‘Depeche Mode – Everything Counts (Live)’ (1989) – directed by D.A. Pennebaker via 1 (above) [Andy Fletcher]
  31. ‘South Philly Review’ (Philadelphia, U.S.A., newspaper) – ‘On That Note: Comeback Mode’ – Martin Gore interview conducted by Ed Conran (25 May 2006) via 1 (above) [Depeche Mode – at the end]
  32. ‘New Musical Express’ (U.K. rock newspaper) – ‘Sin Machine’ – Martin Gore interview conducted by Stuart Maconte (17 February 1990) p. 34-35 via 1 (above) [‘Violator’ LP]
  33. ‘Spin’ (U.S. rock magazine) – ‘Pop a la Mode’ – Martin Gore interview conducted by Marisa Fox (4 July 1990) via 1 (above) [‘Personal Jesus’ song]
  34. prefixmag.com – ‘Dave Gahan: Interview’ by ‘jzipf’ (25 March 2008)
  35. ‘Rolling Stone’ (U.S. rock magazine) – ‘Black Celebration: Depeche Mode Look Back on “Violator” 25 Years Later’ – Martin Gore interview conducted by Kory Grow (4 March 2015) (reproduced on rollingstone.com)
  36. ‘The 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time’ – ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine (February 2004) p. 65
  37. Google search as at 15 June 2017 [for the date of Dave Gahan’s marriage to Teresa Conway]
  38. ‘The Guardian’ (U.K. newspaper) – ‘Dave Gahan: “People Would Throw Bags of Drugs On Stage”’ – interview conducted by Peter Robinson (8 October 2015) (reproduced on theguardian.com)
  39. ‘Arena’ (U.K. men’s magazine) – ‘Dead Man Talking’ – Dave Gahan interview conducted by Gareth Grundy (April 1997) via 1 (above) [Dave Gahan]
  40. contactmusic.com – ‘Gahan is Sick of Suicide Rumours’ – by WENN (29 March 2008) – though Dave Gahan’s anti-suicide comments themselves are actually quoted from an interview he gave to ‘Hustler’ magazine.
  41. ‘Billboard’ (U.S. rock magazine) Vol. 109 No. 11 – ‘Depeche Mode Back from the Brink’ – Andy Fletcher interview conducted by Paul Sexton (5 March 1997) via 1 (above) [Depeche Mode]
  42. ‘Daily News’ (Los Angeles, U.S.A., newspaper) – ‘Gahan no Longer in Such a Hurry’ – interview conducted by Phillip Zonkel (24 August 2003) via 1 (above) [Dave Gahan]
  43. ‘Herald Sun’ (Melbourne, Australia, newspaper) – review of ‘Delta Machine’ by Cameron Adams (4 April 2013) p. 44
  44. ‘Herald Sun’ (Melbourne, Australia, newspaper) –‘A New Mode of Thinking’ – Andy Fletcher interview conducted by Cameron Adams (4 April 2013) p. 43
  45. ‘Herald Sun’ (Melbourne, Australia, newspaper) – ‘In Quality Control Mode’ – review of ‘Spirit’ by Cameron Adams (23 March 2017) p. 37

 

Song lyrics copyright EMI Publishing Ltd. / Assigned by Grabbing Hands Ltd. with the exceptions of: ‘Dreaming Of Me’, ‘Love In Itself’, ‘Blasphemous Rumours’, ‘Policy Of Truth’, ‘Barrel Of A Gun’, ‘Only When I Lose Myself’ and ‘Wrong’ (all Sony Music Publishing); ‘New Life’ and ‘I Just Can’t Get Enough’ (both Musical Moments Ltd. / Sony Music Publishing); ‘Stripped’ (EMI Music Publishing); ‘I Feel You’ and ‘Walking In My Shoes’ (both EMI Music Publishing Ltd. / Assigned by Grabbing Hands Music Overseas Ltd); ‘Condemnation’, ‘Useless’, ‘Freelove’ and ‘Goodnight Lovers’ (all EMI Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC); and ‘Suffer Well’ (JJSR Productions Inc. / Universal Music Publishing Ltd.)

 

Last revised 8 July 2017

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