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Depeche Mode

Depeche Mode

Fact Sheet

Musical genre:Pop, Electronica  
Country  England, UK
Years active1980-
Depeche Mode is a synth pop band founded in 1980 in the town of Basildon, England by:
  • Vince Clarke (songwriting, keyboards, backing vocals)
  • Andrew Fletcher (keyboards, backing vocals)
  • David Gahan (vocals)
  • Martin Gore (songwriting, keyboards, vocals)
The band's name (pidgin French for "Fast Fashion", or "Fashion Today/Now/Dispatch" which meant "Fashion News" in common french) was inspired by a French fashion magazine of a similar name.

Verbally contracted to Daniel Miller's Mute label, Depeche Mode are one of the most successful of the New Wave/New Romantic bands.

After the release of Speak & Spell, their first album, song-writer Clarke left the band and went on to form Yazoo (Yaz in the US) with Alison Moyet, The Assembly with Feargal Sharkey, Dave Clempson and Eric Radcliffe, and later Erasure with Andy Bell.

After the release of A Broken Frame in 1982, Alan Wilder joined the band as a permanent replacement for Clarke and Martin Gore took over as the band's primary song-writer.

In the early 1980s the band's popularity was largely confined to Europe (particularly Germany) and their style was Synth pop. In 1984 Depeche Mode made in-roads into America, which spawned the US-only release of Catching Up With Depeche Mode.

In the intervening years between the mid-80's and 90's, the band's popularity in the US grew to massive proportions. The 101 tour culminated in a final concert at the Pasadena Rose Bowl with a sell-out attendance of 80,000 (the highest in 8 years for the venue). The tour was documented in a film by D.A. Pennebaker, recently released on DVD, which is notable for an element of fan interaction.

1993's Songs Of Faith And Devotion was released to huge acclaim and went straight to number one in the US.

In June 1995 after the Devotional tour, Alan Wilder left the band citing unsatisfactory internal working conditions, to continue work on his personal project Recoil.

2003 saw the release of Dave Gahan's solo album, Paper Monsters, followed by a worldwide tour and a DVD taken from it, titled Live Monsters, Martin Gore continued his solo career with the release of Counterfeit 2, and Andrew Fletcher launched his own label, Toast Hawaii.