Depeche Mode

By Simon Parker

With the release of ‘Spirit’ I found myself thinking about Depeche Mode. They’ve been in my life for so long now that I take them for granted. Nevertheless, they remain big heroes of mine. For I still recall the distinctly sniffy attitude the rock fraternity gave them when they burst out of the blocks back in 1981...

I was at secondary school when the bands’ glorious debut LP Speak and Spell was released. Chock full of great tunes and nifty analogue sounds, it’s gone on to become a landmark album in synth pop. But following chief-songwriter Vince Clarke’s departure in early 1982, the band took a few wrong turns and made several simply OK records before the brilliant run of Some Great Reward (underrated-revisit it!), Black Celebration and Music For The Masses. Given time and a decent record company (take a bow, Mute Records) Depeche Mode had transformed into a world-sleighing tour de force. By career-highpoint Violator, even America had fallen in love with the Essex futurists and on one glorious night in 1988 the triumphant sound of synth pop filled the Rose Bowl with not a drummer in sight. The rock fraternity has been noticeably quieter in its put downs of synth pop ever since...

Songs of Faith and Devotion followed in 1993 and remains a favourite of mine. Full of dark, haunted beauty, the album cemented the bands world-beating status and I always try and keep it in stock at Vinyl Revolution. If I'm honest, following Songs Of… I stopped paying such close attention for a while, but Playing The Angel (2005) would go on to spark a creative rebirth for the band which has been building steadily ever since. 2017’s Spirit is more focused and angrier than should be expected from a bunch of ageing multi-millionaires, the album containing several latter-day Mode classics none more so than lead-off single Where’s The Revolution which chimes neatly with the Vinyl Revolution brand name and ethos. Yes, it has is already become our shop anthem!!

The best bands go in and out of fashion a good few times in careers that span decades, but the important thing is they always do come back in the end. For this, Depeche Mode are Vinyl Revolution heroes.