Sunday, October 09, 2005

So what happened to Depeche Mode?

I am a Depeche Mode nut! Growing up, DM seemed to resonate with me. Martin Gore's lyrics, the avant guarde nature of their music, the phases they went through.

And boy have they gone through a whole lot of phases. They certainly have some stamina - watch out Rolling Stones, we may see Depeche Mode last 40 years from their appearance at the beginning of the eighties.

Depeche Mode are credited with being one of the most influencial bands of my time. Vince Clark, now of Eurasia, once of Yazoo, started with the Depeche Mode boys. DM defined the eighties synth that was to become techno. They graduated from that to the harder edge of Songs of Faith and Devotion.

The harder edge almost destroyed David Gahan who fronted the image and took its drug fuelled excesses to the brink as he overdosed on a heroin / cocaine speedball. He survived.

The band came back with Exciter. Sadly it was not one of their most exciting albums. Nothing like the incredible Ultra.

I was at the Songs of Faith and Devotion concert in Cape Town in the early nineties. It was amazing - Depeche Mode are known as a fantastic live act. They were enjoying themselves in South Africa and Cape Town in particular. Apparently, whereever they played, they'd fly back to Cape Town to party at Deviate, a techno club above the then infamous goth club called The Playground. Not surprising considering the phase the band was going through and the fact that Deviate was the biggest drugs scene around.

While the Exciter album was only average, the DVD was fantastic. It was a recording of a live stage performance in Paris - I highly recommend it if you want to get a taste of their live act.

Now DM are back. In breaking news, brought to you by IITQ, we can tell you that the new album Playing the Angel has just been released. The first single is titled Precious and in an exclusive preview, we bring to you the music video for the song. Click here to launch the Apple Quicktime video (10 MB). We really like the sound. A really mellow, slightly melancholy feel with some beautiful Martin Gore lyrics.

You can watch the Electronic Press Kit for the album here (Apple Quicktime, 29,6MB).

Lyrics for Precious from Playing the Angel by Martin Gore

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

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

Angels with silver wings
Shouldn't know suffering
I wish I could take the pain for you
If God has a master plan
That only He understands
I hope it's your eyes He's seeing through

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

I pray you learn to trust
Have faith in both of us
And keep room in your hearts for two

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

The album has just gone on sale in Europe and the UK and will go on sale in the US from October the 11th.

To go to the Depeche Mode site, click here. It's an award winning site with tonnes of DM stuff.
To see information about the new album, click here.

I see that the band has a tour lined up, but with no dates yet slated for a South African appearance. MMmmm. Might have to catch them in New York or Europe. The tour line up is here.


LiVEwiRe said...

Depeche Mode will always remind me of college. Always. Not that it's a bad thing, they just represented such a huge, important portion of my life that it's bound to remain. I don't think I ever saw them, tho. I went to an art college though so everyone looked like them or Robert Smith.

It is the question said...

Yeah! Big hair, makeup, stove pipe pants, Doc Martins...

Martin Gore still looks a little edgy - black nail polish for example!

Hopefully everyone at art college does not look like Marilyn Manson now.

tripeak said...

They're a feature on Top Billing this Thursday. So have a look out for that. I'll be watching OTH. :)

It is the question said...

Oh wow! Hopefully they play more than the press kit I put in this blog entry.

Awesome new single.

ChittyChittyBangBang! said...

I was kinda fond of Depeche Mode when I was younger, although it seems you are a true fan in comparison.
Nice post, mate.

It is the question said...

You should revisit them. Ultra was great (easpecially the song "Free State"). I really like the new song too.

Anonymous said...

Me too- enjoyed them hugely. After Top Billing last night must say I've signed on the fan list again


Dr O2 said...

They've got a different taste. Have not been able to understand their notes or get to liking their tunes but there is no doubting their greatness. Many of my friends like them to death. It has passed a long time since we heard of them last. Now seems like they're back.