Depeche Mode (/dəˌpɛʃ-, diː-, dɪ-/) are an English electronic music band formed in Basildon, Essex in 1980. The group as of now consists of a trio of Dave Gahan (lead vocals and co-songwriting), Martin Gore (keyboards, guitar, co-lead vocals, and main songwriting), and Andy Fletcher (keyboards).
Depeche Mode released their debut album Speak & Spell in 1981, bringing the band onto the British new wave scene. Founding member Vince Clarke left after the release of the album; they recorded A Broken Frame as a trio. Gore took over as the main songwriter and, later in 1982, Alan Wilder replaced Clarke, establishing a lineup that continued for 13 years.
Depeche Mode has had 54 songs in the UK Singles Chart and 17 top 10 albums in the UK chart; they have sold more than 100 million records worldwide. Q included the band in the list of the “50 Bands That Changed the World!”. Depeche Mode also ranks number 98 on VH1’s “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. In December 2016, Billboard named Depeche Mode the 10th most successful dance club artist of all time. They were nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017 and 2018 and will be inducted as part of the Class of 2020. Here are all of Depeche Mode albums ranked.
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10. A Broken Frame (1982)
“As far as the album itself, Depeche Mode themselves acknowledge it’s not one of their best. There are some gems on this one, including Leave in Silence, My Secret Garden, and Shouldn’t Have Done That/The Sun & the Rainfall. I don’t remember hearing the instrumental Nothing to Fear on the CD, and didn’t realize how cool it is. There is cheese like The Meaning of Love as well. It’s kind of mixed bag.”
9. Construction Time Again (1983)
“The theme of this album was Construction and industrial sounds generated by songwriter Martin Gore .. The lead single, ‘Everything Counts’ was a great track indicating capitalistic greed and business and targeting Margaret Thatcher’s government in 1983 Britain… Other great tracks here include Pipeline, Two Minute Warning … An apocalyptic theme and ‘The Landscape is Changing’ …. An Environmental theme focussing on everyday scientific reports of Global Warming and the Greenhouse Effect that were speculated upon far too often suggesting that mankind was ruining the planet.A great album for hardcore DM fans like me … Highly recommended !”
8. Delta Machine (2013)
“Incredibly, this is the third Depeche Mode album from the same production team. I say “incredibly” because they are all totally different. No repetition here! The only similarity really is that they are all utterly brilliant .”Playing The Angel” and “Sounds Of The Universe” spawned such gems as “I Want It All” and “Fragile Tension” and “Delta Machine” as a whole is arguably even better. “
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7. Playing the Angel (2005)
“It’s an album that definitely requires multiple listens to truly appreciate what it has to offer. Dave Gahan gets his first crack at writing for a depeche mode album and, now having Paper Monsters under his belt, doesn’t waste the opportunity, with “Suffer Well” (gotta love that guitar riff) & “Nothing’s Impossible” being two of the best songs on the album. He’s never sounded better. Martin Gore’s “Precious” is a standout song all its own (and is the first from the album to obtain single status). No doubt one of the most private and personal songs of his career, dealing with his own divorce and having to handle how it affects his children.”
6. Some Great Reward (1984)
“With the release of Some Great Reward, the real Depeche Mode were taking shape for the firs time; it had already the DM characteristic cynical introspective lyrics, dark brooding music and aggressive industrial noises.All in all I find Some Great Ward a satisfyingly dark album, showcasing the real Mode sound and topics for the first time. Some great reward’ is the album that came to define the depeche mode *sound.* it’s cold and detached, it’s pervy undertones bubbling just below the surface.”
5. Ultra (1997)
“Ultra, released in 1997, definitely feels like a late 90’s electronic album with its grunge and alternative influence, and it definitely matches the emotion and dark, empty feeling that many bands were conveying in their lyrical messages during that decade. A lot of the grunge and alternative scene focused on the depravity, decay and desensitized attitude of a young generation that’s dealing with distrust, aftermath of wars, and the onset of global technology with the boom of the internet and technological advances of getting their music to the masses quicker, along with world/current events becoming more common knowledge to the mainstream.”
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4. Music for the Masses (1987)
“Music For The Masses – an ironic tongue-in-cheek title given purely because the band had become rather alternative. It’s an album that probably wouldn’t ring any bells with the British record-buying public unless they were Depeche Mode fans. However, on the continent (especially Germany and eastern Europe) and an ever-growing part of America, Depeche Mode’s craft really was music for the masses. This was the period when Depeche went truly global, embarking on a huge world tour that culminated in the 101st concert, performed at the Pasadena Rose Bowl to around 70,000 people. Not bad for a British electronic four-piece armed only with synths, a tape recorder and leather jackets galore.”
3. Songs of Faith and Devotion (1993)
“Songs Of Faith And Devotion (in and towards the female sexuality) is my overall favorite album of Depeche Mode. Perhaps it contains not quite as many beautiful melodies as Music For The Masses but the music of Songs includes more layers of sound and its complex beauty ends up growing on me more. From the raw and simple synthesizer driven melodies to deafening elaborate textures of noise, we have had the taste of everything in between.”
2. Black Celebration (1986)
“They broke into mold with this album, Black Celebration was a before and after the band. I met them a little before the release of this album and it was an event, they printed a work that made them immortal, forever Depeche Mode. The real gem contained in this box is called L12BONG11 which is nothing more than the limited edition version of “A question of Lust” released in 1986 only in audio cassette with lots of texts and photos printed on the inside cover. For real collectors.”
1. Violator (1990)
“As history shows, Depeche Mode achieved mass critical and public success with the release of Violator. In many ways Violator was the building and coming together of the perfect storm: Martin Gore was at his songwriting best, the prolific and always adventurous Flood came in as producer, remix legend Francois Kevorkian was also on board as engineer and Alan Wilder had taken even greater control in the studio, a key component in cultivating the sound of the album.”