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Why Depeche Mode ruled Post Punk | POP FIX | Professor of Rock

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The First Depeche Mode song that I heard was People are People in 1984. Mostly because it was a #13 hit and I listened to Casey Kasem’s American top 40 religiously. I liked the song at the time but, it didn’t connect me to the band, it was sort of a blip.


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The First time I really heard Depeche Mode was when I was in 7th grade. One of them brought a boom box and was playing a mix tape of a bunch of new wave and punk songs. David Gahan’s noir like vocal that harmonized perfectly with Martin pristine tenor, the words “ My little girl, drive anywhere… It was poetry in motion. I wanted to enter into that atmosphere and never come back. I ran out into the court and yelled repeatedly, Hey who is this band, what’s this song. Ignoring the athletic competition going on I didn’t care I had to know. I got knocked to the ground and a bunch of them laughed at me. Then one kid held out his hand and helped me up and said It’s a band called Depeche Mode a new wave band. They’re amazing, aren’t they?

I went to the library and checked out every book they had (which wasn’t much) on new wave music. Mostly Encylopedias on Popular music which gave some information on the genre and key bands. Of course this was before the internet. I borrowed every album that this older class men would allow and I took every dime I had and tried to buy all of the albums I was reading about and hearing. Anyway, I went out and bought Violater and Catching UP with Depeche Mode new wave album. Since that’s all the music land had at the mall a few towns away. I poured over every detail. I found out that Erasure’s Vincent Clark had been in the band at one point. I listened to all of the songs.

The front cover of Catching Up with Depeche Mode was an experience. I loved this band. They were so different than everything I knew… Van Halen, Journey, even the Beatles.
Songs like Policy of Truth with it’s neo noir sound, that conveyed that we have to live with whatever we reveal about ourselves, whether it’s a lie or the truth. Then there were songs that were so brutally hardcore, you couldn’t mince Martin words or the way David Gahan communicated them vocally… Songs like Never Let Me Down, The Things You Said, Fly on the Windsreen, Black Celebration and the savagely dark Blasphemous Rumors. Though hard to hear sometimes, you couldn’t look away, you couldn’t shut it off. Their albums were tight. almost no filler. Especially on

Andy Fletcher’s role in the band has been widely speculated, though members have joked that he looks after the office. Martin even once saying: maybe we should set up a fax machine for him on stage) DEPECHE MODE has tattooed it’s mark on the hearts and the minds of multiple generations and have fashioned a live show that is second to none. I would argue that Depeche Mode 101, their live record from 1988 is my generation’s equivalent of The Last Waltz. Having said that Here is my Depeche Mode 5er. by the way that’s my new word for the Professor of Rock top5 I call it a 5er. My top 5 Depeche mode recorded performances. I’m adding one caveat: This is my DM 80s top 5.

5# Strangelove : This song is just undeniable. A no doubt about it Dm classic new wave. I love David’s vocal and so many great one liners from Martin. I’ll Make Your Heart Smile, I give in to sin, because you have to make this life livable, and my favorite: pain, will you return it, I won’t say it again.

#4 Everything counts: A song about corporate greed that was written when the band was experimenting with new technology that was available like Emulators and Synclaviers. It also features the back and forth lead vocals of Gahan and Martin.

#3 A Question of Lust. This is one of Martin most heart wrenching compositions with vocals that match it.

#2 Behind the Wheel/ Route 66 the band took the pop standard Route 66 and combined it with their own Behind the Wheel and somehow they give Nat King Cole a run for his money.

#1 Stripped. When you hear the sound effect of the car starting up and then the synth part comes in, it raises you to different plane of reality and it doesn’t matter that it takes nearly 90 seconds until David Gahan comes in with is extraordinary croon.

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