Synth-rock-pop band Depeche Mode released their new album Memento Mori on March 24th, with which they are touring worldwide. We look back on a unique band history, their albums and legendary hits and also tell you when and where you can see the band in your area soon.
Depeche Mode grew out of a band called Composition of Sound, which included Vince Clarke, Martin Gore and Andrew Fletcher. When David Gahan was hired as singer in 1980, he suggested the new name after a French fashion magazine and the legendary story began with the release of the first single “Dreaming of Me”.
After the first album, Vince Clarke left the band in 1981 to go his own way, first with Yazoo and finally Erasure. Martin Gore took over the songwriting and Depeche Mode brought keyboardist Alan Wilder into the band.
The band’s most commercially successful period followed, with more and more top 10 hits and a musical development that, after industrial influences, also included more and more acoustic instruments.
When Alan Wilder left the band in 1995, the trio continued. Since the late ’90s, Depeche Mode have been supported live by Austrian Christian Eigner on drums and Englishman Peter Gordeno on keys. In 2022, Andrew Fletcher died far too young at just 60 years old. Since then the band has continued as a duo.
The new album Memento Mori
The new album “Memento Mori” (Latin, roughly, for “Be aware of mortality”) with 12 songs has been on the market since March 26th, 2023. It was written before Andrew Fletcher died, but without his doing, according to Gahan and Gore. The song “Ghost Again” was released as the first single. The album was received very positively, even if Depeche Mode have long since moved away from the big single hits of the ’80s. Rather, there are a lot of insights into the inner life of the two remaining members and a musical cross-section through their work of at least the last 30 years.
Depeche Mode Albums & Songs
To date, Depeche Mode have released 15 studio albums, 4 live albums, 21 compilations and over 50 singles. After the first work “Speak & Spell”, the second album “A Broken Frame” was groundbreaking for the further Depeche Mode sound. The fourth album, Some Great Reward, features the hits “People Are People” and “Master And Servant” that firmly established the band on the ’80s music scene.
The sixth album “Music for the Masses” was followed by a 101-concert tour, which not only resulted in a concert and road movie, but also the live album “101” with the live hit single “Everything Counts”. This song was already heard on the third album “Construction Time Again” as a studio recording and was also released as a single in 1983.
The album “Violator” followed in 1990, which many critics and fans consider to be Depeche Mode’s best album. The first single from the album “Personal Jesus” already testified to the new sound of the band, which now increasingly mixed electronic sounds with acoustic elements and guitars. The single “Enjoy the Silence” is Depeche Mode’s most commercially successful song to date.
A stylistic development followed in the ’90s. Synth-pop became synth-rock and eventually the band was even considered an alternative rock band by many. This did not detract from the success, “Songs of Faith and Devotion” from 1993 reached #1 worldwide, the albums “Ultra” (1997), “Exciter” (2001), “Playing the Angel” (2005), Sounds of the Universe (2009), Delta Machine (2013) and Spirit (2017) were no less successful. There were also always successful singles, such as “I Feel You” (1993), “Precious” (2005) or “Heaven”, which made it to number 2 in the German Single Charts in 2013.
Depeche Mode Memento Mori World Tour 2023
A gigantic world tour was also announced with the new album, which will also bring Depeche Mode to Germany. Here are the tour dates:
Depeche Mode – their instruments
In their now more than 40-year career, Depeche Mode have had just about every classic analogue and digital synthesizer and sampler under their fingers, but they also only do playback for television appearances. Everything from Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 to the Moog Minimoog is represented here. If you want to see their typical live set of the ’80s, you should definitely watch the film “101”, in which Alan Wilder gives many insights into his setup on stage.
Since the band works with different producers and their instruments, there will certainly be a lot of sound generators that are not in their possession. Very well known, however, is Martin Gore’s gigantic Eurorack setup, which takes up several walls of his studio and is probably one of the largest Eurorack collections on the planet.
What are your memories and experiences with Depeche Mode? Do you have favorite albums and songs? Let us know in a comment!