Depeche Now?



I wasn’t what you’d call a fan of the band Depeche Mode, I was more a New Order man (see here). In my teens I owned two albums they released in the 80’s, namely Some Great Reward from 1984 (bringing us the hit single “People Are People“) and Black Celebration from ’86 (no discernable hits, “A Question Of Time” maybe?).

Recently I read an article recounting the trials and tribulations of the band, focusing on the impact troubled member Dave Gahan’s substance abuse and subsequent ego had on the other members. It was a such a good read, it made me want to re-evaluate the band’s music, in particular, the album Violator. This album is heralded as the band’s masterpiece, the one that broke them open to a worldwide arena. Produced by UK studio maestro, Flood (Psychic TV, U2, NIN etc etc) Violator combines “upfront lyrical emotional extremism”, coral orchestration, hip hop beats, Motown funk and hooks galore.
I’ve never heard it.

Always in the endless pursuit for life affirming/changing pop music and easily influenced by hyperbolic journalism, I’m going to give it a listen over the next week or so, and see if it gets under my skin. Stay tuned for the results.


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  1. Yeah New Order always had a considerable edge on DM – both share a tendency for silly lyrics and amazing music videos (Enjoy The Silence and Never Let Me Down Again are probably the pick of DM’s videos). Violator is probably the best DM album – I was listening to Johnny Cash’s cover of Personal Jesus on the train the other morning – but if you compare it to New Order’s Technique which was released in the same year it really pales in comparison. DM’s strength lies, perhaps, in their ability to choose and use interesting remixers – one of the earliest Portishead tracks was a DM remix, well before Portishead released Dummy; likewise they’ve used Octagon Man, Kid 606 etc.

  2. Two things:

    1. Thank the lord for you guys getting a blog together – at last a decent Aussie blog about music not necessarily made by bands with guitars in pubs – hooray for Cyclic Defrost!!

    2. I really hope you do enjoy this album – I am certainly not a big DM fan, but Violator still absolutely floats my boat as an album. Blue dress I think is an incredible tune – interestingly given Seb’s mention of Portishead, I think they have done a cover of it – not as good as the original though, unfortunately.

    I also think they were better than New Order in their time – even if that has largely gone. Tunes like See You would rival even Blue Monday for me!

  3. The first time I had acid (1991), a guy I was with played Violator… the rest is history ;)
    “Let me take you on a trip
    Around the world and back
    And you won’t have to move
    You just sit still…” Woah, that was deep!