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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > Aug-18 > DEPECHE MODE

DEPECHE MODE

WITNESS THE MUSICAL GROWING PAINS OF A BAND AS THE ESSEX ELECTRO-POPPERS GET TO GRIPS WITH A NEW LINE-UP AND THEIR OWN EMERGING SOUND

SPEAK & SPELL & A BROKEN FRAME – 12” SINGLES

© Virginia Turbett/Redferns/Getty Images

SONY

Few embryonic bands can ever have been quite so schizophrenic as Depeche Mode.

Between their 1981 debut album, Speak & Spell and the next year’s follow-up, A Broken Frame, the Essex electro-poppers began to reinvent their musical sound, feel and philosophy. The reason for this was obvious.

After the release of Speak & Spell, the band’s founder and chief songwriter, Vince Clarke, quit the fold, at odds with the other group members and rattled by unwanted press intrusion into his life.

Keyboardist Martin Gore, to that point a low-key, reticent band figure, was left with no choice but to step up.

This sea change in the band’s early methodology is starkly illustrated by these two vinylonly boxsets of the singles that were taken from the opening albums. They’re rudimentary releases, composed purely of the remastered A-sides and B-sides of the original 12” singles (or, in the case of their debut, Dreaming Of You, which never made it to 12”, the 7”). Vince Clarke’s creative fingerprints are all over the Speak & Spell set, which majors in the lightweight yet spectacularly seductive strain of perkily positivist synth-pop that he later transferred to Yazoo and Erasure.

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About Classic Pop

In the latest issue of Classic Pop, our cover star is the mighty Rick Astley. We have an exclusive in-depth chat with the singer as he returns with new record Beautiful Life – the pressure's on as he attempts to follow up his hit album 50. Synth-pop icons Heaven 17 look back on their superb LP The Luxury Gap and the legends keep on coming this month as The Human League talk us through their back catalogue, album by album. For ABBA fans, we go behind the scenes with Carl Magnus Palm for the inside track on their career in the recording studio and also serve up a buyer's guide to Sweden's finest. We travel Down Under to speak to Dannii Minogue as she relives her Neon Nights album 15 years on – it's the record that transformed her into a bona fide dancefloor icon. Massive Attack's imperious Blue Lines is our Classic Album this issue and we also meet Jennifer Warnes to talk about her brand new studio LP as well as her Oscar-winning songs that soundtracked the 80s. Our packed reviews section features new albums from All Saints, Gorillaz, The Proclaimers, Rick Astley and Gabrielle and many more while the reissues take in a superb Soft Cell boxset, Depeche Mode 12" singles, Morrissey and Jean-Michel Jarre. On the gig front, we're bowled over by an astonishing David Byrne live show, travel to the Isle of Wight Festival to see Depeche Mode and check out two legends, George Benson and Quincy Jones. Enjoy the issue! Steve Harnell Editor Classic Pop