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WORLD VIOLATION

HAS A BAND EVER SUFFERED FOR THEIR ART AS MUCH AS DEPECHE MODE? IF YOU WERE JUST TO TAKE THE 1990s AS A SNAPSHOT, YOU’D THINK NOT. THIS WAS A DECADE THAT DELIVERED THE BAND’S GREATEST MUSICAL HIGHS BUT ALSO THEIR LOWEST OF PERSONAL LOWS AS A DEPARTURE, A NEAR-DEATH, ADDICTIONS AND DEPRESSION NEARLY FINISHED THEM OFF. STILL, WE DID GET THEIR TWO FINEST MUSICAL HOURS…
Depeche Mode Mk2 at the top of their game: Martin Gore, Andrew Fletcher, Dave Gahan and Alan Wilder

Where to start with Depeche Mode in the 1990s? Well, perhaps obviously with the song that closed the previous decade, Personal Jesus, and the one that opened this one, World In My Eyes. Both were magnificent calling cards for the forthcoming (and some would argue best) Depeche Mode album, Violator. Both had prominent guitars, and this ongoing blend of synths and live instruments would continue through the next album Songs Of Faith And Devotion to open up the doors of world domination to the band from Basildon. Depeche Mode had already conquered the States by the end of the 1980s – just watch that Rose Bowl Performance from 1988 in Pasadena, California once again. Yet this double-whammy of recordings would take them onto another level entirely, even finally earning the band the recognition they had so long deserved on their home soil.

In 1990, Violator gave us a perfect electronic blend of synths and guitars, while the follow-up, 1993’s Songs Of Faith And Devotion, took the theme even further, and to just as successful heights. Both albums encapsulated the sound of a band at their peak, and both gave them a huge worldwide audience. But with world domination comes excess in excess: the adulation and crushing addictions, the god-like status and gutter-like existence, and the searing peaks and the deepest, darkest troughs.

THE DOUBLE-WHAMMY OF VIOLATOR AND SONGS OF FAITH AND DEVOTION WOULD TAKE DEPECHE MODE ON TO ANOTHER LEVEL ENTIRELY, EVEN FINALLY EARNING THEM RECOGNITION ON HOME SOIL

The huger the albums and the consequent tours, the more out of control life eventually got for Depeche Mode, and Dave Gahan in particular. Between 1993 and 1996 he suffered from at least one heart attack, tried to commit suicide (twice) and then OD’d on a speedball, after which he did die for a couple of minutes, even managing an out-of-body experience along the way. There’s rock‘n’roll, and then there’s Depeche Mode rock‘n’roll…

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About Classic Pop Presents

In our latest special edition 132-page magazine we explore the world of synth-pop pioneers Depeche Mode. We follow the band’s epic story – decade-by-decade – from their genesis in Basildon as synth-loving adolescents with Vince Clarke at the helm, through to the present day as a globally famous three-piece with over 100 million record sales under their belts. Classic Pop Presents turn the spotlight onto classic albums from every era of the group’s evolution including Speak & Spell, Black Celebration, Violator, Songs Of Faith And Devotion, Exciter and latest LP Spirit – plus, we go behind the scenes via exclusive interviews with Depeche’s Martin Gore and Dave Gahan, as well as producers Tim Simenon, Ben Hillier and James Ford. We also sit down with the two directors of pioneering tour film 101 to hear how they captured the reality of ‘Mode on the road’. Also inside, we deliver our definitive Top 40 Depeche Mode playlist as well as highlighting some lesser-spun gems; we survey the band’s videography and revisit their mammoth global tours through the years. Add to that our in-depth feature on Depeche’s many collaborators, our investigation into collectable vinyl from their back catalogue and much more besides – it’s an unmissable issue!