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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines




© Ebet Roberts/Redferns


Depeche Mode’s weighty singles reissue campaign continues apace with this latest instalment – two 12”vinyl boxset packages based around the singles taken from their fifth and sixth albums. They both capture the band in transition.

By 1986’s Black Celebration, Depeche were notably reacting against the gentle media mockery that had greeted upbeat, pop-trifle Top 10 hits such as Everything Counts and People Are People. Compared to its predecessor, Some Great Reward, Martin Gore was determined the album had to be “a lot heavier, harder and darker”.

It was. Press-ganged by Mute boss Daniel Miller into aping filmmaker Werner Herzog by recording Black Celebration over an intensive four-month period with no breaks, Depeche produced an album that was suitably insular and claustrophobic.

Melodies were out: ambient mood pieces and brooding atmospherics were in. The singles and B-sides on this five-disc set reflect that tendency – as well as an intriguing paradox. Hitting No.4, Black Celebration became the Mode’s highest-charting album to date. It was also the first one not to spawn any UK Top 10 singles.

Lead single Stripped, featured here via Flood’s stark Highland Mix, was a fantastic playframe for Dave Gahan’s velvet baritone, but A Question Of Lust and A Question Of Time were gloomy, melancholic throbs, albeit highly seductive ones. 1985 singles Shake The Disease and It’s Called A Heart, included on the deluxe version of the original album, are baffling omissions here.

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About Classic Pop

In our latest issue, we take an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the latest archive release from Prince. Originals gathers together tantalising demos from the iconic songwriter that became hits in the hands of other artists, from The Bangles and Martika to Kenny Rogers. We talk to those who knew Prince best for the inside track on this fascinating new album. So much more than just a founder member of Duran Duran, Stephen Duffy returns with a new Lilac Time album and a reissue of his superb solo LP I Love My Friends. Classic Pop shares a pint with him for an entertaining chat. Elsewhere, we find out if the B52s are serious about hanging up their microphones as they return to the UK for a farewell tour. Is this really the last goodbye from the art-pop party starters? We meet the band to get the definitive answer. In our new album-by-album feature, we take an in-depth look at the recording career of Talk Talk, from reluctant New Romantic poster boys to an outfit that explored the furthest reaches of art-rock. Legendary producer Trevor Horn talks us through his life in vinyl and we catch up with Colin Hay to delve into the troubled history of Men At Work. Our classic album is OMD’s career pinnacle Architecture & Morality and we also look at the 80s British reggae scene including chats with the key players from the era. Our packed new album reviews section includes Prince, Mark Ronson, The Divine Comedy, Hot Chip and more. On the reissues front, we serve up a tasty selection including Depeche Mode, Blancmange, Ian Dury & The Blockheads and a five-star review of Abba. In our live reviews section, we check out gigs by ABC, Wet Wet Wet, Suede, Bananarama and more.