Depeche Mode - Playing The Angel
Playing The Angel
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Notes / Reviews

Playing the Angel, released on 17 October 2005, is the eleventh full-length album by Depeche Mode. It was supported by the Touring the Angel tour.


The album is the first of Depeche Mode's to feature Dave Gahan as co-writer: three of the tracks' ("Suffer Well", "I Want It All" and "Nothing's Impossible").Quan, Denise. . May 13, 2009. Gahan wrote the lyrics to these songs, while Christian Eigner and Andrew Phillpott wrote the music. Gahan is the lead singer on all songs except for the instrumental "Introspectre", and Martin Gore-sung tracks "Macro" and "Damaged People". Gahan also sings backing vocals on "Macro", which was the first time he had sung backing on one of Gore's songs since Violators "Sweetest Perfection".

The name "Playing the Angel" is taken from a lyric in the closing song "The Darkest Star". It is the third Depeche Mode album to get its name from a lyric in its album, the other two being Construction Time Again and Some Great Reward.

The album has been called a more organic record for using more analog synths than digital ones. In addition, most of the soundscapes presented are harsher and groovier than the more mellow Exciter.

In mid-July 2005, the unfinished video for "Precious" was leaked online. It is believed to have been leaked through the website of the production team that helped make the video.

Tracks recorded during the Playing the Angel sessions that did not make the album include "Martyr", which was originally planned to be the lead single but was eventually deemed too poppy for the album and saved for their new The Best Of, Volume 1 album. Other songs include "Free," which ended up on the "Precious" single and the Japanese version of Playing the Angel.

The album was released as a Copy Controlled CD and a deluxe SACD/DVD version (CD/DVD version in the U.S.) which includes the album on hybrid multi-channel SACD as the main disc and a bonus DVD featuring an exclusive studio performance of "Clean" (from Violator), the video for "Precious," a photo gallery and a 5.1 mix of the album. There's also a documentary on the making of the album. All ten of the earlier Depeche Mode albums were re-released in similar format to Playing the Angel, a CD/SACD hybrid (in the US simply a remastered CD) with a DVD featuring a 5.1 mix of each album and a documentary, though Playing the Angels documentary is far less extensive and also shorter than the classic ones.

The iTunes deluxe edition of the album has several bonuses, including another "bare" version of a Violator track — "Waiting for the Night", and the music video for "Precious". People who placed the album on pre-order were eligible to participate in a ticket pre-sale for most Touring the Angel concerts – the first time such an offer was made by iTunes and Ticketmaster.


In the UK the album debuted at #6, and in the U.S. it debuted at #7, with sales of 98,000 copies and staying 16 weeks in the chart.Whitmire, Margo. . October 26, 2005. Both peak chart positions are improvements on the band's previous effort, Exciter, which charted at #9 and #8, respectively, though Exciters first week sales in the U.S. of 115,000 were greater. With worldwide sales of 4.8 mil. copies, Playing the Angel is Mute Records' best selling album in the 2000s.


Reviews have been mostly strong for Playing the Angel. E! Online and Entertainment Weekly gave the album high scores. Indie music website Pitchfork Media gave the album a positive review but criticized its lack of innovation. There are some negative reviews however - Rolling Stone magazine, historically unfriendly to Depeche Mode albums, gave the album a 2.5 out of 5, lower than the score received by Exciter.

The album was #20 on E! Online's top 20 albums of 2005 list and #68 on 's top 97 albums of 2005.

The album is considered by numerous fans to be poorly mastered , relying on heavy compression to intentionally and artificially boost the output. Due to the format's inherent characteristics, vinyl versions are unaffected by the perceived poor mastering of the CD versions.

Album art

The character on the album cover is a little creature called "Tubby Goth" (by the band) and "Mister Feathers" (by the label, the webmaster and the fans.) The cover design by Anton Corbijn is a tip of the hat to a famous still photograph of The Cure's Robert Smith circa "Boys Don't Cry".


*Dave Gahan – lead vocals (except "Macro" and "Damaged People"), backup vocals ("Macro")

*Andy Fletcher – keyboards, bass

*Martin Gore – keyboards, guitar, bass ("Suffer Well"), backup vocals, lead vocals ("Macro" and "Damaged People")

*Ben Hillier – producer, mixer, engineer

*Steve Fitzmaurice – mixer

*Dave McCracken – keyboards, programming, piano on "The Darkest Star" (miscredited to "I Want it All" in booklet)

*Richard Morris – programming, engineer

*Christian Eigner – drums, programming ("Suffer Well", "I Want It All," and "Nothing's Impossible")

*Andrew Phillpott – programming ("Suffer Well", "I Want It All," and "Nothing's Impossible")

Chart positions


Category:Depeche Mode albums

Category:2005 albums

Category:Mute Records albums

Category:Albums produced by Ben Hillier

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Artist/Band Information

Depeche Mode (, ) are an English electronic music band which formed in 1980, in Basildon, Essex. The group's original line-up consisted of Dave Gahan (lead vocals), Martin Gore (keyboards, guitar, vocals, chief songwriter after 1981), Andrew Fletcher (keyboards) and Vince Clarke (keyboards, chief songwriter 1980–81). Vince Clarke left the band after the release of their 1981 debut album, Speak & Spell, and was replaced by Alan Wilder (keyboards, drums) with Gore taking over songwriting. Wilder left the band in 1995 and since then Gahan, Gore, and Fletcher have continued as a trio.

Depeche Mode have had forty-eight songs in the UK Singles Chart and #1 albums in UK, US and throughout Europe. According to EMI, Depeche Mode have sold over 100 million albums and singles worldwide,"", EMI May 1, 2009. making them the most successful electronic band in music history.Mason, Kerri: "" March 23, 2009. Q magazine call Depeche Mode "The most popular electronic band the world has ever known".


Formation and debut album (1977–1981)

Depeche Mode's origins date back to 1977, when schoolmates Vince Clarke and Andrew Fletcher formed a The Cure-influencedMiller, p. 14 band called No Romance in China, with Clarke on vocals and guitar and Fletcher on bass. In 1979, Clarke played guitar in an "Ultravox rip-off band", The Plan, with friends Robert Marlow and Paul Langwith.The Erasure Information Service, "", Retrieved on 10 December 2007.

In 1978–79, Martin Gore played guitar in an acoustic duo Norman and The Worms with school friend Philip Burdett on, In 1979, Marlow, Gore, and friend Paul Redmond formed a band called The French Look with Marlow on vocals/keyboards, Gore on guitar and Redmond on keyboards. In March 1980, Clarke, Gore and Fletcher formed a band called Composition of Sound, with Clarke on vocals/guitar, Gore on keyboards and Fletcher on bass.

Soon after the formation of Composition of Sound, Clarke and Fletcher switched to synthesizers, working odd jobs including carpentry to buy or borrow them from friends. Dave Gahan joined the band in 1980 after Clarke heard him perform at a local scout hut jam session, singing to a rendition of David Bowie's "Heroes", and Depeche Mode were born. When explaining the choice for the new name (taken from a French fashion magazine, Dépêche mode) Martin Gore said, "It means hurried fashion or fashion dispatch. I like the sound of that."Max Bell, "", No1 Magazine, 11 May 1985. Retrieved on 29 October 2007. Gore recollects that the first time the band played as Depeche Mode was a school gig in May 1980.Doran, J, , The Quietus, April 20th, 2009 The band made their recording debut in 1980 on the Some Bizzare Album with the song "Photographic", which was later re-recorded for their debut album Speak & Spell.

While playing a live gig at the Bridge House in Canning Town,Tickell, Paul: "" The Face, January 1982. Retrieved Oct 4, 2010. the band were approached by Daniel Miller (an electronic musician and founder of Mute Records), who was interested in them recording a single for his burgeoning label.Page, Betty: "" Sounds Magazine, 31 January 1981. Retrieved Oct 4, 2010. The result of this verbal contract was their first single "Dreaming of Me", recorded in December 1980 and released in February 1981, reaching number 57 in the UK charts. Encouraged by this, the band recorded their second single "New Life", which climbed to number 11 in the UK charts. The next single was "Just Can't Get Enough", this relentlessly upbeat piece of synthpop became the band's first UK top ten hit and it remains one of their best known songs. It was also the first Depeche Mode song to get a music video and is the only one of the band's videos to feature Vince Clarke. Depeche Mode's debut album, Speak & Spell, was released in November 1981 and peaked at number ten on the UK album charts. Critical reviews were mixed – Melody Maker described it as a "great album... one they had to make to conquer fresh audiences and please the fans who just can’t get enough",Colbert, Paul: "" Melody Maker, 31 October 1981. Retrieved Oct 4, 2010. while Rolling Stone was more critical, calling the album "PG-rated fluff".Fricke, D., "Speak & Spell", Rolling Stone, May 1982. Retrieved 6 February 2007.

Clarke departs, Wilder joins (1981–1982)

During the touring and promotion for Speak & Spell, Clarke began privately to voice his discomfort at the direction the band were taking. He later expressed his dissatisfaction, saying "there was never enough time to do anything".Ellen, Mark: "", Smash Hits, February 1982. Retrieved Oct 4, 2010. In November 1981 Clarke publicly announced that he was leaving Depeche Mode.Miller, p. 103 Soon afterwards, he joined up with blues singer Alison Moyet to form Yazoo (Yaz in the US) and later, the duo Erasure with Andy Bell. Initial talk of Clarke continuing to write material for the group ultimately amounted to nothing (Clarke offered the remaining members of Depeche Mode the track "Only You", but they declined. It went on to become a UK Top 3 hit for Yazoo).Miller, p. 107 Gore, who had written "Tora! Tora! Tora!" and the instrumental "Big Muff" for Speak & Spell, was forced to become the band's new songwriter.Miller, p. 125

In late 1981, the band placed an anonymous ad in Melody Maker looking for another musician. Alan Wilder, a 22-year-old keyboardist from West London, responded and after two auditions he was hired in early 1982 initially on a trial basis as a touring member.Miller, p. 121 In January 1982, the band released "See You", their first single without Clarke, which managed to beat all three Clarke-penned singles in the UK charts, reaching number six.Miller, p. 113 The tour that followed the release of the single saw the band playing their first shows in North America. Two more singles, "The Meaning of Love", and "Leave in Silence", were released ahead of the band's second studio album. Depeche Mode began work on their second album in July 1982. Daniel Miller informed Wilder that he was not needed for the recording of the album, as the band wanted to prove that they could succeed without Vince Clarke.Miller, p. 134 A Broken Frame was released that September and the following month the band set off on their second tour of 1982. A non-album single "Get the Balance Right!" was released in January 1983, and was the first Depeche Mode track to be recorded with Wilder.

Construction Time Again (1983)

For their third LP Construction Time Again, Depeche Mode worked with producer Gareth Jones, at John Foxx's Garden Studios and at Hansa Studios in West Berlin (where much of David Bowie's trilogy of seminal electronic albums featuring Brian Eno had been produced). The album saw a dramatic shift in the group's sound, due in part to Wilder's introduction of the Synclavier and E-mu Emulator samplers., . Retrieved 16 October, 2010. By sampling the noises of everyday objects, the band created an eclectic, industrial-influenced sound, with similarities to groups such as the Art of Noise and Einstürzende Neubauten, the latter would later have work released on the Mute label.

Along with the music, Gore's songwriting was also rapidly evolving, focusing increasingly on political and social issues. A good example of the new sound was on the first single from the album "Everything Counts", a commentary on the perceived greed of multinational corporations.Moore, X., "Red Rockers Over the Emerald Isle", NME, 17 September 1983 The song got to number six in the UK, also reaching the Top 30 in Ireland, South Africa, Switzerland, Sweden and West Germany. Wilder also contributed two songs to the album, "The Landscape Is Changing" and "Two Minute Warning".

In September 1983, to promote Construction Time Again the band launched Construction Time Again Tour, a concert tour all over Europe.

Some Great Reward (1984)

In their early years, Depeche Mode had only really attained success in Europe and Australia, however this changed in March 1984 when they released the single "People Are People". The song reached #2 in Ireland, #4 in UK and Switzerland and #1 in West Germany, where it was used as the theme to West German TV's coverage of the 1984 Olympics.Malins, p. 82 It belatedly reached #13 on the US charts in mid-1985. The song has since become an anthem for the LGBT community and is regularly played at gay establishments and gay pride festivals. Sire, the band's North American record label, released a compilation of the same name which included tracks from A Broken Frame and Construction Time Again as well as several b-sides.

In September 1984, Some Great Reward was released. Melody Maker claimed that the album made one "sit up and take notice of what is happening here, right under your nose."McIlheney, B., "Greatness and Perfection", Melody Maker, 29 September 1984 In contrast to the political and environmental subjects addressed on the previous album, the songs on Some Great Reward were mostly concerned with more personal themes such as sexual politics ("Master and Servant"), adulterous relationships ("Lie to Me"), and arbitrary divine justice ("Blasphemous Rumours"). Also included was the first Martin Gore ballad ("Somebody") – such songs would become a feature of all following albums. "Somebody" was released as a double a-side with "Blasphemous Rumours" and was the first single with Gore on lead vocals. Some Great Reward was the first Depeche Mode album to enter the US album charts, and it made the Top 10 in several European countries.

The World We Live In and Live in Hamburg was the band's first video release. It is an almost complete film of a concert from their 1984 Some Great Reward Tour, in Hamburg, Germany.

In July 1985, the band played their first-ever concerts behind the Iron Curtain, in Budapest and Warsaw.Malins, p. 95

In October 1985, Mute Records released a compilation, The Singles 81>85 (Catching Up with Depeche Mode in the US), which included the two non-album singles "Shake the Disease" and "It's Called a Heart".

During this period, in some circles, the band became associated with the gothic subculture, which had begun in Britain in the late-1970s, and was now slowly gaining popularity in the United States. There, the band's music had first gained prominence on college radio and modern rock stations such as KROQ in Los Angeles, KQAK ("The Quake") in San Francisco and WLIR on Long Island, New York, and hence, they appealed primarily to an alternative audience who were disenfranchised with the predominance of "soft rock and 'disco hell'""" . Retrieved October 19, 2010. on the radio. This view of the band was in sharp contrast to how the band was perceived in Europe, despite the increasingly dark and serious tone in their songs.Adinolfi, F., "Dep Jam", Record Mirror, 22 August 1987 In Germany and other European countries, Depeche Mode were considered teen idols and were regularly featured in European teen magazines.

Black Celebration (1986)

Depeche Mode's musical style shifted again in 1986 with the release of their fifteenth single "Stripped", and its accompanying album Black Celebration. Retaining their often imaginative sampling and jettisoning the "industrial-pop" sound that had characterised their previous two LPs, the band introduced an ominous, highly atmospheric and textured sound. Gore's lyrics also took on a darker tone and became even more pessimistic, although the song "New Dress" would mark the last time he attempted the kind of overt social commentary that had been a feature of the band's previous two records.

The music video for "A Question of Time" was the first to be directed by Anton Corbijn,Miller, p. 236 beginning a working relationship that continues to the present day. Corbijn has directed a further 19 of the band's videos (the latest being 2006's "Suffer Well"). He has also filmed some of their live performances and designed stage sets and album and single covers.

Music for the Masses and 101 (1987–1988)

1987's Music for the Masses saw further alterations in the band's sound and working methods. For the first time a producer not related to Mute, David Bascombe, was called to assist with the recording sessions (although, according to Alan Wilder, his role ended up being more that of an engineer)."" . Retrieved October 16, 2010. In making the album the band largely eschewed sampling in favour of more synth experimentation. While the chart performance of the singles "Strangelove", "Never Let Me Down Again" and "Behind the Wheel" proved to be disappointing in the UK, they performed well in countries such as Canada, Brazil, West Germany, South Africa, Sweden and Switzerland, often reaching the top 10. Record Mirror described Music for the Masses as "the most accomplished and sexy Mode album to date"Levy, E., "Music for the Masses", Record Mirror, 3 October 1987 and it made a breakthrough in the American market, something which the band had failed to achieve with their previous albums.

The Music for the Masses Tour followed the release of the album. On 7 March 1988 they played an unofficial gig (as it was not officially announced that Depeche Mode were the band performing that night) in the Werner-Seelenbinder-Halle, East Berlin.Erb, Nadja and Geyer, Steven: "" Frankfurter Rundschau. October 27, 2009. Retrieved October 21, 2010. At that time the communist regime were still in power and Depeche Mode were among the very few western bands that ever played in the former GDR. Around the same period, they also gave concerts in Budapest and Prague (1988)"" Depeche Mode Web: Černá revoluce : Praha 1988 (díl 4.) Retrieved October 24, 2010. in the then still communist Hungary and Czechoslovakia respectively.

The world tour ended on 18 June 1988 with a concert at the Pasadena Rose Bowl with paid attendance of 60,453Miller, p. 265. Jonathan Kessler quoted in the 101 film. His exact words are: "$1,360,192.50. Paid attendance was 60,453 people, tonight at the Rose Bowl, Pasadena, 18 June 1988. We're getting a load of money. A lot of money; a load of money – tons of money!" (the highest in eight years for the venue). The tour was a breakthrough for the band and massive success in the United States. It was documented in 101 – a concert film by D. A. Pennebaker and its accompanying soundtrack album. The film is notable for its portrayal of fan interaction. Alan Wilder is credited with coming up with the name; the performance was the 101st and final performance of the tour.http

Violator (1989–1991)

In mid-1989, the band began recording in Milan with producer Flood and engineer François Kevorkian. The initial result of this session was the single "Personal Jesus". Prior to its release, a marketing campaign was launched with advertisements placed in the personal columns of UK regional newspapers with the words "Your own personal Jesus." Later, the ads included a phone number one could dial to hear the song. The resulting furore helped propel the single to number 13 on the UK charts, becoming one of their biggest sellers to date; in the US, it was their first gold single and their first Top 40 hit since "People Are People", eventually becoming the biggest-selling 12-inch single in Warner Bros. Records' history up to that point.Miller, p. 291

Released in January 1990, "Enjoy the Silence" became one of Depeche Mode's most successful singles to date, reaching number six in the UK (the first Top 10 hit in that country since "Master And Servant"). A few months later it became Depeche Mode's biggest hit in the US, reaching number eight and earning the band a second gold single. It won 'Best British single' at the 1991 Brit Awards."" Retrieved Oct 14, 2010. To promote their new album Violator, the band held an in-store autograph signing at Wherehouse Entertainment in Los Angeles. The event attracted approximately 20,000 fans and turned into a near riot. Some of those who attended were injured by being pressed against the store's glass by the crowd.Sanner, S.: "" Variety. March 22, 1993. As an apology to the fans who were injured, the band released a limited edition cassette tape to fans living in Los Angeles, which was distributed through radio station KROQ (the sponsor of the Wherehouse event). Violator went on to reach Top 10 in the UK and US. Violator was the first of the band's albums to enter the Top 10 of the Billboard 200— reaching #7 and staying 74 weeks in the chart. It has also been certified triple platinum in America, selling over 4.5 million units there. It remains the band's best selling album worldwide. RIAA. Retrieved Oct 12, 2010. Two more singles from the album "Policy of Truth" and "World in My Eyes" were hits in the UK with the former also charting in the US.

The World Violation Tour marked another high point in Depeche Mode's popularity and saw the band play several stadium shows in the US. 42,000 tickets were sold within four hours for a show at Giants Stadium and 48,000 tickets were sold within half-an-hour of going on sale for a show at Dodger Stadium.Miller, pp. 299-300

In 1991, Depeche Mode contribution, "Death's Door" was released on the accompanying Warner Brothers album, Until the End of the World: original motion picture soundtrack for the film Until the End of the World.

Songs of Faith and Devotion and Wilder's departure (1992–1995)

The members of Depeche Mode regrouped in Madrid in January 1992, Dave Gahan had become interested in the new grunge scene sweeping the U.S. and was influenced by the likes of Jane's Addiction and Nirvana.http In 1993 Songs of Faith and Devotion again with producer Flood, saw them experimenting with more organic arrangements, based as much on heavily distorted electric guitars and live drums (played by Alan Wilder, whose debut as a studio drummer had come on the Violator track "Clean") as synthesisers. . Retrieved October 19, 2010. Live strings, uilleann pipes and female gospel vocals were other new additions to the band's sound. The album debuted at number one in both the UK and the US, only the sixth British act to achieve such a distinction to date. The first single from the album was the grunge-influenced "I Feel You". The gospel influences are most noticeable on the album's third single, "Condemnation".

The Devotional world tour followed. It was documented by a concert film of the same name. The film was directed by Anton Corbijn and in 1995 earned the band their first Grammy nomination.

The band's second live album, Songs of Faith and Devotion Live, was released in December 1993.

The tour continued into 1994 with the Exotic Tour, which began in February 1994 in South Africa and ended in April in Mexico. The final leg of the tour, consisting of more North American dates, followed shortly thereafter and ran until July. As a whole, the Devotional Tour is to date the longest and most geographically diverse Depeche Mode tour, spanning fourteen months and 159 individual performances. Q magazine listed 1993 Devotional Tour as "The Most Debauched Rock'n'Roll Tour Ever".Ali, Omer: "" Time Out. April 4, 2001.

Dave Gahan's heroin addiction was starting to affect his behaviour, causing him to become more erratic and introverted. Martin Gore experienced seizures and Andy Fletcher declined to participate in the second half of the Exotic Tour due to "mental instability". During that period, he was replaced on-stage by Daryl Bamonte, who had worked with the band as a personal assistant for many years. . Retrieved October 18, 2010.

In June 1995, Alan Wilder announced that he was leaving Depeche Mode, explaining,

He continued to work on his personal project Recoil, releasing a fourth album (Unsound Methods) in 1997. Following Wilder's departure, many were skeptical of whether Depeche Mode would ever record again. Gahan's mental state and drug habit became a major source of concern, with a near-fatal overdose at a hotel in Los Angeles.

Ultra (1997–2000)

Despite Gahan's increasingly severe personal problems, Gore tried repeatedly during 1995 and 1996 to get the band recording again. However, Gahan would rarely turn up to scheduled sessions, and when he did, it would take weeks to get any vocals recorded. One six-week session at Electric Lady in New York produced just one usable vocal (for "Sister Of Night"), and even that was pieced together from multiple takes.Miller, p. 413 Gore was forced to contemplate breaking the band up, and releasing the songs he had written as a solo album.Brown, Mark: "" Winnipeg Free Press. May 1, 1997. In mid-1996, Gahan entered a court ordered drug rehabilitation program to battle his heroin addiction after his near fatal overdose.Cameron, Keith: "" NME. January 18, 1997. With Gahan out of rehab in 1996, Depeche Mode held recording sessions with producer Tim Simenon. The album Ultra was released in April 1997, its release was preceded by two singles, "Barrel of a Gun" and "It's No Good". The album debuted at #1 in the UK and #5 in the US. The band did not tour in support of the album but as part of the promotion for its release they did perform two short concerts in London and Los Angeles called Ultra Parties.Miller, p. 429 Ultra spawned two further singles, "Home" and "Useless".

A second singles compilation The Singles 86–98 was released in 1998, preceded by the new single "Only When I Lose Myself", which had been recorded during the Ultra sessions. In April 1998 Depeche Mode held a press conference at the Hyatt Hotel in Cologne to announce The Singles Tour. The tour was the first one to feature two backing musicians in place of Alan Wilder – Austrian drummer Christian Eigner and British keyboardist Peter Gordeno.

Exciter (2001–2004)

Dm oberhausen 2001 black celebration.jpgthumbright200pxExciter Tour concert in Oberhausen, October 2001

In 2001, Depeche Mode released Exciter, which was produced by Mark Bell (of the pioneering techno group LFO). Bell introduced a minimalist, digital sound to much of the album, influenced by IDM and glitch. "Dream On", "I Feel Loved", "Freelove" and "Goodnight Lovers" were released as singles in 2001 and 2002. The critical response to the album was mixed. Whilst it received reasonably positive reviews from some magazines (NME, Rolling Stone and LA Weekly), others (including Q magazine, PopMatters, and Pitchfork Media) derided it as sounding underproduced, dull and lacklustre., Metacritic. Retrieved on 10 February 2007

In March 2001 Depeche Mode held a press conference at the Valentino Hotel in Hamburg to announce the Exciter Tour. In total the tour featured 84 performances for over 1.5 million fans in 24 countries.http The concerts held in Paris at the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy were filmed and later released in May 2002 as a live DVD entitled One Night in Paris.

In October 2002 the band won the first-ever Q magazine "Innovation Award".

In 2003 Dave Gahan released his first solo album, Paper Monsters, and toured to promote the record. Also released in 2003 was Martin Gore's second solo album Counterfeit². Andrew Fletcher also founded his own record label, Toast Hawaii, specializing in promoting electronic music.

A new remix compilation album Remixes 81–04 was released in 2004, featuring new and unreleased promo mixes of the band's singles from 1981 to 2004. A new version of "Enjoy the Silence", remixed by Mike Shinoda, entitled "Enjoy the Silence 04" was released as a single and reached #7 on the UK charts.

Playing the Angel (2005–2007)

Bremen depeche mode 2006.jpgthumbTouring the Angel concert in Bremen, June 2006

In October 2005, the band released their 11th studio album Playing the Angel. Produced by Ben Hillier the album peaked at #1 in 18 countries and featured the hit single "Precious". This is the first Depeche Mode album to feature lyrics written by Gahan and, consequently, the first album since 1984's Some Great Reward featuring songs not written by Gore. "Suffer Well", was the first ever post-Clarke Depeche Mode single not to be written by Gore (lyrics by Gahan, music by Philpott/Eigner). The final single from the album was "John the Revelator", an uptempo electronic track with a running religious theme, accompanied by "Lilian", a lush track that was a hit in many clubs all over the world.

To promote Playing the Angel the band launched Touring the Angel, a concert tour of Europe and North America that began in November 2005 and ran for nine months. During the last two legs of the tour Depeche Mode headlined a number of festivals including the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and the O2 Wireless Festival. In total the band played to more than 2.8 million people across 31 countries and the tour was one of the highest grossing and critically acclaimed tours of 2005/06. Speaking about the tour, Gahan praised it as "probably the most enjoyable, rewarding live shows we've ever done. The new material was just waiting to be played live. It took on a life of its own. With the energy of the crowds, it just came to life". Two shows at Milan's Fila Forum

were filmed and edited into a concert film which was released on DVD as Touring the Angel: Live in Milan.

A "best-of" compilation was released in November 2006, entitled The Best Of, Volume 1 featuring a new single "Martyr", an outtake from the Playing the Angel sessions. Later that month Depeche Mode received the MTV Europe Music Award in the Best Group category.

In December 2006, iTunes released The Complete Depeche Mode as its fourth ever digital box-set (following The Complete U2 in 2004, The Complete Stevie Wonder in 2005, and Bob Dylan: The Collection earlier in 2006).http

In August 2007, during promotion for Dave Gahan's second solo album, Hourglass, it was announced that Depeche Mode were heading back in studio in early 2008 to work on a new album.

Sounds of the Universe (2008–present)

In May 2008, the band returned to the studio with producer Ben Hillier to work on some songs that Martin Gore had demoed at his home studio in Santa Barbara, California. Later that year it was announced that Depeche Mode were splitting from their long-term US label, Warner Music, and signing with EMI Music worldwide., EMI, October 7, 2008.

Depeche Mode O2 15 12 09.JPGright250pxthumbTour of the Universe concert at London's O2 Arena, December 2009On 15 January 2009, the official Depeche Mode website announced that the band's 12th studio album would be called Sounds of the Universe. The album was released in April 2009, it was also made available through an iTunes Pass, where the buyer received individual tracks in the weeks leading up to official release date. Andy Fletcher says the idea for their iTunes Pass was a combination of the band's and iTunes': "I think the digital and record companies are starting to get their act together. They were very lazy in the first 10 years when downloads came in. Now they’re collaborating more and coming up with interesting ideas for fans to buy products." , 21 April 2009 The album went to number one in 21 countries. Critical response was generally positive and it was nominated for a Grammy in the "Best Alternative Album" category.

"Wrong" was the first single from the album, released digitally in February 2009. Subsequent singles were "Peace" and the double a-side "Fragile Tension / Hole to Feed". In addition, "Perfect" was released as a promotional-only (non-commercial) single in the US.

Depeche Mode performed on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" in the Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, California on 23 April 2009, drawing more than 12,000 fans, which was the largest audience the show had ever seen since premiering in 2003.httphttp

In May 2009 the band embarked on a concert tour in support of the album – called Tour of the Universe, it had been announced at a press conference in October 2008 at the Olympiastadion in Berlin. There was a warm up show in Luxembourg and it officially started on 10 May 2009 in Tel Aviv. The first leg of the tour was disrupted when Dave Gahan was struck down with gastroenteritis. During treatment doctors found and removed a low grade tumour from the singer's bladder. Gahan's illness caused 16 concerts to be cancelled, but several of the shows were rescheduled for 2010.Paine, Andre: "" May 28, 2009. The band headlined the Lollapalooza festival during the North American leg of the tour. The tour also took the band back to South America for the first time since 1994's Exotic Tour. During the final European leg the band played a show at London's Royal Albert Hall in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust, where former member Alan Wilder joined Martin Gore on stage for a performance of "Somebody"."" February 18, 2010.Harper, Kate: "" February 18, 2010. In total the band played to more than 2.7 million people across 40 countries and the tour was one of the most profitable in 2009.http The concerts held at Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona, Spain were filmed and later released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc release entitled Tour of the Universe : Barcelona 20/21.11.09.http

In March 2010, Depeche Mode won the award for "Best International Group - Rock / Pop" at the ECHO Awards in Germany.

In 2011, Depeche Mode will be releasing a remix album that will feature remixes by former members Vince Clarke and Alan Wilder. Other remixers involved with the project are Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran, Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt of Miike Snow.http Nov 28, 2010.

There are rumours of other remixers being involved, including Arcade Fire, Aphex Twin and Yeah Yeah Yeahs among others."" November 15, 2010.

Legacy and influence

Depeche Mode became "The most popular electronic band the world has ever known" according to Q magazine and

"One of the greatest British pop groups of all time" according to the Sunday Telegraph.

One of the most influential groups over the last 30 years, Depeche Mode have inspired generations of new musicians while consolidating their considerable reputation. In the process they have sold over 100 million records and played to audiences in excess of 30 million.

Depeche Mode influenced many of today's popular recording artists, in part due to their recording techniques and innovative use of sampling. For example, Pet Shop Boys cited Violator (and "Enjoy the Silence" in particular) as one of the main sources of inspiration during recording of their critically acclaimed album Behaviour. Neil Tennant says, “We were listening to Violator by Depeche Mode, which was a very good album and we were deeply jealous of it”. Bandmate Chris Lowe agrees, “They had raised the stakes”."". Retrieved on 9 September 2007."", Absolutely Pet Shop Boys. Retrieved on 9 September 2007.

Techno pioneers Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson and Juan Atkins regularly cited Depeche Mode as an influence on the development of techno music during the Detroit Techno explosion in the mid 1980s.McCready, J., "Modus operandum", The Face, February 1989 Appreciation of Depeche Mode within today's electronic music scene is shown by the numerous Depeche Mode remixes by contemporary DJs such as Ricardo Villalobos' remix of "The Sinner in Me" or Kruder & Dorfmeister's remix of "Useless".

Brandon Flowers, the vocalist of The Killers, claimed, "Before I even thought of myself as a musician, I was affected by Depeche Mode as a person. I think about Some Great Reward or Songs of Faith and Devotion and they shaped me as an individual before I even wrote a song."Ken Scrudato, "", Working Class Magazine. Retrieved on 16 March 2011. According to Matt Smith, the former music director of the modern-rock radio station KROQ, "The Killers, The Bravery, Franz Ferdinand — that whole wave of music owes a tremendous amount to Depeche Mode.""", Washington Post (11 September 2005). Retrieved on 9 September 2007.

In an accompanying interview for his piece in The New Yorker evaluating the impact of British acts on the US market, Sasha Frere-Jones claims that "probably the last serious English influence was Depeche Mode, who seem more and more significant as time passes.""", The New Yorker. (5 June 2006). Retrieved on 10 December 2008.

Chester Bennington, vocalist of Linkin Park, cites the band as an inspiration."", Retrieved on 9 September 2007."", BLABBERMOUTH.NET. Retrieved on 9 September 2007. Another Linkin Park member Mike Shinoda has said, "Depeche Mode are one of the most influential groups of our time. Their music is an inspiration to me...""", . Retrieved on 9 September 2007.

Chino Moreno from the band Deftones has cited Depeche Mode's lyrics influencing his own. Guitarist Stephen Carpenter has expressed an admiration for them as well, with his own quieter guitar playing in White Pony being inspired by Depeche Mode.

Ken Jordan, member of the LA electronic duo The Crystal Method has said that Depeche Mode are one of their main influences in music.

Roger Rose, lead singer of Christian rock band Mad at the World, has also cited the band as an influence on his music.

Raymond Herrera, the drummer of the heavy metal band Fear Factory, says, "A lot of different music influenced the way I play now. Like the band Depeche Mode. If I could sound like Depeche Mode, but be fast like Slayer, I think I might be onto something".Anthony Roldan, "", PROG4YOU. Retrieved on 12 September 2007.

According to Darren Smith, the guitarist of the post-hardcore band Funeral for a Friend, "dark, moodier stuff" in his band's music was "Depeche Mode-influenced."Tony Pascarella, "", The Trades. Retrieved on 12 September 2007.

Colombian singer Shakira is also highly influenced by Depeche Mode. Ximena Diego, the author of the book Shakira – Woman Full of Grace wrote in this book: "At thirteen Shakira especially liked Depeche Mode, an electronic rock band from Great Britain. One day she was listening to the band's song, "Enjoy the Silence". She noticed that she was not only hearing the music but also feeling the music in her body. She said to her mother, "Every time I hear that guitar riff I feel this weird thing in my stomach".

In August 2008, Coldplay released an alternative music video for their single "Viva la Vida" which was inspired by the "Enjoy the Silence" video. On their website the band are quoted as saying, "This is our attempt at a video cover version, made out of love for Depeche Mode and the genius of Anton Corbijn...". The video shows Chris Martin dressed as a king walking through The Hague.

"I feel more connected to Depeche Mode" (compared to other acts of the 1980s) claimed Magne Furuholmen, the guitarist/keyboardist of a-ha. In July 2009, a-ha performed a cover of "A Question of Lust" during a live performance for BBC Radio 2 – The Dermot O'Leary Show."" July 28, 2009. Retrieved December 10, 2010.


*Speak & Spell (1981)

*A Broken Frame (1982)

*Construction Time Again (1983)

*Some Great Reward (1984)

*Black Celebration (1986)

*Music for the Masses (1987)

*Violator (1990)

*Songs of Faith and Devotion (1993)

*Ultra (1997)

*Exciter (2001)

*Playing the Angel (2005)

*Sounds of the Universe (2009)

See also

* List of awards and nominations received by Depeche Mode

* Depeche Mode tours

* List of best-selling music artists

* List of artists who reached number one on the U.S. dance chart

* List of artists who reached number one on the U.S. Modern Rock chart

Notes and references



* Malins, Steve. Depeche Mode : A Biography. Andre Deutsch, 2001. ISBN 978-0-233-99430-7

* Miller, Jonathan. Stripped: The True Story of Depeche Mode. Omnibus Press, 2004. ISBN 1-84449-415-2

* Tobler, John. NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd, 1992. CN 5585. ISBN 0-600-57602-7

Further reading

* Corbijn, Anton. Depeche Mode: Strangers. Prentice Hall, 1990. ISBN 0-7119-2493-7

* Thompson, Dave. Depeche Mode : Some Great Reward. Pan Macmillan, 1995. ISBN 0-283-06243-6

* Zill, Didi. Depeche Mode. Photographs 1982-87. Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, 2004. ISBN 3-89602-491-4

This text has been derived from Depeche Mode on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0

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