The great Depeche Mode are the greatest cult-band of all-time, and it’s about time they’ve been admitted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. This induction merely provides validity, because their millions of fans worldwide have always subconsciously known their presence in the honorable institution was long overdue. What makes it stand out even further, is that their celebration ceremony was virtual, and not live, like the other bands in previous years, due to the pandemic. From 1981 to 2017, Depeche Mode have released 14 studio albums. Their greatest fans will tell you that Black Celebration (1986), Music for the Masses (1987), Violator (1990), Songs of Faith and Devotion (1993), and Ultra (1997), are arguably their fabulous five. It’s up for debate what their best song is, considering that’s a subjective notion to begin with. But, there’s no question that “Enjoy the Silence” from Violator gets fans raving at their live concerts, with “Never Let Me Down Again” from Music for the Masses coming in at a close second. But, any Depeche Mode fan will agree that of their 100+ total songs, there’s at least 40 great tracks that can easily take turns in the top spot. Personally, “Stripped” from Black Celebration always seems to have a hold over me every time I play it, in addition to “Strangelove” off of Music for the Masses – two underrated Depeche Mode songs that seem to be undervalued. The radio waves seem to adore “Enjoy the Silence” and “People are People”, but hats off to James Wan, the director of Aquaman (2018) who included “It’s No Good” from Ultra on the film’s soundtrack, giving it a second wave of mass recognition, because that’s an unbelievably amazing rock song that has gone underrated throughout the years. The lyrics for “It’s No Good” are incredibly uplifting and empowering; about the pursuit of love.
The great Dave Gahan – the leading front man of the crew – shines a bright light upon the face of the band with astounding on-stage performance skills and a deep, powerful, protruding voice that engages your soul with an empowering force. And it’s important to note that the great Depeche Mode are “great” for a reason – they have a big family that has put in ages of work throughout four decades. From their beginnings with Vince Clarke and Alan Wilder, to their visual arts with director Anton Corbijn (The American, A Most Wanted Man), and their record producers Daniel Miller (Mute Records) and Gareth Jones (Construction Time Again). Though Dave Gahan is the epitome of a Rockstar – he’s able to somehow magically cater to clean-cut and/or tatted/pierced fans. And it’s Martin Gore’s solo performances that add an insurmountable weight to DM’s repertoire of music. Martin Gore’s performances on “Blue Dress” from Violator, “The Things you Said” from Music for the Masses, “Judas” from Songs of Faith and Devotion, and “The Bottom Line” on Ultra are some of the most beautiful love songs.
It’s an incredible honor to be alive during the time of the great Depeche Mode, and such a pleasure to witness their induction to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. It feels as if they should have been admitted an honorable admittance a long time ago. My personal favorite live performance of Depeche Mode is “When the Body Speaks” from their Exciter album (an overlooked album), performed live at their magical concert in Paris. Dave Gahan performs the song with so much passion and soul and Martin Gore subtly plays such a powerful bass piece – it’s absolutely mesmerizing. It’s not a concensus, but unanimous, when we say that, when Depeche Mode perform live, they are prophets and messengers on stage. We can easily conclude this notion, due to the reactions of their thousands of fans, worshipping their every move on stage, and preaching their words like scripture. Congratulations to Depeche Mode, and thank you for creating decades of empowering music, for the masses.
We love you.