Depeche Mode is a British synthpop band that formed in Basilton, Essex, England in 1980.
The current line-up consists of:
- Dave Gahan (born on May 9, 1962 in Epping, Essex), lead singer and occasional songwriter
- Andy Fletcher (born on July 8, 1961 in Nottingham, England), keyboardist
- Martin Gore (born on July 23, 1961 in Dagenham, Essex), guitarist, keyboardist, and chief songwriter
Former members were:
- Vince Clarke (born on July 3 1960 in South Woodford, then Essex, now London, member from 1980 to 1981), keyboardist
- Alan Wilder (born on June 1, 1959 in London, member from 1982 to 1995), keyboardist
Vince Clarke and Andy "Fletch" Fletcher were classmates in Basilton in 1977 when they were inspired by The Cure to make a band called No Romance in China; Clarke was on vocals and guitar, and Fletch was on bass. Throughout the rest of the 1970's, Clarke also played guitar for The Plan (which was described as an 'Ultravox rip-off'), which also included future synthpop musician Robert Marlow. At that same time, Marlow was part of a band called The French Look with Martin Gore.
In 1980, Clarke, Gore, and Fletch formed the band Composition of Sound, but soon changed to synthesizers when they chose to make electronic music. After this, Dave Gahan joined the band after he was heard singing a rendition of David Bowie's "Heroes". The band got their new name Depeche Mode after a French fashion magazine. Their recording debut occurred when they recorded the song 'Photographic', which would be a single on their first album released on October 5, 1981, 'Speak and Spell'. Another single on that album, 'Just Can't Get Enough', was their first song to be a UK Top Ten hit. That same year, Clarke left, and the band put out an advertisement for a fourth member of their band; Alan Wilder, a keyboardist from West London, responded and was made part of the band.
Throughout the rest of the early 1980's, Depeche Mode released an album each year, beginning with their second album 'A Broken Frame' being released on September 27, 1982, then 'Construction Time Again' on August 22, 1983, and 'Some Great Reward' on September 24, 1984. During this time, their international success was rising. Their fifth and sixth albums, 'Black Celebration' and 'Music for the Masses', were released on March 17, 1986 and September 28, 1987, respectively.
Their most successful album, Violator, was released on March 19, 1990. Several of their singles on that album managed to reach the top ten charts in both the United Kingdom and the United States. 'Songs of Faith and Devotion', their eighth album released on March 22, 1993, was more rock-oriented than their previous albums to accompany the grunge scene during the early 1990's. Tensions began to rise during this time, which prompted Wilder to leave the band in 1995. Dave's mental state and drug addiction were also a major problem during the mid-1990's. He slashed his wrists in August 1995 in a suicide attempt. On May 28, 1996, Dave overdosed on a speedball in a Los Angeles hotel which left him dead for two minutes before he was revived by paramedics. After Dave went to rehab, the band was back to recording, and their ninth album, 'Ultra', their first album without Alan Wilder, was released on April 14, 1997.
Today, Depeche Mode continues recording and touring.
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