Depeche Mode best?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by SlyStrat, Jan 16, 2020.

  1. eigentone

    eigentone Supporting Member

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    The three I have played the most over the years are Black Celebration, Violator and Songs of Faith and Devotion.

    Beyond the music/songs/musicians, the production and presentation are really interesting. You had guys like Flood, Gareth Jones, Anton Corbijn, Daniel Miller and others doing really great work for the band.
     
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  2. Jahn

    Jahn Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver Supporting Member

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    Yep. I had a bit of a freak out when The Cure covered World in my Eyes.

     
  3. mikebat

    mikebat Member

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    Not for anything but....Monster Magnet, Deftones, Failure, Pumpkins....I was totally knocked out with this cover record. Usually I think they suck.
     
  4. fretless

    fretless Supporting Member

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    Easily my favorite album of all time. For me nothing comes close. Just pure brilliance on every level. Every song is incredibly dense with each full of counter melodies and warm, varied textures. Very complex arrangements abound. The songwriting and musicianship is simply fantastic. As a smart, sensitive teenager it had a profound impact on me as the lyrics are deep, introspective and meaningful. As a 51 year old adult they still hit just as hard.
     
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  5. A-Bone

    A-Bone Montonero, MOY, Multitudes Gold Supporting Member

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    And unlike a good deal of the synth-based music of the era (some of which I also love), it sounds huge. It isn't plinky, at all.
     
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  6. fretless

    fretless Supporting Member

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    While I would agree with that for the most part I’d take Songs of Faith and Devotion as a brilliant outlier. It’s density and darkness, as well as very strong songwriting, make it almost a brother to Black Celebration. It’s a heavy album. Everything after that for me is a pretty big meh. I think when Alan Wilder left the magic stopped. Most of their later output sounds very half baked and many tracks sound like demos. Martin Gore really needs that counter than Alan provided as he would take Martin’s basic tracks and turn them into lush and rich compositions.
     
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  7. fretless

    fretless Supporting Member

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    Absolutely. It’s a testament to the production and mixing that they didn’t oversaturate the tape.
     
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  8. chikubi

    chikubi Member

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    I get what you're saying, but that's not it - it has nothing to do with having felt betrayed that MY bands were now becoming OTHERS' bands and so I needed to let them go. Nope, not that at all. It's that the music more often than not, just changed; it simply started to lose its edge and a large part of that initial rawness, impact, and uniqueness that made the bands stand out in the first place. Of course, not all bands had that happen, but quite a few did. Mainstream popularity wasn't really the issue, it was the dilution of the music as a result of that that tended to be the issue. Case in point, I was very much into Tear for Fears from their very first album, The Hurting. Absolutely loved it; it had a very unique sound and I played it over and over. That was a UK platinum album. Songs from the Big Chair followed and was magnitudes more popular worldwide and a very different sound and direction from The Hurting, still loved it despite its popularity. It remained very unique and had so much about it that was right. That's why, for me at least, popularity really wasn't ever the issue.

    Some my disagree with this, but even now listening to current/recent indie bands, I have always held the idea that most bands seem to do their best work in their first 2-3, maybe 4 albums, and then after that they tend to dry up. I think that it can be that way due to a number of reasons - they said/did what they wanted to and are kinda done at that point, personnel changes, they get tired or bored, they get greedy, 3rd parties come in and take over, etc., and it's not always in their control either. There can be lots of reasons, but that's something that I've always seen over the years and made note of. Now it could also just be they way I digest music in general, but other friends I've discussed it with tend to agree and felt the same, so I don't think it's just me. Of course, I've seen the opposite too, where a band will start out slow and then hit their stride a couple of albums after they sort out what they needed too, but it doesn't seem to be as common. And then there's always those bands that have been able to maintain their fire and just keep going for forever, but those are extremely rare I'd say. Point is, I think it's natural for bands to have a shelf-life so to speak, and DM was one of those bands along with some others at the time. I've listened to their later stuff later on in life to try and keep an open mind about things, and yup, same feelings - it just isn't there for me after Black Celebration.
     
  9. sizzlemeister

    sizzlemeister Member

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    If memory serves, they ran everything through the converters of the Emulators to get that sound.
     
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  10. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    For some reason I pretty much missed this band entirely the first time around. Guess I have some catching up to do!
     
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  11. Madsen

    Madsen Member

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  12. Madsen

    Madsen Member

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  13. flume

    flume Gold Supporting Member

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    It's hard not to be provincial when you discover something. Even more so when you had to go so far out of your way to find it. Mainstream press in America wasn't touching these bands and MTV would just scratch the surface. So if you got deep into DM and the offshoots - it's hard to let the idiots who ignored it in on the secret. Simple Minds is another case...saving up wads of cash for record safaris to Philly Third Street Jazz into the tiny basement where the "new rock" was...and you'd just agonize over which single you could afford because it had Bsides that were unavailable elsewhere. When you bleed like that for the music, all pre-interweb, the bond is stronger. But I try to stay with these artists and keep an open mind. I really push back on the idea that the best work is only when you're in your 20s. That's too tight a mesh for me to accept.
     
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  14. Jahn

    Jahn Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver Supporting Member

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    For me it was rainbow records, east Main Street, Newark Delaware. You always make a beeline to the import singles and crossed your fingers that they had anything of worth. And then you debate whether or not that one single was worth more than a whole album’s cost. Once in a blue moon you got lucky and found a promo in the used bin with remixes and b sides you couldn’t find anywhere else- it was like manna dropping from heaven!

    and those DJ compilations for club purposes- so bad sounding but hey they were extended versions of your fave tunes so you ponied up.
     
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  15. A-Bone

    A-Bone Montonero, MOY, Multitudes Gold Supporting Member

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    For me it was largely Tower Records in Mountain View, California, although I can remember finding randomly cool stuff at The Record Factory and Wherehouse Records stores in Sunnyvale.
     
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  16. sizzlemeister

    sizzlemeister Member

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  17. Madsen

    Madsen Member

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    True but both albums were recorded with Daniel Miller & Gareth Jones. I doubt they only used that technique on a single track.
     
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  18. sizzlemeister

    sizzlemeister Member

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    If you're referring to experimenting with mic'ing, amping, and re-amping sources for sounds, they used that all of the time throughout their career. But they put EVERYTHING into the EMU Emulator II (I mean sampled everything into it), and even mixed some through the EMU Emulator II. It has a very characteristic sound signature.

    In fact, they used the Emulator III the same way on Violator, going so far as to mix that album through it. That is how they got that particular album to sound that particular way.

    Somewhere, Alan Wilder goes into detail on all of this. Check Gearslutz. I used to do a lot of work with gear from this era, production and I got really, really good at repairing it. The Emulators have a certain magic going on, it's the synth equivalent of an EP Pre.
     
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  19. spiral

    spiral Member

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    My order:
    1. Music for the Masses
    2. Black Celebration
    3. Violator

    Pretty much everything before and including Songs of Faith and Devotion is great.
     
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  20. Emigre

    Emigre Member

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    I have seen DM live 3-4 times after 2000 and they are a fantastic live band. Probably my favourite live band ever.
     
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