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The history of Depeche Mode told in a timeline infographic

The timeline below shows the trajectory of Depeche Mode, a band whose history features many great albums and commercially successful singles.

The trajectory of Depeche Mode: a summarized version

Depeche Mode was formed in 1980, in Essex, England, when friends Andy Fletcher, Martin Gore, and Vince Clarke recruited Dave Gahan as a singer. In 1981 they released their debut album Speak & Spell, which featured almost all compositions by Clarke. This album includes Depeche Mode’s first hit song, Just Can’t Get Enough.

After their first album, most of the band’s members were willing to explore a darker sound. This idea caused disagreements about the direction that the band was taking, and by the end of 1981, Clarke left Depeche Mode. On his own, he would start his project Yazoo and later the really successful synth-pop group Erasure.

Returning to Depeche Mode, the band’s second record came out in 1982 and was called A Broken Frame. It was during the tour to promote this album that they were joined by Alan Wilder. From this moment on, Martin Gore became the main songwriter of the band.

Depeche Mode’s next biggest hits came in 1987 with Music for the Masses, which includes the popular tracks Strangelove and Never Let me Down Again. Their following album, Violator, released in 1990, featured some of the band’s most famous songs, such as Personal Jesus and Enjoy the Silence. In 1993, the album Songs of Faith and Devotion was released, which includes the hit single I Feel You. After this period of consistent and successful LPs, Alan Wilder left the group in 1995.

1997’s album Ultra was also a hit, with the popular track It’s No Good as the lead single. Exciter was released in 2001 and it did not include any standout tracks, even though the singles Dream On and I Feel Loved enjoyed moderate radio and TV airplay.

Depeche Mode’s releases since the 2000s have not enjoyed much success. Taking into account their latest output, their album Playing the Angel (2005) is perhaps their most solid work.

Depeche Mode’s discography

Depeche Mode has released fourteen studio albums to date:

  • 1981: Speak & Spell
  • 1982: A Broken Frame
  • 1983: Construction Time Again
  • 1984: Some Great Reward
  • 1986. Black Celebration
  • 1987: Music for the Masses
  • 1990: Violator
  • 1993: Songs of Faith and Devotion
  • 1997: Ultra
  • 2001: Exciter
  • 2005: Playing the Angel
  • 2009: Sounds of the Universe
  • 2013: Delta Machine
  • 2017: Spirit

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