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Author Topic: 1981: Speak and Spell  (Read 55912 times)

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #120 on: 19 September 2013 - 03:35:34 »
1982-01-xx - The Face (UK) - A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF DEPECHE MODE

[Taken from the now-defunct website]

[The Face, January 1982. Words: Paul Tickell. Pictures: Antoine Giacomoni / Mike Laye.]
"Success hasn't gone to the collective head of Depeche Mode. For instance, they're amazed that any band could possibly get a kick out of being carted around in a limo. There'd be more trains in The Depeche Mode Story than in A Hard Day's Night."
Summary:  An intelligently-written, fairly detailed "the story so far"-type article, with contributions from the band minus Vince, laying emphasis on how the band had managed to become successful in such a brief space of time. Easy to read, but less naive banter and more solid fact makes it of especial use to someone interested in how the band fitted in with the workings of the music industry. [1843 words]

    In November 1980 the Basildon Echo proclaimed of a local pop combo, "Posh Clobber Could Clinch It For Mode." One was studying clothes design at technical college, another was behind the counter at a National Westminster bank. Their "posh clobber", one way or the other, was not half so important as their discovery in the same month by Mute Records founder Daniel Miller. Miller, you see, had this long-harboured dream of the perfect electro-pop band, and in Depeche Mode, the group it's almost impossible to dislike, he saw the means by which his vision could become reality. Now, THE FACE says: "There's No Stopping The Boys From Basildon!"
    Prolong overnight success in the world of pop beyond that initial wonderful first hit, and you'll find yourself with a sort of instant career. Depeche Mode's rise and rise has had this ready made feel about it: quick but sustained - and more or less contained within one year. 1981: it was a good year for their growing pains.
    Someone ought to have made a film - The Depeche Mode Story. It could've been like the movie which Madness tried to make. But Take It Or Leave It had too many rough edges, with characters walking into record shops in a supposed 1977 when there were posters on the wall for gigs in 1980. The Depeche Mode Story wouldn't have such continuity problems, if only for the reason that its telling would all be within 1981.
    The pop dream (as opposed to the more ragged rock 'n' roll myth) demands a neat incarnation, and in Depeche Mode's version of it I prefer to see, in these dire economic times, not just escapism but the prefiguration of something better...And we all want a bit of that, don't we?
    Like all good years Depeche Mode's really started during the previous one when the band had only been together a matter of weeks. In November of 1980 they were seen playing at the Bridge House in Canning Town by Daniel Miller, founder of Mute Records - once the home of DAF (their secretively planned, suddenly announced departure for Virgin remains a sore point with Miller) and still the home of Fad Gadget.
    Miller (quietly spoken, bespectacled, outsized, and normally to be seen in Levis and check shirt padding around like something from an American campus) cuts an unlikely figure for someone who's always harboured visions of the perfect electro-pop band. Mute outfit The Silicon Teens (basically Miller doing his own thing in the studio) was his prime candidate for synth-etic realisation before he saw Depeche Mode...And put them in the studio, and became their producer, mentor and manager - i.e. he helps them to manage themselves.
    In late 1980, Mode vocalist David Gahan (Asian blood, way back in the family, accounts for the surname) was still a student of window display and clothes design at tech college. Of the three synth players (all of them, like David, looking like 20-year old variations on the theme of slightly imperfect pretty boyishness) Andrew Fletcher was working as a pensions clerk with an insurance company and Martin Gore was a clerk with the National Westminster. Vince Clarke, who writes the bulk of the band's material and always stands next to Martin on stage, was...well, a bit of a recluse. And still is: being the only member of the band with his own flat in Basildon; the rest live in the area with their parents - in council houses.
    Vince (looking when he's bearded like he might fit into another era of music) rarely talks to the press - less so since a Daily Star journalist twisted around a statement to make it sound like Vince was saying ugly people can never make it in pop.
    Back in November 1980 Depeche Mode's press was altogether humbler - if inaccurate in another sort of way. "Posh Clobber Could Clinch It For Mode" proclaimed the Basildon Echo. At this time Spandau and Visage had started to break, and Depeche Mode were lumped in with the New Romantics and Futurists. For a time they didn't fight too hard against the tag: as late as June '81 they were to be seen, in photos anyway, in frilly shirts. Earlier in the year they'd contributed 'Photographic' to the 'Some Bizzare' Futurist compilation on Phonogram, and went on tour (often sleeping in vans) to promote the album.
    ANDY: "Some bands gig like that year after year. I don't know how they do it."
    MARTIN: "We still haven't got away from the New Romantic label entirely."
    DAVE: "You've got to fight your way through the phase you find yourself in first - like The Clash and Siouxsie did with the punk. I think we've fought through the Futurist thing. We're a pop band now."
    'Dreaming Of Me' released February '81, highest chart position 44 [1]. The band have had greater successes than their first single release on Mute, but they look back on 'Dreaming Of Me' first hitting the charts around the 70 mark as the moment of the year.
    ANDY: "We just weren't expecting it. By comparison doing things like Top Of The Pops later in the year for 'New Life' wasn't the great thing I expected it to be - no excitement at all."
    MARTIN: "When you're successful things appear mundane, just like a job really."
    DAVE: "Hovering around the Top 40 with 'Dreaming' was a great feeling - unrepeatable."
    In the wake of the single came the first features on Depeche Mode in the music press and interest from the large record companies who smelt the potential of the band - especially as they didn't have a contract at the time, just a trusting handshake Mute-ual style.
    ANDY: "At first the majors hadn't been interested. As for when they were...I think if we had signed then, none of this would've happened. I'm obsessed by big labels: they're just on an ego trip with no feeling for the music. At Mute we can rely on everyone around us."
    The band were wise enough to realise that advances from the majors work as 'debts' rather than 'gifts', and signed a very straightforward contract with Mute after the release of 'New Life'. The label, of course, has nationwide distribution through Spartan, but through Rough Trade it still has access to the indie sales outlets. Mute itself functions as very much the small enterprise. There's a basic trio of Miller, Hilde who deals with the press, and Sue Johnson (a founder of Rough Trade and the manager of Delta 5) who looks after accounts. These positions aren't absolute and clear-cut, though: responsibilities are shared. Hilde still has to suppress laughter when people ring up and ask for the A&R department. (We feel the same when people send letters to the Personnel Department - Ed.)
    Not that Daniel Miller doesn't have his mini-imperial ambitions. He plans to turn the basement of Mute's central London office into an eight- or sixteen-track studio, and the top floor into his own flat. He doesn't see the point in separating work and his private life.
    'New Life' released May, highest chart position 11; 'I Just Can't Get Enough' [sic] released September, highest position 8.
    ANDY: "We never planned to be successful. We've been so lucky. We've got the best possible people around us. I feel we could go on making music till Daniel Miller dies..."
    MARTIN: "We've been lucky; we came along at the right time. We haven't done that much work. If we're still successful in two years' time, then we'll have worked all right."
    DAVE: "Maybe things will fade fast; kids change all the time...Maybe in a year's time we'll all be using guitars. But as long as we keep putting out good singles..."
    Success hasn't gone to the collective head of Depeche Mode. For instance, they're amazed that any band could possibly get a kick out of being carted around in a limo. There'd be more trains in The Depeche Mode Story than in A Hard Day's Night. The band are great British Rail users, especially as Basildon connects very well with the part of South London where they rehearse and record.
    ANDY: "There's no point in moving from Basildon. You just want a quiet drink during the week. We never go out as a group, but we often end up together at weekends in Crocs in Rayleigh or somewhere."
    DAVE: "I used to go out in London a lot; now there's no time."
    During the middle of their Story, you see Depeche Mode a lot more on TV - notably London Weekend's 20th Century Box. They play the odd live date, do a small tour of Europe and start to get a lot of airplay over there, especially in France and Belgium. Between times they start to record their album...
    'Speak And Spell' released November, straight into Top 10 of the album charts.
    Depeche Mode came up with an album of pop basics, fresh and professional - and with a quiet spectacularity of its own. Songs like 'Puppets' with its dark side and 'What's Your Name' with its tongue-in-cheek wit, show Depeche Mode to be more than the sum of their singles. The band would agree in their own unassuming way: their flashiness is tempered by modesty, their glamour by workmanlike down-to-earth attitudes.
    ANDY: "The best experience is going into the studio and creating something - though you can get bored by it. We spent a lot of time and care on the album - six weeks. Martin's started to write more recently - stuff with complicated chord changes."
    MARTIN: "We're a pop band with a young teenage audience, and so in a good position to experiment with different forms and get music over to the kind that people otherwise wouldn't listen to."
    DAVE: "You can get trapped, with the punters expecting the same. But if you heard some of the album on the radio, you couldn't automatically say, that's Depeche Mode."
    In November the band completed a small nationwide tour and proved themselves to be the most danceable pop band on the market. They may not have a drummer but they have beat: their drum tapes are meticulously made and mixed, with an Arp synth for the bass drum, a Boss drum machine for the snare, and so on. I never thought I'd hear the day when tapes had such presence: technology can have charisma, too.
    Dave is keen to improve the visual side of the live act, especially as he's the only person who isn't synth-bound on stage and finds it easy to move around. He thinks that developing their light show may be one solution.
    Solvent old new Depeche Mode. They're too good to be true, as if Daniel Miller (who used to work in TV and commercials) had edited them himself.
[1] - 'Dreaming Of Me' in fact peaked in the UK charts at 57.
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #121 on: 19 September 2013 - 03:36:27 »
1982-01-xx - Depeche Mode - Information Sheet 1

[Reprinted in a Musikexpress article in 2011.]



At your request I have enclosed the DEPECHE MODE items you requested.  If there is anything else that you would like to know about the group, write to me enclosing a stampted, self addressed envelope.  The next Information Sheet should be available in a month or so.

DEPECHE MODE NEWS: Vince Clarke has left DEPECHE MODE leaving Dave, Martin and Andy to continue as a three-piece. The reason for leaving is that he wishes to concentrate on being simply a songwriter. However be replaced for live appearances.

RECORD NEWS: There will be a new single out around January 16th.  The song, although it has been recorded, does not have a title yet.  It was written by Martin and recorded by Dave, MArtin and Andy.

AVAILABLE NOW: P1-P2-P3   Autographed Photographs (with Vince)
                  F1         Factsheets on DEPECHE MODE
                  B1-B2      Badges
                  S1      Words to ALL DEPECHE MODE songs
                  TS1-TS2   T-Shirts


AVAILABLE SOON: DEPECHE MODE have recorded an interview with SFX.  A new cassette magazine.

An interview in The Face.

An appearance on 'Off the Record' on Southern TV on January 18th at 6.30pm.

TOUR DATES: Jan. 22nd   New York    The Ritz
               23rd   New York  The Ritz

        Feb. 12th   Cardiff      Top Rank
             13th   London      Hammersmith Odeon
           14th   Portsmouth   Guildhall
           16th       Exeter      University
           18th   Hansley      Victoria Halls
           19th    Leeds      University
           20th   Newcastle   City Hall
           21st   Glasgow      Tiffany's
           22nd   Hull              The tower ballroom
           24th   Canterbury   University
           26th   Oxford      Polytechnic

There is no age restriction at any of these shows except Cardiff Top Rank.

                  Thanks for your support
                     Keep in touch.
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #122 on: 19 September 2013 - 03:36:50 »
1982-01-xx - Best n°162 (France) - Synthpop feature

[Thanks to KFDM from for uploading this on their site. Typed out by me.]

Il ne me reste plus quá vous parler de Dépêche Mode. Dernier des groupes de la compilation "Some Bizarre", c'est aussi, à mon avis, le plus intèressant des trois et peut-être le plus intèressant de toute cette vague synthétique. D'abord, parce que de "Photographic, le titre sur la compile, jusqu'a "Speak & Spell", leur premier album, en passant par les deux singles, "Dreaming Of Me" et "Just Can't Get Enough", Dépêche Mode n'a pas arrète de progresser et de cerner son propos. Ensuite, et surtout, parce que musicalement leur pop sucrée et entètante se révèle être la plus acceptable, aussi bien sur le plan de la théorie (la dèmarche et les intentions) que de la practique (les compositions et leur interprétation). Pour vous situer le truc, et si je peux me permettre une telle comparaison, disons que, si Alan Vega était le Gene Vincent de l'ère électronique, Dépêche Mode en sont les Ricky Nelson. Ou les Herman's Hermits. Au choix. Ceci-dit, je n'ai cependant pas cru utile d'aller leur parler. Pas par peur de me salir, D.M. sont des jeunes garçons manifestement très propres, très polis, et très bien élevès. C'est plutôt que leur producteur et le patron de leur boite de disques me semblait beaucoup plus intèressant.

[Translation by me.]

There's nothing left for me to talk about other than Depeche Mode. The last group on the "Some Bizarre" compilation is also, in my opinion, the most interesting of the three, and perhaps the most interesting of the entire synth wave. Firstly, because of "Photographic, the title on the compilation, up to "Speak & Spell", their first album, through the two singles, "Dreaming Of Me" and "Just Can't Get Enough", Depeche Mode has not stopped progressing and improving. Secondly and most importantly, because musically, their sweet and insistent pop proves to be the most acceptable, both in terms of theory (the approach and intentions) as well as practicality (compositions and their interpretation). To help you place this gimmick, and if I may be allowed to make such a comparison, let's say that if Alan Vega was Gene Vincent of the electronic era, Depeche Mode are Ricky Nelson. Or the Herman's Hermits. Your choice. That said, I have not yet deemed it useful to talk to them. But not because I'm afraid of getting dirty, D.M. are obviously very clean boys, very polite, and very well behaved. It's rather the fact that their producer record label owner seemed much more interesting.

1982-02-13 - Look-In (UK) - 'Thunderbirds' go pop

'Thunderbirds' go pop
Recently in our Collect-A-Page series we featured Depeche Mode. Eagle-eyed readers will have noticed that the group members were keen fans of Thunderbirds. So we checked out the lads to find out why they liked the series so much.
Martin Gore: "I like Thunderbirds because I've based my whole life around Alan Tracy and I look to him for inspiration."
Andy: "I don't know quite why I like Thunderbirds except that I fancy Lady Penelope."
David Gahan: "I just like the way their heads wobble."

1982-02-13 - Som80 (Portugal) - A Perfeita Fanatasia

1982-02-xx - Electronics & Music Maker (UK) - Fact File

Fact File
Don Airey, Martin Gore and Tony Hymas
by Tony Bacon

Martin Gore

Depeche Mode
"In the beginning we had to use keyboards, because of the problems the back-line was posing us — we had to cart around amps and things. With synths we could DI, which made it a lot easier when we were having to travel up to London. We prefer the sound anyway, there's so many different sounds on the synth, whereas with the guitar you're stuck with the sound."

Live: Yamaha CS5; Studio: PPG wave computer. "The PPG is really different, the sounds are so clear on it. Before, we were using things like the JP4, but with the PPG the sounds are so clear, you can go through the waveforms on it — it's just so much better. It all comes up on a little screen — you can see exactly what you're putting in. When you play your recorded sound back, your program number, all the things you've used come up on the screen so you know exactly what's in the sound. We're not too sure about it yet, we're getting to know it. We work with Daniel (Miller, producer) on that, he knows a lot about synths and helps us. In the price-range, the PPG was by far the best that we went to see.
"At the moment there's a lot of trouble with the compatibility of sequencers and keyboards — we've had a lot of trouble linking things up. If manufacturers could make them all interchangeable it'd make things a lot easier. Obviously they want their sequencers to work with their keyboards: it's a problem."

Sequencers: An "old ARP sequencer"; Roland MC4.

Amplification: All DI.

Percussion/drum machines: Korg KR55; snare drum trigger from KR55 to drive sequencer (pulse through voltage inverter in ARP 2600 because of incompatibility).

Favourite studio/engineer: Blackwing/Eric Radcliffe, John Fryer. "As well as knowing exactly what they're doing, they're really friendly, which helps a lot."

Home recording: Teac 3440: "We bought it recently for the last tour — I don't get the time to use it as much as I'd like to, we're never at home!"

1982-02-xx - Rock Espezial nº6 (Spain) - Mercado Negro: Speak & Spell

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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #123 on: 19 September 2013 - 03:37:23 »


Synthesizers, computers, and the latest microchip technology have recently given pop musicians some versatile new toys. With various combinations of these devices, it's possible to reasonably approximate the sounds of guitars, bass, drums, and all the other instruments in a conventional rock band, and it doesn't take a bunch of people throwing switches and fingering keyboards. One musician and the requisite amount of hardware can impersonate an entire orchestra, and that's just what has been happening in Great Britain during the past few months. The English pop charts have been dominated by new ''bands'' like Soft Cell and Depeche Mode that are not really bands at all. Soft Cell is just two people, a singer and an electronics expert, and Depeche Mode is a vocalist and a collection of synthetic ''instruments.''


Depeche Mode's ''Speak & Spell'' (Sire) is more interesting, not because of the singing, which is rather ordinary, but because its synthetic instrumentation has been so artfully blended. Above all, Depeche Mode has paid careful attention to tone color and texture. When there are synthetic ''strings,'' they sound tart rather than cloyingly sweet. Spiky phrases by what sound like brass instruments poke in and out of the string sounds, and most of the tunes feature a painstakingly synthesized rhythm section, with synthetic trap drums, congas, bongos, and other percussion ''instruments'' all percolating merrily in a complex rhythmic counterpoint. This isn't a profound record in terms of lyrics or challenging ideas, but Depeche Mode does have a more impressive command of synthetic instrumentation than any other new electro-pop ''band.''

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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #124 on: 19 September 2013 - 03:37:46 »
1982-03-18 - Smash Hits (UK) - Dave Gahan baby photo

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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #125 on: 19 September 2013 - 03:38:46 »
1982-03-22 - ZDF (Germany) - Music Box

Just Can't Get Enough:

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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #126 on: 21 November 2013 - 05:49:02 »
1982-03-xx - Rockstar (Italy) - Review

[I typed out the text:]

"Speak & Spell"
Mute 540016

Allelujah! L'elettropop è definitivamente sfuggito di mano ai suoi inventori. Se Kraftwerk, Gary Numan e i loro stolti alleati avevano progettano il nuovo suono tastieristico per invogliare al suicidio migliaia di anime indifese, bene, i loro piani sono definitivamente sfumati. Una calda ventata di ottimismo, di allegria, di proclamata ingenuità pervade la nuovissima idea. Già Human League e Heaven 17 avevano indicato la via dell'entusiasmo ritmico, ma le loro opere - degnisesime - non potevano esentarsi da quel palpabile cinismo che è figlio del nostro tempo. Scars e Depeche Mode sono, invece, spiriti burloni, e se ne vantano. Depeche Mode rinnovano l'antico ostracismo a chitarre e batteria, e utilizzano le tastiere quasi fossero giocattoli della loro mal conclusa adolescenza. Giovanissimi, creano con assoluta incoscienza una della soluzioni sonore più irresistibili tra quelle che oggi sia dato di ascoltare. Al loro debutto nell'alta società dell'elettropop, riescono a trovare l'uovo di Colombo dell'invito alla danza. Null'altra, niente di più che un continuo, ostinato invito alla danza. Sono spinto da motivazioni semplicissime, eppure incontestabili. I quattro imberbi di Basildon evitano di ricamare troppo sull'idea armonica, e si limitano a congegnare una linea armonica scarna e quasi elementare. Eppure, in questo contesto, questa semplice realtà pare un'illuminazione geniale. Dove altri su abbandonano a una fumosa ridondanza, Dave Gahan e compagni offrono une manciate di nude perline. La loro è una scelta destinata a durare lo spazio di un giorno, ma non c'è nulla di più invitante di una danza fatua, completamente fine a se stessa. "Speak And Spell" contiene tutte le tappe della folgorante scalata compiuta dal Depeche Mode, sulle "alternative charts" prima, su quelle che contano pop. "Photographic", "Dreaming Of Me", l'impagabile "New Life", l'inconfutabile "Just Can't Get Enough". Certate pure di rimanere immobili. Non ci ruiscirete. (S.M.)

1982-03-xx - Musician magazine (US) - Hit Squad Penetrates U.S.

[Thanks to SomeKindOfSign for scanning this for this forum! This seems to be an ad made by Sire/Warner Bros.]

Depeche Mode Speak & Spell.
Four Englishmen with a French name and a very modern sound. Team hits with feisty synthesizers and wry lyric outlook. Includes "Dreaming of Me," "Boys Say Go!"
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #127 on: 11 December 2013 - 07:17:04 »
1982-03-xx - Best n°164 (France) - Album Review

[Thanks to KFDM from for uploading this on their site. I typed out the text.]

"Speak & Spell"
(Mute - dist. Vogue)

Qui d'entre vous, chérubins nuptiaux, vous je croise dans le quartier les Halles, le bec enfariné, ma mèche en déroute étudiée, le col de chemise blanc comme une aube exaltée, vous les jeunes saturniens, casquette de moire, quéquette d'ivoire, fesse blême jusqu'au coeur de l'ourlet qui jetez ce regard dédaigneux sur mon cuir esquinté, qui d'entre vous tendres girons du Paris soyeux, se fera couillonner par rondelle aussi étriquée?
Venez donc jeter vos pâleurs d'hémophile, mes jolis, sur la nacre frileuse et périssable de ces spectres mélodiques, venez mes têtards gober votre plancton électronique, venez mes petits marquis cuire dans le sillon, vos amours d'amidon.
Et d'abord qui sont ces gens? Quels sont leurs noms? Des poupées de porcelaine dans une vitrine de luxe à l'enseigne d'un producteur, Daniel Miller, dont on se saurait jusqu'aux initiales, ignorer l'importance. Que la musique électronique tire ses charmes, enfin c'est ce que l'on dit, de la prouesse à pouvoir conjuguer en même temps sensibilité et sang froid, de donner aux émotions la précision d'une montre à quartz et aux rythmes les vertus de décisions inébranlables. Je veux bien. Rock ou no rock n'est pas la question. La question est de vibrer, de sentir, d'être touché, brûlé, habité par quelque chose. Et là, il y a quand même une notion qui, aussi, archaïquement rock soit elle, s'impose à nos soucis, de flagrante manière, celle de SON. Tous ces groupes sonnent pareil, de Kraftwerk à Jacno, de Soft Cell (traduction libre: caca mou) à OMITD. Normal, essayez donc d'ajouter de l'écho sur un synthétiseur, c'est comme un aquarium. Question souffle idem, une fourmi faisant du topless ne se ferait déculotter sur aucune des plages de ce disque. Tiédeur de l'élan ou paresse du vice, Depeche Mode est à classer dans les gentilles infirmités qui colportent en ce début 82 sur nos horizons musicaux. Petite badinerie mutine idéale pour accueillir doubles axels et triples saltos lors des exhibitions de patinage artistique d'Holiday On Ice. Je vous avouerai néanmoins aimer une chanson sur "Speak & Spell", "Dreaming Of Me" (narcissisme outré jusqu'à la dérision). Et c'est toujours comme ça avec les disques qu'a priori je déteste. C'est comme pour faire pipi, qu'on la secoue ou qu'on l'agite la dernière goutte c'est pour le slip.
Francis Dordor

[Translation by me:]

"Speak & Spell"
(Mute - dist. Vogue)

Who among you, bridal cherubs, who can be met in the Les Halles area, with a floured beak, the lock with a well-consider root, the collar of your white shirt like an exalted blade, you young Saturnians, with memory cap, peckers of ivory, pale buttocks down to the centre of the hem who throws this disdainful look onto my well-worn leather, who among you, silky soft treads of Paris, will also routinely smash something down?
Come bring it on, you pale hemophiliacs, my pretty ones, onto this chilly and perishable pearl of the melodic spectra, come, my tadpoles, devour your electronic plankton, come, my little Marquis, boil in the groove, your love starch.
And first of all, who are these people? What are their names? Porcelain dolls in a showcase of luxury under producer Daniel Miller, whose initials do not matter, ignore its importance. That electronic music has its charms, that is what they say, that there is prowess to be able to combine sensitivity and cold-bloodedness at the same time, to give emotions the accuracy of a quartz watch and rhythms the virtue of having unshakeable decisions. I will. To rock or not to rock is not the question. The question is to vibrate, to feel, to be touched, burned, inhabited by something. And then there is even a concept which, also archaically stemming from rock, imposes itself on our concerns, blatantly, that of SOUND. All these bands sound the same, from Kraftwerk to Jacno, Soft Cell (rough translation: soft poop) to OMITD. Normally, trying to add an echo on a synthesizer is like an aquarium. A question of similar vein, an girl going topless would not undress herself on any beaches on this disc. Lukewarm momentum or lazyness as vice, Depeche Mode is to be classified as the amiable disabilities who peddle in the musical horizon of early '82. Little mischievous jokes, ideal for accommodating double axels and triple somersaults at figure skating exhibitions of Holiday On Ice. However, I will confess nevertheless loving one song on "Speak & Spell", "Dreaming Of Me" (from exaggerated narcissism to derision). And it's always like that with albums that I hate a priori. It's like peeing, to shake off or to leave the last drop for the panties.
Francis Dordor

1982-03-xx - Pop&Rock (Greece) - Depeche Mode

[Found on eBay. Thanks to ev95 for translating this article for this forum!]

Pop&Rock 03/1982

exclusive interview

They're one of the youngest bands, only about 1.5 years old, whose members' age is on average about 20 years old.
The band members are David Gahan, Vincent Clarke, Martin Lee Gore and Andrew John Fletcher, and they all come from Basildon, Essex, in South East England. Up until July 1980, three of the members were a band from Basildon, playing guitars and synthesizers.
At that point, they decided to forget all about guitars, and focus on synthesizers, when Dave was added to the group. At the same time, the name of the group changed into “Depeche Mode”.
Having a demo tape in their hands, they tried for some time to find a record company, while playing in small venues, but they didn't succeed, until one day, they played in Bridgehouse in London, along with Fad Gadget.
There, Daniel Miller, the creator of Mute Records, heard them and asked them to get them signed in Mute.
From that day on, luck was not only by their side, but all over them, having seen the success they achieved.
“I don't think they were in a place to achieve anything on their own.” Like they, themselves, admit today, Daniel not only helped them, but taught them, and still teaches them, the secrets of synthesizers. He also chose for them the instruments they'd play.
Meanwhile though, Depeche Mode is the most famous creation of Daniel to this day (even though he got involved with loads of things, for example with every group in Mute but DAF). To be honest though, Depeche Mode might be Mute's most famous band, but not the best.
As for Miller, he's being admired by all the members of Depeche. He's their Master, but also their closest friend.
That's the reason they stick with Mute.
They, themselves, say this as well.

Depeche Mode – The Music
The first contact of Depeche with the crowd came with “Photographic”, one of the best songs of Some Bizarre Album. A three-minute song, very simply structured but very strong and fast paced. That was the beginning, a very promising one.
During the same month, February of '81, Mute released  their first single “Dreaming of Me/Ice Machine”, which, even though reached the top of indie charts, it barely reached no 54 of BBC UK chart. That was enough to make them understand that they're on their way to success, and when, a few months after spring, the five of them (along with Daniel Miller) unite their powers, and release “New Life/Shout”, which, again reached the indie charts top, however this time, up until Nov 11th, it also reached the top of the UK BBC charts.
What else could they possibly as for. And it was only their second single.
The company, of course, helped in that success by releasing the single in 7” and also in 12” club mix. That was the first single Mute released in 12”.
The same amount of success kept going with their third single “Just Can't Get Enough”, which Schizomix (don't ask what that means) released at 12.
Thus came the time for an album to be released, which was highly anticipated. The title of the album is “Speak and Spell”.
The music – simple, jolly and of course dance-able. That was, besides, the secret of their success: dancing.
In these 11 songs of the record, we can also find their singles “New Life” and “Just Can't Get Enough”, as well as a different mix of “Photographic”, that this time is in sync with the rest of the album.
Interesting version, however I believe that the first one of “Some Bizarre”, is far better. Even though they say the album version is much better.
On the B-side of the record, we can also find “Big Muff”, a very nice instrumental track, which is being followed by the only slow song of the album, “Any Seconds Now (Voices)”.
As for the rest of the album, the songs that stand out the most and are quite dance able are “I Sometimes Wish I Was Dead” and “Puppets”, as well as the disco-parody “No disco”.
Along with the record, there have been prepared a series of videos, out of which, the British television aired two.
“Speak and Spell” is a simple album (musically), and is recommended to those who like pop and dancing.

Depeche Mode – The Concert
After a quite long tour in England, the time for London arrived. The place in which they'd play in was Lyceum, which was sold out two nights in a row. In the crowd, there were all kinds of people, most of them dressed and styled like peacocks, all of them young kids full of life. (Not like these men in their 30s and 40s who had filled up Wembley Arena in the concert of ELO. And they wouldn't stand up.)
The Depeche setlist was, of course, limited, in 13-14 songs (and these are pretty much all they've got).
Starting with “Big Muff”, in about an hour, they performed everything, except “New Life”. I don't remember well their last encore, the third encore of the night, unarguably, since it was the last night of the tour. Perhaps they were not tired at the beginning, but they looked a bit lost however, after seeing the reaction of the crowd, which was unbelievable, they got into the zone of dancing and having fun.
The show was cheap and empty as for the lights and effects. That was besides, something they'd already said, and earlier they'd claimed that in that tour they'd spend a small amount of money in order to make a big amount. And the reason was to be able to support financially their European tour, where they'd spend a lot of money in order to make little.
Whatever the thing was, they did a good show and I don't think anyone was disappointed.

Depeche Mode – The Interview
The interview was done in Blackwing Studio, an old church which has been converted as a studio, somewhere in Southeast London.
When the door opened, the first thing I saw was the man – Daniel Miller, being bent over a synthesizer, along with Martin of Depeche. “The Teacher is giving lessons” was my first thought. After a few minutes, I found myself in one of the studios, talking with David Gahan and Andrew John Fletcher (Vincent Clarke wasn't there and Martin Lee Gore preferred to continue his lesson – he looked scared at the concept of being interviewed).
David: Depeche Mode was formed 1,5 years ago, at first as a trio, using bass, a drum machine and synthesizer. I came later. We met at the studio where I was rehearsing with another band. When they asked me to go with them, I said yes, and after a few rehearses we made a demo tape, which we gave to clubs in London and many record companies. That's how we started playing in clubs in London. And that's how we met Daniel Miller, when we played with Fat Gadget, and he asked us if we wanted him to make for us our first single.
-Which was that?
D: “Dreaming of Me/Ice Machine”.
-Was that after or before “Photographic” of  “Some Bizarre Album”?
D: After. And it was and agreement made by Daniel.
-How did that happen?
D: Stevo, who picked the songs of the record, asked us if we wanted to get involved with that. And OF COURSE we said yes.
-Was the song written exclusively for the album, or was it already written?
A: It was already written, in a way, but it was recorded especially for “Some Bizarre”.
-The same song exists in a different version in your album. Why?
D: We thought it should be written better. It was our first studio attempt. Now we are somewhat more experienced in order to make it better.
A: I think it just came that way. When we were re-recording it, David tried to sing it differently and that's how it came up the way it is.
D: Yeah, but we tried to make it “stronger” (Stronger?! He must be joking). I believe it's better than the first. Other people prefer the first [version].
A: It wouldn't be an honor putting the same song in both albums. We tried to avoid that and we ended up in that we have now.
-Andy, before you became Depeche Mode, had you written or released any material?
A: We had done “Photographic” and “Ice Machine”, but we hadn't released anything.
-In your attempt to get signed in some company, did you have to deal with difficulties?
A: In the beginning yes. But three months later, everybody was running after us.
-How did that happen?
D: We had already gained a reputation. A very good reputation.
-How did you gain that reputation?
D: At the concerts we made in London, we didn't only played in small venues. We played in The Venue with Ultravox, as well as on our own there.
-Were you in Mute at that time?
A: Not yet. It was during that period when “big companies” were interested in us. They would usually take us out in restaurants and talk to us about these huge deals they had for us, above rich tables full of food. One the other hand, Daniel took us at the coffee shop and we talked about it... and we agreed.
-I believe that most people would do the opposite. What was the thing then, that attracted you to Mute?
A: Daniel Miller. We trusted him from the first moment, we had many things in common and we believed that he'd help us as much as he could. It's easier to have to deal with one than deal with 30 people, who do the same job in some “big” company. Mute is like our home. We know every second what's going on and we can find anyone and anything we want, immediately. (Besides Mute is two and a half people – half of them work part-time.) As for Daniel, he's the teacher, producer, manager and record company. It's so easy for a new band to lose a lot of money, there are plenty of such examples in the past.
-Do you have any complains so far?
D: Nope, none whatsoever!
-Your first big hit, the song that made you famous to everybody, was “New Life”. What did you think of that?
D: It surprised me, even though right after “Dreaming Of Me”, I was expecting exactly what happened. The biggest surprise for us was the success of “Dreaming of Me”, when we saw it at no 54 at the charts. “New Life” built its way to the top.
-After that, did you take the time to consider what you've achieved so far? Has success influenced you in a different way as people?
D: I don't think we changed at all. Maybe that's because we don't have a big company behind us, spending thousands of pounds, transferring us in Rolls-Royce's, etc. We still travel in trains and taxis, as always.
-How big was the tour you did recently?
D: It lasted for about 3 weeks and we played in about 15 clubs.
-What did you think of it, in terms of success?
D: It was amazing. We sold out all of our shows, except a couple. It was---

[the scan ends here, unfortunately]
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #128 on: 11 December 2013 - 07:17:29 »
1982-05-13 - Rolling Stone #369 (US) - Album Review

[Thanks to tooby for scanning this for this forum!]

The sound of synthesizers
Electronic pop: the latest rage in Britain
By David Fricke

Speak & Spell - Depeche Mode
Two and a half stars

To English Pop-music fans, there is nothing like a good six-month fad. The punk explosion, the warmed-over mods, the ska craze and the psychedelic revival — don't look now, but you just missed the New Romantics — have come and gone (and in some cases, come again) with such confounding rapidity that it is hard to take most of diem any more seriously than Hula Hoops or edible underwear.
The country's latest rage is synthesizer music. Every hip, young Tom, Dick and Johnny B. Goode has traded in his guitar for a synthesizer and rhythm box, buying into future cool by applying the latest keyboard and computer appliances to the brisk melodic cheeriness of commercial pop and the bubbly beat of off-white funk. But far from bowing down to the great god of automation or passing off their microchip bubblegum musings on sex and energy as the stuff of a brave new world, these synthesizer bands have bestowed an almost mock-human quality upon their hardware. The beeping, farting and whooshing of the keyboards, combined with the psycho-Sinatra cabaret croon of the singers (Soft Cell's Marc Almond and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's Andy McCluskey, take a bow), creates a man-machine tension channeled into the vigorous dance beat of many of these songs. And by dancing, that does not mean the March of the Androids but no-holds-barred Soul Train swing.
The chart success of these digital dandies and their synthesizer pop — all four of the above LPs made the U.K. Top Five and are faring surprisingly well here — is somewhat out of proportion to their artistic worth. These are, after all, only pop songs in transistor drag. But if singing the same old song with newfangled noise is no great leap, selling the public on a package of postpunk do-it-yourself ingenuity, easy-to-play technology and Top Forty classicism certainly is.
The Human League is a perfect case in point. In the four years since the group's first single, a home-recorded slice of angry young electronic New Wave called "Being Boiled," the original quartet split in half and evolved into a six-piece, circa-2001 Abba. Singer Phil Oakey's lusty saloon styling is now lightly sugared with the twee harmonies of Joanne Catherall and Susanne Sulley. Such songs as the Euro-fizzy "Open Your Heart" and the bright motorfunk exercise "Love Action" (both on Dare) are delightful, swinging singles free of sci-fi pretensions and uncluttered by art-school cleverness. Producer Martin Rushent's warm wide-screen production also takes the edge off the severe chill that typified the League's earlier import albums.
Yet, more important, the League itself now strikes an appealing balance between modern technique and tuneful charm, epitomized by the hit single "Don't You Want Me." Alternating between a gray doomsday riff and a smart samba strut, the song is a tasty white-soul layer cake of competing melody and harmony lines whose orchestral possibilities are pared down to a sleek, glassy arrangement by the metallic breeze and regimented beat of the synthe sizers. With all the knobs and buttons at their disposal, the Human League still goes for the hook. And with eight other songs as artfully grabby as "Don't You Want Me," Dare keeps reelin' 'em in.
The problem with Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark is that they want to have their art and eat it, too. The awkward mix of dreamy romanticism and spatial. Pink Floyd-ian abstractions on Architecture and Morality, OMD's second American album, suggests that Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys are acutely embarrassed by their ability to pen seductive moonlight sonatas like "Souvenir" and the eerie Parisian waltz "Joan of Arc (Maid of Orleans)." Why else gussy up the LP with ponderous music of the spheres, as in the title track's construction-site rattle and the overlong "Sealand," a nuclear beach concerto of drawn-out synthesizer drones? They even sabotage the album's one decent party track, "Georgia," with carnival organ and holy choir sound effects. Too much sincerity and not enough spunk on Architecture and Morality make for attractive but dull fare.
The Soft Cell twosome of Marc Almond and David Ball walks on a much wilder side, bringing the brainy bop of OMD down to a lurid red-light-district level on their debut album, Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret. Their hit single,"Tainted Love" (included here), neatly captured Soft Cell's fetish for R&B camp; the twelve-inch single even segued into a heavy-breathing version of the Supremes' "Where Did Our Love Go."
Not surprisingly, then, the best tracks on Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret - "Frustration," "Sex Dwarf," " Secret Life" — bump and grind with vibrant, tawdry soul. Ball, employing a limited arsenal of synthesized keyboard effects, tarts up the meaty funk beaf with multiple rhythm figures and steamy extended chords. Together, these complement singer-lyricist Almond's passion for sexual deviation ("Sex Dwarf," "Entertain Me") and rather vampiric fear of open daylight ("Memories of the night before/Out in clubland having fun/And now I'm hiding from the sun," from "Bedsitter").
Compared to Soft Cell's smutty pop, Depeche Mode's Speak and Spell is strictly PG-rated fluff. A group of fresh-faced, suburban lads from Britain, they have neither the ambition of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark nor the overt commercial allure of the Human League. They simply drift aimlessly between the two, occasionally hitting a disco bull's-eye with chirpy dance tracks like "Dreaming of Me" and "Just Can't Get Enough." Too often the synthesizers lock into dead-end grooves, and the group's boyish caroling is anonymous at best.
There's plenty more where all this synthesized Dream Whip came from: e.g., Simple Minds, Duran Duran, Heaven 17, the Far East fantasies of the group Japan. They're not all completely synth, but they certainly sing the body electric. Still, the temptation is to dismiss English synth-pop as the chart's flavor of the month. For all their undeniable pop attractions and the genuine innovative potential of electro-dominated rock, these bands so far have only bent the rules, not broken them. If this batch of records is any indication, the revolution will not be synthesized.
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #129 on: 22 December 2013 - 04:09:15 »
1982-06-xx - Stand And Deliver (UK) - Life At The Top Of The Escalators

[Thanks to Marblehead Johnson for supplying a photo of this fanzine! It seems that the interview was conducted in Edinburgh in August 1981, but the article wasn't published until June 1982. Typed out by me.]

Depeche Mode, Basildon's darlings of synth pop have exceeded no-one's expectations more than their own. From 'Dreaming Of Me', they have shown a talent which few of today's groups have managed to grasp for more than a few singles at a time, the talent of writing good singles and having hits with each whilst remaining independent and in proportion.

Since Vince Clarke's departure, Depeche Mode have proved many wrong that may have thought the songwriting aspect of Depeche Mode would become a weakness. Their record since joining Mute is almost impeccable with only the debut single failing in it's duties of entering the national chart although this should be attributed to the virtually non-existent radio airplay at the time.

Jon Paul giggles at Depeche Mode:
We're in the bar of Basildon arts centre, right in the middle of Essex, its most famed town, if only because Depeche Mode hail from there.

On the subject of press:
We were interviewed by the local paper, The Evening Echo, and they said that we could be the new Beatles although we haven't got their money. In the same paper, they put an ad in for a gig we were doing in a club in Basildon called Sweeneys, which is at the top of the escalators in the main square, that said, 'Basildon boys come home, they've made it to the top... of the escalators.' It was embarrassing but we're waiting for the backlash now. Record Mirror hates us already. We played what we thought was a really good gig a while back at the Hope And Anchor in London and they ripped up right up. We were playing well, and there was something like a hundred and fifty kids dancing in front of us, but the Record Mirror said it was as boring as a cheese sandwich.

On the subject of stage and success:
Dave: People say I look nervous on stage quite a lot. I used to be real nervous but I'm not now so people say 'It's your image then?' but it's not, it's just the way I am. I'm just not a very loud person. We never believed we would really get anywhere. People said we would get ready for Top Of The Pops, but there were a hundred and fifty singles a week being released so we never really expected anything.

On the subject of interviews:
We relax much more now. At first we were just nervous, and of course it depends on the questions. If they start asking cliche questions, it gets boring.
Martin: What's a cliche question?
Dave: Like what do you think of the futurist scene?

What do you think of the futurist scene:
We played at the People's Palace thing in London a while ago which was supposed to be a futurist thing. We thought the idea was really good, to have all these people into the same thing, under one roof for a night but with Ultravox as the surprise guests, it turned into just another Ultravox concert.

On the subject of Daniel Miller:
Daniel Miller has helped us out a lot. He is just so honest and kind, that you could never hurt him. A very hard working, a dog, no that's wrong, what I meant to say was, he works like a dog... I hope he doesn't read this.

On the subject of money:
Martin: What's that? Now, the interviewer is buying the next round. I think Daniel would help us out if we were skint, he'd give us a quid. I remember once, he lent me twenty pence to play pool.

What will be happening with Depeche Mode in the near future:
We're into ecology in the moment, nah, it would be be nice to progress, it'd be interesting. We take things as they come really, never set out to do much in particular.

1982-xx-xx - Unknown (Belgium) - Album review

[Thanks to ericdm for scanning this article for this forum!]

[I typed out the text:]

« SPEAK AND SPELL » par DEPECHE MODE: On n’entend plus rien d’autre que « Just Can’t Get Enough » sur toutes les radios (libres ou officielles) de Belgique. Et si vous aimez ce 45 tours, sachez que vous trouverez sur l’album de Dépêche Modes outre ce titre, le single précédent « New Life ». ainsi que le premier hit du groupe « Dreaming of Me », mais ça. C’est juste sur le pressage belge de ce disque, contrairement aux autres pays européens. Tout est électronique ici, plus pop encore que Human League, moins disco que Telex. mais hyper-frais tout de même et totalement irrésistible. Ecoutez en priorité « Puppets », « What’s Your Name ? » et « Photographic ». (B.B.) Mute 5 - 12 plages - Prod. Daniel Miller - Vogue.


"SPEAK AND SPELL" by DEPECHE MODE: You cannot hear anything other than "Just Can't Get Enough" on the radio (free or official) in Belgium. And if you like the 45s, know that you'll find on the album of Depeche Mode in addition to this title, the previous single "New Life". And not the first hit of the group "Dreaming of Me". It's just on the Belgian pressing of this disc, unlike other European countries. Here everything is electronic, pop all over again that's like Human League, less disco than Telex. but super-cool anyway and totally irresistible. Listen especially to "Puppets", "What's Your Name? "And" Photographic ". (B.B.) Mute 5-12 songs - Prod. Daniel Miller - Vogue.
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #130 on: 27 December 2013 - 02:38:06 »
1982-xx-xx - Bop Eye (UK) - Issue 3: Depeche Mode

[Taken from the now-defunct website]

[Undated, 1982. Words: Jane-Nina Buchanan. Picture: Tim Gudgeon.]
" Vince, Martin and I all met up with some awful Christian electronic bands... We went to the ‘Greenbelt Christian / Arts Festival’ and saw them all there. We’ve even thought about playing there under another name – bottom of the bill. "
Summary: A not-very-taxing interview which unusually focuses on Andy, and which was in fact conducted in late 1981 as Vince is still present. Comment and criticism from the author is almost entirely absent, but left to speak for himself Fletch does go into some detail on their very early days and Christian background. There's also the obligatory 1981 band banter. It's no literary classic, but I've read worse. [1126 words]

    Depech-ay (sic) Mode – the boys from Basildon (Essex) are fresh, lively, humourous and chart-topping. But, still they haven’t reached the Julian Cope “Ego of the Year” syndrome.
    I spoke to the band at their hotel before they left for Sheffield (the next date of the tour). The most helpful member of the band was Andrew (Andy) Fletcher. This spiked haired synth player told us all about Depeche as a band, “We’re not at all a serious band, although, I wouldn’t say we were witty. We haven’t a message to preach about anything like unemployment etc. What our aims are, is that people should have a good time at our concerts.”
    Having seen D. M. live, I feel that they do give everyone a good time. However, like many other synth bands, there is a distance between the audience and performers could serve to enhance their stage presence (a valuable asset to any band) unless the split eventually becomes a chasm (a la Japan).
    “It’s much easier to create a party atmosphere down South than up North, as down South they know all our songs. I get bored playing. Once, we used to play in small clubs or discos for only 30 minutes. Now that we’re a bigger established band we’re expected to play for much longer. And, when you’re stuck behind a synth for all that time you can’t even dance.”
    What was it like when you had guitars, besides that fact that you could ‘bop’, was there any difference in the music?
    “Even when we had guitars we played the same style stuff, ‘Photographic’ used to have a really good base-line, doo, doo, doo, doo…”
    Andrew demonstrates the tune, then laughs nervously.
    I hear you all have religious backgrounds.
    “Vince was once in a gospel folk band” (Vince looks across the room and grins).
    Do you think that you could soon start some new scenes off, e.g. – Futurist folk bands or New Romantic Religious? (!)
    “I dan know. All of our families were Christians. Dave’s family are all in the ‘Sally Army’ and I was in a Methodist Church until I was about seventeen. We all went to Sunday School. Vince, Martin and I all met up with some awful Christian electronic bands.” ( - I didn’t know such bands existed!) “We went to the ‘Greenbelt Christian / Arts Festival’ and saw them all there. We’ve even thought about playing there under another name – bottom of the bill. It’s a really funny place ‘Greenbelt’, there were all these ‘hip’ Christians around the place all dressed up, as if they were off to a club when really everybody was living in tents on this campsite!” (Sounds like Steve Strange’s idea of Pontins).
    I’ve noticed with all of Depeche’s old and new stuff you play, all of them have important harmonies. Is that something you will carry on doing or do you think D. M.’s style will change?
    “I don’t know if the style will change, that’s something you can never say until it happens. But harmonics… live ones are getting bad lately. Martin has got an excellent voice though. In the studio Martin finds he can get harmonies even better. It really amazes me the way he does it. I suppose we’ll carry on doing them ’cause of this.”
    From studio to LP to cover… “The cover from the album is really mad. This guy who did it, Brian Griffin, was a typical artist – he wore a big floppy hat. One day he came into the office and said, ‘I’ve had this vision (Andrew waves his arms in the air), a Swan flying in the air, flying… flying… What do you think? Do you want it?’ We just said, ‘Can’t you tell us a bit more? I mean, it’ll cost hundreds of pounds.’ I wasn’t too sure of the plastic bag bit but we were in too much of a rush to worry about it.”
    Talking of Brian Griffin’s big hat, is it true that D.M. used to dress up really over the top?
    “Oh God yes, we used to wear all this make-up and hideous clothes, it was all really funny. We’re still funny now I suppose, Martin was the make-up person, ha, ha, weren’t you Mart?”
    Martin laughs and asks me if I saw them on Swap Shop and Something Else.
    “It was funny that,” Andrew butts in, “We were all in this silly leather gear and Martin in this Commando stuff with black stubble painted on his face, ha!”
    “You can’t talk!” Martin laughs, “You danced really stupid, you were going…” (he demonstrates Andrew’s dancing). There then follows a friendly slagging match between the band, “Dave looked like Graham Bonnet,” “No he didn’t,” etc, etc.
    “The ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’ video was a funny one. Made in London – it was a real cheapo as we had to pay for it. We are in this club (in the video) and there’s all these girl dancers and we’re drinking cocktails, we chat them up and Martin gets left without a bird – really funny.”
    Depeche Mode are not too concerned with videos to go with their live acts, but now are more interested in lighting.
    Considering they are only young (average age twenty) D.M. have enjoyed quite a bit of British success.
    “I haven’t changed since I was sixteen, honest!” Andrew reflects, “Although, I have got bags under my eyes,” he remarks to the photographer who is busy snapping away. “We don’t really take care with photographs, we just let people go ‘snap, snap, snap’! We don’t even like the ones that are on sale.”
    There was then a pause in our chat when Andrew had a witty bitch with Neil Arthur of ‘Blancmange’ about their chess tournament – Depeche Mode v Blancmange (somehow I feel I’m on Blancmange’s side it’s not really fair – four against two is it?).
    What are your plans for the future, accepting the fact that you will stick together?
    “We will try and release something in the U.S.A. and get a contract in Japan too, I don’t know anything else… (pause)… Although, there was one point in 1980 when we were all going to pack everything in. It was when we played in Sheffield and nobody turned up. The ‘Loved One’ turned up and played, they were freaking everybody out. We all thought they were going to commit suicide or something. When we played it was awful… awful atmosphere. Travelling home was bad too, it was so cold. We genuinely thought of packing it in then… it was so cold.”
    Good job Depech-ay Mode did carry on, and let’s hope they can survive many winters to come too!
    Wrap up warm lads and keep feeding us with good, wholesome ‘happy’ tunes. Thanks!
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #131 on: 05 May 2014 - 05:59:46 »
2006-04-03 - Mute - Speak and Spell remaster


[Transcribed by me:]

"Do we really have to give up our day jobs?"
Depeche Mode 1980 - 81

"Playing The Angel" press Conference, Düsseldorf, Germany, 16th June 2005:
Andy Fletcher: Welcome to all the media, and all the fans for coming this afternoon. We've just come from straight mixing the album, the vibe has been great, and we are confident will be up there as one of our best. It is therefore with great enthusiasm that we feel we are now in a position to proudly the next Depeche Mode world tour. Thank you very much.

Vince Clarke: We just want to really be the Cure, or something like that, or Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, or the Human League, from Basildon.
Martin Gore: Vince was obviously the driving force behind the band. It was him and Andy who first formed Composition Of Sound as we were called at the time. And I think they got me in because I was one of the only people that had a synthesizer in Basildon.
Vince Clarke: We kind of realised early on that we needed a frontman, someone who could leap about, to make us look interesting. I think Dave was a friend of a friend, and we did an audition with him. We used to rehearse in one of the local schools, and he came up during the rehearsals.
Andy Fletcher: Vince was sort of the lead singer before that, but he wasn't really comfortable doing that, so we thought we'd grab him. Dave looked better than us, and had about a thousand more contacts: we had no contacts, and he had loads of contacts. And he sang really well as well.
Vince: And we thought, 'Yeah, he'll do.'
Dave on TV show Måndagbörsen, 1982: When we began we had guitars, there was a bassguitar and a general guitar, and a drum machine, but then we gradually we changed over to all-synths.
Host of TV show Måndagbörsen, 1982: why did you quit the guitar and the bass?
Dave on the TV show Måndagbörsen, 1982: It just seemed like a natural thing, like, Martin had a synthesiser, and Andy and Vince bought one, following. It just seemed like the right thing to do at the time.
Dave Gahan: Really, it was convenience. We just gradually changed over because it enabled us to be able to go anywhere with these keyboards, these small monophonic keyboards under our arm, and to sort of plug into a PA system and play a gig - not that we had any gigs, really, at the time, but... It's just, they were quite cheap, you didn't have to have a good amp. We weren't any good at playing guitar anyway. We all sat down and said 'Let's go electronic.' It was more convenience, and we actually played those instruments in a very, sort of, traditional format. There was a bassline, there was a leadline, and there was a rhythmline.
Daryl Bamonte: The two places that I do recall are Crocs in Rayleigh, because that was the residency, I suppose, where they played a few Saturday nights when it opened, and they had all the local crowds, specifically Dave's fashion friends from college, so they quickly gave the band kudos in that area.
Dave: We became, like, the band of the scene down there, and in doing so, had our own following of 50 people or something that would travel up to London. So we sort of created a little buzz without having to try too hard, really, because it were just our mates. We actually went to Rough Trade, and Rough Trade was kind of, like, our last resort, the last place we're gonna go to if we're really that desperate. We were that arrogant or that naive, whatever you wanna call it, that we thought that. They had Cabaret Voltaire... We were making music that was, like, accessible electronic, accessible pop music.
Vince: Well, me and Dave went to all the record companies, because in those [days], you could, you could actually go into the A&R departments, they'd play your tape there and then. It was amazing. I mean, you didn't have to make appointments or anything. We went to Island, we went to RCA, we went to all the major record companies.
Dave: We had this quarter-inch tape that we insisted that the record label would play, and half the time they'd just be like, 'Have you got a cassette? Can you just...?' And we'd be like, 'No, we're not gonna leave unless you play our quarter-inch.' And of course most of the time, record companies would be like, 'Yeah, right, okay, we'll see you later.' But Scott actually played it. He put it on a reel-to-reel, he was tapping his foot, and me and Vince were sort of looking at each other and think, 'That's it, we got it, yeah, we're signed.' And he was sort of coming near the end of it and he was like, 'It's not really what we do, Rough Trade. But, this guy....' that just came in, and Daniel was just sort of blown in the door and was ranting about something, distribution or not being able to find Fad or records in some store, shouting at people. And [Scott] said 'Daniel, what do you think of this?'
Vince: Daniel said 'No. I'm not interested.' Then he disappeared. And then we supported Fad Gadget at Canning Town, and he came along because Fad Gadget was signed to Mute, and he came backstage.
Dave: We knew he was there, because, I think, he was mixing Fad's found. It was a big crowd, it was full up, and Daniel came up afterwards and came up to me, thinking at the time that I was writing the songs or something. And I said, 'No, that's the guy over in the corner there.' He sat down with Vince, he was talking to him for a while, but I kinda gave him the cold shoulder, I think I told him to fuck off, actually, at the time. But he came back again and again.
Vince: He said, 'Wanna do a single? Make a single with Mute Records?'
Martin: We were big fans of Mute at the time, so that was a big night for us anyway, and then to meet Daniel and be offered a single deal on the spot was pretty amazing.
Fad Gadget in the 1980s: Behind me is the public house called the Bridgehouse, well, it's been turned into a hotel now. I did a gig there once, supported by a band called Depeche Mode. The last I saw of them, they were in there at the door with Daniel Miller.
Vince: And it was him and another guy called Stevo, who was making the Some Bizarre record, and he was offering us a deal, as well. And he said, 'If you sign with me, then I can give you a support slot with Ultravox', and that sounded really, like, glamorous to us, so we were torn.
Dave: But they wanted to sign us, like, a heinous 10-hour album deal, and we were not at all interested in that, we just wanted to make a single.
Neil Ferris: It was back in the, probably around 1980, and I was working with Daniel. Daniel had just set up Mute Records. We had put out our first record by a band called Silicon Teens. It was really interesting, because we got to a point when we were going to radio, and nobody actually knew that Silicon Teens didn't actually exist. And we went to a radio interview at Capital Radio, and I remember Dan going in, Daniel Miller was going in, pretending to be a friend of the band, or the band's tour manager, something like that. And we went in, he did the interview, and the girl who was interviewing him said 'No you're not, you're not whoever you say you are, you are Daniel Miller, I went to school with you.' And as we left Capital, Dan said, 'You know, we ought to find a real band, we ought to find a proper band.'
Vince: We knew Mute Records, we had heard Fad Gadget, and he was, like, really cool, we had heard the The Normal single, and the Silicon Teens, actually. So, we just felt it was a cooler label.
Daryl Bamonte: I do remember specifically Dave saying to me, 'We've decided to go with Daniel Miller,' and I asked him 'Why?', and he just said, 'Well, because we just trust him.'
Fletch: For some bizarre reason, we were all working class kids in Basildon, we didn't have much money, and we went to the bloke who was offering us no money. Because, just, we trusted him, and we liked the music on his label. So it turned out to be one of the best decisions we ever made.
Chris Carr: Daniel gave them the perfect home, as he's done for all of his artists. It's the idea: think of them having signed to a major; 2 or 3 albums. You just have to look back at the bands that were kind of their contemporaries, who are no longer with us.
Daniel Miller: It became a challenge, because everybody told them, 'Oh, Mute is a nice little label, but you'll never have any success, or international success, with them.' And so, I just thought, 'Fuck that, I wanna see if I can prove everybody wrong. Why shouldn't they be able to?', you know. I mean, the old record companies are quite old-fashioned and very pop-orientated and we were working in a completely different way.
Vince: When Daniel said, 'It's a 50-50 deal', it wouldn't have mattered, if we had signed something or not, because it didn't really mean anything to us. The important thing was that we were going to make a single and go to a real recording studio, and record a song. So, if he had said, like, '99-1', give us a contract and we would have signed it.
Dave: He said, 'I'll pay to make us a single, and do the best I can to what [it is] that you want out of it,' and we said, 'Well, we wanna be in the charts, we wanna be on the radio.' He said, 'Well, I'll do my best'. So we went for it.
Daniel: I was looking for a studio to finish off the Silicon Teens record, the songs which I had done at home in a really basic way. And I was really nervous about going into the studio, I had no studio experience at all, and I felt that I was kind of working outside of the system and that people wouldn't really be sympathetic to what I was trying to do, because they're just used to recording normal bands. But I phoned up Blackwing, it was Eric who answered, and he just sounded very enthusiastic and very open to the way I wanted to work.
Neil Ferris: We put Dreaming Of Me up, struggled to get it on the radio, we struggled to get that first record away, and then Roger Ames, who was an A&R man at Phonogram in those days, approached the band and wanted to sign them. And I sat with the band, I remember Dan sitting quietly in the corner, and I was saying, 'Guys, stay with Daniel. Daniel is really gonna look after you and all.' And it was quite incredible because they were... And I'll always remember Vince Clarke in those days, because Vince was still in Depeche at that point, and Vince said, 'Yeah, it's alright, but if we get famous and we do Top Of The Pops, do you think we can do that in the afternoon so I can get back on the cheap day return of Basildon?'
Vince: When the single got in the charts top 100, we were amazed. Like, when we first heard it on the radio, we just couldn't believe it. It was just incredible.
Neil Ferris: And of course the record didn't fly in the chart; it wasn't a huge success. But, I think, if you look back in retrospect as a first record, it was kind of setting the ground, it was building the right foundations for the future. And the truth is, if you have a record that flies in on your first record as a very big hit, chances are you don't have a long career.
Daniel Miller: Everybody thought it was a good start. Because, I never got anywhere near the charts with any of my singles before.
Martin: To actually reach 57 was a real achievement, and that's when we felt that, if we actually concentrated a big more on the band, and maybe give up our day jobs, that we could possible actually make it.
John Fryer: They were very young, very naive, and very shy. Dave used to hide behind the microphone and stand back in those days.
Dave: We would record like a traditional band: we'd set up the Moog Prodigy or Mart's Yamaha in the other room, in this sort of live room, and plug it in, and sort of play the part. So, it was pretty much, we just laid down each part, like we would [do] live.
Daniel Miller: I wanted to capture, as best I could, the atmosphere, the vibe I got from the songs from when I saw them live, really, using some experimental things, I was quite keen to do that, as we did on some of the tracks more than others, just to have a really electronic pop sound that was theirs, really, that wasn't a copy of something else. I had made my own records in my bedroom, and I had kind of worked in a studio finishing off the Silicon Teens album, and I had worked with Fad Gadget, and couple of other people. But the only reason I was a producer was that, for them, I just knew a bit more about the studio than they did, I think, and also a bit more about programming the synthesizers and stuff like that.
Martin: Well he was a lot more savvy with synthesizers and especially old analogue stuff. So, he brought in his ARP 2600 and ARP Sequencer.
Vince: That was the really all-important piece of equipment that he brought along. Because, it meant that you could actually programme something and it will be on time, so that was really revolutionary for us.
John Fryer: Half of the mixing you do as you go along, because you got to bounce so many tracks together, because there's only eight tracks, [so] you're very limited. So you could have had the drums all on one track, and then bass and pad synth on another or backing vocals, and another synth or another track.
Vince: When there were limitations on what you could do in the studio, I think it was quite good, actually. We were used to it; there were no automated mixes or anything like that, so all of us, the band, Daniel and Eric, would all be at the control, at the desk, turning things off and on, we'd all have cues to get the final mixes down. And it was really exciting. And then we'd all pull into Eric's car to listen to the mix on his car stereo, because we felt that that was, like, a good test.
'Speak and Spell' came from Daniel, the title, and it was from that little toy, the speaking machine. I think there was some discussion about whether we would get in trouble for using it, but it was fine in the end.
Brian Griffin: It was still at the time then, where album covers just, like, sort of happened. They weren't marketing exercises. I mean, I did album covers in my own home, above the radiators or in my bedroom and things.
Dave: I don't know what it's about. I remember when we first saw it, I think we asked him, and he probably gave some metaphoric answer. The best you can get out of Brian. It was a pretty stunning cover, it certainly became a talking point, about this bird in a plastic case.
Brian Griffin: I remember setting it up on my own, actually, I didn't have any help. And, I don't know why I got a stuff swan covered in plastic, I've no idea. I mean, do you have any idea?
Vince: I remember seeing it, and just being amazed at how much someone could charge that, an album cover. I was like a thousand pounds or something, it was outrageous.
Brian Griffin: I mean, everybody was up in arms about it, really. I think they still are. I think they still hate the sight of it! I know it has gone quite famously for being an awful cover, I think. Goodness knows what was going at the time.
John Fryer: The general music industry was surprised because of the success of the band and it being a totally electronic.
Chris Carr: People were about to end the guitar wars, it was the death of the guitar, and Depeche were one of the bands that were supposedly heralding the death of the guitar.
Neil Ferris: And it was just, for some reason, we have seemed to have been perceived in the wrong way, and people didn't take us as seriously as maybe Heaven 17 or maybe The Human League, or some of those bands, which was very depressing, because the band I cared most about was Depeche.
Chris Carr: There was so much pressure to be credible in one respect and also to be a chart act, and initially they were very - and continued to be for quite a while - nervous of the press, and what press would do to them.
Neil Ferris: New Life kind of did change everything. It was a huge record, it went on the radio, after a struggle, but it went on the radio, and the then boys broke them all: we got on Top Of The Pops, it was starting to happen... And I think that for the process of New Life, the band were loving every second of it. It was exciting, they were having a hit record, and we had an album to come shortly on the back of that, and it was kind of getting to the point where, "Yep, we're happening, this is all developing in the right direction."
Fletch: I was actually on Top Of The Pops when I was still at work. I was treated as a hero when I walked in the next day. That was in the days when Top Of The Pops was really popular. So I think I was doing my month's notice.
Martin: I remember not sleeping the night before, which seems ridiculous now, but... Again, we were really young, it was a programme you grew up with.
Daryl Bamonte: There was a bit of fear, because I think that New Life was, like, at number 11, and Martin said to Daniel Miller, "Do you really think we've got to give up our day jobs?" and Daniel had to say, "Yeah, I think you're safe now."
Seymour Stein: I called my office, I said, "Look, if I get on the Concorde - I just have a hunch about this - if I get on the Concorde and come over, can you guys pick me up and take me to Basildon?" And I said, "You know where it is, it's right off the A1", which of course it wasn't. But they knew where it was, fortunately, at least I had the town right, and I saw them.
Martin: We were really shocked that someone from New York would bother to come all the way to Basildon to see us.
Seymour Stein: At that point, there were similar bands around, but I don't know how you could watch them for an hour without falling asleep. Depeche Mode were the first of those bands that were so fucking great live that it was just amazing.
Dan Silver: They were a band who were prepared to work hard, and I didn't want to waste their time with useless shows, but at the same time, I felt that to have a lot of shows in the calendar was always good.
Andy Franks: People were coming with their sort of strange expectations, because they were gonna see probably one of the first shows where there hadn't a band that were playing conventional instruments on stage, so I think people had a sort of strange expectation about what they were gonna see. We were certainly a bit surprised about it, because we hadn't done a show with a band that didn't have a drummer, and in some ways it was quite a simplistic sort of set-up, wasn't it?
Daryl Bamonte: Yeah, but also, it was harder, because you haven't got the visuals of a drummer, and people behind keyboards are obviously restricted. So much was on Dave's shoulders that he used to have really worked the crowd. And it was obviously the music, but also the live side, the way it picked up the reputation of it being such a good night, because he had the famous way of saying, "And you up there", didn't he?
Andy Franks: "And you up there!"
Daryl Bamonte: When we were playing Hammersmith Odeon, he used to include the balcony and just about everyone in there, and it was amazing, it was always amazing.
Andy Franks: But it was, also, from those days, I don't know if it was the fact that they were sort of bound together in uniformity, but he was never one of those guys who would talk to the audience, he'd be like "Come on, get going", or, "You up there", whatever, but it was never a long chat in-between the shows which is carried on all the way through, really, he has never been a vocal person on stage, apart from when he's singing.
Daryl Bamonte: He doesn't crack one-liners, does he?
Andy Franks: No, not like us. He never listened to us, did he?
Dan Silver: By October, they're doing a very serious national tour: they played Newcastle, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Liverpool, Sheffield, Bristol, Basildon, dear Basildon, Raquels, Brighton, Poole, Leicester, and two night at the Lyceum. And, actually, talking of memories, those two nights at the Lyceum were awesome. And I remember pulling the promoter and the hall manager into the venue and pointing at the rear balcony and saying, "Can you see how much that balcony is moving?" Because, it was bouncing up and down, because the kids were bouncing up and down at these two rammed shows. Huge success.
Vince: I don't think we were really thinking past the next gig, actually. The only time it started wearing on me was when we did the last tour, well, when I did the last tour then.
Host of TV show Måndagbörsen, 1982: Do you think that the band will look the same in another two years, with only synths?
Dave on TV show Måndagbörsen, 1982: If you come back in two years time, then you can see. I don't think we're gonna change. You never know though, we might change in a week's time, but, who knows?

In November 1981, following the end of the band's first UK tour, Vince Clarke officially announced his departure from Depeche Mode.

[Sleeve notes, scanned by me and transcribed using OCR:]

When we first went into the studio to start work on the 5.1 mix of Speak And Spell, it was the first time I had heard the album multitracks for 25 years. It took me right back to Blackwing Studios and 1981. It was very early days for Depeche Mode and I was still relatively inexperienced in the studio. But the album still sounds fresh today, if a little naive. The strength and quality of the songs and ideas still shine through.
Speak And Spell was a hugely important album for Depeche Mode and for Mute as a label. I knew they were an exceptional pop group from the moment I first saw them play at the Bridge House in Canning Town in October 1980. It was a simple but effective set-up, and even though it was still early days the songs came across very well and the potential was clear to me.
They were never New Romantics, they were Futurists, a subtle but important difference at the time. New Romantic bands were basically rock bands with a synthesizer player. But then there were other groups, like Human League and Soft Cell and Depeche Mode, who were electronic groups.
I actually didn’t sign a formal record contract with Depeche Mode until many years later but we started working together in October 1980. I thought that if you’re fair with an artist, pay them properly, give them creative freedom and do your best to promote their records, why would you need a contract? Why get lawyers involved? It just seemed impure. It was idealistic but worked well then and continued to do so for many years.
The album was recorded in the early part of 1981 and it was pretty much a replication of what they had been playing live. There were songs that didn’t make it onto the record, and a few were new. But basically it was the set I had seen them playing six months before in Canning Town.
We recorded at Blackwing Studios near London Bridge with an engineer called Eric Radcliffe, who had previously worked with me on Fad Gadget and Silicon Teens. It was a very friendly atmosphere and quite an adventure to use synthesizers to create all the music. Most engineers just didn’t get what you wanted to do.
But Eric, as well as being an outstanding guitarist, was a scientist. He was very into experimentation so it was a good, creative environment. We worked a lot with Eric after that. When Vince Clarke left Depeche Mode to form Yazoo, they even dedicated their first album, Upstairs At Eric’s, to him and his studio.
I co-produced Speak And Spell with the band. All but two songs were written by Vince, and the other two - Big Muff and Tora! Tora! Tora! — were written by Martin. Both of these are significant in that Martin would later become Depeche Mode’s main songwriter, but back then Vince was the driving force in the studio. I was there to help them get the sounds they wanted. I just tried to broaden their perspective as much as I could, to show what was possible with the limited equipment we had.
Vince was on the dole, but Fletch and Martin were still working at the time, and Dave was still at art college in Southend. I think they were hedging their bets. Fletch and Martin still had day jobs when they first appeared on Top Of The Pops performing New Life. Fletch and Martin would come to Blackwing with a takeaway, when they finished work. Martin always added some really nice counter melodies and things like that. I remember working on one track and he was standing there, playing with one hand and eating his dinner with the other. Obviously it was a monophonic synthesizer so you could only use one hand at a time, but he still came up with something amazing.
The first single was Dreaming Of Me, which wasn’t on the album in the UK, although we put it on the US and European versions. That peaked at Number in the charts. Then New Life reached Number 11. It was Mute’s first Top 20 hit. Then the band went to Number 8 with Just Can’t Get Enough. They had also been playing lots of gigs and receiving very good reviews by this rime. I wasn’t surprised but I was really pleased when the album went to Number to in November 1981. It stayed on the charts for 32 weeks.
The success of Speak And Spell coincided with some big changes, both inside Depeche Mode and around them. Mute moved into their first permanent offices in West London and we increased our staff to four. But by the time the album came out, Vince was ready to leave. On the band’s first European tour, in late spring, communication between Vince and the rest of the band just seemed to have broken down.
Vince announced confidentially, to the band and me, that he was going to leave as soon as the album came out. We were in the middle of negotiating an American deal with Sire and didn’t want to disrupt it by making this public, which is a bit naughty. But in the end I think it worked out for everybody, and our relationship with Sire and its founder Seymour Stein continues today. So Depeche Mode played their last show together in November and Vince officially left the band in December.
The rest of the band grew up quite quickly because of that. Suddenly they had to take responsibility. I wouldn’t call it a blessing but I think what came out of it was very strong. Martin was a very promising songwriter and having made such a successful album there was never any question of Depeche Mode stopping. By this point, Dave had quit college and Martin and Fletch had handed in their notices. There was no going back.
Even from before we put the first single out there was a ‘buzz’ that had grown quickly around the band. They started to generate substantial offers from major labels, but I am glad to say they decided to stay with Mute, even with n contract. We enjoyed working together and we trusted each other. It was the right decision, made for the right reasons, because that relationship has survived and thrived ever since. Speak And Spell was a remarkable debut that put the band on the world stage.
Daniel Miller
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #132 on: 05 May 2014 - 06:00:03 »
2013-04-16 - Electronic Sound (UK) - Unseen pics of DM's first tour in Europe

[Thanks to Cralle for supplying this article. I typed out the text.]

Time Machine

Back to when things weren't how they are now

As DEPECHE MODE get ready for another massive world tour, DEB DANAHAY talks about her previously unseen photos of the band's first ever trip outside of the UK

Photos copyright Deb Danahay

There is a misconception that Depeche Mode played their first gig outside the UK in Germany, in the city of Hamburg. In fact, their first ever non-UK gig was in Holland, at the Zuiderpark Open Air Theatre in The Hague. It took place on 25 July 1981.

During those early days of the band, I was helping to run the Depeche Mode Information Service with Jo Fox (Dave Gahan's girlfriend) and Anne Swindell (Martin Gore's girlfriend). I was Vince Clarke's girlfriend at that time. Fortunately, I can still recall a lot of what happened back then from the large collection of photos, memorabilia and diary entries I amassed chronicling that period in Depeche Mode's history, and later also Yazoo's career.

Depeche Mode had managed to secure their first UK Top 20 Single with 'New Life', which had peaked at number 11. The record had secured the band their debut appearance on the BBC's 'Top Of The Pops'. The Holland gig was a festival slot and followed a sold out show at The Venue in London a couple of days earlier.

The stage at the Zuiderpark was on an island. It was surrounded by a moat and the only access was over a little bridge. The headliners of the event were Tuxedomoon, an experimental new wave band from California, who were very popular in the Netherlands and Belgium. They were also Andy Fletcher's favourite band and I remember Fletch was very excited that Depeche were sharing a stage with them. It was a lovely sunny day and the gig went without a hitch. The band got a great reception as they'd already managed to attract a number of Dutch fans.
Playing live in those days wasn't anything like it for Depeche Mode now. The guys used to travel to gigs with their synths under their arms. On this occasion, Daniel Miller, the head of Mute Records, drove everyone over to Europe in a minibus. There was the band, plus Jo, Anne and myself, and we went via the ferry from Dover to Zeebrugge. Twelve hours and much seasickness later, we arrived at The Hague. Vince and I went out and found what I described in my diary as an 'illegal bar' (is anything illegal in Holland?) and we stayed there until four in the morning.

This was probably the first time Vince had travelled out of the UK. His family split up when he was young and I'm sure they had never been abroad together. Vince was also on the dole at the time and money was tight, so the whole experience was very exciting for both of us. In those days, he was the driving force behind the band. He'd asked Dave to join the band, and he organised the gigs and sent out the demo tapes - which was lucky as Martin, Andy and Dave had full-time jobs.

I originally came from Dave's group of friends. Dave was already a popular figure. He was a good-looking boy. He was a lad when he was with the lads, but on his own he was quite shy and self-conscious. If Vince hadn't asked him to be in the band, I don't think it would have occured to him to make music his career.

It amazes me that I kept so much stuff from back then. I certainly couldn't have predicted how things would turn out. We used to sit on the tour bus and joke about "Depeche Mode, Live at Wembley" or a "Depeche Mode Greatest Hits" album, but that's all we were doing, we were just joking. Nobody, including the guys themselves, ever thought it would actually happen.
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