28 January 2013
Depeche Mode is an English electronic music band formed in 1980 in Basildon, Essex. The group's original line-up consisted of Dave Gahan (lead vocals, occasional songwriter since 2005), Martin Gore (keyboards, guitar, vocals, chief songwriter after 1981), Andy Fletcher (keyboards) and Vince Clarke (keyboards, chief songwriter 1980–81). Clarke left the band after the release of their 1981 debut album, Speak & Spell, and was replaced by Alan Wilder (keyboards, drums, occasional songwriter) with Gore taking over songwriting. Wilder left the band in 1995. Gahan, Gore, and Fletcher have since continued as a trio.
In 1980, Clarke, Gore and Fletcher formed a band called Composition of Sound, with Clarke on vocals/guitar, Gore on keyboards and Fletcher on bass, but after a short time, Clarke and Fletcher switched to synthesizers. Dave Gahan joined the band after Clarke heard him perform locally singing David Bowie's "Heroes."
The new band took its name from a French fashion magazine, Dépêche mode. The verb to hurry in French is se dépêcher where as dépêcher is to dispatch which is what it would mean in this context (from Old French despesche/despeche as a "news report" though the band also took note of despecher - to hurry) and mode meaning "fashion." Gahan was attending college and studying fashion and knew of the magazine. He brought it to the band and said it meant "hurried fashion" or "fashion dispatch."
They first performed as Depeche Mode in May 1980 and made their recording debut that same year on the Some Bizzare Album with the song "Photographic", which was later re-recorded for their debut album Speak & Spell.
Best of Depeche Mode