Nobody who saw Depeche Mode in 1980 could have predicted that those four fresh-faced, synth-pop innocents would transform themselves into stadium-filling rock gods within a few years. Yet Depeche Mode went on to become one of the Top 10 best-selling British acts of all-time, selling over 100 million albums worldwide. Now celebrating four decades together, the group continues to thrive, both critically and commercially.
Vince Clarke, Andy Fletcher and Martin Gore had started out as an Essex guitar band but it was their bright and upbeat synthesizer-driven brand of pop fronted by Dave Gahan that was to find global acceptance and their Violator tour at the start of the 90s sold millions of records and turned them into major US concert stars.
In true rock style, Depeche Mode's members have suffered their share of internal strife over a long career. Dave Gahan reinvented himself as a lead singer with both a harder musical edge and a near-fatal drug habit, while internal acrimony often marred the later stages of their career.
Part musical odyssey, part cultural history, this extensively illustrated biography, by bestselling author Ian Gittins, draws on dozens of first hand interviews to give us an inside view of one of the most unlikely stories in pop and rock.
Ian Gittins has interviewed and reviewed Depeche Mode during a 30-year career as a music writer on titles such as Melody Maker, Time Out, Q and the Guardian. He is the co-author with Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx of the 2007 New York Times best-seller The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star.
He lives in London.