“Speak And Spell” by Depeche Mode - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1981Album Chart of the Decade: 1980s

TJR says

Three keyboard players and a singer, eh? The times they were-a-changin’ in 1981. There’s much to like about the Depeche Mode back story - a group of mates getting together, enthused by the burgeoning electronica scene, saving hard to buy their synths, digging on Gary Numan and Ultravox, deliberately choosing to sign with an indie (Daniel Miller’s Mute label), dragging their instruments from Basildon to London by train to appear on Top of the Pops. The debut album arrived late in the year, opening and closing strongly with the breakthrough single “New Life” and the Top 10 pop smash “Just Can’t Get Enough”. Bar “Tora! Tora! Tora!” and “Big Muff” (both of which were written by Martin Gore) these are all Vince Clarke’s tunes. It’s hard to get a handle on his credentials for cool. He seems to undermine any good work with the banal trash of the likes of “Boys Say Go!” and “What’s Your Name?” I guess Erasure would later answer the question properly… Vince was offski within weeks of this album’s release but I think it’s fair to say he certainly left his mark…

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [03:43] 7.2.png Depeche Mode - New Life (Vince Clarke) Electronica
A2 [02:14] 7.0.png Depeche Mode - I Sometimes Wish I Was Dead (Vince Clarke) Electronica
A3 [03:55] 5.6.png Depeche Mode - Puppets (Vince Clarke) Electronica
A4 [03:03] 3.5.png Depeche Mode - Boys Say Go! (Vince Clarke) Pop
A5 [04:11] 5.6.png Depeche Mode - Nodisco (Vince Clarke) Pop
A6 [02:41] 3.0.png Depeche Mode - What’s Your Name? (Vince Clarke) Pop
B1 [04:44] 5.9.png Depeche Mode - Photographic (Vince Clarke) Electronica
B2 [04:34] 6.5.png Depeche Mode - Tora! Tora! Tora! (Martin Gore) Electronica
B3 [04:20] 5.5.png Depeche Mode - Big Muff (Martin Gore) Electronica
B4 [02:35] 6.0.png Depeche Mode - Any Second Now (Voices) (Vince Clarke) Electronica
B5 [03:40] 7.5.png Depeche Mode - Just Can’t Get Enough (Vince Clarke) Pop

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