Of all the electronic acts that have graced the musical landscape, Depeche Mode is one if not the most influential. And with over 100 million albums and singles sold worldwide, they are also one of the most successful.
The band was formed in 1980, and took it’s name from a French magazine. The following year, they released their debut Speak and Spell, and the synthpop sound immediately captured the ears of the UK fans, who helped take the album to the country’s top ten, One of its breakout singles included “Just Can’t Get Enough”. Five more top ten albums followed including 1986’s Black Celebration, which has been cited as one of the most influential albums of the 1980’s, and featured the songs “Stripped” and “A Question of Time”.
During the 1980’s, Depeche Mode didn’t quite breakthrough in the U.S., having peaked below number 100 there, and then above that position beginning with 1984’s Some Great Reward. But it wasn’t until 1987’s Music for the Masses, that the band finally yielded their first top forty album in the States.
And then came the 1990 landmark album Violator, which hit the top ten on both sides of the Atlantic, and sold over fifteen million copies worldwide. It featured the hits “Personal Jesus” and “Enjoy the Silence”. The album was also ranked as one of the greatest of all time by Rolling Stone and Spin. In 1993, they hit number one (in both the UK and US) with the album Songs of Faith and Devotion, and continued to crack the top ten on both lands with albums including Ultra (1997) and Delta Machine (2013).
In addition to being one of the most popular electronic bands of all time, Depeche Mode has become a influence for countless artists including Lady Gaga, Arcade Fire, the Pet Shop Boys, Linkin Park, and the Deftones. They have also influenced a few musical genres including industrial metal and indie rock.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Depeche Mode, eligible since 2006.