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  • Years Active

    1980 – present (43 years)

  • Founded In

    Basildon, Essex, England, United Kingdom

  • Members

    • Alan Wilder (1982 – 1995)
    • Andrew Fletcher (1980 – 2022)
    • Dave Gahan (1980 – present)
    • Martin L. Gore (1980 – present)
    • Vince Clarke (1980 – 1981)

Depeche Mode is an English band founded in 1980, originally from Basildon, Essex, United Kingdom. They are one of the most enduring and successful bands that emerged during the 80s, particularly from the / era. The band name is derived from a French fashion magazine, Dépêche mode, which means "fashion dispatch."

The band has been highly influential in the dance music scene, especially synthpop, techno, and trance, partly due to their innovative work, recording techniques, and use of sampling. Their most successful album is arguably 1990's Violator, which reached the #2 position in the UK, #7 in the US, and sold over 8 million copies worldwide. The band has released a long series of high-charting singles over their three-decades long career. Enjoy the Silence is their most recognized song and one of history's most covered songs.

The original line-up was Dave Gahan, Martin L. Gore, Andy Fletcher, and Vince Clarke. In December 1981, Clarke left the band and later formed Yazoo, The Assembly, and Erasure. Alan Wilder joined the group initially in January 1982 as a live keyboardist but became an official member in December 1982. He left in mid-1995 to fully concentrate on his Recoil project, and the band continued as a trio. In 2010 Wilder re-joined Depeche Mode on stage after 16 years for a performance of Somebody during a show at London's Royal Albert Hall in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Depeche Mode's origins date back to 1977, when Vince Clarke and Andrew Fletcher formed a band called No Romance in China, with Clarke on vocals and guitar and Fletcher on bass. In March 1980, Clarke, Gore, and Fletcher formed a band called Composition of Sound, with Clarke on vocals/guitar, Gore on keyboards, and Fletcher on bass. Soon after the formation of Composition of Sound, Clarke, and Fletcher switched to synthesizers. Dave Gahan joined the band in 1980 after Clarke heard him perform at a local scout hut jam session, singing to a rendition of David Bowie's "Heroes" and Depeche Mode was born.

While playing a live gig at the Bridge House in Canning Town, Daniel Miller, the founder of Mute Records, approached the band, who proposed a verbal contract. The result was their first single, Dreaming of Me, recorded in December 1980 and released in February 1981, reaching number 57 in the UK charts and followed soon by a real contract with Mute.

To date, Depeche Mode have released:

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