Depeche Mode: Andrew Fletcher, David Gahan, Alan Wilder, Martin Gore.Engineers include: Peter Iversen, Pino Pischetola, Goh Hotoda.Recorded at Logic Studios, Milan, Italy; Puk Studios, Denmark; The Church and Master Rock Studios, London, England; Axis, New York, New York.Depeche Mode's American career took the British synthpop band from hipster curios to cult artists to teenage heroes to, with this 1990 album, genuine alternative-rock superstardom. (Unfortunately, after grunge, they slid over this career crest into The Valley of the No Longer Relevant.) The album contains three massive MTV hits, the unusually guitar-oriented "Personal Jesus," the more typical "Enjoy the Silence," and "Policy of Truth." Martin Gore's songs explore his usual themes of sex ("Blue Dress"), redemption ("Clean") and desperation ("Waiting for the Night"), but the arrangements are more detailed and lush than on the band's Spartan early albums, a new style that suits Dave Gahan's deepening voice well. VIOLATOR's commercial success may have brought turmoil to Depeche Mode's career and lives, but it remains the finest of the band's late-period albums.
is Depeche Mode's most mainstream, chart-climbing album. Although it contains only nine tracks, half of them are tailor-made for the dance floor. This album was conceived when dance-club DJs were gaining recognition alongside original composers. Heavily influenced by techno-pop, the singles "Policy of Truth", "Enjoy the Silence" and "World in My Eyes" prove that DM did their homework. A particular highlight on this fantastic album is the bluesy guitar line Martin Gore lays down on top of the synth-dominated grooves on "Personal Jesus". -- Beth Bessmer