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on 10 August 2002
Taking you through the band's history, with in-depth interviews with the band themselves and those who have worked closely with them, this biography tells the real story of Depeche Mode & their music. Skirting no issues, it tells of the clashing personalities and inevitable arguments, and of course the addictions and troubles they have been through. A fascinating insight into this often misunderstood but extremely talented group, and a definite MUST for fans.
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on 19 November 2000
Being the huge Mode fan that I am, I of course bought this book about three seconds after seeing it on the shelf. If I were to have any criticisms of the piece, it would be that the book is written from the perspective of too few people. Band-wise, the main thrust of any new text comes from Alan Wilder alone. This is no bad thing, articulate soul that he is, but other members' contributions are lacking. Still, the book is an enormously enjoyable read, and I couldn't put it down. What does come accross, is the warmth within the Depeche Mode 'family' and the general high regard in which they are held. Overall, I'd give the book a recommendation, particularly as it's cheaper now and is well worth the entrance fee. It's hard to compare it due to such a lack of competition. Hmm, where did I put that word processor...
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VINE VOICEon 14 November 2007
I found this to be an interesting and insightful book, but you get the impression you have read it all before, it doesn't appear to approach the band from a new direction or give any credence that this is a convincing biography. There seems to be a fair bit of input from ex-member Alan Wilder, but literally nothing from anyone else. Other than those which have been directly lifted from other articles one may have read over the years. I am sure there must be a copyright problem in there somewhere.

It does give some insight into the workings of the band, though is limited on it's sources, and more importantly the power behind the music as far as their personal lives go, there is a lot of information that I didn't particularly know. I am not an ardent follow everything they do kind of fan, but more interested in the music than in them.

A lot of what this book reveals makes a lot of sense as to why the band took the music direction they took, the changes that appeared in their makeup as they went at different stages, they are quite possibly one of the most diverse bands the world over. There is a good bit of relevant information particularly on Dave Gahan and Martin Gore's personal lives which will open your eyes.

The downfalls are, there's nothing particularly new in the workings of the band we haven't already heard, whilst there are a few personal life insights, not much on what's going on with them as a band behind the scenes apart from Wilder's viewpoint. A few more credible viewpoints from significant others might have helped.

The book is written well, and flows reasonably well, I'd say it takes a few chapters to really get a hook in it but if you persevere it shouldn't disappoint.
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on 20 January 2000
I saw this book in hardback towards the end of '99 and immediately stuck it on my Xmas list. Having now read it, all I can say is that it is a massive disappointment to myself and other big fans of the band who have been crying out for a decent biography since they shot to fame with the release of Violator in 1990.
Don't get me wrong, Malins is an accomplished pop writer having written similar books about Weller and Skunk Anansie to name a few, but he simply lacks the insights and material to make this a classic Depeche Mode book.
Ardent fans will instantly recognise 90% of the material as having been lifted from various music publications over the years, and even from album cover notes.
This is really a book for people with a passing interest in the band who don't already know much about them.
If you're desperate for a Depeche Mode book, get "Some Great Reward". It is not as up to date but is a far better read.
I would say that this book would have been better coming out straight away in paperback, but at the price, would-be fans would be better of buying an album from their local second hand record shop.
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on 19 September 2000
The best DM biography by far, much better than "Some Great Reward" which has too many errors. If you're a longtime DM fan, you won't find many new stuff in Malins' book, but anyway, it's a great item for your collection.
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on 9 July 2001
As a relatively recent convert to Depeche Mode in comparison with some of the band's long-standing fans, this book was an education in itself; it discusses topics such as the group's unusual dynamic in their working and social environments, as well as an in-depth analysis of both their music and the impact it has had on modern electronic music as a result. The first few chapters of the book also provide a good rough guide to the early 80s Futurist music scene, which has also lead me to seek out the other acts mentioned here (the wonderful Frank Tovey/Fad Gadget, for example). An interesting side story is the growth and development of Mute Records alongside that of Depeche Mode themselves, and how the success of the band has helped Mute to remain both a successful and independent record label, even over twenty years later. Other interesting chapters document the band's time experimenting and innovating with new sampling technology and their time spent in Berlin.
Malins chronicles the rise of the band from teenagers having fun to their overwhelming commercial success and subsequent breakthrough to the US market, but it is here that the book itself seems to lie a little flat; the protracted periods detailing the destructive 'Devotional' tour seem to drag the book down a bit, although given the bleak source material, this cannot be helped. Overall, the book is quite readable and is quite clear in its use of language- drawing the reader further in, from the band's original bedroom electronica to their filling of stadiums worldwide.
As mentioned by a previous reviewer, Malins does tend to rely on well-known resources a little too often, and some more coverage of Alan Wilder's activities (his work as Recoil, for example) just after leaving DM would have been welcome, despite his departure from the group. The book has also become outdated recently, given the release of the new album 'Exciter', which is not covered here- the book documents the history of the band from the birth of Martin Gore to 'The Singles 86-98' compilation and tour, along with the single 'Only When I Lose Myself'. A revised and updated edition would be welcome in the future. One point to consider when reading is that there is a fair degree of inaccuracy within (Alan Wilder has notably highlighted a couple of errors), but the book seems to be fairly accurate overall.
Malins does state that he had tried to generate as much fresh material on the band as possible; although long-term fans may already know most of the story of Depeche Mode, it is a recommended read nonetheless. For people just getting into the dark and rewarding music of Depeche Mode, it is essential.
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on 20 June 1999
An excellent insight into one of Britains most successful yet underated band.Steve Malins delves deep into what makes this band so huge & successful across the globe and goes some way to explain their thoughts.With each album the band went from strength to strength and the book covers each step in a somewhat dry but revealing manner.A must for all music fans to add to their collection
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on 21 June 1999
As a long time fan of Depeche Mode, you think you know just about everything there is to know about them. Well I could not put this book down until I finished it. It covers the band from day 1, covers in many details the Highs and lows of Depeche Mode. Its a must have for any fan of the band, and will show you a glimpse of a side that most of us never saw. You wont be dissapointed!
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on 21 June 2008
having been a fan since the early 80,s i seen DM for the first time in 2006.this is the first thing i have read on the band.
i am not a reader at all reading bores me. but i found it hard to put this book down i would say a must for fans.
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on 27 May 1999
I read this book very fast, because you get information about this group that you heart never before. I have nearly 10 books about Depeche Mode at home. This one is the best.
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