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4.5 out of 5 stars
The Singles 81-98
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 12 June 2002
This well-packaged boxed set features every Mode single from early-1981 to 1998 and is thus the definitive article. Aside from a few dud cuts which now can't be helped (The Meaning Of Love, People Are People and the single version of Strangelove - the album version was far superior), this is all the non-completist will need. If DM have another couple of albums in them, perhaps a third instalment of their ever-varying history will be added... 2001 to ????
So, will Mute Records release another chronologically correct B-Sides compilation now, as there's enough great DM material covering these seventeen years to cover another double-CD's worth ?
38 mostly brilliant tracks at the price is the bargain of a lifetime, so go out and get it !
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 22 March 2010
More than just a synth band, there are some awesome tracks here. Its one of those 'I never knew they had so many hits' CDs. Worth a punt.
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35 of 45 people found the following review helpful
#1 HALL OF FAMEon 6 October 2001
Depeche Mode are surely one of THE singles bands of all time- and here's three cd's proof...This nicely packages the reissue of 'Singles 81-85' (from 1998) and the double-collection 'Singles 86-98' in one handy package. This may be superfluous for most Mode fans- who'll already have them- then again, I never purchased 'Singles 86-98'- as I have all the singles seperately. Here, then, is an excuse to get them in one fell swoop- and it's a lot more convenient than dragging out each cd-single...Disc One is 'Singles 81-85', with a cool new cover to replace the tacky original- the band from 1985 are replaced by anonymous images (also on the cover of the other collection). It's all remastered and sounds great. The highlights of this disc are Vince Clarke's wonderful three-singles with the Mode- 'New Life' being my favourite. Gore took awhile to become a decent songwriter- 'See You' & 'Meaning of Love' are horrible. 'Leave in Silence' hints at the doomy sound of the Mode's future. Better is 'Get the Balance Right!',where Alan Wilder joins and they accidentally make an industrial-dance record that would influence Dettroit etc (as Gary Numan, Kraftwerk & New Order did). 'Everything Counts' & 'Love In Itself' are fantastic singles- with a percussive quality influenced by Einsturzende Neubauten (a boy-band these days wouldn't be influenced by mad Germans who hit objects with drills & hammers!). 'People are People' is lyrically drivel- as bad as 'The War Song' & 'The Lebanon'- but musically it is very harsh & metallic. 'Master & Servant' would have been banned a la Frankie- except the guy that banned the records was on holiday at the time of its release. Nice to hear a Top Ten hit about S & M!!!.'Blasphemous Rumours'is, as Pet Shop Boy Neil Tennant put it: 'a routine slab of gloom, in which God is given a severe ticking off'. Better is the flipside, 'Somebody' on which Gore takes lead vocals. Lovely, if a bit sinister (I think 'Something To Do' would have made a better single than BR- it sounds like Missy Elliot's 'Get Ur Freak On'! In 1984!!). The band almost split in 85, 'Shake the Disease' was a brilliant single- classic Mode; 'It's Called a Heart' less so (b-side 'Fly On The Windscreen' would have been a better choice!).The additional tracks on this disc are the 'schizo mix' of 'Just Can't...' and the 'Some Bizarre'-version of 'Photographic'- which is nice to have on cd...Disc's 2 & 3 take up from 'Black Celebration's 'Stripped' and end around 1998's miserable-Mode by numbers 'Only When I Lose Myself'. The final two-tracks are out of sequence- 'Little 15' was an import-only single in 1988 & the live-take of 'Everything Counts' was released to promote '101'; they would have been better in sequence!...The best singles from 'Black Celebration' were 'Stripped' and another-Gore lead vocal, 'A Question of Lust'; while the single-version of 'Strangelove' is hard & metallic a la 'People are People'/'Something to Do' and preferable to the 'Masses'-version that followed. 'Never Let Me Down Again', despite only scraping into the top-thirty, is a classic-Mode single. It would take on a new life (sorry!) in the wake of '101'- and to this day remains a highlight of their live-sets...The 'Violator'-era is probably their most satisfying,where they balanced their great singles with a great album for the first (and last) time. 'Personal Jesus' takes the blues Gore had been toying with and makes a stadium-sleaze track which surpasses Madonna's 'Like A Prayer'. 'Enjoy The Silence' is even better- if a little indebted to New Order's 'True Faith'. 'Policy of Truth' is another fantastic single- up there with 'Shake the Disease' & 'Never Let'. 'World in My Eyes' was the final release from a seemingly unstoppable band- taking synths to the masses...They returned, with guitars & beards. 'Songs of Faith...' is an unsatisfying Mode album- between U2's 'Achtung Baby!' and Alice in Chains (with good, not great Gore songs). The best songs here are 'Walking In My Shoes' and the Butch Vig (Garbage, Nirvnana) mix of 'In Your Room'. The results since have been less-satisfying- 'It's No Good' returns to the sound of 'Violator' & Gore's 'Home' are two high-points. Tracks like 'Useless' and 'Barrel of a Gun' are Mode by numbers- why these were chosen over 'The Love Thieves' and 'Insight' is confusing!...Gripes apart, this is a great collection of songs-only tailing off towards the end...The Mode are sometimes brilliant, sometimes mediocre to this day- 'I Feel Loved' & 'Sweetest Condition' the former, 'Dead of Night' the latter!...This set is great-value and a document of one of the major exponents of the pop-single, along with Madonna, Prince, The Beatles etc. Without many of these songs it would be impossible to know how good pop-music can be- and proof that the bilge in our charts today is nothing other than cynically-marketed bubblegum.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2011
Holy Mary, fantastic album. I went to see them purely on the back of this album! Zipped me straight back to the 80's. Amazon again delivered promptly.
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on 26 October 2014
Three CD exhaustive overview of the complete Depeche Mode single output in the UK from 1981 to 1998.

Nearly every track is a classic, can't believe they never had a number one single in the UK.

Very, very highly recommended, a must buy.
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on 31 January 2013
I bought this because it worked out cheaper buying the set rather than two separate albums. Some of the early stuff is a bit too synthesizery, which was to be expected from that era, but I loved a couple of songs and the later stuff is brilliant.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 31 July 2009
I was a bit disappointed having this box received this morning,because I expected something more,not only the 2 Singles album in a paper box.
I thought they might be in a redesigned box or images inside,maybe some booklets,or some extra tracks.
What we got here is these products in a bluish box : Singles 81>85 and The Singles 86>98
I can't complain though,it was only £6,albeit other websites were selling it for about £30,and that gave me the impression it would be a little bit more...
I don't see the point to list the songs and review them one-by-one,anyone can search and listen to it and decide whether this is what they need.I just bought it to put beside the normal DM albums on the shelf. It's all classics anyway.
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on 20 June 2013
i much prefer the early stuff,
If you loved the 80s you will love this
brings back great memories.....!
Although still going today cant seem to recapture their early success......But there new album is superb
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on 7 February 2013
Already had both these CDs for years now but just wanted to add to my DM box sets / remasters collection with something packaged that little bit better and this ticks the boxes.....delighted
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on 24 May 2013
Thanks to shipment. Very nice collage I received, are those of the photo. Show quality and are glad we bought it. Package arrived on time, packed properly. For a DM fan are extremely happy!
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