Speak And Spell (Gatefold Sleeve) [180 gm Vinyl]
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180 gram audiophile vinyl / Gatefold Sleeve / 4-page insert
About the Artist
Depeche Mode's debut is at once both a conservative, functional pop record and a groundbreaking release. Depeche Mode became the undisputed founder of straight-up Synth Pop with the album's 11 songs, light, hooky, and danceable numbers about love, life, and clubs. Credit for the album's success has to go to main songwriter Vince Clarke; the classic early singles 'New Life', 'Dreaming of Me' and 'Just Can't Get Enough' along with 'Pretty Boy' to 'Photographic' keep everything moving throughout. Also available on vinyl by Depeche Mode on this label: A BROKEN FRAME / BLACK CELEBRATION / CONSTRUCTION TIME AGAIN / MUSIC FOR THE MASSES / SOME GREAT REWARD / SONGS OF FAITH AND DEVOTION / ULTRA / VIOLATOR
Top Customer Reviews
New listeners cannot expect to hear this album quite the way their fans did at the time. With the band's 1981 debut, the increasingly adorable Speak & Spell, our distance from the original context actually makes things better. Of course, this is not the Depeche Mode we know: The songs on this album were written by Vince Clarke, who would shortly after leave the group and find fame with Yaz and Erasure. The sound is very different from what Depeche Mode would come to be and these of course, are the early days of synth-pop, these songs are building-block simple, bleepy and discoid, and the band sounds as gawky and adolescent as Dave Gahan looked. But we must remember a modern day vending machine has more microprocessor software than these early synthesizers ever had.Read more ›
'Speak & Spell' was mostly the vision of Vince Clarke - the principal songwriter here who would leave the following year and return with Yazoo, The Assembly & Erasure. 'Speak & Spell' has more in common with Yazoo's work than the later darker work of the Mode - perhaps the missing link between Silicon Teens' 'Music for Parties' and Yazoo's 'Upstairs at Erics'? Daniel Miller (Mute label owner, The Normal/Silicon Teens) is also key as one of the producers - as his own work and the production he did on Soft Cell's 'Memorabilia' demonstrates, he was a great producer of electronic music.
The album opens with the classic second single and first top 20 hit 'New Life' which is simply perfect electronic music and everything Miller had dreamed up with Silicon Teens. 'I Sometimes Wish I Was Dead' (later remixed as 'Deathwish') has a gloomy title but is really a perky pop moment - something Clarke has rarely deviated from! The darker 'Puppets' like tracks such as 'Shout', 'Ice Machine' & 'Photographic' hint at the bleaker side of things the Mode would explore. There's still a fine pop song at the heart of it!
'Boy's Say Go!Read more ›
I loved the album back then and now 20'ish years later I still love it. It's just such good pop at face value but when you listen to the music and hear the words its no wonder this band are still about today. They've earned their stripes, now go buy this album and be entertained.................
yet again, with the 5.1 mixes, Ive noticed that some of the synth leads in some songs have had a bit of tinkering- poss use of fixed filter bank or something, and extra bits of delay et al here and there- but the overall effect makes everything sound almost contemporary. Listen to the vast difference in the moog prodigy guitar-esque lead used in photographic. Or the totally different use of seperation technology and mix balancing for every song. Like everything else that ever gets remixed in 5.1, you need a very good set of ears and an ability to not overcook the egg(s), which yet again as daniel miller supervised, thankfulyl meant that these 26 year old songs havent been.
The enclosed documentary and sacd version just put more layers and icing on the cake. Ive got all the remasters in original form and having been a fan of the band since i was 7 year old innocent, all i can say is that marketing glitz aside, even this, their first album, sounds incredible in 5.1.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Strong debut album by Depeche Mode only let down by one or two sub standard twee tracks so docked one star. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Scott Carrick