Depeche Mode Singles 7-12

Depeche Mode

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Depeche Mode Singles 7-12 Review

by Dave Thompson

The second box set of Depeche Mode singles, reissued on CD for the first time, picks up with "Get the Balance Right," the band's third single following the departure of original songwriter Vince Clarke and the considerably edgier Martin L. Gore's elevation to the fore. Necessarily, his earliest efforts (included on the first box) echoed the pure poppiness of Clarke's work; here, the emphasis is on the period of transition that dragged Depeche Mode from an apparently transient teenybop sensation to the darker, harsher, and above all adventurous electro pioneers whose longevity is now a matter of history. Via "Everything Counts," "Love in Itself," "People Are People," "Master and Servant," and "Blasphemous Rumours," by the time you reach the end of the box, Depeche Mode is unrecognizable from the combo who opened it. Each of the six discs here features all the B-sides and extended versions featured on the original British 7" and 12" releases; unfortunately, the limited special-edition 12"s that accompanied several of the singles (usually encompassing live or remix material) are generally overlooked -- the in-concert "Tora Tora Tora" (from the "Get the Balance Right" limited edition) is the only survivor from that area. Nevertheless, this box set -- like those on either side of it -- offers a readymade entry into one of the most exhilarating singles catalogs of the 1980s.

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