Depeche Mode

Dave Thompson, Author St. Martin's Griffin $14.95 (274p) ISBN 978-0-312-11262-2
Thompson (Red Hot Chili Peppers) chronicles the band's evolution from its earliest days as an involuntary part of Britain's New Romantic movement to its superstar college-radio status, offering fans a rare glimpse at a group that is, as he puts it, more an enigma than a rock 'n'roll band. Just as their early peers, Flock of Seagulls and Duran Duran, depended on MTV to make them superstars, Depeche Mode began their career playing Britain's teenybopper music showcases. That the band would survive to see success-including number one albums-seemed unlikely at several turns. Thompson begins his story with the evolution of electronic music from Kraftwerk and American disco queen Donna Summer's collaboration with German producer Giorgio Moroder to establish Mute, the independent record label that would later allow Depeche Mode to follow their all-keyboard course. Aware that without this evolution there would be no Depeche Mode as their fans know them, Thompson avoids rushing through the history, a simple decision that lifts Depeche Mode above the shortsighted band biographies typically written to capitalize on sudden popularity or support a new product. Photos not seen by PW. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1994
Release date: 11/01/1994
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