Depeche Mode

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Depeche Mode - 101 ©1989 Sire
CD one:
1. Pimpf
2. Behind The Wheel
3. Strangelove
4. Sacred
5. Something To Do
6. Blasphemous Rumours
7. Stripped
8. Somebody
9. Things You Said
CD two:
1. Black Celebration
2. Shake The Disease
3. Nothing
4. Pleasure, Little Treasure
5. People Are People
6. A Question Of Time
7. Never Let Me Down Again
8. A Question Of Lust
9. Master And Servant
10. Just Can't Get Enough
11. Everything Counts

Depeche Mode are a strange band. Darker than most cheese-laden eyeliner-wielding outfits polluting the goth scene. Generously gifted brits with a penchant for morbid "expressionism"; strange is their music, accordingly: a synth orchestra with hypnotic guitar melodies and the deep, resigning voice of David Gahan. It is gentle yet dark, a variety of pop-goth that relies on stripped-down melodic sequencing to evoke strong emotions. 101 captures them in the unsurprising sombre mood, just with even more power and feeling than on the studio albums. It is an absolute must for anyone reading this.

The goodness is too voluminous to comment on in detail; the pickings for the tracklisting are almost dutifully perfect, except maybe they could've excluded the annoying and pretentious "Somebody" and made "Pimpf" - THE scariest thing at night, an atrocity on your nerves - about ten - fifteen minutes long and rendered the live audience catatonic. "Behind the Wheel", "Never Let me Down Again", "Blasphemous Rumors" and "Stripped" are the best, but none of the others lag too far behind.

Definitely a great introduction, a live release as well as a "Best of" that best represents everything from the 80s that Depeche Mode was about. The record has a great mood and an even flow, and besides, the two CDs only take an hour and a half away from your remaining life-span. I won't be vindicated if you like this record, actually, because if you don't, you necessarily lack good taste.

Review by Rahul Joshi

Review date: 04/2000

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