Sunday, 28 October 2012

Five Star Songs- Depeche Mode- Fly On The Windscreen

Depeche Mode held a news conference last Tuesday in Paris, in part to announce the European leg of their 2013 world tour, but also to tease their fans (including myself) with a new song from their forthcoming new untitled album. Martin Gore stated that the band had just finished the album about a week ago and that the songs feel like a cross between the sound of Violator and the sound of The Songs of Faith and Devotion. The new album will be out in the spring. The new song is rumoured to be titled Angel of Love (not confirmed). Listen to the new song below along with a video showing the band preparing for the new album.

The track is okay, but once again David Gahans' raspy voice kind of brings it down. After years of drug abuse and near death experiences the lead singer's voice is not what it used to be.

Also, after he worked with Martin Gore on the techno VCMG project, there was great hope that original member Vince Clarke might be somehow involved on the new album. Judging by the news conference, there is no sign of that happening.

In high school me, my brother and my friends worshipped Depeche Mode. There were a couple of years where we had to attend summer school in Peterborough, Ontario. The drive from my hometown of Lindsay to Peterborough would take 45 minutes and it was always soundtracked by Depeche Mode-singles, albums, extended mixes, remixes, you name it we played it.

We saw them in concert twice in that time period, once at Kingswood Music Theatre at Canada's Wonderland for the Black Celebration tour and the other time at Maple Leaf Gardens (Yes, the place where I now buy groceries!!!) for the Music For The Masses tour.

The chameleon like band started out as a synth pop new romantic band, before going in a slightly darker direction with Some Great Reward, and Black Celebration. The band then exploded in popularity with the release of Music for The Masses and Violator, with the help of slick videos directed by Anton Corbijn, they became one of the best selling concert draws of the late 80's.

The band started to add more guitar to the repetoire in the 90's and became an alt rock group. This is when all of the trouble started for Gahan and his well documented battle with drug addiction and near death experiences. The guy wanted to be the biggest rock star in the world. lived in Los Angeles and would party with Guns 'n Roses and Janes Addiction. There was also an ill fated tour with Primal Scream where Gahan was involved in numerous drug binges with Bobby Gillespie's band. At this point, sick of Gahan's shenanigans, original member Alan Wilder left the band and never returned.

Their latter years have seen the band release some terrible albums including 1997's Ultra. Although, I did slightly enjoy their last couple of albums, Playing the Angel and Sounds of the Universe, as the band started to get back to their roots in synth pop.

My favourite period for Depeche Mode music was their dark wave era albums, Some Great Reward and Black Celebration. In my opinion the singles that they released in this period were by far their best songs. These include classics like Blasphemous Rumours, Master & Servant, People are People, Somebody, A Question of Lust, Stripped and my favourite track Fly On The Windscreen.

Fly On The Windscreen was originally released as a B-Side on the single It's Called a Heart. The dark and disturbing imagery of the song was the total opposite to the crappy A-side track. The Martin Gore penned song dealt with the issue of death and desire and was foreboding to the troubles that lead singer David Gahan would have in the decade to come. The song was also included on the Black Celebration album.

Depeche Mode recently re-issued Black Celebration and you can pick the vinyl up on Amazon or check your local record store.

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