Depeche Mode, The Singles 86>98

Reprise Records
Released: November 1998

The span from 1986 to 1998 covers singles for a hair over four albums including Music for the Masses, Violator, Songs of Faith and Devotion, and Ultra. For everyone who has been waiting for a Catching Up with Depeche Mode II, this is it. (Don't despair fans of earlier Depeche Mode there is the also recently released The Singles 81>85.) "Singles 86>98" is two cds containing 21 tracks from "Stripped" to "Only When I Lose Myself."

Depeche Mode's career has spanned two decades now and they have been called everything from "Depressed Mode," to "KROQ's top band of all time," to "rock icons," to "the fathers of electronica," to "the grandfathers of techno." While Depeche Mode is often maligned for its synthetic, 1980s roots, it continues to inspire current bands of various genres.

"Singles 86>98" is 12 years worth of Depeche Mode (sort of progressing from nostalgia to now) including all-time favorites such as "Strangelove," "Never Let Me Down Again," "Personal Jesus," "Enjoy the Silence," "Walking in My Shoes" and "It's No Good." Depeche Mode's sound is distincely its own, and somehow all the odd sounds come together to make good songs; the wholes are greater than the sums of their quirky parts. Whether you're feeling upbeat or melancholy or a little of both, it is difficult not to be drawn into Martin Gore's sometimes-floating, some-times pounding music, and it is difficult not sing along with lead singer Dave Gahan's expressive and clear voice.

(C. Krejci)

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