Sunday, 1 March 2009

Depeche Mode Week - Day 1

This is a bit of an experiment, I'll be honest. Not so much writing about the mighty Mode, but managing to do it every day for a week. Still, worth a go.

Yes, Depeche Mode, a band who, depite their longetivity, still seem to exist outside of the mainstream. The biggest cult band ever? Possibly, depending on your viewpoint of the word "cult". The fact remains, despite 28 years of pulsing dark electronic pop, iconic videos and a herculian drug intake from vocalist Dave Gahan, they are still just an 80s Pop group to most of the general public, at least to those who have heard of them. Just can't get Enough, their first big hit from 1981, and just before they'd hit their twenties, is still the only track most people could hum, a fact exacerbated by idiot DJs at horrific 80s chain clubs like "Reflex" who remain oblivious to the fact that they had plenty of other Top 10 hits in that decade, let alone after. As a result, I wouldn't be surprised if some folk think of them as "One Hit Wonders".

To be fair, though, this is probably due to the quality of the song. In pop terms, it is a classic, and probably songwriter Vince Clarke's best. A hook, a chorus, a simple catchy melody, all done in a Casio-friendly format that fitted right into it's time. You can't really hold anything against it. However, you can say whatever you like about the ickle leather Village People look. Be my guest.

It's because of the song's inherent POP-ness that I welcomed the news that new chart fitties The Saturdays would cover it for Comic Relief. Ok, I couldn't slag the news off as it's for charriteeee, but I could have been left unhappy by the end result. In the end, I'm not, mainly because it would be quite the achievement for any chart act to cock it up. I've heard better versions, certainly, but this is a respectable turn, as are the ladies in the video, homina homina. It keeps the original vibe, sounds good, fun and helps a few needy folk at the same time. Ok, I'll raise my hands - I like The Saturdays anyway, but I still would not want them touching any of Mode's later material. Not without a full vamp-out anyway.

Next: Why Depeche Mode are better than U2. No, really.

Incidentally, if you're reading this on my Facebook note stream, go to the original Blogspot as videos don't transfer over, it appears. Rubbish.

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