Depeche Mode compiles 12 years of brilliance

After skirting along the swampy edges of the music world for nearly two decades, Depeche Mode has combined the brilliance of its last 12 years on its new album, The Singles 86>98 (Mute/Reprise Records).

The two-disc set compiles all the band’s singles from 1986 to the present. The set serves as a great introduction to the legendary band, as well as a great collector’s piece for longtime fans.

With 21 songs, the album contains everything from the band’s best known singles to some treasured rarities. “Enjoy The Silence” and “Personal Jesus” are great sing-along songs for the novice Depeche Mode listener to delve into immediately. “Little 15” and “A Question Of Time,” on the other hand, appeal to the devoted fans. The album also contains a live version of “Everything Counts” and the new song “Only When I Lose Myself.”

Always on the cutting edge, Depeche Mode has managed to be a band of influence as well as a band of mystery. The group has remained far removed from the musical mainstream and stardom common to other musical geniuses. The Singles 86>98 is the band’s second compilation. It released its first, Catching up with Depeche Mode in 1985.

The band has a long history together. Formed in Basildon, Essex, UK, in 1980, the band was originally called Composition Of Sound. But it changed its title, naming itself after a French style magazine, Depeche Mode (“fast fashion”).

Depeche Mode explores the outer edges of modern music through the use of computers, sampling and other technological methods. This uniqueness separates the band from the musical masses.

Depeche Mode is on its first tour in four years, promoting the new album. Depeche Mode swings through the D.C. area Nov. 11 to play at the Patriot Center. For a band that has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide, the highly anticipated tour is long overdue, and The Singles 86>98 is nothing less than classic.

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