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The Best Of Depeche Mode, Volume 1

4.5 out of 5 stars 166 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Hailed as the most popular electronic band in the world, Depeche Mode celebrates its 25th anniversary with the group's first genuine ''best of'' collection (selected recordings rather than a compilation). The Best Of Volume 1 brings together 17 singles spanning 1981-2005, from ''Just Can't Get Enough,'' ''Everything Counts,'' ''Personal Jesus'' and ''Enjoy The Silence'' to the recent ''Precious,'' plus a new track, ''Martyr.'' One of music's most influential artists, Depeche Mode has sold more than 72 million records and remains one of today's most highly regarded and passionately supported groups.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 14, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise / Wea
  • ASIN: B000IFQLLY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (166 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,415 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul Allaer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 20, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Music: 5 Stars; Compilation: 3 Stars

Depeche Mode's first album was released 1981, and the band celebrated their 25 years in the music business this year by touring extensively behind last year's "Playing the Angel" album, their 11th studio album. Depeche Mode has issued many, many hit singles over the years which has been compiled in the "Singles 81>85" and "Singles 86>98" compilations. Now comes the very first career-spanning "best of".

"The Best of Depeche Mode, Volume 1" (18 tracks; 74 min.) tries to capture the essence of the band, and indeed a lot of great music is on here: "Personal Jesus", "Emjoy the Silence", "People Are People" and many other hits are on here. There are 3 songs from the most recent 2 albums ("Dream On", "Suffer Well" and "Precious") and one new song, an okay "Martyr" (from the "Playing the Angel" sessions.) Two issues: (1) the music suffers from not being sequenced chronologically: from "See You" straight into "It's No Good"? Not good!; (2) There are a LOT of equally essential hits that are missing. Just to name a few: "Policy of Truth", "Barrell of a Gun", "World In My Eyes", "Leave in Silence", "Get the Balance Right", "It's Called a Heart" and on and on...

The question then is who this compilations is intended for. Surely the more devoted DM fans will not be very interested in this (just buy "Martyr" as a single or as a download). So it's for the casual Depeche Mode fan, who just wants to have the best-known songs in one place. This assumes there are many casual DM fans... As mentioned already, there are a lot of hits missing, but teasingly this compilation is subtitled "Volume 1" so at some point this will be corrected (presumably with the inclusion again of one new track).
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Format: Audio CD
This is a great collection of songs from Depeche Mode. Is it really the "Best Of"? That is up to debate, because every DM fan has a different idea of what their best songs are (I feel "Stripped" & "Freelove" shouldn't have been omitted). At least with the Singles collection, there was no debate; they were officially released singles. Regardless of what hierarchy these tunes fall in the DM catalog, they are still great.

As for the new track Martyr, it is a great song. Wonderful synthesizers, guitar and vocals, overall a classic Depeche Mode track. Recorded during the Playing the Angel sessions, the band felt that this song didn't fit the "dark" mood of PTA, so it was left off the album. However, it has found it's home on this Best Of compilation.

As for the second disc, it is a DVD with all the videos featured on the CD (the first disc). Sadly, many of these videos are featured on the Singles 86-98 DVD set. Therefore, many people will be paying twice for videos they already have. I am sure many fans who are buying this Best Of set, already have the Singles 86-98 DVD set, which where most of these videos have already been featured. However, videos like "Dream On" & "Suffer Well" make it worth the investment for this new set.

Depeche Mode is an amazing band and deserve recognition for all the work and contributions they have made to the music industry. This collection is also a very fan centered release, and Depeche Mode has always been appreciated of their fans. Which makes them a real class act. I'm already looking forward to Best Of Volume 2.
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Format: Audio CD
"Best of Depeche Mode Volume 1" is the fourth hits compilation from the Basildon quartet-turned-trio, but it's the first to cover their entire 25 year recording history. With the exception of "Black Celebration," the CD samples every studio album in their catalogue, with an unrelased track "Martyr," recorded during the "Playing the Angel" sessions. The bonus DVD has a collection of their music videos, though it does make a few omissions (including 1982's "See You"). There's also a documentary featuring the band along with management, producers, and former members Vince Clarke and Alan Wilder. Those who own the recently released CD/DVD reissues will recognize this clip, as it features interviews also used for the documentaries included in the CD/DVD reissues. This hits collection isn't flawless (no "Question of Time"), but for a single-disc collection, you can't go wrong with "Best of Depeche Mode Volume 1."
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Format: Audio CD
DM have gone through many distinct phases since their inception at the beginning of the 1980's. This compilation CD, while not "perfect" by the standards of serious fanatics--how could it be?--is a good place to start when you're just trying to get a feel for the band's sound.

Unlike the two singles compilations released in 1998, the tracks here are sequenced to showcase the band's diverse history rather than a chronological progression. "Personal Jesus" was not DM's first single, but it did become their most recognizable hit of all time. It also grandfathered a series of songs that pay homage to it later in the band's career. Try listening to the bluesy guitar riff in "Jesus" and then "I Feel You," "Dream On," "Suffer Well," and "Martyr." The lineage should be clear even to casual listeners.

But there are of course other strains of Depeche Mode, and that's why "Just Can't Get Enough" is such a shock when sequenced back to back with "Personal Jesus." Who knew that the same band was capable of bouncy bubble gum pop on the one hand, and a monument to God, Elvis, and Kraftwerk on the other? That's the trick to Depeche Mode: it lies somewhere between Johnny Cash and A-ha, biblical allusion and trendy disposability, tortured guitars and Moog synthesizers. No wonder many people don't really know what to think about this band. There are identifiable waypoints along this tangled path: try sequencing the sincerity of "See You" and the menace of "Never Let Me Down Again" between those polar opposites, and maybe you get something close to a straight line from point A to B.

For a while DM was about pushing the buttons of the BBC. Nowadays, when a song about being bi-curious hits number one on the charts, "Master and Servant" might seem quite acceptably deviant.
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