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Speak & Spell

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
$4.27 $0.01

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. New Life 3:45$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Puppets 3:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Dreaming Of Me 3:44$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Boys Say Go! 3:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Nodisco! 4:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. What's Your Name? 2:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Photographic 3:13$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Tora! Tora! Tora! 4:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Big Muff 4:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Any Second Now (Voices) 2:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Just Can't Get Enough (Schizo Mix) 6:46$1.29  Buy MP3 

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(Columbia Records, New York, NY – October 8th, 2014) – Venerable act Depeche Mode have announced the global release of their CD/DVD Depeche Mode Live In Berlin for November 17th via Columbia Records. Directed by their longtime creative collaborator, the filmmaker Anton Corbijn, Depeche Mode Live in Berlin features two hours worth of never before released, stunning live concert ... Read more in Amazon's Depeche Mode Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Original Release Date: 1981
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002KN8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,152 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

14,1x12,6x1,4cm. CD. Il est toujours bon de voir d'où vient un groupe pour pouvoir évaluer le chemin qu'il a parcouru. Speak and Spell est véritablement l'oeuvre de Vincent Clarke, qui devait créer, par la suite, cette grosse machine de pop-dance insouciante que fut Erasure. Cela se sent sur les accrocheurs et rythmés "New Life", "Boys Say Go", "Photographic" et le single le plus connu "Just Can't Get Enough". Lorsque Martin Gore a pris en main la composition des chansons, Depeche Mode s'est tourné vers une direction bien différente avec la pop-gothique qui devait devenir leur signature. Cet album est essentiel, non seulement parce que c'est le premier de Depeche Mode, mais aussi parce qu'il constitue une des meilleures représentations de la musique synthétique minimaliste du début des années quatre-vingt. -Beth Bessmer

It's always good to know where a band came from so you can see how far they've come. Speak and Spell is really the work of Vincent Clarke, who, with Andy Bell, would later form the happy-go-lucky pop-dance megaforce Erasure. And it shows in the catchy, upbeat songs "New Life," "Boys Say Go," "Photographic," and the most famous single, "Just Can't Get Enough." When Martin Gore took over the songwriting, Depeche Mode veered toward a different thematic direction by developing the goth-pop that would become their signature. Still, it's an important album not only because it is Depeche Mode's first but also because it is one of the best representations of early-'80s minimalist synth music. --Beth Bessmer

Customer Reviews

Also the b-sides featured on this album version are great.
Just try not to burst out laughing (or throwing up) listening to "Boys Say Go!" and "What's Your Name?" They are terrible in a humorous way.
I got this album as a used record the other day just for fun, and now I expect I'm going to have to buy the CD anyway.
Joel Kathrens

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By M. Lohrke VINE VOICE on June 12, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
don't listen to the naysayers. the U.S. reisssue of 'speak and spell' is a more than worthy addition to the dm reissue canon. chances are you already own 'speak and spell,' as well as it's great b-sides, 'ice machine,' 'i sometimes wish i was dead,' and 'shout,' so i won't get into the album itself.

the accompanying dvd is a veritable treasure trove for mode-a-philes, the most shiniest diamond being the interviews with vince clarke. i don't know much about vince's personal feelings about dm, but if he harbors any grudge, it certainly doesn't show. and it was nice to hear the man actually speak. it's a nice treat. it was also so great to hear the stories behind the early mode gigs, how daniel miller first decided to sign the band, how seymour stein flew to basildon to see them live, how they recorded the album, the genesis of the hideous album cover, and the truly embarrassing, but endearing and charming, early live performances on TOTP and other british tv shows. dave looks like he's about 14 years old. he comes of as shy and naive--a far cry from the dave we'd see but 10 years later. vince seemed in command from the beginning, martin seems confused and fletch, well, he's fletch.

as with the violator and masses reissues, the mixing sounds great. i picked up a lot of bells and whistles in the songs i'd previously missed. i only wish they would've included the b-sides on the cd, or as a bonus cd.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By J. Brady on October 30, 2004
Format: Audio CD
If you must have Speak and Spell ( which is quite good, despite being very lightweight, fluffy, lyrically empty early-eighties synth-pop ) do yourself a favour and spend the extra money on the import version. The US version pales in comparison to the original Uk version. There is a great song ( Sometimes I Wish I Was Dead, which is not as depressing as its title would suggest ) that was left off the US pressing, and the extra time was taken up by the inclusion of the 12" remix of Just Can't Get Enough (which is better in its original 7" mix anyway - over six minutes of Just Can't Get Enough is, well, too much of enough ). There are also a few great b-sides that are on the UK version of the cd.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By M. Lohrke VINE VOICE on October 20, 2005
Format: Audio CD
of course 'speak and spell' sounds cheesy in 2005. it's 25 years old and any fair assestment/critique of 'speak and spell' needs to examine when it was recorded and released. in 1981 synthesizer music technology was still very much in its embryonic state. Very few bands (kraftwerk, human league, OMD, depeche mode, among other) used synths and even fewer knew how to harness the technology. i imagine programming synths was a lot like building rocket ships -- lots of trial and error, some hits, some misses.

it should come as little suprise, then, that 'speak and spell' is a bit simplistic and cheesy. what's impressive about 'speak and spell,' however, are the absolutely phenomenal melodies vince clark composed. one listen to 'just can't get enough' and its permanently engravaed into your brain. and since it was vince clarke's album, it bears hardly and resemblence to the latter martin gore dm albums (the exception being 'photographic' and 'puppets' -- both a bit darken in tone). its easy to forgive vince for 'what's your name?' when he wrote such classic dm songs as 'new life,' 'dreaming of me,' and the aforementioned 'photographic' and 'just can't get enough.'

what's special about 'speak and spell' are the classic dm synth intros--most of the songs have a synth intro. 'just can't get enough' and 'new life' are prime examples of a new style of songwriting. vince didn't waste time with the hook coming in the middle of the song or the verse or a bridge. the hooks were front and center, immediate attention grabbers. in that way, vince single-handedly changed pop songwriting.

if you do invest in 'speak and spell,' be sure to get the import version.
Read more ›
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "paleophile0" on June 4, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Admittedly, this album is, superficially speaking, differently sounding than the rest of their (later) material. But make no mistake: this album adheres to the DM aesthetic in many ways. It forms its own unique niche in the history of this band. And just like all of DM's other classic albums of the mid to late '80s and early '90s, it's superbly inventive, crafted, and produced electronic pop that strives to appeal to the highest common denominator of the record buying public. As one reviewer wrote about this long ago: "DM introduce literacy into bubblegum".
Compared to DM's later efforts, the lyrical content and melodies here are pretty fluffy. But the underlying ideas here are great: Daniel Miller and the band went into the studio with the idea of creating an electronic pop album with a highly minimal Kraftwerkian aesthetic, but also with a poppy sweetness which had never been married to this style of music before. Today the album sounds equally dated and relevant; in other words, great art that not only evokes the time in which it was made but also occupies its own irreplacable spot in this history of this band and perhaps in that of music as a whole.
Some may call me crazy, but I love this album for its classic electronic minimalism a la Kraftwerk, its almost total lack of pretense, and also just for the fact that its a blast to listen to. But I would not recommend this as an introduction to the band for a first time listener as it, while certainly being very good, is neither their best nor a broad overview of Depeche Mode; instead purchase "The Singles 81-85" (which has the three singles released concurrently with "Speak & Spell"), become further acquainted with the band and only then get this album and see it in the context of their later work (and that of other innovative electronic acts of the time like Kraftwerk).
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