Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1985 Depeche Mode – People Are People

1985 Depeche Mode – People Are People

British schoolmates Vince Clarke and Andrew Fletcher teamed up in 1976 to form the group with the unlikely name of No Romance in China. The group lasted from 1976 to 1977, after which they were in and out of several more groups. Guitar player Martin Gore joined them in 1978 and Dave Gahan joined the group as their lead vocalist in 1980. Vince and Andy switched over to playing synthesizers, giving the group much of its distinctive sound.

The new group took their name from a French fashion magazine, Dépêche mode. They released three increasingly successful singles in 1981. Just Can’t Get Enough reached the UK top ten, and the single also reached #26 on the US Hot 100.

Vince voiced his displeasure with the direction of the group’s music and left the band. He joined with Alison Moyet to form Yazoo and had three number one hits on the US Dance Club Songs chart beginning with the single Don’t Go in 1982.

Alan Wilder took Vince’s place in the group. The group had five more top twenty hits in the UK without finding much success in the US until 1984. The single People Are People reached #4 in the UK and later peaked at #13 on the US Hot 100 chart in 1985. The song became an anthem for the LGBT community in the US and helped them attract crowds to their concerts when they toured the US.

The group continued to have hits in the UK, but had difficulty getting radio airplay in the US. Their single Strangelove only got to #76 on the Hot 100 but was a #1 hit on the US Dance chart.

Thanks to some clever marketing, the group finally returned to the US top forty when they released the single Personal Jesus in 1989. They followed that in 1990 with their most successful singleEnjoy The Silence. The record finally put them into the US top ten and ended their chart success on the Hot 100. Even more importantly, the record moved the group onto the Alternative Records chart in the US for the first time and was the first of four chart-topping singles on that chart.

While the group continued to produce albums, they became less frequent while the individual members of the group released solo albums.

In 2013 the group released a new album that included the single Heaven. Several remixes of the single once again took the group to the top of the US Dance chart.

Depeche Mode has sold over 100 million records and they were elected to the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in January 2020.


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