There is a theme here and it is not intentional. Or is it? Anyway the first time I heard Depeche Mode was on a ski trip, but it was not a church trip, it was to a lodge in Colorado where families would ski and fellowship (Ok, Churchy but not an organized church trip). We were in the game room playing pool and ping-pong, someone had a "boom box/ghetto blaster" and Speak and Spell was playing. Now at this time I was used to "jamming out" to Twisted Sister and Ratt, so hearing Depeche Mode was not a big eye opening moment, but somewhere in my subconscious it left an indelible mark to be revisited later, much later.
Flash forward to 1990 and the spring of my freshmen year. "Personal Jesus" hit college radio and I was in deep. Had to get a ride into town and buy this single. Things are a little slower in rural TX and by the time "Personal Jesus" was on the radio, the album was already out. Decisions, decisions. Do I buy the album or just the single? I took the plunge, bought Violator and hurried to get the cassette out of the case and into the tape deck of a friends car.
"World in My Eyes" was the first track. The first track to get my attention and then "Sweetest Perfection". I already liked "Personal Jesus", then "Enjoy the Silence" and "Policy of Truth". This album to me is the lynch pin of Depeche Mode's catalog. It was dark compared to earlier albums and they were changing musically with this being their seventh album in a span of nine years. Violator was nowhere near the the Speak and Spell that I had heard years earlier.
With Violator I became a fan, and started buying more, Music for the Masses was next for me, and imagine my surprise when I played the album for the first time and actually knew songs. Wow, really? Who knew. A few years later my senior year, I picked up Songs of Faith and Devotion. Once again David and Martin were keeping up with the times and put out an album that was different from the rest, but yet was still true to their craft.
Depeche Mode is one of the groups that I can always go back to and play. And when I do click a little icon or push a button I am transported back to an earlier time when things were new and different. A time of growing up, learning, pain and joy. Girlfriends past, friends past, times past, listening brings it all back. Take something off the shelf that you have not listened to in a while, dust it off (so to speak, in this digital age) and see where it will take you. Careful... music has sharp edges and can open old wounds, or it can be a beautiful thing. Happy listening.