Friday 5 February 2021



Over the last few weeks I've had a look back at Depeche Mode's first fourteen singles. It was a remarkable period for the band really - sudden success, Vince leaving, Martin taking over the song writing, Alan joining, pop music mixing with industrial sounds and sampling and much more left the band on the cusp of global success. While their home country may have been losing interest, Europe was very interested indeed and America had finally taken notice.

Tired after their 1985 tour, the band briefly paused and releaesd The Singles 81-85, later renamed Catching Up With Depeche Mode in North America when it was given a different tracklist just to confuse matters.

They didn't stop for long however and late in 1985 Martin started work on and presented his first demos for new material to the band. The first taste the public got of that work was when Stripped was released on 10th February 1986.

Happily, as I am writing this on 5th February 2021, that means Stripped is 35 years old next week and as that is the next instalment of the singles reviews project, I'll post that as a birthday present to the great tune. Until then, here are links to the first fourteen reviews all of which form The Singles 81-85.


  1. Thanks again and again from France for your marvelous reviews. They are useful, well written and really funny.

  2. A nice roundup. I was trying to remember the names of the girls I was snogging when each single came out, Lesley Aust my first, I really couldn't get enough, there was the lovely Becky, and I know it sounds corny but we really did used to go swimming together (ok in the local pool, not in the river) but we did often laze in the grass.. she left in silence and headed off to university, there was a couple of one night stands at sixth form parties, tell me the meaning of love Heidi? There was my best friends mum, (she seduced me alright!), and appropriately Sarah with the Sado Masochistic Red Surreal Lipstick . Wow that was "fun", I often wonder quite how far Martin was going with his German girlfriend at that point.. and who was Master and who Servant. It was fun. In parts. I can't really remember much about Zena at the time of love in itself and it's called a heart came came out. She was from eastern Europe and I think was the nearest I could find to German.. love was not enough itself.. and then I met Karina. The love of my life.. but let's save that until we get to round up part 2?

  3. you are doing such a great job for all of us, refreshing our dusty memories but in such a funny and interesting manner. Thanks a lot!!

  4. Nice catalog of DM Singles!

    "Catching Up With DM" has different and additonal tracks because some of the "Singles 81-85" tracks were already released earlier in the US compilation "People Are People" LP.