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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Depeche Mode

Depeche Mode
Luca Teuchmann, Getty Images

You probably know that “Depeche Mode” means something like “fashion news” in French, but did you know that the title of their most popular album was inspired by heavy metal bands? It’s one of the 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Depeche Mode.

Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Martin Gore used to be in an acoustic duo called Norman & the Worms



The year before he formed Depeche Mode, Martin Gore played guitar in an acoustic duo named Norman & the Worms. It was his first group. He then joined a band called the French Look, hinting at his future.


Ethan Miller, Getty Images
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Co-founder Vince Clarke appears in only one Depeche Mode video



The band’s first video, for ‘Just Can’t Get Enough,’ is the only one to feature co-founder and synth wizard Vince Clarke, who soon left the group to form the duo Yaz with singer Alison Moyet.


Getty Images
Getty Images

‘People Are People’ was the theme song for West Germany’s TV coverage of the 1984 Olympics



The band’s breakthrough single, which was also their first U.S. hit, was used as the theme song for West Germany’s television coverage of the 1984 Olympics. The song reached No. 1 there.


Route 66

‘Behind the Wheel’ was inspired by a song written in 1946



The B side (and mashup partner) of the single ‘Behind the Wheel,’ ‘Route 66,’ is an old R&B hit originally recorded in 1946. Depeche Mode’s road song was inspired, both thematically and musically, by the oldie.


Hulton Archive, Getty Images
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

They sold out the Rose Bowl in 1988 even though their album barely cracked the Top 40



The band ended its ‘Music for the Masses’ tour by selling out the Pasadena Rose Bowl, which contains more than 60,000 seats. The album made it to only No. 35 on the chart.


London Express, Hulton Archive, Getty Images
London Express, Hulton Archive, Getty Images

‘Personal Jesus’ was originally promoted in the classified pages



Before ‘Personal Jesus’ was released in August 1989, it was teased in the classified sections of U.K. newspapers with a phone number people could call to hear the song.


George De Sota
George De Sota

The title ‘Violator’ was ripping on heavy metal albums



When ‘Violator’ was released in 1990, Martin Gore told ‘NME,’ “We wanted to come up with the most extreme, ridiculously heavy metal title that we could.” He rightly assumed it would go over everyone’s head.


Depeche Mode Policy of Truth

‘Policy of Truth’ is the only single to chart higher in the U.S. than in the U.K.



Depeche Mode have always charted higher in their homeland than in the U.S. except for ‘Policy of Truth,’ which reached No. 15 in the states, going one spo better than the No. 16 showing in the U.K.


Depeche Mode I Feel You

The symbols on the ‘I Feel You’ cover contain hidden references to the members’ birthdays



The four symbols on the cover of the ‘I Feel You’ single represent each band member. To crack the code, you have to know their birth dates, which are hidden in each symbol.


Tree of Life

The video for ‘Heaven’ was inspired by ‘The Tree of Life’



The moody video for the band’s 2013 single ‘Heaven’ was inspired by Terence Malick’s 2011 meditative mindblowing movie ‘The Tree of Life.’ There’s no Brad Pitt, but plenty of striking, symbolic images.


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