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Speak & Spell [Rhino US CD/DVD]

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Barnes & Noble - Edwin De La Cruz
Depeche Mode's groundbreaking 1981 debut gets a royal reissue treatment on this remastered two-CD set. Including such early hits as "New Life," "I Sometimes Wish I was Dead," the pulsating beats of "Nodisco," and "Photographic" recently revived for the band's 2006 Touring the Angel tour, Speak and Spell was one of the first synth-pop albums to underscore the pop element. While at the time the band's emergence seemed like a natural musical evolution from the electronic sounds pioneered by Sheffield's Cabaret Voltaire and Human League, Depeche Mode quickly set themselves apart with Vince Clarke's catchy songs and David Gahan's clean-cut vocals, a can't-miss marriage ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Edwin De La Cruz
Depeche Mode's groundbreaking 1981 debut gets a royal reissue treatment on this remastered two-CD set. Including such early hits as "New Life," "I Sometimes Wish I was Dead," the pulsating beats of "Nodisco," and "Photographic" recently revived for the band's 2006 Touring the Angel tour, Speak and Spell was one of the first synth-pop albums to underscore the pop element. While at the time the band's emergence seemed like a natural musical evolution from the electronic sounds pioneered by Sheffield's Cabaret Voltaire and Human League, Depeche Mode quickly set themselves apart with Vince Clarke's catchy songs and David Gahan's clean-cut vocals, a can't-miss marriage destined for pop domination. The single "Just Can't Get Enough" crystallized the band's sound and set a blueprint of their output until the mid-1980s. While the first disc includes the album tracks in their original running order, Disc 2 is a DVD that features the entirety of Speak and Spell remixed in 5.1 stereo surround and DTS sound -- adding extra sonic punch -- along with rare B-sides. Longtime Depeche fans will thoroughly enjoy the bonus 26-minute film, Do We Really Have to Give Up Our Day Jobs?, which documents the making of the album and includes recent interviews with band members, including Clarke, who left Depeche Mode at the end of their first tour. Attractively packaged in a digipak sleeve, the set is accompanied by a booklet containing lyrics and never-before-published photos of the band taken during their early rise to pop stardom.
All Music Guide - Ned Raggett
Though probably nobody fully appreciated it at the time -- perhaps least of all the band! -- Depeche Mode's debut is at once both a conservative, functional pop record and a groundbreaking release. While various synth pioneers had come before -- Gary Numan, early Human League, late-'70s Euro-disco, and above all Kraftwerk all had clear influence on Speak & Spell -- Depeche became the undisputed founder of straight-up synth pop with the album's 11 songs, light, hooky, and danceable numbers about love, life, and clubs. For all the claims about "dated" '80s sounds from rock purists, it should be noted that the basic guitar/bass/drums lineup of rock is almost 25 years older than the catchy keyboard lines and electronic drums making the music here. That such a sound would eventually become ubiquitous during the Reagan years, spawning lots of crud along the way, means the band should no more be held to blame for that than Motown and the Beatles for inspiring lots of bad stuff in the '60s. Credit for the album's success has to go to main songwriter Vince Clarke, who would extend and arguably perfect the synth pop formula with Yazoo and Erasure; the classic early singles "New Life," "Dreaming of Me," and "Just Can't Get Enough," along with numbers ranging from the slyly homoerotic "Pretty Boy" to the moody thumper "Photographic," keep everything moving throughout. David Gahan undersings about half the album, and Martin Gore's two numbers lack the distinctiveness of his later work, but Speak & Spell remains an undiluted joy. [Rhino issued a CD/DVD edition of the album in 2006. The first disc contains the album in remastered form; the second disc provides the album in 5.1 sound, a half-hour film, and four bonus tracks.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/6/2006
  • Label: Rhino
  • UPC: 081227759322
  • Catalog Number: 77593

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 New Life (3:46)
  2. 2 I Sometimes Wish I Was Dead (2:18)
  3. 3 Puppets (3:56)
  4. 4 Boys Say Go! (3:08)
  5. 5 Nodisco (4:15)
  6. 6 What's Your Name? (2:45)
  7. 7 Photographic (4:43)
  8. 8 Tora! Tora! Tora! (4:38)
  9. 9 Big Muff (4:24)
  10. 10 Any Second Now (Voices) (2:35)
  11. 11 Just Can't Get Enough (3:44)
  12. 12 Dreaming of Me (4:01)
Disc 2
  1. 1 New Life
  2. 2 I Sometimes Wish I Was Dead
  3. 3 Puppets
  4. 4 Boys Say Go!
  5. 5 Nodisco
  6. 6 What's Your Name?
  7. 7 Photographic
  8. 8 Tora! Tora! Tora!
  9. 9 Big Muff
  10. 10 Any Second Now (Voices)
  11. 11 Just Can't Get Enough
  12. 12 Dreaming of Me
  13. 13 Ice Machine
  14. 14 Shout
  15. 15 Any Second Now (Voices)
  16. 16 Just Can't Get Enough
  17. 17 Depeche Mode '80-'81 (Do We Really Have to Give up Our Day Jobs) [Video
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Depeche Mode Primary Artist
Vince Clarke Group Member
Martin Gore Group Member
Technical Credits
Roland Brown Producer, Writer
Vince Clarke Composer
John Fryer Engineer
Martin Gore Composer
Roger Johnson Engineer, Digital Editing
Daniel Miller Producer, Liner Notes, Executive Producer
Ronald Prent Engineer
Eric Radcliffe Engineer
Adam Rogers Authoring
Simon Heyworth Mastering
Anton Corbijn Art Direction
Kevin Paul Engineer
Brian D. Griffin Concept
Kevin Van Bergen Master Tape Restoration
Ross Hallard Director
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