Watch Depeche Mode live on TV in 1982

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It’s like Patrick Dempsey and his nerd pals in Can’t Buy Me Love formed a band for their high school dance.


i swear i saw a pimple. they are SO young!


I looked it up – David Gahan was born in 1962, the other two in 1961. So, not teenagers, but almost!


I saw someone wearing a KMFDM shirt the other day and laughed because of what the letters supposedly stood for.

Anyway, I’ve developed a semi-respect for Depeche Mode over the years, but this video illustrates why we loathed them as young punks: clean-cut youths awkwardly singing twee pop songs with synths and drum machines.

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Kyle Minogue Fans Don’t Masturbate? Or was it Keep Madonna From Doing Music.


Well, they got better after that, didn’t they? Still, I appreciate the incredibly awkward nerdiness so well captured in that gif.

I totally forgot there was another narrative about the name beyond the original dada-esque re-arrangement of the Germans words for ‘no pity for the majority’. I guess at the time I figured (correctly) that the supposed Depeche Mode reference wasn’t the actual origin of the initials so much as just a joke to yank chains, so I put it out of my mind.


I tend to prefer their earlier and synthier stuff. I used to joke that DM was great until they started actually playing instruments. That said their later stuff grew on my after a while. It’s interesting that their most recent albums have started to go back into a much more synth direction once again.


Kill Mother F***ing Depache Mode.

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So much good stuff around that year, but I wasn’t happy about the Human League shakeup.

I miss my vinyl. :frowning:

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kein mitleid für die Mehrheit


Nice find, David. I’m a longtime fan (since their first album) and have watched tons of their videos but have never seen this one before.

All - hang tight through the interlude for Leave In Silence.


to be fair they were a lot less clean cut on UK TV
Perhaps it was for continental telly they dropped the fetishy look?

This is pretty good synthpop for a band that had just lost their chief songwriter but had yet to fall fully under the influence of Daniel Millar and his amazing collection of synths which took them in more left field directions, and were still only 20 or something.

That said as @ficuswhisperer says, I too prefer them as synthpop and when they aren’t playing “instruments”. They embraced sampling really early and very heavily and unlike say the Pet Shop Boys who cheerfully admit that their first album had every sound on the Emulator demo disk they were into sound design from the off. Not a slight on the PSB, not every musician should or needs do that, just that DM veered from pop young and hard.

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My favourite twee lyric from that era is:

Oh you’re such a pretty boy
P R E double-tee Y
you’re so pretty

I had to stop watching so it doesn’t ruin my love for their music

I grant they did get better over time, and after Vince Clarke left no less.

They’re all valid, but the one I’m thinking of made it into a song.

There’s a clip of them on the BBC synth documentary talking about how they sampled hitting random objects to make rhythm tracks, and thought they were being very avant garde at the time, but then realizing later they were still just making pop songs. And they were catchy songs, I can’t deny.

They played into that a lot over the years, up to and including a song that’s just a list of KMFDM album and song titles, plus that line yelled in the chorus

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Well, I haven’t actually listened to them in over 20 years and the last thing I heard was a Coil remix, so I’m not sure what they evolved into. But it seems like they got a lot better quite quickly after doing this show.

It’s got to be the weirdest version of a backronym. They start off with the cut-up method of pulling words out of a hat, get “kein mitleid für die Mehrheit,” turn that into initials. Then they tour America with Ministry and get sick of having to explain what the letters mean, Ministry’s guitarist suggests the alternate explanation as a way of cutting those discussions short, and they decide to add it into a song so it’s not coming out of nowhere. That’s also commitment to a joke, I suppose.

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this is exactly why I love them.

Meanwhile in the USA (just to show the contrast between early post New Wave bands of 1982-1984 and their subsequent development into totally different genres)

Faith No Man (1983)
Ministry (1984)

PS i’d give big money to see Courtney Love live singing for Faith No More, both a BETA max version of the early gigs and a duet with Patton and the post-2015 roster.

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