What’s not to be said about The Mode? For me, they are one of those groups that I had an awareness of in the ’80s, but I’ve only properly discovered them since. Formed in 1980 in Basildon, Essex the original line up was Dave Gahan (vocals); Martin Gore (guitar, keyboards); Andrew Fletcher (keyboards) and Vince Clarke (keyboards).
Clarke left in 1981 citing disagreement with the band’s direction. He did offer the remaining members the song Only You, but they turned it down – Clarke recorded the song with Alison Moyet as Yazoo and took it to number 2 in 1982, and The Flying Pickets had the Christmas number 1 hit with it in 1983. Clarke was replaced with Alan Wilder in 1982 – he joined from an advert placed anonymously in Melody Maker.
Before he left, Clarke penned the first three singles, Dreaming of Me (UK singles chart position, 57), New Life (11) and Just Can’t Get Enough (8). Now if you only ever wrote two songs in your life then New Life and Just Can’t Get Enough would be fine testaments, never mind all the other stuff that Clarke has written. However, for the rest of the band, life had to go on, so it was left to Martin Gore to take up the songwriting cudgel.
There is no doubt that Martin Gore has a fine pedigree with which to justify the band’s decision. The Mode had a further 21 UK chart hits in the ’80s. Gore’s first single was See You which was a number 6 effort in 1982. The biggest hit was 1984’s People Are People which made number 4. My favourite Depeche Mode song was actually a ’90s hit – Enjoy The Silence (6), but since it was released on 16 January 1990, it was most likely written and recorded in the 1980s.
And… if all that’s not enough, just think, I’ve heard Steve Wright say he don’t like ’em. If that’s the case, then they’re alright by me!