My introduction to British electronic band Depeche Mode was through the video for the brilliant single Everything Counts, from their 1983 album Construction Time Again. It was strikingly unlike anything I’d heard before and made me an instant fan. To this day they’re one of my favorite bands. Very few artists in popular music have created such a singularly distinctive sound, or sustained such a prolific and distinguished career.
In the 80s I devoted unreasonable proportions of my hard-won teenager’s income to obsessively collecting every release in Depeche Mode’s catalog (as best a suburban California kid could do, pre-internet) which led to uncovering quite a lot of lesser-known gems. As the band are currently promoting a series of boxed sets of reissued singles from their early career, I’m struck by how much of their best work in the 80s could only be found on singles.