Elbow

Peter Gabriel covers album ft Radiohead, Arcade Fire,Elbow

Peter Gabriel set for covers album ft Radiohead, Arcade Fire,Elbow Scratch My Back’ is expected in early 2010. Peter Gabriel is set to release an orchestral covers album featuring the likes of Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Elbow and Bon Iver. Entitled ‘Scratch My Back’ the album is reported to be a “song swap” with a host of “extremely legendary artists” set to cover each other’s material. “The songs are not simply covers,” Gabriel collaborator John Metcalfe told BBC 6 Continue reading →

Sleepercurve launch new single & video tomorrow.

SleepercurveSleepercurve are a band with depth. If you’re after the musical equivalent of a one- night stand, then you’d better look elsewhere. Named after the term used by US science writer Steven Johnson to describe the idea of popular culture being beneficial to an individual’s cognitive development, this new south London-based trio have single handedly invented the genre of ‘dystopian space Continue reading →

Jools Holland releases Later Live 2

jools-hollandCurrently on its 35th series, BBC2’s later live with, Jools Holland remains the unmissable Tuesday night 10pm essential for music fans of all ages backgrounds and tastes. Coupled with its perfectly timed 11.35pm extended version on Friday nights, the show truly exists as the most visible and consistent champion of quality music on the nation’s TVs, a fifteen year institution that has become as valued a friend and resource to the artists and musician featured n the show as for the audience themselves. Like its TV counter-part, ‘Later Live 2, with Jools Continue reading →

More about Depeche Mode

depeche-modertrvOriginally a product of Britain’s new romantic movement, Depeche Mode went on to become the quintessential electro-pop band of the 1980s. One of the first acts to establish a musical identity based completely around the use of synthesizers, they began their existence as a bouncy dance-pop outfit but gradually developed a darker, more dramatic sound that ultimately positioned them as one of the most successful alternative bands of their era. The roots of Depeche Mode date to 1976, when Basildon, England-based keyboardists Vince Clarke and Andrew Fletcher first teamed to form the group No Romance in China. The band proved short-lived, and by 1979 Clarke had formed French Look, another duo featuring guitarist/keyboardist Martin Gore; Fletcher soon signed on, and the group rechristened itself Composition of Sound. Initially, Clarke handled vocal chores, but in 1980 singer David Gahan was brought in to complete the lineup. After one final name change to Depeche Mode, the quartet members jettisoned all instruments excluding their synthesizers, honing a slick, techno-based sound to showcase Clarke’s catchy melodies. After building a following on the London club scene, Depeche Mode debuted in 1980 with “Photographic,” a track included on the Some Bizzare Album label compilation. After signing to Mute Records, they issued “Dreaming of Me” in early 1981; while neither the single nor its follow-up, “New Life,” caused much of a stir, their third effort, “Just Can’t Get Enough,” became a Top Ten U.K. hit, and their 1981 debut LP, Speak and Spell, was also a success. Just as Depeche Mode appeared poised for a major commercial breakthrough, however, principal songwriter Clarke abruptly exited to form Yazoo with singer Alison Moyet, leaving the group’s future in grave doubt. As Gore grabbed the band’s songwriting reins, the remaining trio recruited keyboardist Alan Wilder to fill the technological void created by Clarke’s departure. While 1982′s A Broken Frame deviated only slightly from Depeche Mode’s earlier work, Gore’s ominous songs grew more assured and sophisticated by the time of 1983′s Construction Time Again. Some Great Reward, issued the following year, was their artistic and commercial breakthrough, as Gore’s dark, kinky preoccupations with spiritual doubt (“Blasphemous Rumours”) and psychosexual manipulation (“Master and Servant”) came to the fore; the egalitarian single “People Are People” was a major hit on both sides of the Atlantic and typified the music’s turn toward more industrial textures. Released in 1986, the atmospheric Black Celebration continued the trend toward grim melancholy and further established the group as a major commercial force. After the superb single “Strangelove,” Depeche Mode issued 1987′s Music for the Masses; a subsequent sold-out tour yielded the 1989 double live set 101 as well as a concert film directed by the legendary D.A. Pennebaker. Still, despite an enormous fan base, the group was considered very much an underground cult phenomenon prior to the release of 1990′s Violator, a Top Ten smash that spawned the hits “Enjoy the Silence,” “Policy of Truth,” and “Personal Jesus.” With the alternative music boom of the early ’90s, Depeche Mode emerged as one of the world’s most successful acts, and their 1993 LP Songs of Faith and Devotion entered the charts in the number one slot. However, at the peak of its success, the group began to unravel; first Wilder exited in 1995, and then Gahan was the subject of a failed suicide attempt. (He later entered a drug rehabilitation clinic to battle an addiction to heroin.) After a four-year layoff, Depeche Mode continued onward as a trio and released 1997′s Ultra, which featured the hits “Barrel of a Gun” and “It’s No Good.” A year later, the band embarked on a tour in support of their newly released hits album, The Singles 86>98. Depeche Mode played 64 shows in 18 countries for over one million fans. Each member took some considerable time off after the tour’s completion, and Depeche Mode would not regroup for another three years. Exciter, the band’s follow-up to Ultra, was released in 2001, with the singles “Dream On” and “I Feel Loved” finding moderate success on international radio outlets. Two years later, Gahan issued his debut solo album, the dark and sultry Paper Monsters. Gore also followed suit by issuing the all-covers Counterfeit², a full-length sequel to his similarly themed 1989 EP. Each member supported his work with respective tours of the U.S. and Europe; however, the band soon resumed working together, and Playing the Angel, their 11th studio album, became a Top Ten hit upon its release in October 2005. Produced by Ben Hillier (Doves, Blur, U2, Elbow) and studded with singles like “Precious” and “John (The Revelator),” it topped the album charts in 18 countries and went multi-platinum and/or gold in 20 countries. Depeche Mode went on to play for more than 2.5 million fans worldwide, and the DVD release Touring the Angel: Live in Milan (2006) captured one of the band’s greatest shows. Sounds of the Universe, also made with the assistance of Hillier, arrived in early 2009. Gigs:

2-jun-2009 HSH Nordbank Arena Hamburg , DE
4-jun-2009 LTU Arena Dusseldorf , DE
5-jun-2009 LTU Arena Dusseldorf , DE
7-jun-2009 Zentralstadion Leipzig , DE
8-jun-2009 Zentralstadion Leipzig , DE

Elbow frontman wants to get animated

elbow-frontmanGuy Garvey wants to be a cartoon villain.  The Elbow frontman would love to star in children’s animated series ‘Scooby Doo’ – which features a group of teenagers and their pet dog who solve mysteries by exposing monsters to be villainous people – as one of the gang’s enemies.  He said: “If I could star in a cartoon then I’d be one of the bad guys of ‘Scooby Doo’, take the mask off and I’d be there underneath.”  The ‘Grounds for Divorce’ singer – whose band scooped two honours at the prestigious Ivor Novello Awards in London yesterday (21.05.09) – also revealed the group are working on a film after deciding to expand on their idea to create an album of lullabies for children.  He told BANG Showbiz: “The kids album now is going to be a short film, an animated film but we’re working on that – very slowly at the moment. We’re trying to secure the rights to the story at the moment so I don’t want to say what it is.”  Elbow scooped Best Contemporary Song for ‘Grounds For Divorce’ and Best Song Musically and Lyrically for ‘One Day Like This’ but Guy insisted the band couldn’t take all the credit for their success. He joked: “We like to think of our songs as little people, like friends, who go off and do things for us and these ones have just won us some awards.”

1000 bands register to play Benicássim festival

paul-wellerThe Fast Track to FIB Heineken competition kicked off in spectacular style this month as over 1000 bands registered and uploaded their music in an attempt to win a slot at this year’s Benicássim festival in Spain.  For the second year running, Vince Power has partnered up with rapidly emerging youth music brand Supajam, to find Europe’s newest super-group, and so far the response has been phenomenal! The contest allows bands to submit their music online and a careful selection process follows (see below) before the final 5 bands battle it out at a live showdown in Piccadilly’s The Pigalle Club. Voting doesn’t officially start until May 16th but with so much interest in the upload stage of the competition, Supajam are preparing themselves for the inevitable onslaught from bands’ fans.  Having already confirmed a monumental line up including The Killers, Oasis, Kings of Leon, Franz Ferdinand, Paul Weller (see photo) , Lily Allen, Glasvegas, Maximo Park, The Horrors, 2 Many DJ’s and Elbow fans have come to expect bands of the very highest calibre, so its no wonder that competition for a slot on the Benicássim bill is fiercer than ever.  Last year’s winner JKLMNO have taken massive steps forward since taking home the ‘Fast Track to FIB Heineken’ crown. Since winning the contest they have recorded a live studio session for the BBC and seen their music featured as the ‘Windows Media download of the week’. Set to record a single for physical release in August with Manic Street Preachers producer Greg Haver in the Manics’ own private studio, many are tipping them as one to watch for 2009.  Other finalists from last year were Doll And the Kicks who have since supported Morrissey on his European tour and Irish rockers CODES, who shared the stage with Keane on their UK tour.  If you want a chance to perform the gig of your lifetime visit supajam now!

Elbow to release next album in 2010

 elbow23ELBOW have revealed that their fifth studio album won’t be released until September 2010. The Mercury Music winners said they have been writing songs on the road while they continue to promote their 2008 album The Seldom Seen Kid.  The band’s guitarist Mark Potter said: “We never thought we’d still be touring and promoting the album at this point – it’s gone crazy. “But we’re determined to crack on with writing the new one and getting it out by September 2010. “We’ve been setting up little writing rooms in every place we tour – it’s nice because it’s become like a musical journal of our life on the road.”  Elbow are an alternative rock band based in England. The band formed in the English town of Bury, Greater Manchester whilst at sixth-form college during 1990, and consists of Guy Garvey (vocals, guitar), Mark Potter (guitar, vocals), Pete Turner (bass), Craig Potter (keyboards) and Richard Jupp (drums).
Over the band’s 18 year career they have released four studio albums, four EPs and ten top fifty singles in the UK. The band are named after a line in the BBC TV mini-series The Singing Detective which says that the word “elbow” is the most sensuous word in the English language, not for its definition, but for how it feels to say it. They began specialising in “chilled funk”, but changed the direction of their music after unanimously deciding they were “shit”. The new songs got notice from both Island Records and Universal, but after signing with both the band was dropped before anything was released. After all this trouble, the band released two critically acclaimed EP’s on the independent Ugly Man Record label which caught the attention of V2 Records, who released their début Asleep in the Back. The album was a surprise moderate success, gaining substantial critical acclaim and ultimately a nomination for the Mercury Music Prize in 2001. The single Newborn also received attention after being banned by Radio 1 for the lyric, “I’ll be the corpse in your bathtub.” Word of mouth began to work in Elbow’s favour in the following year, and their 2003 effort Cast of Thousands, which sonically followed much the same path (though with added optimism) entered the UK Charts at number 7 to critical acclaim. The lead single Fallen Angel charted at number 19. Two years later, Elbow’s third album Leaders of the Free World was released with a more straightforward bent, featuring more standard ballads and near-pop songs.  In 2004, Elbow went on an unofficial tour of Cuba, becoming the first British band ever to play a concert outside Havana. The tour was made into a short film by British documentary maker Irshad Ashraf. Despite a continued lack of commercial notice, Leaders of the Free World charted at number 12, with lead single Forget Myself achieving number 22 in the charts. Elbow also headlined two sell-out tours of their largest venues yet in Autumn 2005 and February 2006.  March 17th 2008 saw the release of Elbow’s fourth album, entitled The Seldom Seen Kid. Released through Fiction, it entered the UK album chart at number 5, and went on to win the 2008 Mercury Music Award. One track, The Fix, features guest vocals and lead guitar by Richard Hawley. The band’s official site can be found at http://www.elbow.co.uk.

2 Many DJs and James Morrison added to Oxegen 2009

miss-kittin-and-the-hackerWith a line-up already crammed full of fans’ favourites OXEGEN 2009 is shaping up to be the music event of the summer. The great and good of Rock ‘n’ Roll are coming from all over the world to play for you this July. Today, we are delighted to announce the latest star players to be added to the musical team sheet.  Turntable-maestros 2 Many DJs have been added to Friday’s line-up. Renowned for pioneering the mash-up scene, the Belgian duo have recently been busy working with the likes of Daft Punk and Gorillaz.

Fans can also look forward to the soulful and bluesy vocals of James Morrison. Still only 24, he’s already been compared to the likes of the mighty Otis Redding and Van Morrison.  Scottish post-rock pioneers Mogwai bring their own wall of sound to Friday. This critically acclaimed 5 piece always deliver an outstanding, often deafening live show.  Regina Spektor is a unique singer songwriter that cannot be pigeonholed. Her undoubted talent embraces influences as diverse as folk, punk, rock, hip-hop and jazz. Check out a virtuoso at work on Saturday. With 18 top 20 singles including classics such as ‘The Day We Caught The Train’ and ‘The Riverboat Song’, Ocean Colour Scene will need no introduction to the OXEGEN masses on Friday.  It’s a big welcome back to Maximo Park who last rocked out in 2007. Their eagerly anticipated third album ‘Quicken the Heart’ is due out on May 11th and OXEGEN is the place to experience it live on Saturday.  The Hours have an enviable music pedigree, with members Antony and Martin having worked with Pulp, Elastica, Black Grape and UNKLE. Now they have teamed up with their pal artist Damien Hirst on his new label,check out their cracking new single,’Big Black Hole’, due out today. A big, fresh sound for Friday night.  Fresh from starring at SXSW and riding their ever-growing wave of buzz, You Me At Six will bring their provocative punk metal sound to the up for it OXEGEN crowd on Sunday.  Since forming in the summer of 2004, Crystal Castles, the Toronto-based duo of Ethan Fawn and Alice Glass have amassed a cult following through their uncompromising and intense delivery, a slew of limited edition singles, and shows packed solely from word of mouth. Catch them on Saturday. Having supported Kings of Leon and The Killers on tour M83 come highly recommended. Jump into their dream pop sound on Friday.  Described by The Guardian as an ‘Irish Outkast’, the Republic of Loose define themselves without any reference to anyone else other than a respectful nod to James Brown and The Rolling Stones. Nominated for 2 Meteor Awards this year, they add their funk-filled sound to Friday’s line up.  BBC Sound of 2009 hot tip La Roux will go ‘In For The Kill’ on Sunday this year. Following their current support slot on Lily Allen’s UK tour and the forthcoming headline gig on NME’s 2009 Radar Tour, the annual new talent showcase will lead them nicely into their summer slot at OXEGEN.

OXEGEN artists announced so far:

FRI 10TH JULY
Blur, Snow Patrol, The Script, Keane, Lily Allen, James, Pendulum, Eagles of Death Metal, Ladyhawke, Fight Like Apes, Swedish House Mafia, Crookers, Dreadzone, God is an Astronaut, Tom Middleton, Aeroplane, 2 Many DJs, Mogwai, Ocean Colour Scene, The Hours, M83, Republic Of Loose

SAT 11TH JULY
Kings of Leon, Pet Shop Boys, Bloc Party, Elbow, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Doves, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio, Pete Doherty, The Mars Volta, The Game, The Saturdays, Squeeze, Hockey, Tiga, Digitalism, Gary Go, James Morrison, Regina Spektor, Maximo Park, Crystal Castles, La Roux

SUN 12TH JULY
The Killers, Razorlight, Nine Inch Nails, The Specials, Lady Gaga, The Ting Tings, Jane’s Addiction, Katy Perry, Manic Street Preachers, Paolo Nutini, Glasvegas, Florence and the Machine White Lies, Jason Mraz, Foals, Friendly Fires, of Montreal, Miss Kittin and The Hacker (Live), Hudson Mohawke, Wallis Bird, You Me At 6

Tickets for this year’s festival are on sale NOW and are priced at a 2008 price freeze of 224.50 Euro (incl. booking fee) for 3 day including camping ticket. For an extra 20 Euro fans can purchase a 4 day including camping ticket which will include Thursday campsite stay also.

Athlete confirmed for Guilfest

athlete2Athlete, The Wailers, Nouvelle Vague, Imelda May and Eat Static all confirmed for Guilfest. Athlete, who are confirmed to appear on the main stage at GuilFest on Saturday 11th July, came to prominence making their own brand of British Indie music in 2003 with their debut album, Vehicles and Animals, producing hugely popular singles such as “You Got the Style” and “El Salvador”. The album earned a Mercury Music Prize nomination and went on to sell over 250,000 copies. They played their first live session on UK radio on the Dermot O’Leary Show, BBC Radio 2. Their second album, Tourist enjoyed even greater success. Driven by two No1 radio airplay hits (‘Wires’ and ‘Half Light’) ‘Tourist’s double-platinum sales well exceeded those of ‘Vehicles And Animals. The band’s ‘Wires’ single was also named Best Contemporary Song at the prestigious Ivor Novello awards. Going from strength to strength, Athletes third album also proved very successful, hitting the number 5 spot in the UK albums charts. Athlete have embarked on tours all over the world, playing their music to huge crowds and their 4th album is expected in Summer 2009.

The Wailers, the most legendary reggae group of all time, are set to bring their unique flavour of Dub/Reggae to the GuilFest Main Stage, supporting Happy Mondays on Sunday 12th July. Together with former lead singer Bob Marley, the Wailers have sold in excess of 250 million albums worldwide. In England alone, they’ve notched up over twenty chart hits, including seven Top 10 entries. Outside of their groundbreaking work with Marley, the Wailers have also played or performed with international acts like Sting, Kenny Chesney, the Fugees, Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana and Alpha Blondy, as well as reggae legends such as Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, and Burning Spear. As the greatest living exponents of Jamaica’s reggae tradition – still led by original bassist and musical director Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett to this day – the Wailers have completed innumerable tours, playing to an estimated 24 million people across the globe. They have also been the first reggae band to tour new territories on many occasions, including Africa and the Far East.

Nouvelle Vague, the ground-breaking French project, who take a unique twist on classic punk, post punk and new wave hits reinterpreted in a bossa nova style, will headline the 2nd Stage on Friday 10th July. After the huge worldwide success of their eponymous debut album, released in 2004, (with over 200,000 copies sold at last count) the band’s subsequent albums ‘Band A Parte’, (2006) and ‘Late Night Tales’, (2007) have taken the group even further. Their versions of “Just Can’t Get Enough” by Depeche Mode and “Teenage Kicks” by the Undertones have been used in major UK TV adverts, while their version of Billy Idol’s ‘Dancing With Myself’ has been featured ion adverts for TLC’s show LA Ink.

Imelda May will be wowing the GuilFest crowds on the 2nd Stage on Saturday 11th July. Imelda was crowned 2008’s Best Female Newcomer at the prestigious Irish World Newspaper Awards and it’s not much of a stretch to see more acclaim ahead in 2009. She has shared stages with such megastars as Van Morrison and the Scissor Sisters, and provided vocals for a character in the forthcoming American gangster movie ‘Dark Streets’. Her shows have a reputation for being impassioned, all-or-nothing events. ‘Love Tattoo,’ her debut album, which is almost entirely self-written, has the same unbridled feel, whether she’s getting her teeth into a massive rockabilly party track or a sleazy after-midnight torch number. In 2008 Imelda found herself on ‘Later With Jools Holland,’ wowing an audience who included Jeff Beck, Elbow and Roots Manuva. Beck, in fact, made a point of telling Holland that he was only there to see her!

Eat Static, who headline GuilFest’s Funky End dance Tent on Friday 10th July, were formed in 1989 by Ozric Tentacles drummer Merv Pepler and keyboard player Joie Hinton as a separate creative outlet for the diverse range of electronic music that the pair were writing. Always intended as a live band, Eat Static can legitimately claim to be one of the UK’s first live techno outfits, cutting their teeth at many of the ‘orbital’ raves of the early 90′s. Since that time, Eat Static have played hundreds of gigs in the UK, Europe, the USA (touring with Moby and BT) and the Far East. These shows included a number of appearances at all the big UK and European festivals including Glastonbury and Dance Valley in Amsterdam. Tickets are on sale now, available on-line at www.guilfest.co.uk or by calling Ticketline on 0871 424 0050.

Depeche Mode deny Glastonbury appearance

depeche_mode_widewebDepeche Mode have announced that they will not play Glastonbury this year. Keyboardist Andy Fletcher has told Kerrang! Radio’s Emma Scott that the band will not be joining Bruce Springsteen, Franz Ferdinand and The Ting Tings at the Somerset festival, despite recent stories circulating the Internet. He said ‘That is a rumour and it’s not true. Unless our management is going behind our backs, as far as we’re concerned that is definitely not on.’

However, the synth legend may have slipped up during the interview by revealing that the band’s tour ‘is planned until February’ next year, even though their upcoming ‘World Tour of the Universe 2009’ is due to end in September.

After being quizzed if the tour had been extended, he told Emma Scott ‘I’ve given it away, you’re going to get me in trouble now. My manager’s going to come down on me heavy!’

There had been uproar that the upcoming World tour had just one UK date, leading to Emma Scott speculating that more UK dates will be released. Andy replied ‘We’re concerned about that; it’s likely that we will be doing quite a few more dates – maybe Birmingham. It would be nice to put our feet up after September but the fans are just going crazy, we might have to extend it. There could be riots!’

The already released tour dates will coincide with their 12th studio album, ‘Sounds Of the Universe’, released April 21. Andy said ‘We’ve only got actually a couple of albums left in us I think before we go decrepit. We’ve been saved by the Rolling Stones, they’re still going but it worries me that I could be doing this when I’m 60 odd – it’s something to worry about but you can’t stop this thing.’

He then told Emma ‘You were sneaky. Do you know the tour dates already?’

More about Depeche Mode.
Originally a product of Britain’s new romantic movement, Depeche Mode went on to become the quintessential electro-pop band of the 1980s. One of the first acts to establish a musical identity based completely around the use of synthesizers, they began their existence as a bouncy dance-pop outfit but gradually developed a darker, more dramatic sound that ultimately positioned them as one of the most successful alternative bands of their era.

The roots of Depeche Mode date to 1976, when Basildon, England-based keyboardists Vince Clarke and Andrew Fletcher first teamed to form the group No Romance in China. The band proved short-lived, and by 1979 Clarke had formed French Look, another duo featuring guitarist/keyboardist Martin Gore; Fletcher soon signed on, and the group rechristened itself Composition of Sound. Initially, Clarke handled vocal chores, but in 1980 singer David Gahan was brought in to complete the lineup. After one final name change to Depeche Mode, the quartet members jettisoned all instruments excluding their synthesizers, honing a slick, techno-based sound to showcase Clarke’s catchy melodies. After building a following on the London club scene, Depeche Mode debuted in 1980 with “Photographic,” a track included on the Some Bizzare Album label compilation. After signing to Mute Records, they issued “Dreaming of Me” in early 1981; while neither the single nor its follow-up, “New Life,” caused much of a stir, their third effort, “Just Can’t Get Enough,” became a Top Ten U.K. hit, and their 1981 debut LP, Speak and Spell, was also a success. Just as Depeche Mode appeared poised for a major commercial breakthrough, however, principal songwriter Clarke abruptly exited to form Yazoo with singer Alison Moyet, leaving the group’s future in grave doubt. As Gore grabbed the band’s songwriting reins, the remaining trio recruited keyboardist Alan Wilder to fill the technological void created by Clarke’s departure. While 1982′s A Broken Frame deviated only slightly from Depeche Mode’s earlier work, Gore’s ominous songs grew more assured and sophisticated by the time of 1983′s Construction Time Again. Some Great Reward, issued the following year, was their artistic and commercial breakthrough, as Gore’s dark, kinky preoccupations with spiritual doubt (“Blasphemous Rumours”) and psychosexual manipulation (“Master and Servant”) came to the fore; the egalitarian single “People Are People” was a major hit on both sides of the Atlantic and typified the music’s turn toward more industrial textures. Released in 1986, the atmospheric Black Celebration continued the trend toward grim melancholy and further established the group as a major commercial force.

After the superb single “Strangelove,” Depeche Mode issued 1987′s Music for the Masses; a subsequent sold-out tour yielded the 1989 double live set 101 as well as a concert film directed by the legendary D.A. Pennebaker. Still, despite an enormous fan base, the group was considered very much an underground cult phenomenon prior to the release of 1990′s Violator, a Top Ten smash that spawned the hits “Enjoy the Silence,” “Policy of Truth,” and “Personal Jesus.” With the alternative music boom of the early ’90s, Depeche Mode emerged as one of the world’s most successful acts, and their 1993 LP Songs of Faith & Devotion entered the charts in the number one slot. However, at the peak of its success, the group began to unravel; first Wilder exited in 1995, and then Gahan was the subject of a failed suicide attempt. (He later entered a drug rehabilitation clinic to battle an addiction to heroin.) After a four-year layoff, Depeche Mode — continuing on as a trio — released 1997′s Ultra, which featured the hits “Barrel of a Gun” and “It’s No Good.” A year later, the band embarked on a tour in support of The Singles 86>98 greatest-hits album. Depeche Mode played 64 shows in 18 countries for over a million fans. It also marked the end of a decade for the band. Each member took some considerable time off, and Depeche Mode would not regroup for another three years. Exciter, the band’s follow-up to 1997′s Ultra, was released in 2001. Singles such as “Dream On” and “I Feel Loved” did moderately well.

Two years later, Gahan issued his debut solo album, the dark and sultry Paper Monsters. Gore also followed suit by issuing his debut full-length, Counterfeit². Each member did respective tours of the U.S. and Europe; however, it wouldn’t be long until Depeche Mode came back together. Playing the Angel became a Top Ten hit upon release in October 2005, produced by Ben Hillier (Doves, Blur, U2, Elbow). With the success of the “Precious” and “John (The Revelator)” singles, Playing the Angel topped the album charts in 18 countries and went multiple platinum and gold in 20 countries. Depeche Mode went to on play to 2.5 million fans worldwide, and the special-edition three-disc set Touring the Angel: Live in Milan (2006) captured the essence of one of the band’s greatest shows.

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