The driving creative force behind the groundbreaking synth pop group Depeche Mode, composer and keyboardist Martin Gore was born in Basildon, England, on July 23, 1961. As a teen he joined French Look, a duo featuring schoolmate Vince Clarke; with the subsequent additions of keyboardist Andrew Fletcher and singer David Gahan, the group re-christened itself Depeche Mode, soon jettisoning all instruments excluding their synthesizers and honing a slick, techno-based sound to showcase Clarke's catchy melodies. Depeche Mode's 1981 debut LP Speak and Spell was a major British hit, its success spurred by the smash single "Just Can't Get Enough," but following the album's release principal songwriter Clarke abruptly exited to form Yazoo with singer Alison Moyet, leaving the group's future in grave doubt. In Clarke's absence, Gore grabbed the songwriting reins, and while 1982's A Broken Frame deviated only slightly from Depeche Mode's earlier work, his ominous songs grew more assured and sophisticated by the time of 1983's Construction Time Again. Some Great Reward, issued the following year, was Depeche Mode's artistic and commercial breakthrough, as Gore's dark, kinky preoccupations with spiritual doubt ("Blasphemous Rumours") and psycho-sexual 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. 1986's atmospheric Black Celebration continued the trend towards grim melancholy, and further established the group as a major commercial force. In 1989, Gore issued the solo EP Counterfeit; the following year saw the release of Depeche Mode's Violator, a Top Ten smash which spawned the hits "Enjoy the Silence," "Policy of Truth," and "Personal Jesus." Although 1993's Songs of Faith & Devotion entered the charts in the number one slot, internal conflicts resulted in a four-year wait for the follow-up, Ultra. ~ Jason Ankeny, RoviPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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