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the best of DEPECHEMODE volume 1   Print  E-mail 
Written by Mark Reed  
Friday, 17 November 2006
Half-arsed, lacking in artistic integrity, reason, this album has no reason to exist...

 

For fucks sake, why? Yet another crappy compilation album. Make no mistake, the compilation album is dying. Anyone with iTunes can make their own compilation in 5 minutes, and they are inevitably better than things like this - I certainly have.

 

It's a cheap, tacky fucking cash-in. And it's not as if there haven't been a few of those already : 1985's "Singles", 1998's "Singles 86>98", 2004's "The Remixes 81-04", a lacklustre and boring reissue programme of every studio album they've recorded, 50 live albums, for fuck's sake, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

 

If you don't have anything by Depeche Mode, and don't care if the songs are in any chronological order, sure, you can buy this : it has less than half of their hit singles in random order, which present a bizarre uneven listening experience. New track "Martyr" is excellent and as good as anything the band have done in years, but leaves a sour taste in the mouth of anyone whose already bought all these songs before. Cheaply recorded and shallow pieces of fluff such as the trite "See You" sit next to the later, and far better, "It's No Good" in a way that feels as if someone just pressed Shuffle on their iPod. There's no sense of artistic or musical progression. Just a random bunch of songs that hardly reflect what any fan would call their best work.

 

Not much better is the DVD edition, which manages to present the video for "I Feel You" on DVD for the fourth time, whilst ensuring that 14 other videos of theirs manage to still sit on rotting videotapes in an office in London. Way to go Mute! Well done! At least the videos are present in some near-chronological order, and expand the collection up to a total of 25 songs and a half-arsed movie that spans 30 years in 30 minutes. But it's a frustratingly incomplete, and callous, way to treat a band's legacy.

 

And since Depeche Mode have already sold 72,000,000 records - more than the number of people who live in Great Britain - it's not as if they need the money to retire on. So what's the motive? Greed? A last gasp attempt to clear the decks and line their pockets?

 

Unless you're a completist or a casual fan who likes some of their songs and can't be bothered to buy the albums, don't touch this with a bargepole. It's musically brilliant - but artistically worthless.

 

 

 

 

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