Speak & Spell
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Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. New Life|
|3. Dreaming Of Me|
|4. Boys Say Go!|
|6. What's Your Name?|
|8. Tora! Tora! Tora!|
|9. Big Muff|
|10. Any Second Now (Voices)|
|11. Just Can't Get Enough|
Out of print in the U.S. Digitally remastered two disc (CD + PAL/Region 2 DVD) edition of the British Synthpop band's 1981 album. The CD features the 2007 digital remaster of the original album. The DVD contains a DTS 5.1 mix of the album plus bonus audio tracks and a mini-documentary on the making of the album, The album features 'Just Can't Get Enough', 'New Life', 'Puppets' and more.
It's always good to know where a band came from so you can see how far they've come. Speak and Spell is really the work of Vincent Clarke, who, with Andy Bell, would later form the happy-go-lucky pop-dance megaforce Erasure. And it shows in the catchy, upbeat songs "New Life," "Boys Say Go," "Photographic," and the most famous single, "Just Can't Get Enough." When Martin Gore took over the songwriting, Depeche Mode veered toward a different thematic direction by developing the goth-pop that would become their signature. Still, it's an important album not only because it is Depeche Mode's first but also because it is one of the best representations of early-'80s minimalist synth music. --Beth Bessmer
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Top Customer Reviews
Compared to DM's later efforts, the lyrical content and melodies here are pretty fluffy. But the underlying ideas here are great: Daniel Miller and the band went into the studio with the idea of creating an electronic pop album with a highly minimal Kraftwerkian aesthetic, but also with a poppy sweetness which had never been married to this style of music before. Today the album sounds equally dated and relevant; in other words, great art that not only evokes the time in which it was made but also occupies its own irreplacable spot in this history of this band and perhaps in that of music as a whole.
Some may call me crazy, but I love this album for its classic electronic minimalism a la Kraftwerk, its almost total lack of pretense, and also just for the fact that its a blast to listen to. But I would not recommend this as an introduction to the band for a first time listener as it, while certainly being very good, is neither their best nor a broad overview of Depeche Mode; instead purchase "The Singles 81-85" (which has the three singles released concurrently with "Speak & Spell"), become further acquainted with the band and only then get this album and see it in the context of their later work (and that of other innovative electronic acts of the time like Kraftwerk).
We have these happy-go-lucky pop songs like "Just Can't Get Enough" or "New Life", as well as thoughtful songs in minor key e.g."Puppets". And then, my 6 all time favourites, that are even better then various songs from other DM albums.
"Any Second Now(Voices)" sounds a bit like Kraftwerk and it represents Vince's sensitive side, letting Martin Gore take vocals and using the Warm Pad Synth in the (instrumental) chorus.
"I Sometimes Wish I Was Dead" (which appears on this album version) might confuse the listener a bit, as the song is not at all as gloomy as the title would suggest. But nevertheless it's great, due to the simplistic cadences (G-D-C), this leading synth melody that reappaers constantly and the march feeling produced by the moog bass synth line and the militant rythm.
Also the b-sides featured on this album version are great. Take "Icemachine". It's not that happy-go-lucky like its A-Side "Dreaming of Me", but, written in minor key, darker and also rhythmically very interesting, using clapping percussion and puff sounds which make it seem quite rebellious.
And then "Shout" is quite dark for Vince's work and not at all naive and happy. It sounds a little bit exotic according to the heavy rythm devices, and this 'evil' bass synths (modified with phaser effect) that dominates this track makes it quite dark so that the atmosphere of this song stands in contrast to its lyrics.Read more ›
1. New Life- Nice bouncy track. Second strongest song on the album. 5/5
2. Puppets- This gives a concept of a person who controls another person's life. Weird. Gore sings. 4/5
3. Dreaming of Me- This song is the strongest on the album. No wonder it's a single. Strong beat, bubblegum flavored. 5/5
4. Boys Say Go!- Basically just another early DM song. It's got a normal rythm for this period. 3/5
5. Nodisco- A song that is just...hmm, let's move on. 2/5
6. What's Your Name?- A happy song?!? What? The exact opposite of later DM songs. Gahan and Gore sing. 3/5
7. Photographic- Here it starts. It was the first song they did under the name Depeche Mode. The Some Bizarre version was better. It leans more into their darker face, but is still decked out with a fast rhythm and countless synthesizers. Gore sings. 4/5
8. Tora! Tora! Tora!- The weakest on the album, I don't listen to it much. 1/5
9. Big Muff- "Popcorn" for the '80s. Instrumental with lots of synthesized SFX. 4/5
10. Any Second Now (Voices)- It's a strange one. It really doesn't have a point. Dark. 3/5
11. Just Can't Get Enough- It is a great listen. It's got a good rhythm, great vocals by Gahan, and an overall wonderful feel to it. 5/5
Most recent customer reviews
i am very happy with my purchase and would be glad to deal with this seller againPublished 16 months ago by Chad McConachie
Yes, yes...this is not the amazing Gothy, darker Depeche that we all know and love today. But it IS a perfect set of synth-laden pop tunes that was quite groundbreaking in its... Read morePublished on June 2 2004 by Wordybirdy
I am 26 years old and I have been a fan of Depeche Mode since I was about 10 years old. I remember listening to this tape with my sister in her room and thinking how great this... Read morePublished on Oct. 22 2003 by P. James
It's a wonderful, full of great melodies album, that kickstarted two brilliant careers of ultratalented musicians : one was soon-to-develop-new-grounds-band called Depeche Mode... Read morePublished on June 29 2003 by White Line, Mirror & A Credit Card
Such a long history, and this is where it all started. Amazing.. total ear candy. And the extra tracks... oh yes.. 100% worth it. Is there anyone that doesn't already own this?Published on June 15 2003 by Scottiboy
Depeche Mode's premier album was the start of both DM's career, and Vince Clarke's(later to form "The Assembly","Yaz(oo)", and finally "Erasure"). Read morePublished on May 30 2003 by DielInfinite
I can't listen this album many times because it contains so awful songs. Ok! New Life, Just Can't Get Enough and Puppets are good songs but rest of the Speak and Spells fails... Read morePublished on May 27 2003 by Juha Ylinen
This was DM's first album as so it seems good songs are still missing. Only "New Life" and "Just Can't Get Enough" are worth listening. The worst moments are defintely in "Tora! Read morePublished on May 26 2003 by Reijo Piippula
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