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The Singles 81-85 Best of

47 customer reviews

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Deal of the Day: The Beatles in Mono (14LP 180g Vinyl Box Set)
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Jan. 19 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Best of
  • Label: Reprise
  • ASIN: B00000HY5N
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,793 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Dreaming Of Me
2. New Life
3. Just Can't Get Enough
4. See You
5. The Meaning Of Love
6. Leave In Silence
7. Get The Balance Right
8. Everything Counts
9. Love In Itself
10. People Are People
11. Master And Servant
12. Rumours
13. Somebody
14. Shake The Disease
15. It's Called A Heart
16. Photographic (Some Bizarre Version)
17. Just Can't Get Enough (Schizo Mix)

Product Description

The question we have to ask is "Why?" Depeche Mode released The Singles, 86-98 because there was no comprehensive singles collection representing 1986 through 1998. But why release a singles compilation covering 1981 through 1985 when Catching Up with Depeche Mode already covers this turf? For one thing, the singles "Leave in Silence," "Everything Counts," and "People Are People," which were absent from Catching Up, are included here. All the songs are digitally remastered, but how much does digital enhancement really do to improve the sound of early-'80s synth-pop, which is so dated? Not much. However, it's natural to release a comprehensive singles collection that nicely coincides with 86-98. Both compilations are great for first-timers. And the two remixes on 81-85 ("Photographic [Some Bizarre Version]" and "Just Can't Get Enough [Schizo Mix]") will snag collectors. But maybe the answer has nothing to do with marketable packaging. DM have always fancied themselves as notorious. The liner notes for 81-85 include one negative review and one positive for each song. Perhaps as an attempt to fend off the specter of "where are they now?" Depeche Mode feel the need to remind us how controversial they are by reminding us how controversial they were. --Beth Bessmer

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Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tim Brough on March 17 2004
Format: Audio CD
It took Depeche Mode three albums to drift into the gothic synth monsters that would release their first five star album, "Some Great Reward." "Singles 81 - 85" nicely encapsulates the somewhat haphazard two other collections of songs from that period, "Catching Up With Depeche Mode" and "People Are People" into something slightly more coherent and without forcing you to buy two discs.
To that end, it's a worthwhile buy. You can watch how Vince Clark's pop world gave way to Martin Gore's darker vision. Think of how the shiny happy "Just Can't Get Enough" is a total 180 turn from the cynical "Everything Counts." Or how the almost tinkertoy sounding three early synthesized singles sound so coy compared to the final two singles here, or the thicker tones of the "People Are People" (or the "Black Celebration" album; essentially just before where this collection cuts off).
While I have a hard time telling anyone to just jump off a hits collection and get an individual DM album, it's still hard not to with bands that were making great whole sets. I'd certainly recommend anything from the period from "Some Great Reward" to the hit laden "Violator." Still, both of "The Singles" collections are fine places to either fill gaps or get some DM on a budget.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Juha Ylinen on Nov. 13 2003
Format: Audio CD
This Singles 81-85 collection gives a very good grasp of Depeche Mode's early years albums. There are almost all classics what you can listen to. Vince Clarke's era lasted only little time but there are three songs what he has made( Dreaming of Me, New Life and Just Can't Get Enough). I don't like much Speak and Spell album but these tracks are absolutely the best choices for it. Clarke's songs are somehow very similar than M.L Gore's first songs for exemple See You. After the leaving Clarke Gore taked a responsibility for song writing. He has done his job well! My favourite songs from this album are terrific Everything Counts, interesting way made People are People, which tells violence and sentimental Shake the Disease. Love Itself and Get the Balance Right are not so good songs because they are booring and too long. This collections shows that Depeche Mode made intelligent, fine and its own way synth pop music. If you like Duran Duran's two first album( Duran Duran(first) and Rio) and Alphaville's debut album Forever Young, I can say that this collection may be a good inventment for you!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nero on June 19 2004
Format: Audio CD
I first started listening to Depeche mode when a friend gave me the 101 album - which was very good. I got this singles collection cheap 2nd hand. I didn't realize how synth dominated their early career was. It is pure synth-pop and contrasts heavily with their later stuff. It lacks the harder techo-rock sounding stuff which gave more of a popular edge to say bands like Duran Duran. I do think 'People are People' is an excellent song concentrating on the paradoxical nature of mankind. Other bonuses are the schizo mix of 'just can't get enough' and 'photographic'. At first i didn't think much of this CD but it just gets better the more you play it. Overall it is a good album and if you can get it cheap even better.
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Format: Audio CD
Being a product of the '80s, I grew up on new wave music. Depeche Mode was one of the many new wave bands that I just adored then and still do to this very day. I have just never gotten around to getting their studio albums other than "Violator" and "Exciter". The other two DM cds I own is their singles compilation. Recently I have been listening to a lot of Depeche Mode music. As I just popped in "Singles '81-85" compilation, I can hear such a contrast in the band's sound. Their current music has a darker, more goth-influence to their traditional synth-pop sound while their '80s music is very synthesized and if albeit cheesy (in a good way). Although I do prefer DM's more recent work from the past decade, I do enjoy their music from the '80s immensely especially songs like "Love In Itself" and "The Meaning of Love". And of course I love "People Are People", one of my personal favorite Depeche Mode songs of all time. I think "Singles 81-85" is a really solid compilation of DM's earlier material. I do hope that someday they will put out a box set like New Order did recently. I think their is room for improvement when it comes to compiling the band's best material and I also would love to hear remixes of my favorite DM songs.
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By Owen Rice on Dec 19 2002
Format: Audio CD
(...)A great compilation for new Modies - the original of this on vinyl was my first investment in the band
This re release to co-incide with "Singles 86-98" is a perfect compliment to the latter and does sound a great deal better thanks to the remaster. Also inc is the rare and brill version of Photagraphic from the Stevo "Some Bizare" compilation before Daniel Miller gave the infamous handshake that sealed the contract with Mute. DM have never been a band to exploit there fans as far as milking the compilation cow is concerned although the American market did come up with some inventive comps.
A great example of there sound progression through the 80's as the songs are played from earliest a la Vince Clarke to latest - Its called a heart. The video for the latter is great by the way, children of the corn style with martin looking his most glam. Stand out tracks that still sound fresh are "Everything Counts","Shake the disease" and "See you" which by the way Martin wrote at the age of 16. Another interesting footnote about the original release was that this was the first DM release to show the band on the cover, the reason they hadnt done this up till then was probably a mixture between trying to be a bit arty and avoiding associatting the look of the band at that time with the music and thereby dating it.Thank the Lord they didnt as those formative years were a bit of a fashion embarasment, but hey wasnt most of the 80s - long live black leather.
Spend your pennies with conviction you wont be sorry,even if you have the original.
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