Each day, during November, we will focus on one album.
To rate the albums we rate each track on the album as either 3 (Outstanding), 2 (Good), 1 (ok) and 0 (Hate it). Those points are totalled up and then divided by the maximum points the album could get (EG 10 tracks would equal 30 points, 10 x 3). Then times the figure by 100 and that gives you your percentage rating. This is a very good indicator of how you rate an album.
Today's album under the microscope is "Speak And Spell" by Depeche Mode. I first heard Depeche Mode on one of my many daily visits to HMV in Manchester during my lunch hour, they played "New Life" and I thought it was brilliant, catchy as hell, I bought the single that day on 7 inch and 12 inch (12 inch was disappointing as it was hardly an extended version, just a few seconds of a drum intro added). They then released "Just Can't Get Enough" as a single on September 7th 1981 (I remember buying it the day it came out as It was a week before my brothers birthday) I bought both the 7 and 12 inch versions.
Both these singles, I have always felt, are fantastic examples of classic synthpop, what a genius Vince Clarke is, he wrote most of the "Speak And Spell" album, the man knows how to craft a melodic tune!
Amazingly I stumbled across the album in HMV (again!) and had no idea they had released it, I didn't think twice, I purchased a copy (on vinyl of course) straight away and couldn't wait to get home to play it. I remember listening to it and thought this is the best thing I have ever heard, virtually every track was a synthpop gem, I loved it and still do, it's another classic album I have on heavy rotation.
3 singles were released off the album "Dreaming Of Me (which only reached number 57 in the UK singles chart)", "New Life" (which reached number 4 in the UK singles chart) and "Just Can't Get Enough" (which reached number 8 in the UK singles chart), they could have released at least 3 more singles, as the album is that good. I also feel, that over the years, the song "New Life" hasn't got the credit it deserves.
The album reached number 10 in the UK albums chart in 1981.
Our track recommendations for this album are, "Just Can't Get Enough", "New Life", "Puppets", "What's Your Name" and "Photographic". Another brilliant album that doesn't disappoint and that has also aged very well, thanks in no small part, to the writing skills of Vince Clarke.
No tracks are a disappointment on this album
Our overall rating for this album is 75/100
The album is available from Amazon here