The fact that British electronic combo Depeche Mode have managed to thrive over the course of a three decade career is a testament to the songwriting prowess of Martin Gore and the indisputable charisma of frontman Dave Gahan. They first found success during the New Wave takeover of the pop charts, as their electronic masterpieces played well with the keyboard-kissed pop of the time. They soon took on goth leanings and explored darker, more complicated territory. Logically, they probably should have been swept into the afterthought box once alternative rock took over in the ’90s, but instead the group continued churning out great music that was widely embraced by fans of all genres.
On this day in 1993, Depeche Mode put out Songs of Faith and Devotion, one of their finest collections. Recorded more “live” and with more guitars than any previous album the group had done, Songs of Faith and Devotion has a particular immediacy that had otherwise been lacking from the band’s sound. The live quality of the music perfectly complimented Gahan’s lyrics, which continued to tackle big questions about commitment and relationships using his haunting baritone as a vessel.
While Songs of Faith and Devotion didn’t match the huge success of the band’s previous album Violator (which contained the gigantic hits “Personal Jesus” and “Enjoy the Silence”), it still topped the charts in both the U.S. and the U.K. and gave Depeche Mode another handful of hits, including lead single “I Feel You” and the edgy “Walking In My Shoes.”