Depeche Mode: The Unauthorized Biography

Sourcebooks Explore. (Band Bios). Aug. 2020. 40p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781728210940.
PreS-Gr 3–This brief biography of the English band famous for innovative electronic and synthesizer-infused sounds is written in straightforward, succinct prose. The text discusses the band’s founding members (Vince Clarke, Martin Gore, Andy Fletcher, and Dave Gahan) and their earliest days, the creation of their signature sound, and the trajectory of the band’s career. Depeche Mode (meaning “fashion news” in French) began in Basildon, Essex, England, in the early 1980s. Later, after Clarke left the band, he was replaced by keyboard virtuoso Alan Wilder. One-page chapters feature short paragraphs. Bright, colorful illustrations depict people dressed in the clothing and hairstyles of the punk aesthetic. Although the book abruptly concludes with the band’s highly successful U.S. concert at the Rose Bowl in 1988, Depeche Mode has continued to perform, record, and tour internationally well into the 2010s. The group has influenced numerous music groups since its debut. The text explains salient facts about the ensemble, but the book isn’t particularly engaging and likely won’t encourage children unfamiliar with Depeche Mode to delve further into the band’s music or history. The band’s discography and a QR code that links to its first LP are helpful extras.
VERDICT Recommended for limited purchase in public libraries. The book could also be used in classroom units to study the history of modern electronic music.

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