Dave Gahan is an English singer-songwriter, best known as the lead singer of the electronic band Depeche Mode since their debut in 1980. Q magazine ranked Gahan No. 73 on its list of the "100 Greatest Singers" and No. 27 on its list of "The 100 Greatest Frontmen". Gahan is known for his "commanding presence on stage" and his "huge, deep baritone voice". Although his bandmate Martin Gore continues to be the main songwriter for Depeche Mode, Gahan has contributed a number of songs to the albums Playing the Angel, Sounds of the Universe, Delta Machine and Spirit. Four of these songs were released as singles, including "Suffer Well" in 2005, "Hole to Feed" in 2009, "Should Be Higher" in 2013, "Cover Me" in 2017. Gahan is a solo artist, having released albums in 2003 and 2007. In 2012 and 2015, he contributed lyrics and sang lead vocals on the Soulsavers albums The Light the Dead See and Angels & Ghosts. Gahan was born as David Callcott on 9 May 1962 into a working-class family, to parents Len Callcott of Indian Malaysian descent and his wife Sylvia, Dave was only six months old when his father left the family.
Sylvia and Len divorced two years and his mother moved Dave and sister Sue to Basildon, after Sylvia met and married her second husband Jack Gahan. The Gahan family continued to grow with the birth of two more half-brothers Phil. Dave and Sue were raised under the impression that their mother's second husband, was their natural father. In 1972, when Gahan was 10 years old, his stepfather died. Gahan recalled how he "came home one day and found this bloke at home". Of the incident, he has said: "I'll never forget that day; when I came home from school, there was this stranger in my mum's house. My mother introduced him to me as my real dad. I remember I said, impossible because my father was dead. How was I supposed to know who that man was? From that day on, Len visited the house, until one year he disappeared again. Forever this time. Since he had no contact with us. By growing older, I thought about him more; the only thing my mother would say, was that he moved out to Jersey to open a hotel." "Mum had kept it back from me'til there was a need to tell me about my birth father, it's a different generation and you can understand I guess she thought she was doing the right thing."While attending Barstable School on Timberlog Close in Basildon, Gahan started playing truant, got into trouble with the police, was suspended from school and ended up in juvenile court three times for offences ranging from joyriding and graffiti to criminal damage and theft.
He enjoyed the thrill of stealing cars, driving them around, setting them alight. Gahan tells of the time: "I was pretty wild. I loved the excitement of screeching off and being chased by the police. Hiding behind the wall with your heart beating gives you a real kick –'will they get you?'". In his final year at school, he applied for a job as an apprentice fitter with North Thames Gas, he was told by his probation officer to be honest with the interviewer, as a result, he admitted his criminal record but claimed he was a "reformed character." As a result, he did not get the job which, he claimed, led to him trashing his probation officer's office. His punishment was weekend custody at a sub-Borstal attendance centre in Romford for one year. Gahan recalls: "You had to work. I remember doing stuff like that. You had to have your hair cut, it was every weekend, so you were deprived of your weekend and it seemed like forever. I was told clearly that my next thing was detention centre. To be honest, music saved me."
In March 1980, Martin Gore, Andy Fletcher and Vince Clarke formed the band Composition of Sound, with Clarke on vocals and guitar, Gore on keyboards and Fletcher on bass. Clarke and Fletcher soon switched to synthesizers; the same year, Gahan joined the band after Clarke heard him perform David Bowie's "Heroes." The band was soon renamed Depeche Mode, a name suggested by Gahan after he had come across a fashion magazine called Dépêche-mode. A new wave/synthpop pioneer of the early 1980s, Depeche Mode have released 14 studio albums, four greatest hits compilations and two remix albums; the band has achieved global sales in excess of 100 million records. In a 2003 interview, Gahan shared that "During the making of Exciter, sometimes I felt a bit frustrated that there was a lack of experimentation." This led him, in 2004, to tell his bandmates that he wanted to write half of the songs on their next album, there was "no way" he could be involved in the band without contributing as a songwriter. There was a compromise, three of Gahan's songs appeared on 2005's Playing the Angel: "Suffer Well", "I Want It All" and "Nothing's Impossible."
"Suffer Well" was released as a single in 2006, reaching No. 12 in the UK. Three more Gahan-penned songs, co-written with Christian Eigner and Andrew Phillpott, appeared on the band's twelfth album, Sounds of the Universe. Gahan wrote the lyrics to the B-side "Oh Well", although the music was written by Martin Gore, it was their first writing collaboration. "Hole to Feed" was released along with Gore's "Fragile Tension" as a double A-side single in late 2009. Gahan is credited with writing the songs "Broken", "Secret to the End", the single "Should Be Higher" and two B-sides, "Happens All the Time" and "All That's Mine" from Depeche Mode's thirteenth album Delta Machine.
Spin Alternative Record Guide
Spin Alternative Record Guide is a music reference book compiled by the American music magazine Spin and published in 1995 by Vintage Books. It was edited by rock critic Eric Weisbard and Craig Marks, the magazine's editor-in-chief at the time; the book features essays and reviews from a number of prominent critics on albums and genres considered relevant to the alternative music movement. Contributors who were consulted for the guide include Ann Powers, Rob Sheffield, Simon Reynolds, Michael Azerrad, Robert Christgau; the book did not sell well and received a mixed reaction from reviewers in 1995. The quality and relevance of the contributors' writing were praised, while the editors' concept and comprehensiveness of alternative music were seen as ill-defined. Nonetheless, it inspired a number of future music critics and helped revive the career of folk artist John Fahey, whose music was covered in the guide. Spanning 468 pages, Spin Alternative Record Guide compiles essays by 64 music critics on recording artists and bands who either predated, were involved in, or developed from the alternative music movement.
In the book, each artist's entry is accompanied by their discography, with albums rated a score between one and ten. The book's editors, critic Eric Weisbard and Spin editor-in-chief Craig Marks, consulted journalists such as Simon Reynolds, Alex Ross, Charles Aaron, Michael Azerrad, Ann Powers, Rob Sheffield, who wrote most of the complete discography reviews; the artist entries are accompanied by song lyrics and album artwork. Although "alternative" had been used as a catchall term for rock bands outside the mainstream, Spin Alternative Record Guide covers 500 artists from a variety of genres considered relevant to alternative music's development; these include 1970s punk rock, 1980s college rock, 1990s indie rock, noise music, electronic, new wave, heavy metal, synthpop, alternative country, hip hop, grunge and avant-garde jazz. Most artists associated with classic rock are not covered, while some mainstream pop artists are given entries, including Madonna and ABBA. Other non-rock artists reviewed in the book include jazz composer Sun Ra, country singer-songwriter Lyle Lovett, Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
Weisbard and Marks have said the book was meant to be "suggestive", rather than "comprehensive", of alternative music. An introductory essay on alternative rock and "alternative sensibilities" was written by Weisbard. In it, he explains alternative music as a category whose principles are "antigenerationally dystopian, subculturally presuming fragmentation", "built on an neurotic discomfort over massified and commodified culture", he and Marks consulted a number of artists for their top-ten record lists, which were interspersed throughout the book. They curated a "Top 100 Alternative Albums" list for the appendix, ranking the Ramones' 1976 self-titled debut album at number one. Spin Alternative Record Guide was published by Vintage Books on October 10, 1995, was the first book compiled by Spin magazine. According to Matthew Perpetua, the guide was "not a huge seller". Reviewing the book in 1995, Adam Mazmanian from Library Journal recommended Spin Alternative Record Guide to "both public and academic libraries".
He found its reviews superior in "length and scope" to The Rolling Stone Album Guide, which offered complete discographies of artists ranging from Jonathan Richman to Throbbing Gristle. Mazmanian further argued that "this guide fills a gap in the literature of modern music" at a time when "alternative" has developed a ubiquitous presence in the marketing of popular music. In New York magazine, Kim France called it "a well-edited and comprehensive look at all the crazy stuff the kids are listening to these days". Booklist critic Gordon Flagg was more qualified in his praise, he applauded the accuracy of the artist entries and the quality of the contributors' reviews, but found Weisbard's conception of "alternative" ill-defined and recommended The Trouser Press Record Guide as a more comprehensive option. More critical was Billboard magazine's Beth Renaud, who called much of the writing biased and the organization unencyclopedic, she said Weisbard's "obligatory" essay is outdated and vague in defining alternative rock and that the contributors "gush" over artists covered by Spin's magazine publication, with many relevant artists omitted in place of more perplexing additions.
Having edited the book, Weisbard put his pursuit of a PhD at UC Berkeley on hold and accepted a job offer from Spin, which marked the beginning of his career as a rock critic. Meanwhile, the guide's entry on folk guitarist John Fahey, written by Byron Coley, helped renew interest in Fahey's music. According to Ben Ratliff from The New York Times, this led to substantial interest in the guitarist from record labels and the alternative music scene, helping revive his career. American pop culture critic Chuck Klosterman cited Spin Alternative Record Guide as one of his five favorite books, saying in 2011, "I fear this might be out of print, but it's my favorite music book of all time. Since its 1995 publication, I doubt a year has passed when I didn't reread at least part of it." Robert Christgau, who contributed to the book, wrote that while most music guides and encyclopedia books he has consulted were unremarkable, Spin Alternative Record Guide was one of the few "useful exceptions" because of what he felt was the "sharpest writing" from contributors such as Weisbard and Sheffield.
Maura Johnston, on the other hand, said in retrospect that the book's list of the 100 best albums catered to "hipper, Gen-Xier tastes". In 2011, Spin Alternative Record Guide was included in Pitchfork's list of their staff's favorite music
The Hammersmith Apollo is an entertainment venue and a Grade II* listed building located in Hammersmith, London. Designed by Robert Cromie in Art Deco style, it opened in 1932 as the Gaumont Palace, being renamed the Hammersmith Odeon in 1962, it has had a string of names and owners, most AEG Live and Eventim UK. The venue was seated nearly 3,500 people, it was designed by Robert Cromie in the Art Deco style. In 1962, the building was renamed a name many people still use for the venue, it became a Grade II listed building in 1990. The venue was refurbished and renamed Labatt's Apollo following a sponsorship deal with Labatt Brewing Company. In 2002, the venue was again renamed, this time to Carling Apollo after Carling brewery struck a deal with the owners, US-based Clear Channel Entertainment; the venue's listing was upgraded to Grade II* status in 2005. In 2003, the stalls seats were made removable and now some concerts have full seating whilst others have standing-only in the stalls. In the latter format the venue can accommodate around 5,000 people.
The event was marked by rock band AC/DC playing an exclusive one-off concert and only charging £10 per ticket. All 5,000 tickets sold out in 4 minutes. In 2006, the venue reverted to the Hammersmith Apollo. In 2007, the original 1932 Compton pipe organ, still present from the building's days as a cinema, was restored; the building changed hands and was bought by the MAMA Group. On 14 January 2009, a placing announcement by HMV Group revealed that by selling additional shares, the company would raise money to fund a joint venture with the MAMA Group, to run eleven live music venues across the United Kingdom, including the Hammersmith Apollo; as a result, the venue was named HMV Apollo from 2009 until 2012. Other venues purchased include The Forum in London's Kentish Town, the Birmingham Institute and Aberdeen's Moshulu; the venue was sold by HMV Group in May 2012 to CTS Eventim. In 2013, the venue was closed for an extensive refurbishment, carried out by award-winning architect Foster Wilson; the venue reopened as the Eventim Apollo on 7 September 2013, with a concert performance by Selena Gomez.
The original 1932 Compton pipe organ is still present at the Apollo and was restored to playing condition in 2007. It has a four-manual console which rises through the stage on a new lift and about 1,200 organ pipes housed in large chambers above the front stalls ceiling. Having fallen into disrepair, the organ was disconnected in the 1990s and the console removed from the building; however at English Heritage and the council's insistence it has been reinstated and the entire organ restored. A launch party was held on 25 July 2007, at which an invited audience and the media witnessed Richard Hills play the instrument. Many bands have released live albums, videos or DVDs of concerts held at the Apollo, such as Queen, Black Sabbath, Hawkwind, Celtic Frost, Kings of Leon, Tears For Fears, Dire Straits, Frank Zappa, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Spear of Destiny and Robbie Williams. In September 1979 Gary Numan recorded his Touring Principle show at the venue.
Kate Bush released a video and record EP of her concerts at the Odeon from her first tour in 1979. Duran Duran recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon on 16 November 1982 and released Live at Hammersmith'82!. Depeche Mode made one of its first concert videos for a Danish television at the Hammersmith on 25 October 1982. Kylie Minogue performed a one-off concert in the venue in 2003 and released a DVD of the performance in 2004. Minogue performed the last show of her Anti Tour in the venue on 3 April 2012. Girls Aloud released a DVD of their concert at the Apollo in 2005. A DVD of a Bruce Springsteen concert held there in 1975 was released as part of the Born to Run 30th Anniversary Edition package. Melodic death metal band In Flames released a DVD that featured footage of a December 2004 performance there. Comedian and actor Eddie Izzard's show Glorious was released as a DVD. Rush recorded their 1978 performance and included it in their three-disc set, Different Stages. American musician Tori Amos released a series of six live albums in 2005 known as The Original Bootlegs, one of, recorded at the Apollo.
Photographs of The Who outside the Hammersmith Odeon appear on their 1973 album Quadrophenia. Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour performed three nights at the venue in April 1984, documented on the David Gilmour Live 1984 concert film; these shows are of note as Roy Harper guested on "Short and Sweet" and Gilmour's Pink Floyd bandmate Nick Mason played drums on "Comfortably Numb". In 1984 the London-based heavy metal band Iron Maiden recorded side 4 of their double live album'Live After Death' at the venue. Iron Maiden's affection for the Hammersmith Odeon resulted in the filming of a 1982 performance, subsequently released as'Beast over Hammersmith'. Other acts have made music videos featuring clips from performances at the Apollo; the Hammersmith Apollo is seen in the American romantic comedy film Just My Luck where McFly perform. In the movie, the venue stands-in for the Hard Rock Café, it is the location in The Football Factory where the Chelsea fans board the bus for Liverpool. It is mentioned in the poem "Glam Rock: The Poem" by the poet Robert Archambeau.
The exterior of the
Synth-pop is a subgenre of new wave music that first became prominent in the late 1970s and features the synthesizer as the dominant musical instrument. It was prefigured in the 1960s and early 1970s by the use of synthesizers in progressive rock, art rock and the "Krautrock" of bands like Kraftwerk, it arose as a distinct genre in Japan and the United Kingdom in the post-punk era as part of the new wave movement of the late 1970s to the mid-1980s. Electronic musical synthesizers that could be used in a recording studio became available in the mid-1960s, while the mid-1970s saw the rise of electronic art musicians. After the breakthrough of Gary Numan in the UK Singles Chart in 1979, large numbers of artists began to enjoy success with a synthesizer-based sound in the early 1980s. In Japan, Yellow Magic Orchestra introduced the TR-808 rhythm machine to popular music, the band would be a major influence on early British synth-pop acts; the development of inexpensive polyphonic synthesizers, the definition of MIDI and the use of dance beats, led to a more commercial and accessible sound for synth-pop.
This, its adoption by the style-conscious acts from the New Romantic movement, together with the rise of MTV, led to success for large numbers of British synth-pop acts in the US. "Synth-pop" is sometimes used interchangeably with "electropop", but "electropop" may denote a variant of synth-pop that places more emphasis on a harder, more electronic sound. In the mid to late 1980s, duos such as Erasure and Pet Shop Boys adopted a style, successful on the US dance charts, but by the end of the decade, the'new wave' synth-pop of bands such as A-ha and Alphaville was giving way to house music and techno. Interest in new wave synth-pop began to revive in the indietronica and electroclash movements in the late 1990s, in the 2000s synth-pop enjoyed a widespread revival and commercial success; the genre has received criticism for alleged lack of musicianship. Synth-pop music has established a place for the synthesizer as a major element of pop and rock music, directly influencing subsequent genres and has indirectly influenced many other genres, as well as individual recordings.
Synth-pop was defined by its primary use of synthesizers, drum machines and sequencers, sometimes using them to replace all other instruments. Borthwick and Moy have described the genre as diverse but "...characterised by a broad set of values that eschewed rock playing styles and structures", which were replaced by "synthetic textures" and "robotic rigidity" defined by the limitations of the new technology, including monophonic synthesizers. Many synth-pop musicians had limited musical skills, relying on the technology to produce or reproduce the music; the result was minimalist, with grooves that were "typically woven together from simple repeated riffs with no harmonic'progression' to speak of". Early synth-pop has been described as "eerie and vaguely menacing", using droning electronics with little change in inflection. Common lyrical themes of synth-pop songs were isolation, urban anomie, feelings of being cold and hollow. In its second phase in the 1980s, the introduction of dance beats and more conventional rock instrumentation made the music warmer and catchier and contained within the conventions of three-minute pop.
Synthesizers were used to imitate the conventional and clichéd sound of orchestras and horns. Thin, treble-dominant, synthesized melodies and simple drum programmes gave way to thick, compressed production, a more conventional drum sound. Lyrics were more optimistic, dealing with more traditional subject matter for pop music such as romance and aspiration. According to music writer Simon Reynolds, the hallmark of 1980s synth-pop was its "emotional, at times operatic singers" such as Marc Almond, Alison Moyet and Annie Lennox; because synthesizers removed the need for large groups of musicians, these singers were part of a duo where their partner played all the instrumentation. Although synth-pop in part arose from punk rock, it abandoned punk's emphasis on authenticity and pursued a deliberate artificiality, drawing on the critically derided forms such as disco and glam rock, it owed little to the foundations of early popular music in jazz, folk music or the blues, instead of looking to America, in its early stages, it consciously focused on European and Eastern European influences, which were reflected in band names like Spandau Ballet and songs like Ultravox's "Vienna".
Synth-pop saw a shift to a style more influenced by other genres, such as soul music. Electronic musical synthesizers that could be used in a recording studio became available in the mid-1960s, around the same time as rock music began to emerge as a distinct musical genre; the Mellotron, an electro-mechanical, polyphonic sample-playback keyboard was overtaken by the Moog synthesizer, created by Robert Moog in 1964, which produced electronically generated sounds. The portable Minimoog, which allowed much easier use in live performance was adopted by progressive rock musicians such as Richard Wright of Pink Floyd and Rick Wakeman of Yes. Instrumental prog rock was significant in continental Europe, allowing bands like Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream and Faust to circumvent the language barrier, their synthesizer-heavy "Kraut rock", along with the work of Brian Eno (for a time the keyboard player with Roxy M
Alan Charles Wilder is an English musician, arranger, record producer, a former member of the electronic band Depeche Mode from 1982 to 1995. Since his departure from the band, the musical project called Recoil became his primary musical enterprise, which started as a side project to Depeche Mode in 1986. Wilder has provided production and remixing services to the bands Nitzer Ebb and Curve, he is a classically trained musician. Alan Charles Wilder was raised in Acton, West London, he began piano through the encouragement of his parents. On, he learned the flute at St Clement Danes grammar school and became a leading musician in his school bands. After school, Alan worked as a studio assistant at DJM Studios; this led to him ending up working for bands such as The Dragons and the Tenderspots, Real to Real, The Hitmen, The Korgis, appearing on the UK No. 13 single "If I Had You". Following the departure of Vince Clarke, Depeche Mode placed an advertisement in the music magazine Melody Maker: "Keyboard player needed for established band – no timewasters."
Though the ad was looking for someone under 21 he lied about his age to get the job, got away with it. He joined Depeche Mode in January 1982 as a tour keyboardist, soon thereafter as a full member of the recording band. Wilder wrote a handful of songs for Depeche Mode, including "Two Minute Warning" and "The Landscape Is Changing" from the album Construction Time Again, "If You Want" from the album Some Great Reward and co-wrote "Black Day" from the album Black Celebration. However, Wilder's more notable contributions to Depeche Mode were as a musician and producer. In addition to playing synthesizer throughout his time with Depeche Mode, Wilder played piano on the band's signature ballad "Somebody," and oboe on the band's hit anthem, "Everything Counts." In the documentary film 101, Wilder demonstrates how different synthesizer parts of a song are split and arranged across a sampling keyboard for playing them live during the concert, just one small example of Wilder's ongoing contributions to Depeche Mode during his time as a member of the group.
For the recording of the album Songs of Faith and Devotion and its corresponding Devotional Tour Wilder played live drums. For "Enjoy the Silence" from the album Violator, Wilder took Martin Gore's melancholy ballad-esque demo and re-envisioning the song as a percolating, melodic dance track; the resulting single went on to become one of the most commercially successful songs in Depeche Mode's history. On 26 June 1995, Wilder announced his departure from Depeche Mode: "Due to increasing dissatisfaction with the internal relations and working practices of the group, it is with some sadness that I have decided to part company from Depeche Mode. My decision to leave the group was not an easy one as our last few albums were an indication of the full potential that Depeche Mode was realizing. Since joining in 1982, I have continually striven to give total energy and commitment to the furthering of the group's success and in spite of a consistent imbalance in the distribution of the workload, willingly offered this.
Within the group, this level of input never received the respect and acknowledgement that it warrants. Whilst I believe that the calibre of our musical output has improved, the quality of our association has deteriorated to the point where I no longer feel that the end justifies the means. I have no wish to cast aspersions on any individual. Given these circumstances, I have no option, it seems preferable therefore, to leave on a relative high, as I still retain a great enthusiasm and passion for music, I am excited by the prospect of pursuing new projects. The remaining band members have my support and best wishes for anything they may pursue in the future, be it collectively or individually."After his split from Depeche Mode, Wilder was approached by Robert Smith with an offer to join The Cure. Wilder respectfully declined. According to Wilder himself, the possibility was offered on behalf of The Cure by Daryl Bamonte, he declined as joining another band was the last thing on his mind, he reunited with Depeche Mode during the Teenage Cancer Trust concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 17 February 2010, enjoyed a rapturous reception.
During the encore, Wilder accompanied Martin Gore on piano for "Somebody". Gore played a DJ set on one of Recoil's Selected Events. In 2011, Wilder provided two mixes for the Depeche Mode track "In Chains". Recoil began in 1986 as a two-track experimental EP. Entitled 1 + 2, this collection of primitive demos caught the attention of Mute Records label boss Daniel Miller and was inconspicuously released as a mini-album on 12" vinyl. An album, soon followed in 1988 and both were re-issued by Mute on CD as Hydrology plus 1 + 2. Wilder described the project at the time as "an antidote to Depeche Mode. Wilder found himself back in the studio to record what would become the most successful Depeche Mode album to date, Violator, it wasn't until the band allowed themselves