Are the three new Depeche Mode reissues worth buying?
Speak & Spell, the band’s 1981 debut featuring singles ”New Life” and ”Just Can’t Get Enough”; the moody Music for the Masses (1987), with hits ”Strangelove” and ”Never Let Me Down Again”; Violator (1990), the band’s most commercially and artistically successful effort, boasting ”Personal Jesus” and ”Enjoy the Silence.”
Each edition includes the original album, plus a DVD featuring a half-hour documentary, bonus tracks, and the entire album in 5.1 surround sound. The separation on the 5.1 mix is impressive, but the rest of the audio extras — many of which are merely instrumentals — are a bit skimpy considering the ridiculous number of remixes this band has churned out over the years. The documentaries are more engaging, with the best being Speak & Spell’s, even though the 1981 departure of original band member Vince Clarke is almost entirely glossed over.
For fans interested in the stories behind the songs, these upgrades are a nice reward…as opposed to Some Great Reward, which, hopefully, is next in line.