Depeche Mode were the quintessential Eighties techno-pop band, parlaying a fascination with synthesizers into huge success on the British charts (where its albums consistently went Top 10) and eventually on the U.S. pop chart. Whereas a more traditional four-piece rock band might feature three members playing instruments and the fourth singing and perhaps playing guitar or bass, the lineup of this British group — whose name was inspired by a French fashion magazine — was described like this in a 1993 press release: "Dave (Gahan) is the singer, Martin (Gore) the songwriter, Alan (Wilder) the musician, and Andrew (Fletcher) the coordinator."
Depeche Mode's stark, synthetic sound and moody, provocative lyrics buck classic pop convention, to the extent that techno music innovators in Detroit and London regularly cite the band as a major inspiration. But for decades now, Depeche Mode also inspired countless alternative rock, indie, and even metal bands — possibly because the hooks that distinguish their most popular songs are among their era's most ingratiating.
Since 2000, only one single, "Precious" (Number 71, 2005) has hit the Hot 100 in the U.S. But the band continues to be a top-tier touring draw. Despite its being preceded by occasional cancellations in Europe (due to Gahan experiencing gastroenteritis and a Gahan leg injury), the band's 2009 U.S. tour was the country's 20th highest grossing of the year.