Depeche Mode: Andy Fletcher, Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, Alan Wilder.
The second box set of Depeche Mode's SINGLES series captures the band's maturation following the departure of songwriter/pop wunderkind Vince Clarke and Martin Gore's subsequent assumption of his role. Leaving the sunny, innocent pop of "Just Can't Get Enough" far behind, they tackle more worldly topics, including shady business practices ("Everything Counts"), interpersonal conflict ("People Are People"), and the darker side of sensuality ("Master and Servant"). The music became darker and harder as well, incorporating machine-like, industrial tones, and adding judiciously placed atonal effects, while still maintaining an accessible, infectious veneer. The extended mixes also show an increased sophistication and widened sonic palette. For as much as the band had transformed in a few short years, the existentialist narrative of "Blasphemous Rumours," the final single in this set, shows that Depeche Mode was poised to enter yet a darker phase.