Tonight at Spike's Bar in Rosemead, weekly party The Breakfast Klub is hosting a tribute to Depeche Mode. Right about now you're probably thinking, Isn't every '80s-friendly party in LA a tribute to Depeche Mode? Um, quite possibly, but we think this one might rival a night at the Depeche Mode bar in Estonia that some of us hope to one day visit. The band's videos will be playing all night, DJ Dunkin' Dave will be spinning a mega-mix and there will be ticket giveaways for the Depeche Mode Convention set for October 4 at Henry Fonda Theater.
But all this talk about Dave and the gang gets us thinking about B-sides. Remember those? Any Modie can tell you that the bonus tracks on this band's singles were as good, if not better, than anything heard on the full-length. Violator extras like “Dangerous” and “Sea of Sin” were played on KROQ almost as often as the proper singles and the band was well known for throwing a few of these hardcore fan favorites into its live sets. Check out our B-side picks.
Song: “Ice Machine”
Single: “Dreaming of Me”
This Vince Clarke-penned number is taken from the band's first single “Dreaming of Me.” Like “Shout!” (see below), it's a fan favorite that appeared in the concert setting throughout the early '80s. With its solemn beat and sweeping keyboards, it's a bit reminiscent of Duran Duran's classic “The Chauffeur,” although “Ice Machine” predates it by about a year. It's perfect for shadow dancing.
Single: “New Life”
Since “New Life” was never released as a single in the US, this B-side might seem obscure even to fans (or, at least it was until Remixes 81-04 was released). “Shout!” was written by Vince Clarke and appears as a radio-friendly version on the 7″ and the extended “Rio Mix” on the 12″ single.
Single: “Love in Itself”
Every Modie has his/her favorite member of the band. Mine was always Alan Wilder, even though he quit Depeche Mode over ten years ago (yes, I'm one of those nerds). This B-side for “Love in Itself” was written by Wilder, but, more importantly, it's a killer dance number, particularly in the extended “Fools (Bigger)” form found on the UK 12″ single (try mixing it with some newer, minimal tunes).
Song: “(Set Me Free) Remotivate Me”
Single: “Master and Servant”
“Remotivate Me” is the counterpoint to “Master and Servant.” Freedom versus bondage. Perky Italo disco versus light touches of industrial. Listen to the two back-to-back and you'll hear the similarities.
Song: “Happiest Girl (The Pulsating Orbital Mix)”
Single: “World in My Eyes”
The hardest part about Depeche Mode fandom is that the band is known for releasing multiple remixes on multiple formats in multiple countries. That said, you could never buy just one single to get the B-sides, you had to buy five. Maybe more. Sometimes you have to know when to give up the search. This mix of “Happiest Girl” is found on both the US and UK CD singles, as well as the UK 12″. It's very much a product of its time, screaming, “It's 1990, let's find a warehouse and throw a rave.”