With the possible exception of New Order, Depeche Mode is the Rock band which has been most committed to making their music available for remixing over the past two decades. The benefits are not only Depeche Mode's status as one of the top 10 Dance recording acts of all time (including 5 #1 Dance hits), but also the sometimes dizzying array of additions to the Depeche Mode collection of recordings. The span of time covered by this collection (24 years from 1981 through 2004) and the breadth of tracks included (37 mixes spread across 3 CDs in the standard package) amount to a history of the art of remixing as well as an expansion of the sound of Depeche Mode.
The stylistic range of mixes here is phenomenal. Danny Tenaglia's spiritual house expansions are represented as he reworks "I Feel Loved." Kruder and Dorfmeister apply their slow tripped-out beats to a mix of "Useless," and Speedy J gives "It's No Good" a tribal workout. Many of the mixes are more traditional and stick closer to the original song structure. Among these are the updated Schizo mix of "Just Can't Get Enough," previously available on the early Depeche Mode singles collection, and the Blind mix of "Strangelove."
There are some true gems included here and the entire 3rd disc contains mixes never before commercially released on CD. Francois Kevorkian's house remix of "Personal Jesus" is a classic that helped kick off the massive success of the Violator album. Adrian Sherwood's nearly cubist-sounding deconstruction of "People Are People," retitled "Are People People" is perhaps a fitting comment on Depeche Mode's own opinion of the song. The collection also includes new mixes and Timo Maas' mix of "Enjoy the Silence" is truly gorgeous - a futuristic trance masterpiece.
So...should you shell out over $30 for this collection? If you are a Depeche Mode fanatic, the answer is an obvious yes. Also, if you want a single collection that significantly adds and expands to the experience that has been Depeche Mode in clubs around the world, it is a necessary purchase as well. For those who are curious but less committed, a single disc version is also available...but my bet is it will only whet your appetite for more.