When I went to college in the late 1980s, I was introduced to the music Depeche Mode (DM). There was a guy on my dorm floor who listened to DM 24-7 at an earth-shaking volume. I didn't immediately take to their music. But after a couple of years, Violator was released and somehow the world changed. It connected with some dark part of my being I didn't really know I had up to that point.
Violator was the beginning of my love for DM. Though the media went crazy for "Personal Jesus," I was drawn to "Enjoy the Silence," "Policy of Truth," and "Clean". From then on, when a new DM album was released, I'd pick it up after a couple of months and digest it.
Songs of Faith and Devotion and Ultra also rang true with me with songs such as "Walking in My Shoes" and "Home". Exciter didn't do much for me and I think I purchased one track from Playing the Angel, so my love for new DM music faded a bit early in this decade. However, the recent release of Sounds of the Universe has me flying high again with songs like "In Chains," "Wrong," and "Peace."
Suffice it to say, I'm a DM fan. Unfortunately, my knowledge of the band's history was nonexistent. I knew they'd been around for a while before Violator, but I knew little beyond that. So Depeche Mode - The Dark Progression was a gift from the heavens.
When I heard about the documentary, I knew I had to watch. And I now understand so much more about the genesis of the group and the factors of industrial and electronic music which spawned such groups as OMD, Tears for Fears, and others. Though the band didn't directly contribute any interviews to this documentary, it included pictures, bits of earlier interviews and footage from concerts back to Music for the Masses when they started their rise to fame and fortune.
What's interesting about the documentary itself was the interviews with other people from the era that created DM. People like Gary Numan, Thomas Dolby, and Andy McCluskey (OMD) who were part of the electronic and New Wave movement of the '80s and '90s had many things to say about how fickle American audiences were at the time. Dolby and McCluskey went on to say how grateful they were to ride on DM's coattails as they shot to stardom.