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Not even for the die-hard fan

Depeche Mode - The Best of Volume 1
2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Mar. 3, 2007
Depeche Mode

Review by Andy Argyrakis

The kings of product Depeche Mode return with yet another rehashing of previously released material. It's a trend the group's facilitated to a feverish degree even since the Catching Up With Depeche Mode culled together its early era, though the list has grown with additional greatest hits compilations, concert collections, remix packages and singles box sets. Thus far during this decade, the dance/goth heroes have only released two original albums (the last being the impressive Playing the Angel) but this latest set offers little to the die-hard collector, while disservicing even the casual fan.

Upon an initial browsing at the track listing, it could appear like an impressive album, touching on a number of career crests, artistic triumphs and groundbreaking concepts. "Personal Jesus," "Everything Counts," "Shake the Disease," "Master and Servant" and "Never Let Me Down Again" are just a few of the many apexes on the eighteen-track album. And while some slightly less notable selections such as "Dream On," "I Feel You" and "It's No Good" are included, there are several omissions that are simply unforgivable. The most glaring is "Blasphemous Rumors," a dark and brooding anthem immortalized in the 101concert project, along with Violator essentials "World In My Eyes" and "Policy of Truth."

Of course these and others from an exhaustive track list are already present on either The Singles 81>85 or The Singles 86>98, two much more useful collections that put the latest to shame. For the group's faithful who already own those albums, there's barely any incentive to pick up The Best of Volume 1, starting with the lengthy but unimpressive (and annoyingly out of chronological order) liner notes, along with the current single "Martyr." At best, it sounds like a decent left over from the Angel sessions, but it could easily be downloaded for those who insist on owning every Depeche Mode song. As a result of these letdowns and the glaring oversights, less dedicated listeners are sure to be annoyed, turning towards one of the other suggested retrospectives since it's simply impossible to distill a band of this caliber to a single disc. But as its title so obviously suggests, Volume 2 could come shortly, though it won't make-up for the mishaps of this haphazard helping, while still forcing fans to shell out more dough.

Watch Depeche Mode's - "Enjoy The Silence" video

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