I can say honestly that ‘Music for the Masses’ is a record that strikes a chord with me; it immediately takes me back to my youth, my teenage years to be exact. Every song on the album evokes visions of the 1980’s, especially the lead off track “Never Let Me Down Again”, I recall driving around in my friends mothers car listing to it on a tape and thinking we had our whole lives ahead of us.
According to both Andy Fletcher and Martin Gore the title of the album was devised as a joke, Said Fletcher: “The title’s … a bit tongue-in-cheek, really. Everyone is telling us we should make more commercial music, so that’s the reason we chose that title.”
*The megaphone (or its iconic representation) on the album’s cover was used during the breadth of the album’s release: at press events, on the covers of the album’s singles, and during the tour. Alan Wilder gave credit to Martyn Atkins, who had been a long-time Depeche Mode collaborator, for the use of the megaphone. “[Martyn came] up with this idea of a speaker, but, to give the kind of ironic element which the title has, to put this speaker in a setting which wasn’t really to do with the masses at all. It was, in fact, the opposite. So you end up with this kind of eerie thing where you get these speakers or megaphones in the middle of a setting that doesn’t suit it at all, like a desert or whatever.”
The Music for the Masses Tour was one of Depeche Mode’s biggest and was one of the most memorable shows I’ve ever been to; I saw them on December 14th 1987 in Toronto at Maple Leaf Gardens.
The band line-up for ‘Music for the Masses’ was Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, Alan Wilder and Andy Fletcher.