I love Synth Pop cover versions and I’m a big fan of Depeche Mode. So what could be more obvious than to write an article about the best Depeche Mode tribute compilations? I especially enjoyed the tribute compilations with a concept or a certain theme. In this article I would like to introduce you to my favourite tribute compilations.
How my addiction started
My passion for these tribute compilations started early in the 90s. When I was a student, one of my classmates noticed that I was a big Depeche Mode fan and brought me a CD that he didn’t need anymore. It was the remix bootleg “DJs Revenge“. I had never seen this before in a regular CD store and never heard of this release. When I asked him where he got this CD, he replied: “I bought it at a CD fair in Düsseldorf”. At this time I also did not know what a CD fair is. I also don’t know if this is a typical German thing. Basically it is a big flea market exclusively for music (CDs, Vinyls, Merchandise and other rare Limited Editions or Collector Editions).
After some research, I finally found a date for such a CD fair in Düsseldorf. You even had to pay admission, which hurt me financially because I had very little money in my account during my apprenticeship. But what I saw then made my music fan heart beat faster. I was suddenly standing in a large hall with only music stands. I still can remember that I had about 100 DM (around 50€) in my wallet. At the first stand where I saw a big box with the letters “DEPECHE MODE”, a new world opened up for me. So many remix bootlegs and tribute compilations in one place, it felt like I had discovered a treasure.
I would have loved to buy them all, but unfortunately with my budget I had to limit myself. My buddy didn’t want to buy anything. So he lent me his cash, which was about the same amount as I had with me. Now I just had to decide which CDs I would buy, because I also found a lot of Depeche Mode CDs at several other booths. I got rid of the money without any trouble and that sparked a kind of addiction in me. For the next few years, I had to get rid of thousands of euros (German Marks at that time) at CD fairs. To this day, I still own these CDs and I am really proud to have some rare copies in my CD collection.
The best Depeche Mode tribute compilations in no particular order
We Love Depeche – A Lounge Tribute to Depeche Mode
Release Date: September 19th, 2009 Style: Downtempo, Lounge music Discogs:We Love Depeche
This is the perfect tribute for a romantic candle light dinner or chilling in front of the fireplace with a good glass of whiskey and a cigar. You listen rather casually to the soft sounds of various Depeche Mode classics, wonderfully interpreted by warm female voices.
All 4 Love Ft. Tracy Diamonds – Enjoy The Silence
Ak47 Ft. Angie Soft – Policy Of Truth
Tangwork Ft. Angie Soft – StrangeLove
Ak47 Ft. Tracy Diamonds – Its No Good
Dj Downbeat Ft. Tracy Diamonds – Personal Jesus
Dj Tremendous Ft. Angie Soft – A Question Of Lust
All 4 Love Ft. Tracy Diamonds – Precious
Tracy Diamonds & Step Away – A Pain That Im Used To
Atom Lounge Ft. Angie Soft – Never Let Me Down Again
Tangwork Ft. Angie Soft – Behind The Wheel
Dj Downbeat Ft. Angie Soft – Shine
Angie Soft & Kauderer – Stripped
Listen to ‘We Love Depeche’ now
Mode Of Obscurity
Release Date: August 1st, 2005 Style: Alternative Rock, Garage Rock, Industrial, Punk, Ska, Hard Rock, Shoegaze Discogs:Mode Of Obscurity
The label ‘Alter Ego’ pursues with the tribute compilation ‘Mode Of Obscurity’ the same way as we do. To have unusual cover versions of a well-known band realised by young bands in order to introduce and promote them to a larger audience. This South African tribute is an excellent success. And with 20 songs, the CD is full to the brim and definitely not a bad buy.
The Narrow – I Feel You
Fokofpolisiekar – Shake The Disease
Wickhead – Waiting For The Night
6Stitch – Policy Of Truth
N8ive – It’s No Good
Tiger Lilly – Strangelove
Parlotones – Somebody
Roswell Kings – Condemnation
Diesel Whores – I Feel Loved
The Slashdogs – Never Let Me Down Again
F…Etc – Enjoy The Silence
Hog Hoggidy Hog – Just Can’t Get Enough
3 Minute Solution – Personal Jesus
Dubway – Barrel Of A Gun
Scarlet Box – Dream On
In Dreams – In Your Room
Running With Scissors – World In My Eyes
Belljar – Stripped
Heteromorpha – Fly On The Windscreen
Kobus! – Blasphemous Rumours
For The Masses: A Tribute To Depeche Mode
Release Date: August 4th, 1998 Style: Alternative Rock, House, Techno, Synth Pop, New Wave Discogs:For The Masses
‘For The Masses’ is indeed an exceptional compilation, because it’s not just smaller bands that pay tribute to the boys from Basildon. Great names like Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, Rammstein, Deftones and Monster Magnet join smaller niche bands of the time in a colourful mix of various musical genres. This is a larger production that can actually still be found in regular stores from time to time.
As the title suggests, this 2005 compilation comes from beautiful Greece. I must honestly admit that I don’t know a single band except for ‘Marsheaux’. But that’s not a judgement of quality, because all the cover versions have their own style and offer a new perspective on the beloved Depeche Mode songs. The first edition of the release came in a beautiful box. Besides the CD, the box contains 17 individually designed postcards for each song. A must-have for music collectors!
Yeah – Policy Of Truth
Μίκρο – World In My Eyes
Ελένη Πέτα – Only When I Lose Myself
Raining Pleasure – Shouldn’t Have Done That
Mindwaltz – Shake The Disease
Monitor – Little 15
Marsheaux – New Life
Emigre – Somebody
Fotonovela – But Not Tonight
Decode – Behind The Wheel
Oberon – Enjoy The Silence
Atria – Photographic
Δημήτρης Κοργιαλάς – Halo
Φόβοι Του Πρίγκηπα – Never Let Me Down Again
ρχήστρα Του 5ου Γαλαξία – In Your Room
Μαρία Παπαδοπούλου – Stripped
Carpe Diem – Clean
Listen to ‘A Greek Tribute To Depeche Mode’ now
Bright Lights, Dark Room – An Electro B-Side Tribute To Depeche Mode
The Depeche Mode tribute compilation ‘Bright Lights, Dark Rooms’ is probably the nerdiest release in this list. Here, bands dedicate themselves to the multitude of first-class B-sides from the last 25 years of Depeche Mode. At least for the most part, because there are also a few regular album tracks on the massive 35 track compilation, such as ‘Rush’, ‘Fly On The Windscreen’, ‘Higher Love’ or ‘A Question Of Lust’. However, this is definitely a release worth listening to, because some of the songs are turned inside out and are thus presented in a completely new light.
‘Your World In Our Eyes’ is a small, Swedish compilation from 1997. Musically there is nothing super fancy on here, you get what you see. Finest Synth Pop that sounds typical of the late 90s. So what makes this tribute so special? For me personally, it was the sonic update of the 80s Depeche Mode songs in a fresh sound. These are still worth a listen today.
The album ‘Ultra’ is my absolute favourite Depeche Mode album and that’s why the ‘Ultra’ cover compilation ‘Barrel Of The Sons’, which was released shortly after, also belongs on this list. This release spreads ultra cool vibes. I was particularly impressed by the version of ‘The Love Thieves’.
MODEified was a tribute compilation series made by fans and artists with a lot of love and passion. The compilations were available for free download on the MODEified website. Unfortunately, Volume 7 from 2008 is the last release and the website has also been offline for a long time. The quality of the Depeche Mode cover versions on this series was always very mixed, but I always found that these imperfect versions always had a special charm. What counts here is not perfection, but great ideas and devotion to the musical heroes.
James D. Stark – Higher Love (Monastery Mix)
A New January – Two Minute Warning
love|less – Television Set (’08)
The Echoing Green – Here Is The House
Kilna – Enjoy The Silence
Darkly Dreaming – Love In Itself
Endless Comes Later – Things You Said
Lakeside X – Nothing’s Impossible
Storybox – Lie To Me
Dossiers Secrets – But Not Tonight
Blind Before Dawn – The Sun & The Rainfall
Terminal Bliss – World In My Eyes
Louis Guidone – Photographic
Jason Coy – Only When I Lose Myself
Perihelion + Dasein – Suffer Well
Northern Mars – Walking In My Shoes
Tony Court – Stripped (The Honeymoon Mix)
Fuzzy Monsters – Sweetest Perfection
Complete dedication – When a cover version is not enough
Here is a little bonus part. It’s about two bands that have dedicated an entire album (or several) to their favourite band Depeche Mode.
Diesel Christ – Diesel Mode
Release Date: 1993 Style: Synth Pop Discogs:Diesel Mode
I discovered the tribute album ‘Diesel Mode’ by ‘Diesel Christ’ by chance in an electronics shop. As a DM fan, the eye-catching cover artwork immediately appealed to me and I bought it without hesitation. It’s a great piece of work that I can only recommend to everyone. The track ‘Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?’ is not a Depeche Mode cover, but one of the band’s own songs. They probably wanted to promote their own album ‘Gas Food Lodging‘, which was released shortly afterwards. Which worked for me, because this is also a recommendable Synth Pop album and a hard copy is in my CD collection.
The Synth Pop duo ‘Marsheaux’ have given Depeche Mode’s debut album, 35 years after its release, a complete makeover. I love this tribute album! Every track sounds modern and familiar at the same time. In addition to the tribute album, the track ‘Monument‘ was released as a single including a music video. At this point, I would like to clearly point out that the album and the single are a must-buy.
Leave In Silence
My Secret Garden
Nothing To Fear
The Meaning Of Love
A Photograph Of You
Shouldn’t Have Done That
The Sun And The Rainfall
Now This Is Fun (Featuring – James New)
Oberkorn (It’s A Small Town)
Listen to ‘A Broken Frame’ now
Need more Depeche Mode cover compilations?
If you’ve reached this point and are sad to have come to the end of it, calm down because there are a hundred other fantastic Depeche Mode tribute compilations and cover versions out there. Just check out my pal Michael’s page ‘The (Al)most complete Depeche Mode cover versions‘. Here you will find, as far as I know, the biggest database of Depeche Mode cover versions. Michael is always happy about feedback, so thank him if you find any musical treasures there.
Bonus – Electrozombies Depeche Mode tribute compilations
To honour the band, we have released two tribute compilations in 2017. If you might have missed them, go and check them out now: