As a big Depeche Mode fan, lover of well-made cover songs and passionate collector of physical CDs, it was of course a duty for me to buy the compilation ’40 Years – A Special Tribute To Depeche Mode‘. Moreover, the physical CD is strictly limited to 300 copies. I love limited editions in my collection! I also think the artwork of the physical edition is pretty well done. Definitely much better than the artwork version of the digital release, which, by the way, has already been released on June 15th, 2021.
Prepare to be very open-minded
The title ’40 Years – A Special Tribute To Depeche Mode’ sounds epic and overly ambitious. And here, unfortunately, I already have my first point of criticism. The tracks on the compilation only date back to ‘Songs Of Faith And Devotion’ (1993) and thus only cover the first 13 years of the band’s career. With a title like this, I would have expected songs from all albums of the last 40 years.
Let’s move on to the genres on the compilation. The mix demands quite a bit of musical openness from the listener. To be honest, I’m a bit sceptical whether there is anyone who likes all genres of music, especially in view of the fact that the compilation is aimed at ‘Depeche Mode’ fans. I’d say the target group is extremely narrow. Included are genres like Minimal Electro, Synth Pop, Metal, Rock, Lounge, EBM, Classical, Punk and others.
Another point of criticism I would like to mention is that the tracks, especially the big bands on the compilation, are unfortunately very old and familiar to Depeche Mode fans. For example, the version of ‘Stripped’ from ‘In Strict Confidence‘ which comes from the album ‘Collapse’ (1997). Or ‘In Your Memory’ from ‘Leather Strip’, which was already included on the Alfa Matrix compilation ‘Re:Covered, Vol. 2 – A Tribute to Depeche Mode’ in 2011. The ‘Blind Passenger‘ version of ‘Behind The Wheel’ is also not a recent track.
It is important to me that this is not misconstrued as bashing. I just think it’s a pity that the most interesting bands for the target group of DM fans are all covers that have already been released. Of course, new cover versions are also included. However, I doubt how interesting these are for the usual Depeche Mode fan.
Is it worth buying?
Here the answer is very easy for me. For all Depeche Mode fans who simply want to expand their collection with another limited edition, the CD is a must-buy, as it is for me. For all those who buy the CD expecting and wanting to hear great interpretations of Depeche Mode‘s work, I advise not to buy it. There are much better compilations on the market. Just have a look at our article ‘The best Depeche Mode tribute compilations‘ and be inspired to listen to these Depeche Mode tribute highlights.
Tracklist of ’40 Years – A Special Tribute To Depeche Mode’