|'FOR THE MASSES' - A DEPECHE MODE TRIBUTE ALBUM
'For the Masses', the much publicised DM tribute album, was released by 1500 Records on August 4th 1998.
The album features re-workings of the band's material by such artists as Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, Deftones and God Lives Underwater.
|"It's really flattering," commented Depeche Mode singer Dave Gahan on MTV News. "It's interesting to hear other people's perspective on our songs, the way that they hear them and the way that they record them. I particularly like the Smashing Pumpkins version of 'Never Let Me Down', because it's the opposite of what you'd expect the Pumpkins to do with it."|
|'For The Masses' was in-progress for nearly two years according to Gary Richards, co-head of the label and co-producer of the project.
"A couple of years ago, my room mates and I were sitting around one night and thought it'd be a good idea to have some of our friends record Depeche Mode songs. It just kind of snowballed from there."
The room mates Richards speaks of are Jeff Turzo (who co-produced the project with Richards) and David Reilly of God Lives Underwater.
|As it stands, 'For The Masses' represents meticulous planning and much studio time. Los Angeles modern-rock station KLLY-FM leaked a few tracks on air pre-release which prompted a swift cease-and-desist order from 1500, as well as a reported promise never again to do business with the station.
A massive amount of hype grew up surrounding the project, fuelled by months of speculation concerning which artists would be covering which songs.
|So who did sign on?
The Cure ('World In My Eyes'), Smashing Pumpkins ('Never Let Me Down Again'), God Lives Underwater ('Fly On The Windscreen'), Dishwalla ('Policy Of Truth') and Veruca Salt ('Somebody'). Rabbit in the Moon offer a trippy slant on 'Waiting For The Night', Gus Gus take on 'Monument', Apollo 440 launch an intense working of 'I Feel You' and Hooverphonic breathe through 'Shake The Disease' while Meat Beat Manifesto blast through 'Everything Counts'. Special mention must also go to Self who manage to give 'Shame' a whole new slant.
|According to Turzo, assembling 'For The Masses' was a difficult task, from finding the right acts to actually convincing them to get involved. Now that the disc is finally complete, there are still bands that he would have liked to have seen perform on the LP.|
|"It was hard at first," he said. "Failure, our friends from L.A., decided to do a cut ('Enjoy The Silence'). Then Dishwalla got involved and finally The Cure. Once The Cure came aboard, everyone wanted to do it. Given time, we could have made a double album."
While many artists clamoured to get a song on the tribute, Depeche Mode front man Dave Gahan specifically requested that Marilyn Manson record a track. Unfortunately, the shock rockers were working on the follow-up to 1996's 'Antichrist Superstar' and were too busy to record 'Personal Jesus' as hoped.
|Richards also really wanted Trent Reznor - who is reportedly a huge Depeche Mode fan - to contribute a track but he too was swamped working on the next Nine Inch Nails album. The Foo Fighters and Bush also wanted to contribute tracks but couldn't squeeze the project into their schedules. Richards admits that although he and Turzo put the album together, he owes all the credit to his inspiration, Depeche Mode songwriter Martin Gore.
"Depeche Mode is our Beatles. We put Martin Gore into the same category as John Lennon when it comes to writing songs."
|"Our goal was always to make a good record, not a mockery of Depeche Mode music," added Turzo. "We wanted to make a cool record that you could sit down and enjoy. And I think we've done that." Despite Turzo's incomplete wish-list of participants, the album collects a veritable dream team of obvious Depeche Mode influences.|
FULL TRACK LISTING
God Lives Underwater
Meat Beat Manifesto
Rabbit In The Moon
Never Let Me Down Again
Fly On The Windshield
Enjoy The Silence
World In My Eyes
Policy Of Truth
Shake The Disease
Master And Servant
Waiting For The Night
I Feel You
To Have And To Hold