Alan Wilder (Depeche Mode)
Alan Wilder, British musician with Electronic Band Depeche Mode was Born 1st June 1959. Depeche Mode were formed in 1980 in Basildon, Essex The group’s original line-up consisted of Dave Gahan (lead vocals), Martin Gore (keyboards, guitar, vocals, chief songwriter after 1981), Andy Fletcher (keyboards) and Vince Clarke (keyboards, chief songwriter 1980–81). Vince Clarke left the band after the release of their 1981 debut album, Speak & Spell, and was replaced by Alan Wilder (keyboards, drums, occasional songwriter) with Gore taking over songwriting. Wilder also left the band in 1995 and since then Gahan, Gore, and Fletcher have continued as a trio.
Following the departure of Vince Clarke, Depeche Mode placed an advertisement in the music magazine Melody Maker: “Keyboard player needed for established band – no timewasters.” Even though the ad was looking for someone under 21 (Wilder was 22) he lied about his age to get the job, and got away with it. He joined Depeche Mode in January 1982, initially as a tour keyboardist, and soon thereafter as a full member of the recording band.Wilder wrote a handful of songs for Depeche Mode, including “The Great Outdoors” (the B-Side to “Get the Balance Right”), “Two Minute Warning” and “The Landscape Is Changing” (and a B-Side, “Fools”) from the album Construction Time Again, and “If You Want” (and a B-Side, “In Your Memory”) from the album Some Great Reward. However, Wilder’s more notable contributions to Depeche Mode were as a musician, arranger, and producer.In addition to playing synthesiser throughout his time with Depeche Mode, Wilder also played piano on the band’s signature ballad “Somebody,” and oboe on the band’s hit anthem, “Everything Counts.” In the documentary film 101, Wilder demonstrates how different synthesiser parts of a song are split and arranged across a sampling keyboard for playing them live during the concert, just one small example of Wilder’s ongoing contributions to Depeche Mode during his time as a member of the group. For the recording of the albumSongs of Faith and Devotion and its corresponding Devotional Tour Wilder learned to play live drums.For “Enjoy the Silence” from the album Violator, Wilder is credited with taking Martin Gore’s melancholy ballad-esque demo and re-envisioning the song as a percolating, melodic dance track. The resulting single went on to become one of the most commercially successful songs in Depeche Mode’s history. Wilder left Depeche Mode On 1 June 1995 (his 36th birthday)
After his split from Depeche Mode, Wilder was approached by Robert Smith with an offer to join The Cure. Wilder respectfully declined. According to Wilder himself, the possibility was offered on behalf of The Cure by Daryl Bamonte (tour manager for both Depeche Mode and The Cure, and brother of The Cure member Perry Bamonte), and he declined as joining another band was the last thing on his mind.He briefly reunited with Depeche Mode during the Teenage Cancer Trust concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 17 February 2010, and enjoyed a rapturous reception. During the encore, Wilder accompanied Martin Gore on piano for “Somebody”. Gore returned the favour and played a DJ set on one of Recoil’s Selected Events.In 2011, Wilder provided two mixes for the Depeche Mode track “In Chains”.Recoil began in 1986 as a two-track experimental EP. Simply entitled 1 + 2, this collection of primitive demos caught the attention ofMute Records label boss Daniel Miller and was inconspicuously released as a mini-album on 12″ vinyl. An album, Hydrology, soon followed in 1988 and both were eventually re-issued by Mute on CD as Hydrology plus 1 + 2. These early Recoil recordings revealed Alan’s position as a pioneer in the newly emerging world of sampling technology and demonstrated how he could turn the Depeche Mode sound around to create something entirely new.
Almost immediately, Wilder found himself back in the studio to record what would become the most successful Depeche Mode album to date, Violator. It wasn’t until the band finally allowed themselves an extended break after the enormously successful World Violation Tour that Alan could return to Recoil—not, however, before agreeing to produce Ebbhead, another album for label-mates Nitzer Ebb.It was during this time that he cemented a working relationship with lead singer Douglas McCarthy who would return the favour by singing on Recoil’s next album, Bloodline. For the Bloodline LP, released in 1991, Between 1992–93 Wilder resumed his Depeche Mode duties as the band recorded the album Songs of Faith and Devotion. Released to universal acclaim, it topped the charts in the UK, US, Germany and a host of other countries. Enjoying hits with “I Feel You”, “Walking in My Shoes”, “In Your Room” and “Condemnation”, Depeche Mode embarked on their most adventurous tour to date, enduring a gruelling fifteen months on the road. Although the group had reached the pinnacle of success, aspects of the lifestyle had taken their toll on everyone and things eventually came to a head. In June 1995, having spent fourteen years as an integral part of one of the most popular and influential bands the UK has ever produced, Alan Wilder made the decision to leave Depeche Mode On 1 June 1995 (his 36th birthday) and Free from his group commitments, Wilder could now focus solely on Recoil and In the spring of 2000, Recoil released Liquid. Following a five-year break from recording, Alan Wilder returned with Recoil’s fifth studio album, entitled subHuman released in July 2007
So far Depeche Mode have had more than 48 songs in the UK Singles Chart including “Enjoy the Silence” “Policy of Truth” “Personal Jesus“ “World in My Eyes””Never Let Me Down Again” and “Walking in My Shoes” twelve top 10 albums in the UK charts, two of which debuted at #1. According to EMI, Depeche Mode have sold over 100 million albums and singles worldwide, making them the most successful electronic band in music history. Q magazine calls Depeche Mode “The most popular electronic band the world has ever known” and included the band in the list of the “50 Bands That Changed The World!”. In 2010 Depeche Mode were ranked No. 98 on VH1′s list of the “100 greatest artists of all time”. Martin Gore has also released a solo album called MG. Depeche Modes fourteenth album, Spirit Featuring the song “Where’s the Revolution, was released in 2017 followed by theGlobal Spirit Tour. the group also got a nomination for the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.