20/2/81: Depeche Mode's first single issued

On Friday 20 February 1981 pop group Depeche Mode issued their first 7" single on the independent Mute label.

Dreaming of Me (b/w Ice Machine) failed to make the Top 30 in the UK although was followed by two successful singles and a top 10 album Speak and Spell by the end of the year. Depeche Mode had been achieving critical acclaim in the UK music press as well as becoming live favourites in the club scene in and around the London area. The group's almost unique musical style of using only electronic instruments made them pioneers of the synth-pop music genre which would quickly become popular in 1981. 

Depeche Mode, 1981: (l-r) Dave Gahan, Vince Clarke, Martin L. Gore, Andrew Fletcher.
Despite their commercial success, founder member and principle song writer Vince Clarke inexplicably left the band in early 1982 in order to pursue other projects. Deepche Mode went on to become one of the most successful internationl acts and continue to record and play live around the world.

Also on this day: Sheffield based electronic band The Human League release their first single Boys and Girls after the group had split in late 1980. Like Dreaming of Me, this single also failed to chart although was followed by a string of hits throughout the year.

sources: discogs.com, wikipedia

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