In 1981 Depeche Mode were: Vince Clarke, Andrew Fletcher, Martin Gore and Dave Gahan. When the Speak & Spell tour ended on Monday November 16 1981 at the London Lyceum, Depeche Mode knew they would end up with 3 soon after. In November 1981, Vince Clarke publicly announced that he was leaving Depeche Mode. Soon afterwards, Clarke joined up with blues singer Alison Moyet to form Yazoo (or Yaz in the United States).
Vince Clarke performed for the final time with Depeche Mode on Thursday 3 December for a television show, Off The Record, in Chichester. For those who wandered what that show looked like, you can now check it out below. Poet John Cooper Clarke was the support act.
- 00:00 Off The Record Intro
- 00:20 Photographic (Some Bizarre Version)
- 03:38 New Life
- 06:36 Puppets
- 10:10 I Sometimes Wish I Was Dead
- 12:19 Tora! Tora! Tora!
- 15:20 Just Can’t Get Enough
- 19:04 Boys Say Go!
- 21:48 What’s Your Name?
Why did Vince Clarke leave Depeche Mode?
It was with their third single “Just Can’t Get Enough that Depeche Mode struck gold. It was also the only Depeche Mode video to feature Vince Clarke. As a result they were soon playing on Top of the Pops. At this point Vince had decided to part ways with Depeche Mode as he felt that they were in favor of taking a different musical direction than the one he wanted to pursue citing arguments regarding songwriting, and admitting his own dogmatism where it comes to creating music. He also added: “There was never enough time to do anything. Not with all the interviews and photo sessions”
Clarke also said he was sick of touring, which Gahan said years later was “bullshit to be quite honest”. Gahan went on to say he “suddenly lost interest in it and he started getting letters from fans asking what kind of socks he wore.”
In a later interview with Vice, Clarke would say that he left Depeche Mode because the band was young and weren’t getting along adding “nothing more, nothing less, no regrets”.
Initial talk of Clarke’s continuing to write material for Depeche Mode ultimately amounted to nothing. According to third-party sources, Clarke offered the remaining members of Depeche Mode the track “Only You”, but they declined. Clarke, however, denied in an interview that such an offer ever took place saying, “I don’t know where that came from. That’s not true.”
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