Depeche Mode ‎– Speak & Spell

Mute ‎– STUMM 5
Vinyl, LP, Album


A1 New Life
A2 I Sometimes Wish I Was Dead
A3 Puppets
A4 Boys Say Go!
A5 Nodisco
A6 What's Your Name?
B1 Photographic
B2 Tora! Tora! Tora!
B3 Big Muff
B4 Any Second Now (Voices)
B5 Just Can't Get Enough

Companies, etc.


Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (Runout etching side A): * STUMM-5·A-I * MT. DB TAPE One
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout etching side B): * STUMM-5·B-I * MT. DB TAPE One

Other Versions (5 of 291) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
STUMM 5 Depeche Mode Speak & Spell(LP, Album, M/Print) Mute, SPOR STUMM 5 Iceland 1982 Sell This Version
VG 50414, 4500 Depeche Mode Speak & Spell(LP, Album, RE) Virgin, Mute VG 50414, 4500 Greece 1989 Sell This Version
INT 146.801, Stumm 5 Depeche Mode Speak & Spell(LP, Album, RP) Mute, Mute INT 146.801, Stumm 5 Germany 1984 Sell This Version
SPL1-7296, SPL1-7296 Depeche Mode Speak & Spell = Explicate (LP, Album, Promo) RCA Victor, Mute SPL1-7296, SPL1-7296 Spain 1981 Sell This Version
ORK 79208 Depeche Mode Speak & Spell(Cass, Album, RE) Mute ORK 79208 Italy Unknown Sell This Version


Reviews Show All 5 Reviews

Add Review



June 29, 2015
Snap up this first pressing of Speak and Spell if you can; the sound is positively enormous! Crisp, clear and very punchy. Great recording and pressing.


July 30, 2014
Probably one of the best synth-pop ever made??? It had such a hard impact on me so that I started to love electronic music from that on. Even though there are more interesting bands than DM (looked at the whole career) I must say that the music is fantastic here. So forget the "we have heard it before era" with all the new albums during the last 15 years and get back to the roots when they knew how to make wonderful music!!!


December 3, 2013
For me the best Depeche Mode album. ♥


February 16, 2010
edited over 11 years ago
While U2's 'Boy' was a stunning statement by four teenagers, grown enough to accept the rest of the world and its little intrigues, Depeche Mode were still a far cry from Paul Morley calling them 'a missing link between Kraftwerk and U2'. Still, 'Speak & Spell', while not dominated by Martin Gore's songwriting but that of Vince Clarke, delivers a fair share of twisted, childish electronics announcing the things to come. Descretely perverse (and 'Just Can't Get Enough' is irresistibly mild S/M in lyrics), claustrophobic and catchy, 'Speak & Spell' shows how fascinating these early days of the synth actually were. Vince is the main wizard here but others' contribution is not to be underestimated. Electronic dance music was not pretentious, it was as controversial to an educated musician as Satanism still is to the Catholic Church. 'I Sometimes Wish I was Dead' alone is a tiny hand-grenade by title thrown into the playlist for some reason, worth discovering the subversive factor in this, earliest of Depeche Mode's audio-visual image.

The record symbolically kicks off with 'New Life' - a naive, charming synth-pop standard of its time, still enjoyably naive and ahead of the time, marking the perfect start of one band's career. The vocals - whether Dave, Martin - or all of the band, are so unbelievably hilarious at times, you just cannot help yourself from falling in love with these songs. Especially the annoying-but-catchy 'What's Your name?' ('You're so pretty, P.R.E. double T.Y.). I guess the band experiences the ultimate nightmare when reminded of this song these days.

Maybe, Depeche Mode on 'Speak & Spell' were 'New Kids On the Block' of their time, rather than experimentally keen futurists, but on the other hand it was both - because, pairing such cheesy pop-tunes with much darker gems like 'Puppets', 'Tora! Tora! Tora!', the excellent 'Photographic' and 'Anysecond Now' is a much bigger accomplishment than just a momentary, trendy stuff. And how can we ever miss 'Nodisco', 'Boys Say Go!' or the funny groove of 'Big Muff'?

Many love Depeche Mode for their later achievements on record, but 'Speak & Spell' remains a lovely secret safe with everybody - the actual trigger of a stunning electro-pop career. In retrospect, this one is my favourite album of theirs.


October 3, 2005
edited over 15 years ago

Absolutely essential album of the early synthpop era. Though the release of this LP in 1981 was marked by the success of the more well-known singles (such as "Just Can't Get Enough" and "New Life"), the value of this long play is made by their less known tunes: the sequence of the emotional strings and atmospheres of "Photographic", the unusual synths of the bombastic "Tora! Tora! Tora!" (whose title was a reference to the japanese air attacks during World War II) and the spacey timbres of Big Muff is priceless. There are also some synth patterns that suggest clearly an Electro-Disco influence, like "Nodisco" and "Boys Say Go!", but Depeche Mode really had their way to make music, for the result of their compositions was different than anything else.
At that time, Vince Clarke (which later became the producer of the massive Yazoo and, after that, Erasure) was part of the band with Martin Gore, Andrew Fletcher and Dave Gahan. The pictures in the back side of the cover show how young they were at the period of the creation of these tunes.
About nine years after the release of this album, Dave declared something about Martin Gore's impressions concerning these early tracks. For Gore, they sounded like really strange.