Monday, September 28, 1998 Published at 09:34 GMT 10:34 UK
Entertainment: New Music Releases
Depeche Mode - The Singles 86 -98
The secret of eternal youth is alive and well and living in a bottle in Essex.
It's been 17 long years since Depeche Mode released New Life and, after a plethora of trials, tribulations and near-tragedy, they have opened another fresh chapter.
And, of course, no-one expected them to last beyond the make-up and glamour of the new romantic era. But they did - and if you examine their latest clean-cut press photos, shorn of the beards and straggly hair of recent years, you'd swear time had stopped still as you examine your own rapidly ageing facade with ever-growing concern.
The Singles 86-98 is a follow-up to the 81-85 version and while the instant poppiness of youth has been devoured in parts by a more sinister beast, the warm feeling of nostalgia is omnipresent.
There are parts of this double dose of Depeche that tend to pass you by, unless you're a Mode manic, but there's also some beauties that make it a necessary purchase.
Enjoy The Silence provides the classic line "words are very unncecessary" (Why Don't You's "switch off the TV" request instantly springs to mind) and 1989's Personal Jesus was the in-yer-face return to form their adoring public had been baying for since Master And Servant.
Finally, with the fast-growing Only When I Lose Myself, they've enjoyed their 33rd top 30 hit to wrench victory from the very jaws of defeat and despair.
Not bad for a bunch of Essex boys. Chris Charles