Depeche Mode – Just Can’t Get Enough
In early September 1981 Depeche Mode were not really very famous, not even in England, and even less in the rest of the world. In fact, their career was just at the beginning: in February of the same year their first single ever, Dreaming of Me, was released, followed a few months later by New Life. The signs were encouraging, neither of the two singles had made it into the top ten, but while the former had stopped very far, the latter had not made it for just one position.
Within a month their first album would be released, which the title Speak and Spell, and now it was up to the third single to open the doors, in fact, to the presentation and sale of the entire album.
The boys from Basildon had a great singer but most of all they had a definitely talented leader: the legendary Vince Clarke, who had written more or less all the songs of the group and was the controversial leader of the group. His leadership was neither formally nor informally recognized, and this indeed often caused tension. Even to Vince himself, who actually wanted even more freedom of decision and movement.
On September 7th, Depeche Mode released their first song to reach the top ten, and of course it opened the doors to an incredible career for them, and it remained one of their historic songs, and perhaps even one of the anthems of the early 80s: Just Can’t Get Enough.
The song was different from the two that had preceded it, and reflected precisely the musical shift of the time: from the dark and gloomy voices of the first two songs, Depeche Mode veered decidedly towards pop, in sounds, in voices, even in the text of the song. The change of direction was clear to Clarke, but it was not so popular with the other members of the group.
I would say that in general this turning point was at the core of the important structure change of the group: in a few months Vincent Clarke will leave Depeche Mode and musically join another illustrious fellow citizen of Basildon, with a common period of school attendance: the talented Alison Moyet, and together they will form Yazoo, abandoning the new wave area forever (which Depeche Mode will rediscover and reinterpret over the years) and definitely veering towards the world of pop with songs like Nobody’s Diary or Don’t Go. Certainly, a high-quality pop music, thanks also to the beautiful and important voice of Alison. Incidentally, later the good Vincent will also form Erasure together with Andy Bell, and I would say that from pop they almost touched the world of electronic dance.
Let’s go back to Just Can’t Get Enough: for Depeche Mode this song was also a first experience in video, because the two previous songs did not include this form of diffusion. However, no other singles were released from this album, with Clarke leaving the group shortly after. For these reasons Just Can’t Get Enough remains the only Depeche Mode video with Vince Clarke.
The video is very simple, and it captures the group performing the song in the company of four girls dancing with them. The video was shot in a concert hall in Southbank Centre, on the south bank of river Thames, and features scenes shot in a kind of recording room, and other scenes shot outside, on a staircase that no longer exists today after some works of modernization of the venue.
Just Can’t Get Enough closed the first phase of Depeche Mode, the period with Vince Clarke, but it certainly helped to open an incredible career: who would have thought that during that same decade those guys would come to create pearls like Personal Jesus, Master and Servant, Strangelove, and many others?
Depeche Mode on Wikipedia