That’s right -- all this week, Lost in the 80s will focus on artists who, in leiu of marching to the beat of a different drummer, chose rather to program their drums to imitate highly influential synth-pop pioneers Depeche Mode. There’s more of these Depeche Clones than you think, as we’ll see.
But before we begin, let me preface this week by saying I’m not hating on these bands. Honest. In fact, I was inspired enough to shell out for their CDs back in the day, so they must have had some appeal. And they did – while shamelessly aping DM’s sound, each of the bands featured this week brought something to the table, whether it was a catchy riff, a memorable lyric or just plain funny hair.
Camouflage formed in the mid-80s and had a huge hit in their native Germany and a minor hit in the States with “The Great Commandment”, possibly because people thought it was a new Depeche Mode single. If they thought that of their debut single, the follow-up, “That Smiling Face”,
must have really thrown them for a loop. If you close your eyes while listening, you can almost see Martin Gore in a leather mini singing the background “Ahhhhs”. Here’s an overly long Justin Strauss remix
for good measure.
Camouflage diversified their sound on a couple of follow-up albums to become less Depeche-y (Depeche-ish?), but there weren’t many takers and the band dissolved in the early 90s.
More Depeche Clones later this week!“That Smiling Face” peaked at #26 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks Chart and at #37 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play Chart in 1989.