Martin Gore

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Martin Gore
Martin Gore in 2009.jpg
Martin Gore in 2009
Background information
Birth name Martin Lee Gore
Born (1961-07-23) 23 July 1961 (age 54)
Origin Dagenham, London, England
Genres Alternative dance, synthpop, new wave, alternative rock
Instruments Guitar, vocals, keyboards, synthesizer, sampler, bass, piano, theremin, organ, harmonium, accordion, melodica, recorder, banjo, percussion, tronichord, turntables
Years active 1977–present
Labels Mute, Sire, Reprise
Associated acts Depeche Mode, VCMG
Notable instruments
Gretsch Anniversary models
Gretsch White Falcon

Martin Lee Gore (born 23 July 1961)[1] is an English singer songwriter, guitarist, keyboardist, producer, remixer, and DJ. He is a founding member of Depeche Mode and has written the majority of their songs. His work now spans over four decades. Gore's best-known compositions include hits such as "Personal Jesus", "Enjoy the Silence", "Stripped", "It's No Good", "In Your Room", "Strangelove", "I Feel You", "People Are People", "Precious","A Question of Time", "Policy of Truth", "Everything Counts", "Behind the Wheel", "Shake the Disease", "Never Let Me Down Again" and many more.

In addition to composing music and writing lyrics for the majority of Depeche Mode's songs, Gore has also been the lead singer on several (some examples are "Somebody", "A Question of Lust" and "Home"). He has been a backing singer on many others.

In 1999, Gore received the Ivor Novello Award from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors for "International Achievement".

Early life[edit]

Martin Lee Gore was born in Dagenham, Essex in England. Gore's biological father was an African-American G.I. stationed in Britain.[2] Gore was raised by his stepfather and biological mother. He believed his stepfather was his biological father until age thirteen. When he was 13, he learned that his biological father was an African-American serviceman and, as an adult, later met him in the American South. Gore responds to the source's information and is quoted in Miller's book saying, "It brings up family traumas" and "It's one of those things I'd rather not talk about".

He left Nicholas Comprehensive, Basildon in 1977 and took a job as a bank cashier. During evenings, weekends and any other spare time, he was involved with the local band Norman and the Worms with school friend Phil Burdett who later went on to become a singer/songwriter himself.

Gore has two younger half sisters, Karen, born in 1967, and Jacqueline, born in 1968.[3]


Martin Gore, Los Angeles, July 1986

In 1980, Gore met Andy "Fletch" Fletcher at the Van Gogh club. Fletcher recruited Gore into his band Composition of Sound along with Vince Clarke. Soon the band drafted Dave Gahan to be the lead singer after hearing him sing "Heroes" by David Bowie. Gahan is credited with the name "Depeche Mode" after seeing the phrase as a title of a French fashion magazine, which later considered taking them to court, but thought it would be good publicity for the magazine to let the band have the name.

Clarke left Depeche Mode in late 1981, shortly after the release of their debut album Speak & Spell. Clarke wrote most of the album, with Gore contributing two tracks, "Tora! Tora! Tora!" and the instrumental "Big Muff". "Any Second Now (voices)" features Gore's first lead vocals for the band. Gore sings lead vocals on several of the band's songs, notably ballads, his tenor voice providing a contrast to Gahan's dramatic baritone. When Clarke announced his departure from Depeche Mode in 1981, citing the pressures of fame and creative differences, Gore took over songwriting. Gore had been writing material since the age of twelve.

Songs Gore wrote for Depeche Mode's second album, A Broken Frame (1982) differed musically and lyrically from Clarke's. Gore's writing became gradually darker and more political on subsequent Depeche Mode albums.

Gore sometimes plays guitars, typically his Gretsch White Falcon or Gretsch Double Anniversary on Depeche Mode songs. The first time guitar was used as the main instrument was on "Personal Jesus", although he used small guitar parts on previous songs, such as "Behind the Wheel" and "Love, in Itself". Gore's guitar playing developed even more on Songs of Faith and Devotion. However, in live performances, he switches his keyboards for his guitar on some older Depeche Mode songs, such as "Never Let Me Down Again" and "A Question of Time". In mid 1990 Gore stated –

NME – July 1990[4]

On 27 May 1999, Gore was presented with an award by Daniel Miller for "International Achievement", by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, at the 44th Ivor Novello Awards, at The Grosvenor House Hotel.[5][6]

Gore remains the primary songwriter for Depeche Mode.

Personal life[edit]

Gore lives in Santa Barbara, California.[7] He started dating lingerie designer and model Suzanne Boisvert after meeting in Paris in 1989. They married in August 1994. He has three children with Boisvert: daughters Viva Lee Gore (born 1991) and Ava Lee Gore (born 1995), and son Calo Leon Gore (born 2002). Gore and Boisvert divorced in 2006.

Gore married Kerrilee Kaski in June 2014. In October 2015 Kerrilee Gore updated her Facebook profile photo showing her to be pregnant.[8]


Gore became a vegetarian for health and moral reasons in 1983.[9][10]

Solo discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
US Dan
Counterfeit² 102 32 52 12 25 23 79 3
  • Release date: 24 April 2015
  • Label: Mute Records
  • Formats: LP, CD, music download
50 90 7 28 1

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details Peak positions
Counterfeit e.p.
  • Release date: 12 June 1989
  • Label: Mute Records
  • Formats: CD, LP album, cassette
51 41 156
MG remix EP
  • Release date: 9 October 2014
  • Label: Mute Records
  • Formats: 12" vinyl, digital bundle
- - -


Year Single Peak chart positions Album

1989 "Compulsion" 18 Counterfeit e.p.
2003 "Stardust" 44 16 92 29 28 Counterfeit²
"Loverman" 53
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Other appearances[edit]

Year Song Album Notes
1995 "Coming Back To You" Tower of Song: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen Gore sings lead vocals on a cover version of the Leonard Cohen song.
2004 "Overdrive" City Recorded with female duo Client. Gore sings backing vocals on this track.
2009 "Master and Servant (feat. Martin Gore)" 3 Cover of the 1984 Depeche Mode hit, recorded with French band Nouvelle Vague. Lead vocal by Melanie Pain, with Gore on backing vocals.[25]
2010 "Once You Say" Industrial Complex Recorded with Nitzer Ebb. Gore sings backing vocals on this track.
2011-12 "Man Made Machine" Man Made Machine Recorded with Motor. Gore sings lead vocals on both EP version (2011), and on the album of the same name (2012).
2012 All tracks Ssss All songs co-written and performed with Vince Clarke as the duo VCMG (see below).
2015 TBA TBA In February 2013, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Dave Gahan announced that Gore had recorded a song with Frank Ocean for Ocean's upcoming album.[26]


Former Depeche Mode colleague Vince Clarke collaborated with Gore for the first time since 1981 as techno duo VCMG on an instrumental minimalist electronic dance album called Ssss, released on 12 March 2012. The first EP entitled Spock was first released worldwide exclusively on Beatport on 30 November 2011.[27] The second EP Single Blip was once again first released exclusively on Beatport on 20 February 2012. Their third EP Aftermaths was released on 20 August 2012.


In late February 2015, several teaser images were displayed on Martin Gore's official Facebook page,[28] citing a hashtag "MGxMG" which was later revealed to be a promotional tool for his new solo studio album, titled MG (named after his previous collaborative album, VCMG, with Vince Clarke from 2012). In a news post on his official website and various social media on March 2, this confirmation of his new studio album announced its release will be on April 27 or 28th, and previewed a track, Europa Hymn, from the new album.[29]

Other collaborations[edit]

  • Gore played keyboard on two tracks by Annette & Inga Humpe (Humpe and Humpe), called "Happiness Is Hard to Take" & "Don't Know Where I Belong" from their 1985 album Humpe Humpe
  • He played guitar on the Gwen Stefani song "Wonderful Life" on her 2006 album The Sweet Escape.
  • Gore collaborated on the band Onetwo's track "Cloud Nine" by playing the guitar and as songwriter of the song, which can be found on their 2007 album called Instead.
  • In 2010, Tim Simenon's Bomb the Bass album Back to Light was published, which is containing the instrumental "Milakia", co-written by Martin Gore during the Ultra sessions. Gore also played synthesiser on the track.[30]
  • Compact Space's album Nameless (2011) includes the track "The Unstoppable Collision" with Gore on guitar. Compact Space is formed by Depeche Mode's collaborators Christian Eigner, Daryl Bamonte and singer Florian Kraemmer.
  • Also in 2011, Gore created the sound "Siren-synth – Mutesound" on the track "Uni Rec" on the album Univrs from the German glitch and minimalist techno artist Alva Noto.


Depeche Mode songs with Gore on lead vocals[edit]

Depeche Mode's lead vocals are generally handled by Dave Gahan, but on occasion Gore will sing lead. These are all the songs he sings, in chronological order:


These are songs where Gahan and Gore have around equal singing time, in chronological order. In some instances, both sing at the same time (ex: "Behind the Wheel"), and in others, Gahan sang the verses while Gore sang the chorus (ex: "Everything Counts").

  • Black Celebration
    • "Here Is the House"
    • "Dressed in Black"
    • "Breathing in Fumes" [B-side to "Stripped"] (the transformed voice throughout the song is the one of Martin Gore)
  • Exciter
    • "Dream On"
    • "The Sweetest Condition"
    • "I Feel Loved"

Live performances of songs originally sung by Dave Gahan in studio[edit]

These are songs that Gore has sung lead live, although the studio versions are sung by Gahan, in chronological order of the song's first live performance by Gore. It includes his solo concerts in 2003. To date, the only Gore-led song that was sung by Gahan live was "Route 66" which was the closer during the World Violation Tour.

  • "Little 15 (The World Violation Tour)
  • "Here is the House" (The World Violation Tour)
  • "Condemnation" (The Exotic Tour, Summer Tour '94, The Exciter Tour, Solo, The Delta Machine Tour)
  • "Waiting for the Night" (The Exotic Tour)
  • "Sister of Night" (The Singles Tour, The Exciter Tour, Tour Of The Universe)
  • "Dressed in Black" (The Exciter Tour, Tour Of The Universe)
  • "Surrender" (The Exciter Tour, Solo)
  • "Only When I Lose Myself" (Solo, The Delta Machine Tour)
  • "In Your Room" (Solo only)
  • "Walking in My Shoes" (Solo only)
  • "The Love Thieves" (Solo only)
  • "Enjoy the Silence" (Solo only)
  • "Shake the Disease" (Solo, Touring the Angel, Tour Of The Universe, The Delta Machine Tour)
  • "Leave in Silence" (Touring the Angel, The Delta Machine Tour)
  • "Little Soul" (Tour Of The Universe)
  • "Freelove" (Tour Of The Universe)
  • "Clean" (Tour Of The Universe)
  • "Insight" (Tour Of The Universe)
  • "But Not Tonight" (The Delta Machine Tour)
  • "Higher Love" (The Delta Machine Tour)
  • "When the Body Speaks" (The Delta Machine Tour)
  • "Slow" (The Delta Machine Tour)


  • Malins, Steve. Depeche Mode : Black Celebration : The Biography. Andre Deutsch, 2007. ISBN 978-0-233-00178-4
  • Miller, Jonathan. Stripped: Depeche Mode 2003, 2004, Omnibus Press ISBN 1-84449-415-2
  • Tobler, John. NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd, 1992. CN 5585. ISBN 0-600-57602-7


  1. ^ Malins, p. 1
  2. ^ Miller, pp. 318–319
  3. ^ Lilian R. Franke. "Depeche Mode Biography Martin Lee Gore". Retrieved 2015-04-30. 
  4. ^ Tobler, p. 472
  5. ^ Pride, Dominic: "Cher, Hynde among Ivors' U.S winners Billboard, 12 June 1999. (p. 40). Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  6. ^ Video of Martin Gore receiving the Ivor Novello award Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  7. ^ Dorian Lynskey. "Depeche Mode: 'We're dysfunctional. Maybe that's what makes us tick' | Music". Retrieved 2015-04-30. 
  8. ^ Kerrilee Gore Facebook profile picture "Plugging into a whole new world....." retrieved 21 October 2015
  9. ^ "Depeche Mode (1980 - )". International Vegetarian Union. 
  10. ^ "Famous Vegetarian Musicians". Retrieved 2015-04-30. 
  11. ^ "Chart Log UK: Gina G – GZA". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  12. ^ " – Danish charts portal". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  13. ^ " – French charts portal". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  14. ^ a b c "Offizielle Deutsche Charts - Discographie von Martin L. Gore". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  15. ^ a b " – Italian charts portal - Martin L. Gore". Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  16. ^ " – Swedish charts portal". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  17. ^ "The Official Swiss and Music Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  18. ^ "Martin L. Gore Album & Song Chart History – Dance/Electronic Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  19. ^ "Martin Gore Official Website news". Martin Gore Official Website. March 2, 2015. Retrieved March 26, 2015. 
  20. ^ a b "Official Charts Company - Martin L. Gore". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  21. ^ "Martin L. Gore Album & Song Chart History – Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  22. ^ " – Danish charts portal". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  23. ^ " – French charts portal". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  24. ^ "Martin L. Gore Album & Song Chart History – Alternative Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  25. ^ "Official homepage of Nouvelle Vague". Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  26. ^ Battan, Carrie (21 February 2013). "Frank Ocean and Martin Gore of Depeche Mode Have Recorded a Song Together". Entertainment Weekly. PitchforkMedia. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  27. ^ [1] Archived 7 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ "Facebook - Martin Gore #MGxMG first promotion image". Facebook. Facebook. February 25, 2015. Retrieved March 26, 2015. 
  29. ^ "Martin Gore Official Website News". Martin Gore Official Website. March 2, 2015. Retrieved March 26, 2015. 
  30. ^ "Bomb The Bass: "Back to Light"". Retrieved 27 September 2014. 

External links[edit]