Martin Gore

Martin Gore Biography

Guitarist, Songwriter (1961–)
Martin Gore is best known as the keyboardist and primary songwriter for Depeche Mode. Gore wrote many hit tracks, including "Policy of Truth" and "Personal Jesus."


Martin Gore, an original member of the British electronic band Depeche Mode, was born in Essex, England, on July 23, 1961. Gore wrote many of the dark and political tracks, including "Policy of Truth" and "Personal Jesus," that helped to make Depeche Mode among the best-selling electronic acts of all time.

Early Life

Martin Gore was born in Essex, England, on July 23, 1961. Gore's biological father was an African-American G.I. stationed in Britain. Martin Gore was raised by his stepfather and biological mother. He was an adult before he met his biological father, who had returned to the United States.

Gore attended the Nicholas School in Basildon before leaving in 1977 to take a job as a bank cashier. During his spare time, Gore played in a local band, Norman and the Worms, with school friend Phil Burdett.

Musical Career

In 1980, Gore met Andy Fletcher at the Van Gogh club. Fletcher recruited Gore to join the band Composition of Sound, which he had started with Vince Clarke. The band soon added Dave Gahan as their lead singer. Gahan is credited with suggesting the name "Depeche Mode" after seeing the phrase on the cover of a French fashion magazine.

Depeche Mode's debut album, Speak & Spell, appeared in 1981. Gore sang lead vocals on one song, and wrote two others. When Vince Clarke announced his departure from Depeche Mode in late 1981, citing creative differences and the pressures of fame, Gore took over as the band's primary songwriter.

With Gore's new songwriting, Depeche Mode's direction changed. This was reflected on the band's second album, A Broken Frame, which was released in 1982. Gore's songs are known for their darker sound and political themes, contrasting Vince Clarke's style on early Depeche Mode tracks. In addition to his writing credits, vocals and keyboard parts, Gore sometimes played the guitar, as he did on the hit song "Personal Jesus."

Gore wrote the majority of the band's songs during their period of greatest success. His songs, including "Personal Jesus," "Enjoy the Silence" and "Policy of Truth," are among Depeche Mode's most popular tracks. The strength of these tracks helped Depeche Mode sell more than 100 million records, making them the best-selling electronic group to date. Depeche Mode's sound has influenced popular music as well as dance, electronic and synthpop sub-genres.

In recognition of his contributions to popular music, Gore received the 1999 Ivor Novello Award, bestowed annually by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.

Martin Gore continues to write for and perform as part of Depeche Mode. In 2012, he released an electronic dance album with former colleague Vince Clarke. The album, entitled Ssss, is the first collaboration between Gore and Clarke since 1981.

Personal Life

Martin Gore relocated to Santa Barbara, California, later in his career, and divorced his wife, model Suzanne Boisvert-Goreof, after 12 years of marriage. They are the parents of three children. Gore embraced sobriety after struggling with alcoholism for a number of years.

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