Music for the Masses is the sixth studio album by Depeche Mode. It was released by Mute Records on 28 September 1987. The album became the band's highest-charting in the US upon its release, reaching #35 on the Billboard 200. It also contained more hit singles than any of their previous releases. While there was no extremely popular single from the album ("People Are People" from Some Great Reward reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100), the three singles that were released all made it onto the Hot 100, a feat that hadn't been achieved by any Depeche Mode single after those from Some Great Reward. Moreover, all three singles achieved modest success on the chart.
This is a reissue of a recording from 1993 (re-released a few years ago and deleted in 2003), recently remastered for SACD, and it really impresses with a renewed presence and impact, even on standard CD playback. As I said in my original review, Savall's reading "comes as close as these things can to placing us in the best seat in the house and treats us to a rare experience: the sensation of believing we're hearing a ruggedly familiar piece for the first time. Literally bursting with energy, scintillating strings, blazing horns, and incisive winds, and never boring even for one second, these performances give you Handel at his most exciting." If you have the earlier release, you probably don't need this one–unless you now own an SACD system–but it does deserve a place in every Handel collection, not only for the unsurpassed performances, but also for the effect of Savall's several decidedly "non-standard" tempos(!), and of course for the phenomenal sound, which now must have reached its ultimate realism in this format.
Jack DeJohnette has long been more than "just" a drummer; he is also a fine keyboardist and a very talented composer. This CD finds him exploring music ranging from American Indian melodies to rockish fusion and his tribute "Miles." His group includes powerhouse guitarists Vernon Reid and John Scofield along with a chanting vocal choir. The music is stimulating if not as essential as DeJohnette's earlier work with Special Edition.
On the first full album in seven years from the softly psychedelic British band, they’ve left something behind in the quest to recapture the essence of the Clientele.
Jordi Savall's exemplary performance of Handel's Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks is among the finest available on disc: refined and precise, but very big, with blood-stirring grandeur. This is just the kind of extroverted, rousing presentation that best highlights the music's open-air ceremonial function. Savall's Le Concert des Nations is essentially a chamber orchestra with double or triple winds, but the sound he elicits from the group is majestic and surprisingly powerful. The playing is crisp and the rhythmic articulation bracing, but the sound is never brash. In fact, more often than not it is seductively sensual, a heady integration of precision and supple, shapely phrasing. Handel left no authoritative edition of the score of Water Music and it has traditionally been divided into three suites, but Savall reorders the material into two suites, a decision that makes more sense in terms of key relationships and that sounds entirely satisfying.