By 1993's Songs of Faith and Devotion, Gahan was living in Los Angeles and, inspired by the look and sound of grunge bands, grew his hair long and started sporting a beard. The dramatic shift in image shocked many of Depeche Mode's older fans; they became increasingly concerned that Depeche Mode was turning into a mainstream rock group. In addition to adopting a grunge look, Gahan became seduced by the drug of choice among several rock musicians in the early '90s: heroin. In the mid-'90s, after a failed suicide attempt, Gahan kicked his heroin addiction at a drug rehabilitation clinic. In 1997, a rejuvenated Gahan recorded Ultra with Depeche Mode, followed by Exciter in 2001.
In 2003, Gahan embarked on a solo career for the first time in Depeche Mode's 22-year history. He made his debut as a full-fledged songwriter for the June release of Paper Monsters. He also set out on the road in North America and Europe in support of the sultry rock record in July. After recording another album with Depeche Mode (2005's industrial-tinged Playing the Angel), he released his throbbing second solo album, Hourglass, in 2007. In between the next two Depeche Mode albums (2009's Sounds of the Universe and 2013's Delta Machine, both of which included more songwriting credits for Gahan), he recorded his first album with U.K. producers Soulsavers, writing all the lyrics and singing on The Light the Dead See. His second effort with Soulsavers, the blues- and gospel-inspired Angels & Ghosts, was released in late 2015. ~ Michael Sutton, Rovi