Here’s a group whose most notable 80’s hit, “The Great Commandment,” I probably heard numerous times when it was released in 1987. I also probably misidentified it as a Depeche Mode song. Aw, c’mon, stop looking so smug. You know you did, too. Admit it!
The band formed in 1984 in Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany as a trio comprised of Heiko Maile, Marcus Meyn, and Oliver Kreyssig. They set up their first recording studio in Heiko’s parents’ basement. After shopping some demos around and signing with Metronome, the band recorded “The Great Commandment.” Two singles followed, all doing well on the German charts, so the band decided to record their first album, Voices & Images. The album charted well in the US, leading the band to record a second album in 1989, Methods of Silence.
“Love Is A Shield,” from their sophomore effort, did well once again on the German charts. I heard it for the first time a few years ago on the advice of a friend. It was also around then that I realized “The Great Commandment” was Camouflage and NOT Depeche Mode. The styles are very similar, especially the blend of synths, electronica, and compelling lead vocals.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing; look at Depeche Mode’s success and longevity. Camouflage, however enormously talented, never seemed to enjoy the far-reaching success that Depeche Mode did. One reason may be internal conflicts. Another may be lack of first-rate promotion. Whatever the reason, Camouflage had the stuff of a great 80’s New Wave band, but never was able to hit that wildly successful groove.
Browsing through the band’s music that’s available via YouTube, I am finding there is very little Camouflage music that I don’t enjoy. It definitely hits that 80’s New Wave/Electronica sweet spot of mine. If you feel the same way, fortunately for us, some of their music is still available here. With a little digging, you can probably uncover the rest of their discography, as well.
“The Great Commandment” via YouTube user divasfever:
“Love Is A Shield” via YouTube user np2ij:
“Suspicious Love” via YouTube user helgabohemia20:
“Neighbours” via YouTube user ColourOfSpring:
Voices & Images (1988)
Methods of Silence (1989)
Bodega Bohemia (1993)
Spice Crackers (1995)
Best of – We Stroke the Flames (1997)
Rewind – Best of 85-97 (2001)