80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ Camouflage

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)
Meanwhile (1991)
Bodega Bohemia (1993)
Spice Crackers (1995)
Best of – We Stroke the Flames (1997)
Rewind – Best of 85-97 (2001)
Sensor (2003)
Relocated (2006)

8 thoughts on “80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ Camouflage

  1. Great post Missy, I love these guys and have suddenly realized I do not play them often. Hmmmmm, time to dig out some more 12″ singles for next week.




  2. Huge DM fan…Ive been following them since since I was a young teen and have never seemed to grow out of jamming out to Dave Gahan and his crew even til this very day (had big plans to marry that man when I was 14!!!), With the recent popularity of itunes, Im always looking for equally awesome music. Only tonight, I found Camouflage for the first time and I am so completely impressed! I just cant believe that Ive never even heard of them. I was so taken by them that I instantly got online to research this mystery to me. I really wish they would have gotten bigger here in the States. What incredible talent! They have just earned themselves a new fan!!! Already downloaded a bunch of songs by this supremely talented band and will continue to do so.


  3. Hi Jessica – thanks for your enthusiastic comment! Yes, one of my shameful admissions is that for years I thought these guys were Depeche Mode. I wasn’t really paying close attention at the time, as I do now, looking for subtleties and nuances in the music that really identify the artist.

    Glad Camouflage has piqued your interest. Have fun getting to know them. To me, that’s the best part of discovering an artist I’ve missed out on.



  4. Don’t be ashamed you confused them with Depeche Mode, because they have the same brilliance and prestige! I love their sound!!!! I mean both of two bands.
    Their hit “The Great Commandment” it was so familiar to me, but I didn’t know the band. Your article is very useful in a someone’s try to learn more about them. It was a pity they didn’t get the fame they deserved! 😦


  5. Thank you so much for your comment, Danae. I appreciate that you stopped by and left such a kind note. xo


  6. Reader from Germany here. Born ’78 I was still pretty young when Camouflage entered the scene and I haven’t had heard (much) of DM back then. Since today their only song I really fell in love with is “Enjoy the Silence”, I think I should spend some serious time listening to their back catalogue. But when “Love is a Shield” by Camouflage came out, I took my poor English vocabulary and tried to translate it by listening. It was probably this cassette I had on heavy rotation. I remember that I even marked the position of the spool on the transparent window of the tape to find the song as fast as possible. Later “The great commandment” became my favourite song and even today I still think it’s great.


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