Typically I don't like live albums, and maybe it's just because I love Depeche Mode, but consider 101 an exception. What could have been a throwaway release, just to tide fans over until the band's next release, is a surprisingly worthwhile collection. For a band with a live sound consisting of half backing tracks and half live music (according to Alan Wilder), there's a lot of energy and changes from the album versions. Many of the songs have been rearranged or use different synth sounds from the studio recordings. Some of the older songs like "Blasphemous Rumours" sound updated from their original versions, while the then most current tracks from Music for the Masses sound more similar to the studio versions. Regardless, most of the songs are distinct in some way from their album counterparts, which is more than a lot of electronic acts can boast of their live sound and helps to justify the existence of 101. The setlist is extremely well chosen, and features almost every song you would have wanted them to play up to this point, including most of their hits. Choosing highlights is difficult, but I'm especially happy to see album tracks like "Sacred" and the b-side "Pleasure Little Treasure" alongside more well known tracks. The only problem is there's nothing completely unique or new here, so only the most diehard of fans will want or need this, but 101 is an excellent document to show that the band was not only a beast in the studio but also a solid live act.