Saturday, July 31, 2021

I Feel You

The first time I heard Depeche Mode was sometime in 1990, when "Enjoy the Silence" and "Policy of Truth" were in regular rotation on MTV. I didn't really catch on to them until the end of the decade, after the grunge era had died out and I caught up on the "New Wave" acts I'd missed or vaguely remembered as a kid.

Depeche Mode released Songs of Faith and Devotion in March of 1993. The first single and first track off the album begins with a screeching sound reminiscent of Nirvana. Music critics have said that this album was influenced by the grunge era, but aside from the first eight seconds "I Feel You" sounds nothing like grunge:


Was this video in regular rotation on MTV? It's sexy enough that my 12 year old self should remember, but it's not as red-hot as Chris Issak's "Wicked Game" - which I definitely remember.

"I Feel You" was the highest-charting track off Songs of Faith and Devotion, reaching #37 on the Billboard 100. The only other single I recall was "Walking In My Shoes" which is also a great track. However "I Feel You" is the standout in my opinion, along with "
In Your Room" and "Rush" - which might be the hardest track in the DM oeuvre:


Spirituality is a major theme of the album, which I always found interesting since frontman Dave Gahan was in full 'god' mode by 1993.

Throughout the 1990s Gahan had been battling a heroin addiction. He died in May of 1996




...for about two minutes before being revived. A year later, Depeche Mode released their ninth album Ultra.

The first single off Ultra was "It's No Good", which I heard for the first time on The Tonight Show(I thought it may have been SNL) I couldn't find the performance on YouTube but I recall being amazed at how different Dave Gahan looked and sounded. He'd cleaned himself up, sure, but his voice was less raspy and more .. joyful.



This was when I officially became a Depeche Mode fan. Before long I was adding their songs to mix tapes for my girlfriend, ordering retro posters for my bedroom wall (and taking another one for free once a record store was done promoting the Singles collection), going to see Depeche Mode play Madison Square Garden with my best friend - and not telling my next girlfriend because she'd planned to take me to see them in Philly and I wanted to go twice :P




Everyone but Jon: Do you have a favorite Depeche Mode song?

Jon: why don't you like Depeche Mode? :P




Thanks for reading!



~




9 comments:

  1. Enjoy the Silence for sure.

    BTW, got the Hall of Famers PWE this week. Good stuff! Thanks.

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  2. I had no idea Dave gahan died for any amount of time. I started listening to them in the early 80s with Construction Time Again came out. My favorite song of theirs is still Everything Counts.

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  3. I came across Depeche Mode in '83-'84 listening to a British top 10 radio program that one of the radio stations in my hometown aired. I bought "Some Great Reward" shortly after and it's still my favorite Depeche Mode album for nostalgic reasons.

    Favorite song is probably "Never Let Me Down Again," although it's a drug song. I had the Music for Masses CD as well. My interest in Depeche Mode dwindled when the '90s started. I was still watching a fair amount of MTV in 1993 but don't remember the "I Feel You" video.

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  4. I think for me "People Are People" edges out "Everything Counts", but it's close. Definitely most fond of their early stuff.

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  5. I went through a Depeche Mode phase in middle school and high school... same time as I was really into The Cure. They have a ton of hits. I guess People are People would be at the top for me. Strangelove too.

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  6. Not just Jon - I'm more of an old metalhead and couldn't name one song or member of this band.

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  7. Such a funny guy! I actually own a couple of their albums (six to be exact), and even though I don't listen to them as much as I used to, I still consider myself to be a fan. It was nice of you to cover a band that doesn't suck for once :)

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    Replies
    1. YES! I finally found something you like!

      There's no way you'll like the next one though. Unless you're into one hit wonder novelty acts :D

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  8. I love the Pumpkins cover of "Never Let Me Down".. overpaid for an import CD single to get it as a b-side back when that was the only place to find it after hearing it on the radio a couple times.

    Otherwise my fav DM song would probably be "Enjoy the Silence", followed closely by the version of "Behind the Wheel" that includes "Route 66". "Personal Jesus" is another good one. And "Just Can't Get Enough" is a fun early one.

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