Top Five TEN Depeche Mode Songs
When I went in to write this list, I initially was going to do my normal top five. Then I started to go back and listen to the songs to properly rate them. My list was a lot longer than five. It just confirms that they are my favorite band. It is impossible to put a number on the great songs they have. I will try, for this post anyway. So, in this special edition of my TOP 5, I have ten songs to present to you.
Depeche Mode have been a constant for me since high school. I think mainly due to their darker overtones in the music and lyrics. It was where I was, at that time. An angsty teenager, not a lot of friends, bullied and hating oneself. Depeche Mode was, and still is really, my calming salve. Whenever I hurt, they hurt too. Whenever I needed to express those emotions, they provided the background music. They were able to put into words what I could not. Hence, they inspired me to write and write with passion. Mind you I was already writing before I “discovered” them. But I think after hearing a few of the songs and clicking with me, it just gave me the drive to put pen to paper with vigor.
While I had been to a few other concerts before Depeche Mode, namely the Monkees when I was 14, knowing that they were still touring and releasing new albums just gave me something to be excited for. It was an awesome prospect to see them live. I eventually did, twice, and they were just as amazing as I thought they would be. I was also allotted a great chance to see Poe live, as she opened for them the second time I saw them. Let me just say, I am not sure any other show has topped that for me. I have seen Ghost a few times and I think they have come very close to being as intriguing and exciting to see live. But Depeche Mode had already left an indelible mark on my heart.
Without further ado, I present you my favorites (well some of them anyway).
While there are so many other songs with great rhythms, this one takes it due to the lyrics. This was on their Ultra album, and I was working my way through their previous albums spanning nearly two decades, of course now it is a few more decades. I particularly remember in my creative writing class presenting it as a great example of repeating rhyme. I doubt the class was too impressed by my music, but to hell with them.
“Step out of your cage, and onto the stage. It’s time to start, playing your part. Freedom awaits, open the gates. Open your mind, freedom’s a state.”
2. Here Is the House
I still love the melody and mixing of their voices. At the time this song was very particular to events in my life. It was the first time I was talking to a boy, which I never thought was an option for me. I was the golem in the corner and relationships were out of the question. But somehow a relationship found me. Good, bad, or otherwise, this song will remind me of that first flutter of something called feelings.
“And I feel your warmth and it feels like home. And there’s someone calling on the telephone. Let’s stay home, it’s cold outside, and I have so much to confide to you. With or without words I’ll confide everything.”
It says it all in the title. Life was full of broken expectations. I was ready to accept what it all was…nothing. Of course, now I am looking forward rather than marinating in the past. We all have our days; however, this song is great for those days.
“Life is full of surprises. It advertises, nothing, nothing.”
4. World in My Eyes
All I ever wanted was for the people who made my life hell to see what it was like. Perhaps if they knew what the world looked like to me, they would have shown mercy. Or at least shut their traps and leave me alone. I would have preferred to be ignored. I still prefer that in certain settings. This song was on repeat.
“Let me take you on a trip, around the world and back, and you won’t have to move, you just sit still.”
This song is mainly about getting over substance abuse issues. Granted this was not anywhere near within my own life. But there are points about the lyrics that still ring out to me. “An end to the tears and the in between years and the troubles I’ve seen…. I’ve broken my fall put an end to it all, I’ve changed my routine.” It just talks about reinventing yourself out of the ashes of what you were. Which was something I wanted to do. I wanted to get away from what I was and become something new. Plus, Dave Gahan’s voice in this song is just superb.
6. Barrel of A Gun
I mentioned this in my podcast Music and Bullies. No matter what I would do I was doomed to fail. It didn’t matter if I changed the way I wore my hair or the shoes that I had, I was still going to be picked on. The lyrics “Whatever I’ve done, I’ve been staring down the barrel of a gun”. What more do I have to say?
7. And Then...
This is one of their earlier tracks, circa 1983. Fitting, it is the year I was born. It is a bit more upbeat in tone, giving some positive to look forward to. “To pull it all down and start again. From the top to the bottom and then. I’ll have faith or, I prefer, to think that things couldn’t turn out worse”. In the end, it can get better.
8. Walking in My Shoes
This song is in the same vein as World in My Eyes. But rather than seeing the world, it was living what I was going through. I told you I was an angsty teen. I feel a bit correct in the way I felt under the circumstances, however.
“You’ll stumble in my footsteps. Keep the same appointments I kept. If you try walking in my shoes.”
This a beautiful song, sung by Martin Gore rather than David Gahan. Which I am glad that they alternate as some songs suit Martin’s voice over Dave’s. This song has a bit of a double meaning for me. One consisting of friends helping me through some rough times and on the other having someone who likes me for me, namely that guy I was talking to. So, I had a bit of a light at the end of the tunnel moment.
“And I thank you for bringing me here. For showing me home, for singing these tears. Finally, I’ve found that I belong here.”
I just liked that this song featured more guitar, even if it is repetitive. The lyrics to the song don’t necessarily apply to a specific point in my life. I could probably apply it to something current, but I will leave it at that. I just like the part “You’ve got your head in the clouds. You should see how it feels, with your feet on the ground.” I always have my head in the clouds, and I would rather live that way, thank you very much.
No honorable mentions because, for me, no Depeche Mode song deserves just a mention. However, I will direct you to my Depeche Mode Central playlist on YouTube music. There are about 40 songs on it, and it is growing as I find more that I had forgotten about. If you have not listened to Depeche Mode before now, I would suggest giving them a listen. They are awesome, and you can see how they grew musically through the years. Plus, they have inspired many artists today, so why not see what all the fuss is about?