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Five Excellent Depeche Mode Videos

Updated on May 9, 2012
Depeche Mode circa 1991 from the video for "Enjoy the Silence"
Depeche Mode circa 1991 from the video for "Enjoy the Silence" | Source

Depeche Mode almost single-handedly popularized synth music. After starting off as a boy band-esque group from Basildon, County Essex in England, they became the flag bearers of dark music with ambiguous, perverse and deeper lyrics than the usual "Baby, baby I love you" variety.

Below are 5 Depeche Mode songs unique in not only the music and lyrics, but also their videos. Fans will appreciate these songs already. For those readers not familiar with arguably the most popular underground band in the world for over the last 20 years this will perhaps make them fans as well.

1. Enjoy the Silence

This song was recorded in 1989 and can be found on the album Violator, released in 1990. This became one of the band's most popular songs and is known virtually all over the world. Originally meant to be a slow song, it was given a quicker tempo as an experiment. Martin Gore was the original singer on the slow version with a harmonium, but on the up tempo version lead singer Dave Gahan laid down the vocals. After this version was recorded the band were convinced that they had a hit on their hands, and they were right.

The video itself was directed by the legendary Anton Corbijn. The video's inspiration came from the children's book The Little Prince. The video was filmed in various countries, including Portugal, Scotland and Switzerland.

2. Personal Jesus

The other big hit from the Violator album was Personal Jesus. This song is also widely know all over the globe. The song has been covered by many bands and singers, including Johnny Cash. It was the first time that a guitar was used as the main instrument in a DM song.

This video was also directed by Anton Corbijn, this time in Spain. Band member Andy Fletcher was notoriously afraid of horses and was not happy when Anton told him he'd have to ride one in the video. Watch the video to see what kind of horse poor Andy had to ride!

3. Behind the Wheel

From the 1987 album Music for the Masses, which made DM very popular for the first time. The For the Masses tour finale at the Rose Bowl drew a crowd of over 80,000 people.

The video is in black and white and has a very continental European flavor to it, involving irony, humor, and perversion like most of their work.

The stripped down sound of the song goes well with the lyrics and the black and white visuals, making the video a perfect composition.

4. I Feel You

From the album Songs of Faith and Devotion, on which the band "butched up a bit", in lead singer Dave Gahan's own words. This album was a major change for the band, as they went in a very rocky direction at the behest of Gahan. This album was also a major success and lead to a 14 month long tour which brought the band to the verge of collapse: Dave Gahan struggled with heroin, cocaine and alcohol addiction, almost dying 3 times from overdoses; Martin Gore drank 2 bottles of wine before every show; Andy Fletcher was developing ulcers from the constant stress of touring and from dissension within the band; Alan Wilder ended up leaving the band after the tour for good.

I Feel You was released in 1993 and saw Dave Gahan with a totally new look sporting goatee and long hair. The video was again the work of Anton Corbijn, and was again filmed in black and white. This hard hitting song and video introduced a new kind of DM and lost the band some old synth-head fans, but also introduced them to a new generation and to new fans during the years when grunge was king in the early 1990s.

5. Wrong

From the band's latest album Songs of the Universe (2009). The video was shot in December 2008 in Los Angeles by director Patrick Daughters. The video was 2nd in Time magazine's list of the five best music videos of 2009, and was nominated for a Grammy for "Best Short Form Video". The song made it to number one in the Italian charts and was in the top twenty in many other countries.

Thy lyrics of Wrong are worthy of special attention:

I was born with the wrong sign
In the wrong house
With the wrong ascendancy
I took the wrong road
That led to the wrong tendencies
I was in the wrong place
At the wrong time
For the wrong reason
And the wrong rhyme
On the wrong day
Of the wrong week
I used the wrong method
With the wrong technique

Wrong
Wrong

There's something wrong with me chemically
Something wrong with me inherently
The wrong mix
In the wrong genes
I reached the wrong ends
By the wrong means
It was the wrong plan
In the wrong hands
The wrong theory for the wrong man
The wrong eyes
On the wrong prize
The wrong questions with the wrong replies

Wrong
Wrong

I was marching to the wrong drum
With the wrong scum
Pissing out the wrong energy
Using all the wrong lines
And the wrong signs
With the wrong intensity
I was on the wrong page
Of the wrong book
With the wrong rendition
Of the wrong look
With the wrong moon
Every wrong night
With the wrong tune played
Till it sounded right, yeah

Wrong
Wrong

Too long...

I was born with the wrong sign
In the wrong house
With the wrong ascendancy
I took the wrong road
That led to the wrong tendencies
I was in the wrong place
At the wrong time
For the wrong reason
And the wrong rhyme
On the wrong day
Of the wrong week
I used the wrong method
With the wrong technique

Wrong

BONUS VIDEO!

This is lead singer Dave Gahan's favorite Depeche Mode song, Condemnation from the Songs of Faith and Devotion album.

The video was shot in Hungary by Anton Corbijn.

POLL

Which of the above is your favorite DM song/video?

See results

Comments

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    • brendonthomas profile image

      Brendon Thomas 3 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Been a fan of DM for most of my life and its always refreshing to read reviews of fellow fans. Keep it up!

    • frantisek78 profile image
      Author

      frantisek78 5 years ago

      @audreymanning89: thanks for your comment, I appreciate it! It's good to hear from other DM fans. Yeah, apparently the video for 'Condemnation' was not played too much on MTV when it came out. It was supplanted by the live version on the MTV rotation.

    • audreymanning89 profile image

      audreymanning89 5 years ago from Arkansas

      I've been a rabid Depeche Mode fan for four years now, and I can't believe I had never seen the video for Condemnation before! Thanks for this list, and for putting into words the kind of feelings their music can evoke. I doubt I could even attempt to write about Depeche Mode; I love them so much that nothing would ever be good enough. Great job with this one, though. Impressive.

    • frantisek78 profile image
      Author

      frantisek78 5 years ago

      @JBeadle- Thanks a lot for reading and glad you enjoyed it!

    • JBeadle profile image

      JBeadle 5 years ago from Midwest

      Very nicely done!