For the longest time, I swore I had been a fan of Depeche Mode since their album Violator dropped. However, I recently looked up the release date (March 19, 1990) and that just doesn't jive at all. I know, for a fact, that I've been listening to them (along with The Cure and Duran Duran) since middle school, which, for me, was 1987-89. That was my personal British Invasion. So I guess that means I've been listening since the days of Music for the Masses although I've never owned that album, though I do know the songs.
Weird how that all works out in the wash, isn't it?
Anyway, that amounts to roughly 36 years of fandom and, even though I was crazy for the songs from those earlier albums, My Favorite Song by Depeche Mode is far more recent. Like 2005, about 18 years after I started listening to them.
"John the Revelator" from the album Playing the Angel.
While that album often catches a lot of flack from longtime fans for not being an Alan Wilder-era album, it marked a turning point for me.
2005 was the year I got into blogging (using blogware instead of static HTML). It was the year I met Dave2. It was the year I commented on one of his blog posts where he complained about not being able to see the Depeche Mode tour in his home state of Washington and I said something akin to "Well you should see if their tour has a show here in Chicagoland when you're here on business."
I'd never met Dave2 before. We only recently started following each other on our blogs (and still do). So, for me it was just an offhanded comment.
For him, though? He took it much more seriously and discovered that their tour was, in fact, here in Chicago at the same time he would be. So he picked up tickets for himself, me, and my wife, Katie, and the three of us made it a night.
2005 thus became the first time I ever saw Depeche Mode live. And, so far, it's the only time I've seen them live.
Yes, Playing the Angel and, by extension, Touring the Angel, were very important to me musically. And "John the Revelator" became the soundtrack of that fandom with its steady thrumming bass line and hard-hitting vocals. It quickly made its way onto many workout and driving mixes.
The song still gives me chills to this day. I heard it on Spotify the other day when I was going through a Depeche Mode playlist and it literally gave me goosebumps. That's the effect it has on me more than 17 years after its release.
I replayed it immediately afterward. The bumps on my arms and neck came back. And then I danced through Meijer's.
I truly cannot explain the effect this song has on me.
My favorites will forever be 101, Music for the Masses, and Songs of Faith and Devotion, but I really liked Playing the Angel and the follow-up (Sounds of the Universe). It was Spirit and Delta Machine that I couldn't get into at all... which is why Memento Mori is something I'm looking forward to... all in the hopes that it is a step back to the DM I love.
Posted by: Dave2 | Friday, 10 March 2023 at 11:34 AM
Memento Moro is promising thus far. Here’s hoping…
Posted by: kapgar | Friday, 10 March 2023 at 12:16 PM
On any given day, I'd say Music For The Masses is their masterpiece. The trilogy of Black Celebration, Music For The Masses, Violator is something that just can't be beaten.
Of all the post Alan Wilder albums, Playing The Angel by far and away my favorite. It's a damned good album all the way through.
Posted by: Kevin Spencer | Friday, 17 March 2023 at 06:41 PM
Agree on all counts. But I do need to go back and catch up on their catalog overall. I don’t listen to enough DM these days.
Posted by: kapgar | Friday, 17 March 2023 at 09:36 PM