The date is March 19, 1990 and Depeche Mode have just unleashed the masterpiece Violator on the world. This album propelled the band into international notoriety and helped to usher in a new wave of alternative music. I also remember my dad buying me the cassette of Violator when I was 6 and I couldn’t stop listening to it. It’s pretty amazing how much my parents helped to keep my love of music growing since I was a wee lad.
Depeche Mode’s Violator, though only 9 songs, is deep and without compromise. Each song has a genuine purpose of being on the album and you get a genuine sense of “feeling” from every single one. Everyone knows “Personal Jesus,” “Enjoy The Silence,” and “Policy of Truth” but the real gems are the deep cuts on the album. “World In My Eyes,” “Halo” (which is my favorite song on the album), and “Clean” are a trifecta of artistic expression. “Sweetest Perfection” and “Waiting For The Night” are two of the best songs on the album along with “Halo.” Sorry but, I really think “Halo” is one of their best songs ever. The one song that I was never too keen on as a stand alone song “Blue Dress” is quite a dark song. The way it fits right after “Policy Of Truth” is truly remarkable.
The oozing of sexuality and darkness through the entire album is captivating and sophisticating. Martin Gore proved on Violator that he is a force to be reckoned with as a songwriter. Dave Gahan’s voice and conviction singing the words of Gore, makes it seem as though he wrote them himself. Not to mention the production by Mark “Flood” Ellis, (who you might know from his work with U2, Nine Inch Nails, PJ Harvey and The Smashing Pumpkins) which really accentuated the use of synthesizers, live drums, drum machines, and guitars. His knack for getting the best tones for the songs and albums is absolutely remarkable.
Violator stands out in the bands catalog for not only being the most successful but the one that some believe to be their peak of creativity. Personally, I love that the band has been able to keep on their legacy of creating new music and albums that still carry the torch for the band. Since the 25 years since the release of Violator, Depeche Mode has gone on to release 7 more albums and continue to sell out venues all around the world. The magnitude of influence the band has left over the years is insurmountable.
2016 was a great year for music. So many great albums were released. I’ve mentioned this before, but I really think that in ten years, 2016 will be looked back on as a great year for music.
So as 2017 is right around the corner, here are my most anticipated albums for the new year.
With Our Arms To The Sun- Orenda
AFI- AFI (The Blood Album)
Black Map- In Droves
Code Orange- Forever
Marilyn Manson- Say10
Wear Your Wounds
The Black Queen?
Alice In Chains?
Corrosion Of Conformity
A Perfect Circle?
L.A. Guns with Phil Lewis and Tracii Guns
Killer Be Killed?
He Whose Ox Is Gored
Spirit In The Room
Here Lies The Hero
I’ve always been intrigued by bands that have 3 or less members. Sure some of them when they play live add members to fill out their sound, but the core remains those three people. So with that in mind here is a list of the best three piece bands. Note This list is in NO PARTICULAR ORDER.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Jimi Hendrix Experience
High On Fire
Crosby, Stills & Nash
The Police (Even though Sting is a douche)
This has always been one of my favorite Depeche Mode songs. When I heard Smashing Pumpkins cover it many many years ago, I loved the song even more. There is something to the way that Billy Corgan arranges songs, to make them his own. Enjoy this wonderful cover!
Depeche Mode is not an easy band to cover. Lots of bands try to just duplicate what Depeche Mode did rather than make it their own. In 1997, In Flames did a cover of Everything Counts. It’s a very interesting version. Take a listen.