Yo Ho! Nightrider here!
Depeche Mode’s seventh album, Violator, turns 30 on 19 March 1990. This album is a ’90s album with the last remnants of the ’80s fading away. A huge international success, Violator gave birth to some of Depeche Mode’s most enduringly famous songs. Gone was the vinyl releases, Violator was released on CD. Let’s take some of the songs below:
“World in My Eyes” is the first track. It’s about taking someone around the world (making love). One may think this song sets the tone for the entire album but it doesn’t.
“Personal Jesus” is the third track. It is this song that sets the tone of the album since it was the first single released on 28 August 1989. The topic of “Personal Jesus” is that anyone can be a Jesus for someone that needs help. This song departs from Depeche Mode’s previous works. “Personal Jesus” has been covered by many artists over the years including Johnny Cash, Linkin Park, and Marylin Manson.
“Enjoy the Silence” is the sixth track and possibly the most memorable next to “Personal Jesus.” The guitars make this a badass song to groove to. The music video is also memorable because of the topic of director Anton Corbijn: a king who has everything in the world is looking for a quiet place to sit down; he is a king of no kingdom. Originally a slow ballad, band member Alan Wilder wanted to change that; the result is the faster re-worked classic we all can enjoy. After the song is over, a hidden track called “Interlude #2 (Crucified) takes over.
“Policy of Truth” is track number seven. Infidelity is the topic here as repeated dishonesty has a price.
A huge thing to note here is that these four songs are not only super famous but they have a multitude of mixes attached to them. There is so much that they make an album! For example, the Japanese release of Violator is a double CD album because the second CD has six different versions of “Enjoy the Silence” and other songs; this double CD album is a rare collector’s gem. Another example is that “Personal Jesus” has various versions on CD, vinyl, and cassettes such as the “Holier Than Thou Approach” version and the “Telephone Stomp Mix” version.
Violator screams creativity here and the aforementioned singles by themselves show that you can play around with an original track and turn it into more than ten uniquely different tracks. Sometimes the silence can be a wonderful thing.