Thursday, March 19, 2015

Lift Up the Receiver I'll Make You a Believer

March 19, 1990 was the day the Mother Love Bone's lead singer, Andrew Wood passed into the heavens, Alan Cumming and Natasha Richardson brought Cabaret back to Broadway, and one of the most influential albums of the 1990's was released. Depeche Mode's Violator, the band's eighth album, was released at a unique time in that hair bands were dying and grunge was festering away in Seattle. This is the album that put Depeche Mode into the superstardom realm. Their unique lyrics and creatively unique risqué videos also helped to push them into a realm of more than electronic and more than pop music. While they had proved their popularity by selling out the Rose Bowl in 1988, it would be the release of Violator that gave them credibility.

World in My Eyes
It sounds like a futuristic car starting up. Then Dave's voice hits you. Let me show you the world in my eyes. The lyrics to this one are very simple, it's Martin and the hypnotic beat that drag you into the driver's seat (which assumingly would be in Dave's lap).

Sweetest Perfection
Call it electronic jazz if you will, this song is purely about the uber love of someone.
The sweetest infection
Of body and mind
Sweetest injection
Of any kind

Personal Jesus
The song that is probably Depeche Mode's most known to many, I'm sure many in the religious world hated this song. But, hey everyone needs a Personal Jesus - and for a while, mine was Dave Gahan. Yes, reach out and touch faith.

One of my favorite Depeche Mode songs of all time, Halo is the acceptance of sin. It's opening lines grab you and are genius.
You wear guilt
Like shackles on your feet
Like a halo in reverse

Waiting for the Night
It sounds almost like an electronic lullaby. Its a song about the still of the evening or if you really listen, is it about Dave's addictions?
Been waiting for the night to fall
Now everything is bearable
And here in the still
All that you hear
Is tranquility

Enjoy the Silence
There are two incredible videos to this song. The first is one of Dave Gahan traipsing about a mountain top dressed as a king. Ah, enjoy the silence - power, possession, a crown. Another song with simple lyrics All I ever wanted, all I ever needed, is here in my arms, but it would be the second video that eleven years later would give people chills. 
High atop the World Trade Center, Depeche Mode captured the grandeur of the Twin Towers.

Oooooh, hidden track of symphony. Sort of like a "drums and space" for the electronic band. It goes seamlessly into ...

Policy of Truth
You have to really listen to the lyrics in this song to realize they are saying You know, things would have turned out so much better if you'd only lied a few years ago. About what, we will never know.

Blue Dress
Many have done between this is a song about a really pretty girl to, when in doubt, the song is about heroin. Is the worthless item the material dress or the damaging drug?
Something so worthless
Serves a purpose
It makes me a happy man
Can't you understand
Say you believe
Just how easy
It is to please me
Takes the listener back to Music for the Masses and refreshes for the final course.

A very personal glimpse into Dave's clean lifestyle - or attempt at the time.
As years go by
All the feelings inside
Twist and they turn
As they ride with the tide
I don't advise
And I don't criticize
I just know what I like
With my own eyes


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