Top 10 Depeche Mode Songs

Depeche Mode Performs At AccorHotels Arena In Paris
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"Just Can't Get Enough" (1981)

Depeche Mode's Just Can't Get Enough cover


"Just Can't Enough" is representative of Depeche Mode's early, very melodic, new wave pop sound. This was the last song written by founding member Vince Clarke, later of Yaz and Erasure, and is the only video including him. The song was the group's first top 10 single in the UK and a breakthrough dance hit in the US. It was covered in early 2009 by British group the Saturdays. Their version was one of the official Comic Relief singles and went to #2 on the UK pop singles chart. 

"Just Can't Get Enough" was included on Depeche Mode's debut studio album Speak & Spell. It climbed into the top 10 on the UK album chart and just edged onto the bottom reaches of the US album chart. The album helped distinguish Depeche Mode from a crowded field of new wave electronic pop acts.

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"Everything Counts" (1983)

Depeche Mode's Everything Counts cover


"Everything Counts" has been referred to as the first industrial pop hit. Depeche Mode began using clanking, clanging sounds that evoke industry. This style was reportedly influenced by group member Martin Gore attending an Einsturzende Neubauten concert. The subject matter of the lyrics in "Everything Counts" also took a turn away from love songs to commentary on greed and poverty. It was a top 10 pop single in the UK and a top 20 dance hit in the US. In 1989 a live version of the song was released as a single to promote the live album 101. It returned "Everything Counts" to the top 20 of the dance chart in the US and broke it into the top 15 of the alternative radio chart.

The accompanying music video was directed by Clive Richardson who also directed the "Just Can't Get Enough" clip. Lead vocalist Dave Gahan appears blonde in this music video instead of his natural black. A music video was created to accompany the live release of "Everything Counts" in 1989. It was directed by legendary documentary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker who also directed the 101 film.

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"People Are People" (1984)

Depeche Mode's People Are People cover


This was Depeche Mode's breakthrough pop single in the US rising to #13 on the pop singles chart. It utilized the industrial pop approach, but the melody was significantly more mainstream pop than most of the Depeche Mode music of the time. New group member and keyboard player Alan Wilder is credited for much of that sound due to his work on arrangements. Martin Gore believes it is one of his least favorite Depeche Mode songs due to its lack of subtlety. He doesn't think "People Are People" allows listeners to find their own meaning in the song. "People Are People" peaked at #4 on the UK pop singles chart.

The "People Are People" music video was directed by Clive Richardson. It was released in 2 versions. They both include Cold War military footage interspersed with the band aboard the HMS Belfast.

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"Strangelove" (1987)

Depeche Mode's Strangelove cover


"Strangelove" was released as a single in a version Depeche Mode later believed was possibly a bit too poppy and not dark enough for the album Music for the Masses, so they commissioned a darker mix that became known as "Strangelove '88." It was this later mix that peaked at #50 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US and became the group's first #1 dance hit in the US.

The music video was director by Anton Corbijn toward the beginning of his long association with the band. MTV raised objections to the use of revealing images of models, and the original music video was edited to replace the offending parts with images of the group. It was shot in monochrome Super 8 on location around Paris.

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"Personal Jesus" (1989)

Depeche Mode's Personal Jesus cover


"Personal Jesus" was inspired by the Priscilla Presley book Elvis and Me and her descriptions of the relationship between herself and her husband Elvis Presley. The 12" single of "Personal Jesus" became the biggest selling 12" single on Warner Brothers up to that point. It was the first single from the group's biggest hit album Violator. It peaked at #28 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became Depeche Mode's first gold certified single in the US. "Personal Jesus" went all the way to #3 on the alternative radio chart. Rolling Stone listed "Personal Jesus" as one of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" while the UK's Q Magazine listed it as one of the "100 Greatest Songs Ever."

The accompanying music video is the first that Anton Corbijn filmed for the group in color instead of black and white. It was filmed on location on a ranch in the Tabernas Desert in Spain.

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"Enjoy the Silence" (1990)

Depeche Mode's Enjoy the Silence cover


"Enjoy the Silence" became Depeche Mode's biggest pop single in the US. It reached #6 in the UK and #8 in the US. It earned the group the award for Best British Single at the Brit Awards. "Enjoy the Silence" went all the way to #1 at alternative radio and became a big international breakthrough for the group reaching the pop top 10 across Europe. It was the second single from the album Violator and helped push the collection into the upper reaches of album charts on both sides of the Atlantic. It became the group's first album to reach the top 10 on the US album chart and their first to sell a million copies.

The music video Anton Corbijn directed for "Enjoy the Silence" references components of the children's classic book The Little Prince. Depeche Mode's lead vocalist Dave Gahan is shown as a king wandering the highlands of Scotland, the Algarve coast in Portugal, and the Swiss Alps with a lawn chair. It was meant to represent a man who has everything simply looking for somewhere quiet to sit. 

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"I Feel You" (1993)

Depeche Mode I Feel You
Depeche Mode - "I Feel You". Courtesy Mute

"I Feel You" is the first single from Depeche Mode's eighth studio album Songs of Faith and Devotion. It brought out an intense rock side of the band with Alan Wilder playing drums and Martin Gore playing guitar. The result was a #1 alternative radio hit in the US and another top 10 pop hit in the UK. "I Feel You" peaked at #3 on the dance chart and in the pop top 10 in countries across Europe. The single cover uses four symbols that represent each of the members of Depeche Mode. The symbols match up with images of the band members on the cover for the album Songs of Faith and Devotion. "I Feel You" incorporates a very memorable screeching synthesizer introduction.

Anton Corbijn directed the music video. It features British actress Lysette Anthony. The clip earned an MTV Video Music Awards nomination for Best Group Video.

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"Barrel Of a Gun" (1997)

Depeche Mode's Barrel Of a Gun cover


"Barrel Of a Gun" was the first single for Depeche Mode after a series of difficult events including Alan Wilder leaving the band and Dave Gahan's near death from complications of heroin addiction. In addition, band member Martin Gore suffered from his battle with alcoholism and Andy Fletcher was afflicted by clinical depression. Musically "Barrel Of a Gun" turned back to the band's earlier industrial sound. Lyrically, it is considered to be one of the band's darkest songs. The song hit #4 in the UK. Three Depeche Mode singles have peaked at #4 on the UK pop singles chart, but none have gone higher. "Barrel Of a Gun" peaked at #11 on the US alternative radio chart.

Anton Corbijn directed the music video. It shows lead vocalist Dave Gahan wearing long hair and singing with his eyes closed. Eyeballs are drawn on his eyelids to make it appear as if his eyes are open.

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"Precious" (2005)

Depeche Mode Precious
Depeche Mode - "Precious". Courtesy Mute

Martin Gore revealed that "Precious" was written referencing what he imagined his children's feelings were while he was going through a divorce with their mother. The song was featured on soundtracks for multiple TV shows and hit #4 on the UK pop singles chart. "Precious" was released as Depeche Mode's introductory single from the album Playing the Angel after three years of no new music from the band. It topped the US dance chart and broke into the top 40 at adult pop radio.

The accompanying music video for "Precious" was directed by Uwe Flade, a Germany music video director known for his work Nickelback, a-ha, and Franz Ferdinand. It shows Depeche Mode performing on a computer-generated cruise ship. 

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"Wrong" (2009)

Depeche Mode Wrong
Depeche Mode - "Wrong". Courtesy Mute

"Wrong" was the first single from Depeche Mode's album Sounds of the Universe. It is supported by a disturbing music video of a car with a bound and gagged passenger rolling out of control through the streets. The clip received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Short Form Video while Sounds of the Universe was nominated for Best Alternative Music Album. "Wrong" topped the US dance chart and peaked at #12 on the alternative radio chart.

The album Sounds of the Universe climbed to #3 on the US album chart. That was the group's highest placing since Songs of Faith and Devotion went to #1 sixteen years earlier.