10 Killer Depeche Mode Songs Nobody’s Listening To

Jun 26, 2014
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Let's face it: Depeche Mode haven't released a good album in nearly a decade. And Playing the Angel was good, not great. They haven't released a great album in over 20 years. Last year's Delta Machine was unlistenable. 2009's Sounds of the Universe was similarly excruciating (except "In Chains"-that song was pretty dope). Some say this slow and steady decline is a result of Martin Gore allowing Dave Gahan to bully his way into the songwriting (to what extent Gahan actually "writes" songs is unclear). But that's letting Gore off the hook. Gahan has only had writing credits on a handful of tracks since 2005, and one of them is "Suffer Well," which is the best Depeche Mode song since 1997's "Barrel of a Gun". Things really started to go downhill once Alan Wilder left after Songs of Faith and Devotion. And we still have no idea what Andy Fletcher does, right?

Truth is, they sound tired. Bored. Burnt out. But shit, they've been around for almost 35 years. They're still touring and they still put on astonishingly good shows. And the Music for the Masses-Violator-Songs of Faith and Devotion trifecta is still one of the best album runs in pop music history. Plus they gave us "Policy of Truth." 'Nuff said?

Anyway, here are 10 Depeche songs that aren't on nearly enough iPods. (Are iPods still a thing?) We even dumped them into a Spotify playlist for ya.

By Kenny S. McGuane

1

“Lie to Me”

Some Great Reward

1984

2

“Halo”

Violator

1990

3

“The Things You Said”

Music for the Masses

1987

4

“Fly on the Windscreen (Final)”

Black Celebration

1986

5

“Shine”

Exciter

2001

6

“Happiest Girl (Jack Mix)”

B-side for “World in My Eyes”

1990

7

“Nothing”

Music for the Masses

1987

8

“Here Is the House”

Black Celebration

1986

9

“The Love Thieves”

Ultra

1997

10

“I Want It All”

Playing the Angel

2005

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Brax
June 28th 2014
8:31pm

First of all, as for the past 20 years comment, Ultra was a great album, Exciter was not exciting, PTA was damn good, SOTU was not as good as PTA and although not one of their classics Delta Machine was by no means unlistenable. Hard to top the Some Great Reward-Ultra era. Here is the House is not as good as any of those songs listed, it should be replaced by Sister of Night which is criminally underrated!

Tânia
June 29th 2014
3:37am

I guess you don’t get a thing about Depeche Mode’s style. They’ve been changing their musical style since the 1st album. All the albums are different, all of them have different things. We can’t compare the things that Dave went through in the 80’s to the things of the 90’s. These last albums are the reflex of Dave’s problems. They have now “dark albums”, if we can call it. I guess you’re just thinking about your musical taste, and if you like, for exemple, the albums they made in the 80’s, probably you like new have and pop. But they changed. They went to the rock too. And that is good. That is good because it means that lots of people, different people can listen to Depeche Mode even if they like different types of music. They’re now into blues. I can’t disagree with you more. Just because you don’t like it, that doesn’t give you the right of teasing their last albums. I’m not a fan of DM, but they’re amazing and the truth is that they will never give a shit for your stupid opinion because they’re doing what they like. And, that “1 Killer Depeche Mode Songs Nobody’s Listening To” is the dumbest shit I’ve ever seen in my whole life.

GH
June 29th 2014
6:58am

This top 10 is pathetic,the person who created this has no idea when it comes to Depeche Mode.. They have numerous songs that should be mentioned here songs like “when the body speaks” from exciter or “blue dress” Violator those 2 are under rated. Leave the playlists to the REAL DEVOTEES and not some Noob who has no idea.

Alex
June 29th 2014
3:59pm

This is a great topic for discussion surely.

However let me say that my top 10 would be much different.

Dave has brought great song writing to the table. Suffer Well is brilliant.

I Want It All is not a favorite.

Sister of Night should be on this list.

Here’s my list:

1. Sister of Night
2. Sea of Sin
3. Dangerous
4. Insight
5. Jezebel
6. Shine
7. Things You Said
8. Freestate
9. Blue Dress
10. Mercy In You

PTA is a great album. SoTU has it’s moments. Delta Machine has it’s moments.

I can’t disagree that I miss Alan being involved by Martin clearly wants to do things differently each record.

A good friend of mine recommended Butch Vig for the next DM Record. I think that is one of the most brilliant things I have heard in a long time.

I am ready for it. :)

DM is still my favorite band of all time hands down.

Alex

Driving Blindly
June 30th 2014
8:56am

Mister McGuane, what makes you qualified to report that Depeche hasn’t made a “good album in 10 years” or to make silly accusations about “bullying” or for that matter to question anything DM does or doesn’t do without having some real insight into their world?  All you’ve managed to prove in your smattering of words is that ignorance truly is bliss.

Is there really money to be made writing about things of which you obviously have no deep understanding and apparently only a passing interest in?  Doubtful - but if so where do I sign up?  I imagine with little or no effort I could also talk out my ass about things of which I know nothing about like say quantum physics, pet grooming or cheese that squirts out of a can.

Seaofsin
July 1st 2014
12:17am

R u Kidding? Delta Machine was a good album !

asha
July 1st 2014
9:08am

I completely disagree with this story. Just like all bands that last DM has been changing and maturing their sound. U2 has done it, Coldplay has done it. Even the Beatles changed their sound as they got older. I loved Delta Machine. PTA is fantastic. I don’t mind Gahan’s writing. It’s a nice change from Gore’s melancholy melodies. I have a feeling you’re not really a fan just a critic. Otherwise this article wouldn’t have been written.

Joe
July 1st 2014
4:59pm

There will always be a difference in opinion between the true fans and the critics; I personally don’t agree with the song picks here on this particular top 10 list but then again I am not the one who is presenting it for review; and as far as “the past 20 years” comment, I must admit that I personally tend to lean more towards the DM of the past from 1980 until Alan Wilder left the band in 1995; those were the best years in my humble opinion and the time period that I liked most; after that I think the songwriting took a sharp decline and I personally lost interest in DM; however I have followed Alan’s solo project (Recoil) and I prefer his music much more than anything that DM has put out since SOFAD - again, these are my own personal opinions and I don’t expect all DM fans to agree with me and that’s ok; the good thing about DM is that they have always tried to appeal to different genres and styles and there are lots of fans out there all over the world who are just as diverse as their music is.

Matt the Bat
July 2nd 2014
4:27pm

First of all, whoever the fuck you think you are, Dave Gahan has always put catharsis and self expression above any allegiance to an established aesthetic. So what if he doesn’t write choruses much? He doesn’t HAVE to! Definitely not for you. They happen to be in a deep blues phase right now and I for one am glad that they are. Maybe if you pulled your head out of your ass and learned about MUSIC asshole—especially the awesome variety of the Depeche Mode discography—you’d gain a little perspective and develop into a sentient human being instead of the sniveling, primordial, sub human critic you clearly are.

A
July 7th 2014
7:05am

Delta Machine was “unlistenable”? Wow. You shouldn’t be allowed to review music.

Pit
July 8th 2014
1:12am

I don`t agree. What do U expect from DM ? Do U expect hits by hits over and over again ? it`s impossible. Even The Beatles or Roling Stones don`t have all top songs. And one more thing that U forgot - sometimes U want to hear some album or song, sometimes not. For example - now Im back to Construction Time Again and A Broken Frame. I was enjoyed Delta Machine all last year. Now Im back to the begining. Depeche Mode r still the best group in the World.And the latest (hope not last) tour was amazing. BTW - Here is The House - awsome song ! Somobody - whorst in DM history.

KennyNeverLikedDMAtAll
July 8th 2014
7:42am

OMG Kenny! You have such a poor taste… and so little insight.

christopher
July 11th 2014
11:49am

While I vehemently disagree with the “unlistenable” part, & REALLY disagree that one would expect a great album after 30 years (be happy with good, yo! In fact, expect “pretty good” & go from there), this list is exquisite. And the person who pooh-poohed it in favour of “Blue Dress”, as if liking that crawling, banally boring song makes you more of a devotee. No.

GH
July 11th 2014
1:35pm

@ CHRISTOPHER. You obviously have no clue about DM either…how is “blue dress” boring? its a really good song and any Devotee would agree. I bet you also think “whats your name” is a excellent song,Don’t you?? LOL like you that Song is lame ;) so go give your head a wobble and have a proper listen to all of Depeche Modes back catalogue :)

PSR
July 12th 2014
4:35am

So I personally like this band…so I never get the harsh comparison of their work.  How could one really say theses are the best songs but this body of their work is unlistenable?  Most likely you don’t like the band at all…poor Kenny…probably has poor taste In music and worse of all needs a new career.

John hollenback
November 15th 2014
7:16am

You sound like an idiot,and that’s giving you to much credit,go fuck yourself.

Natalie Selezneva
February 10th 2015
7:16pm

Loving all of the songs on the list above. And listen to these quite often on my phone.

Natalia Selezneva
February 10th 2015
7:18pm

Could argue with other statements, but the list includes really great songs that are definitely underrated or just weren’t ‘popular’.

shazam para pc
June 8th 2015
8:56am

Son uno de mis grupos de música favoritos, siempre los llevo en mi Spotify. Mis canciones favoritas son estas:

1. Dangerous
2. Insight
3. Jezebel
4. Shine
5. Sister of Night
6. Sea of Sin
7. Things You Said
8. Freestate
9. Mercy In You
10. Blue Dress

Yuki
June 22nd 2015
2:45am

What? Delta Machine unlistenable? Both Delta and SotU are great albums and I personally like them better than Playing the Angel.
I have five songs from your list on my phone.

Techa
July 21st 2015
12:31pm

I have to agree with the author of this write-up. Depeche Mode sound burnt out. I just don’t ‘feel’ any of their newer music but still respect them as much as I did when I started listening to them. Most of the stuff after the Barrel of Gun is somewhat simple and forced. Just my opinion, not trying to offend any of the DM fans.

Duncan
October 1st 2015
4:46am

I couldn’t agree more, not my favourite DM tracks but bloody good. Shine, I want it all and The love thieves are a bit pants though. Since Alan Wilder left something is missing. DM will always be my favourite band and nothing will come close but after Faith and Devotion they lost me.

Mary_alphazar
January 6th 2016
1:38pm

I listen to them!!!

SP
August 8th 2016
6:14am

“Get the balance right” should made that list.

wil blythe
September 14th 2016
6:10pm

Youve gotta be on sumat ...delta was mint

Dom
September 16th 2016
8:59am

The writer sounds like he needs to pull his head out of his ass and stop sounding so superior. Being negative is easy, and so is respecting an artist’s soulful expression. Critiquing art of any kind makes me laugh.

Candyman
September 24th 2016
5:52am

Sister of Night, Dangerous, Sea of Sin, Mercy in You,........should I even continue? Luv DM

ronny
September 26th 2016
11:43am

I’m a completely floored at this idiotic and juvenile article. First of all your first idiotic quote.  Last year’s Delta Machine was unlistenable.  I completely disagree with you on this. This was a great album with amazing blues incorporated into the songs. Depeche Mode is like fine wine, they get better with age. Awesome tracks included Heaven, South my Soul, Broken, You Can Be Higher, Soft touch, Secret to the End. Sounds of the Universe also had great hits including In Chains, Wrong, Little Souls, In Sympathy, Peace, Come Back, and Corrupt. Yes, Depeche Mode has matured, aged, ripened, and also have gone in different directions to keep it fresh. I also agree the SOFAD and Violator is their greatest albums, but their new stuff is dope with a new sound and new energy. True fans that listen to more than Violator and Music for The Masses appreciate their growth and new sounds. Their worst album was Exciter for sure.  I cannot wait for their new album. We are no longer in 1988, and the band has matured and are trying new things. I love what they are doing. Too many fans wanna go back to the 80’s. Every band matures and keeps things fresh. I believe Depeche MOde are reinvesting themselves in a great way

vinny
September 27th 2016
1:55pm

I completely agree with everything you say. I’ve been a fan since 1981 and the last few albums are utter rubbish. Seems a lot of people on here are kidding themselves if they think anything they have released recently stands up to the late 80s early 90s output. How many times can you release a gospel sounding song.?  Dazzling. I think looking at some of the comments that Dave Gahan could fart and they would buy it.

Status Crow
September 28th 2016
8:04am

They were what they were, then Alan Wilder fulfilled their potential. I don’t care how tired people are of hearing it, their subsequent work suffered. There was menace, atmosphere and nuance in Wilder’s arrangements and they’ll never duplicate it. Will I still listen? You bet. Would they be infinitely better with Alan Wilder (even if it’s only at the production helm)? You betcher ass.

Candyman
September 28th 2016
8:27am

I agree with Status Crow’s comments. The fact is that you cannot find too many bands that still sound relevent today from the 80’s. I too wish that Alan Wilder was back with the band. That said, they have still managed to create some very good songs. I have been listening to Ultra in my car lately and simply love it! Its the first album post Alan Wilder and has some very good songs. I agree that it will be very difficult to top Music for the Masses or Violator or even Songs of Faith and Devotion, however, I still buy every single record when it hits the shelves and still love DM. Lets all hope that the next Album is great.

Emax
October 5th 2016
6:54pm

The author’s critique is a bit harsh.  I do agree that Allen’s contribution to the song’s arrangements were invaluable.  Like McCartney & Lennon, DM was better working as a team.  I despise the live drummers though.

Philippe
October 9th 2016
7:43am

Where’s ‘A pain that I’m used to’?

noTender
October 17th 2016
4:50pm

not an order a all:

Insight
Surrender
Sister of night
Ice machine
Fly on the windscreen
Here is the house
Blue dress
Rush
Judas
Dangerous
damage people
Jezebel
and so on…

Emilija
October 26th 2016
1:24am

You are a bloody idiot and an attention whore, Kenny S. McGuane. That is NOT an ‘‘opinion’’ or anything worth reading / publishing at all. I am so angry it is till out there two years later. People like you make me sick to my stomach.

Mikolaj
October 26th 2016
2:46am

my list of “notsopopularkillerones” from DM…

Higher Love
The Things You Said
Here I the House
Free
It Doesnt Matter Two
Nothing To Fear
Fly On The WIndscrean
Waiting For The Night
Shake The Disease
Judas
Dangerous
....
;)

colin john lewis
October 27th 2016
1:57am

It’s all a natural progression,its a strange love.

Steve
October 27th 2016
9:52am

As I expected after reading the first few lines of this article, the Blind….sorry, Black Swarm have their feathers rustled. As a DM fan for over 25 years, I think the article hits the nail on the head. I’m not going to disagree with the songs listed as that truly a pointless endeavour. We all have our faves. But, and this is really important to remember, the last 20 years have not been good. Sure, you can pick a good track here and there, but there has been something lacking. A purpose. A cohesive set of songs. Some exciting arrangements….oh and melody. Anyone remember when they wrote them? My fingers are crossed for Spirit though the bleeps and burbles presented on the clips have left me dreading another album of sub standard songs bereft of melody or inovation.

Juan
October 28th 2016
10:05am

Worst article ever.

ING
October 29th 2016
2:19pm

Um, wow, this article is nuts.  I agree the casual fan should check out all of the suggested tracks, although my list would vary some.  However, I do not get it.  I’m a long time hard core DM fan and Delta Machine was the most immediately excited I was over an entire album out of the shrinks wrap since Black Celebration.  I’m not saying it’s better than Violator and others, but many of their albums were growers, Delta Machine was exciting in an instantaneous put on your headphones way.  Sounds Of The Universe I throughly enjoy (although the closing track was too much of a downer) and I love all of their albums and the diversity they present throughout their career…but I prefer Martin’s songwriting overall, to me, his songs are Depeche Mode.  However, I do not get what anyone sees in Playing The Angel, besides the musical retreading of Enjoy The Silence into Precious, most of the album is depressing and lacks the uplifting element typically anchoring the album.  It’s really hard for me to listen to, too dark, too sad…they finally earned the depressed mode tag…that being said, the b-sides and remixes from that album help lift it from depressed zone.  It’s my least favorite album of theirs of all…Violator still wins out, but as for best trio…it’s Black Celebration, Masses, Violator to me…that was their peak, but all of their other albums are still wonderful.  I even love Ultra and Exciter! Wish Angel would have had a remixed version, much like Faith had a live version.

ByAHigherLove
November 5th 2016
5:36am

Well, I’m surprised a song from SOFAD isn’t on this list. Rush and Higher Love are killer too and hardly nobody listens to those two!

ING
November 5th 2016
6:02am

Yes! So true! Rush was one of my faves from SOFAD out of the box!  The remix rocks too!  Love Higher Love…loves how the concert messed with you by opening with the closing track!  Always thought that was their TFF number!  :)

Firewallguy
November 5th 2016
3:00pm

Cobblers.  I’ve been a fan since ‘81 and I really enjoyed the Ben Hiller trifecta, and as for Dave Gahan’s songwriting being an issue, ‘Should Be Higher’ off Delta Machine is one of my all time favourite DM tracks. I agree Alan Wilder was a big part of the DM sound during their commercial peak but then I much prefer Ultra to SOFAD so he isn’t an essential element as far as I’m concerned.  Looking forward to the new album and tour!

ING
November 5th 2016
3:30pm

What does “cobblers” mean?  Should Be Higher is a good one… didn’t mean to hate on Dave’s songwriting… Agree big time on Ultra vs SOFAD although I love both…

Pablo
November 22nd 2016
7:13pm

Soy un Fan desde mi niñez, cuando estaba en la radio musica para las masas, un disco lleno de sonidos clasicos, evidente la diferencia en retrospectiva, y creo que sin wilder su sonido se volvio mas organico, no tan sintetico pese a que los samplers te dan esa sensacion organica, para mi gusto todos sus albumes han tenido temas buenos, enfocados en diferentes perspectivas, magicos para quien disfruta de la medula original de Depeche, que aun sigue ahi y te hace vibrar
Los felicito a todos por sus comentarios y espero al igual que ustedes spirit,

Lisa
November 30th 2016
7:44am

I wonder where I can find it.

Lol
December 11th 2016
11:17pm

@Matt the Buty Ohmyghod, realny? Katharsis and self expression? Get a life dude!

kuhmeel
December 22nd 2016
5:28pm

Can agree with ‘halo’ which I like a lot and ‘nothing’. ‘h.girl’s sound interesting at least. Everything else in this text was hard to believe someone states. But who cares? We can only say our opinion just like the author did. And so it’s mine. Ultra was big, exciter wasn’t, but ’ I feel loved’ and ‘dream on’ kicks nice. PTA was good with some great tracks and SOTU… I don’t know how can anybody say about this album sth like this. This album is great - for me the best one in this century and ‘Wrong’ is one of my all time favs (this mix of psychodelic, sharp sounds with slow beats and claps is for me an illustration of power that great it gives you calm eternally like a man knowing his worth) Delta wasn’t that good, but seriously? Unlistenable? Dude, is there sth wrong with your ears?

Rene lopez
January 21st 2017
8:17am

Your 1 little ant in a huge Universe that totally disagrees. Not only are they a legendary band.but true DM fans know they dont know how to make bad music.

Filipe Coutinho
February 3rd 2017
1:14am

You’re writing but you know nothing about what you write…  You claim that the fact Gahan is writting songs is, somehow, destroying Depeche Mode, but you say “Suffer Well” is the best song since “Barrel Of A Gun” (which is a Gahan song!). In your Top 10 you take I Want It All (which is also a Gahan song!).

Resuming… you say what you “know”, but you simply don’t know what you say.  What a bad article.

EdR
March 14th 2017
5:16am

almost 3 years later, their new single: Where’s The Revolution :-(.......‘it was the WRONG plan in the WRONG hands’......their own words ! ;-)

Barry Hamilton
March 24th 2017
4:18pm

I think your article was spot on.  In fact, the only thing I’d change about the playlist is to replace “The Love Thieves” with “Sister of Night” if we’re sticking to Ultra tracks.

I’ll bet most of the negativity in the comments above is coming from the LA fans.  They’ve always been a rabid bunch.  Guys, this isn’t 1988. You don’t need to automatically leap to DM’s defense all the time.  Besides, we all knew Alan Wilder was the only real musician in the group.  Dave, Martin, and Andy have even admitted that themselves on numerous occasions.  After Alan left, things were bound to go downhill at some point.  Whatever you think about the post-SOFAD albums, one thing you CAN’T claim is that they are in any way as innovative or progressive as what came before.  There may have been a couple of semi-precious stones here and there in the last couple of decades, but no diamonds to be found amongst them.  Even the best of the bunch, Playing the Angel, was more like a DM tribute album than an actual DM album.  Just be happy with the unparalleled amount of incredible output we did get from the Basildon bunch while the 4-part formula was still intact.