Monday, October 11, 2021

"Strangelove" by Depeche Mode

Song#:  3640
Date:  09/10/1988
Debut:  95
Peak:  50
Weeks:  9
Genre:  Synthpop, Alternative Rock

Pop Bits:  This band's album Music for the Masses peaked at #35 in November '87 and a few months later was certified gold. It was boosted by three singles all of which did well on the Dance chart, but couldn't get any higher than #61 on the Pop chart. That included the lead single "Strangelove," which made it to #1 Dance/#76 Pop. The band's label could have called it a day and wrapped up things with the LP, but it seems that someone at the label felt that "Strangelove" didn't get a fair shake in the US (it went Top 10 in several countries and #16 in the band's UK homeland). In order to perhaps correct that, the label ordered up a new edit/remix of the song for single release in the US. On its second go-round, the tune did a little better on the Pop chart making it to the halfway point. It would also make it on to the Dance chart at #24. Although the song is seen as a classic in the band's catalog today and is familiar to a lot of people, back in the late 80s the tune just couldn't find its way into the mainstream.

ReduxReview:  In general, you can't really go wrong with any of the versions of this song. I prefer the cleaner sound of this later single and album version, but even the amped up initial single didn't take anything away from the tune. The record company tried in vain to make it a hit in the US, but it just wasn't going to happen. Still, the song remains popular in the band's catalog and is probably more well known today that it was back then.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  The final show on the band's tour in support of Music for the Masses was held at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, on June 18, 1988. Prior to that performance it was decided that they would use the show as the basis for a concert documentary film. They brought on board famed music documentary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker to direct the movie, which interspersed performances by the band with segments featuring a set of fans that had won a contest to travel across the country to see the band. It was more of a documentary than a full-on concert film. Titled 101 due to the show being the 101st and last of their tour, the film was released along with an associated live album. Both were released in March of '89. The album would sell fairly well reaching #45 in the US and #5 in the UK. The single "Everything Counts" would be issued out from the album. It wouldn't make the US Pop chart, but did get to #16 on the Dance chart (#6 UK).


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