Wednesday, May 24, 2023

"Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode

Gold Record Alert!
Song#:  4130
Date:  12/09/1989
Debut:  97
Peak:  28
Weeks:  20
Genre:  Alternative Rock

Pop Bits:  Depeche Mode's sixth album, 1987's Music for the Masses, became their biggest success yet in the US getting to #35 and going gold. While none of its singles cracked the Pop Top 40, two of them made the Dance Top 3 including the #1 "Strangelove." Following a world tour, the band would get back into the studio in the summer of '89 with producer Flood and the initial result was "Personal Jesus." It would be issued out as a single in the fall of '89 in the UK where it would get to #12. A US release would follow with the tune getting to #3 Modern Rock and #12 Dance while becoming their second Pop Top 40 hit. The single (mainly the 12" version) sold well enough to reach gold status. The band would continue to record and as 1990 rolled around they had their next LP Violator ready to go. A second single, "Enjoy the Silence," would become the biggest hit of their career getting to #8 Pop/#1 Modern Rock/#6 Dance and going gold. Violator would go on to reach #7 and eventually would become their best selling LP in the US going triple platinum. It also included the #15 Pop/#1 Modern Rock/#2 Dance hit "Policy of Truth."

ReduxReview:  For me, Violator was Depeche Mode at their best. It was as if everything they did before culminated in that album. It just hit all the exact right buttons and certainly helped to break them wider into the mainstream. I bought the album as soon as it came out, but before that we got blessed with this track and the brilliant "Enjoy the Silence." This song really should have gone Top 10. It just jacked up your radio when it came on. It was a slammin' track that was different from the regular Top 40 fare. I will say that I run hot n' cold with Depeche Mode albums, but Violator is solid from beginning to end. A classic for sure.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Songwriter Martin Gore has said that Priscilla Presley's book Elvis and Me was the inspiration for the lyrics. However, a legendary singer/songwriter approached it in a different way. Johnny Cash recorded a stripped down version of the song for his final album prior to his death in 2003, 2002's American IV: The Man Comes Around. Cash heard the song and viewed it from a gospel angle. He loved the tune and included it on the album.  2) Thanks to the success of Violator, the band's next album, '93's Songs of Faith and Devotion, would hit #1 and quickly go platinum. Although their luck on the Pop chart faded quickly (they would only have a couple songs scratch the Top 40), they would remain successful on the Dance chart over the years collecting up a total of ten #1s (to-date). All of their studio albums from Violator through to 2017's Spirit would all make the Top 10. The highly influential band would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020.


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