This list of songs is inspired by lists published by radio station KEXP-FM from Seattle in 2010, as well as the latest poll taken in 2021 by Rolling Stone Magazine. For the most part I will faithfully countdown from their lists, starting at Song #500 and going until I reach Song #1. When you see the song title listed as something like: Song #XXX (KEXP)….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. Song XXX (RS) means the song is coming from the Rolling Stone list. If I post the song title as being: Song #xxx (KTOM), it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In any case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, just so everyone is aware, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Here is the story behind today’s song. Enjoy.
KEXP: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.
Song #290: Never Let Me Down Again by Depeche Mode.
Depeche Mode hail from England but don’t present as an “English band”. They do present as a “Synth-Rock/Pop, Alternative band” and, as such, they have an international reach that few bands have managed to achieve. In fact, since they formed in 1980, Depeche Mode have sold over 100 million albums worldwide, they have charted with 54(!) songs, they have been certified Gold and Platinum multiple times as 17 of their albums have reached the Top Ten and they were inducted into The Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2020. Depeche Mode have enjoyed as much success, touring and with record sales, in North America, as they have in the UK and Europe. In essence, Depeche Mode are global ambassadors for a style of music that is, at once, familiar but, at the same time, a sound that is uniquely theirs.
The story of Depeche Mode began in 1980. The original lineup included lead singer, Dave Gahan, guitarist, Martin Gore, Vince Clarke and Andy Fletcher on keyboards. Vince Clarke left after the band’s first album was released and teamed up with Alison Moyet to form Yazoo and then, on to form Erasure with Andy Bell. In the meantime, Clarke was replaced by Alan Wilder. The lineup of Gahan, Gore, Fletcher and Wilder have stayed intact throughout almost the entirety of the band’s four-decade long career. In that time, Depeche Mode have released scores of hits including, “Dreaming of Me”, “Just Can’t Get Enough”, Everything Counts”, People are People”, “Master and Servant”, Blasphemous Rumours”, “Stripped”, “Question of Lust”, “Strangelove”, “Personal Jesus”, “Never Let Me Down Again” and many more.
Martin Gore writes most of the lyrics to their songs, while Dave Gahan is the person who brings the attitude and swagger to the audience. There is pressure to both jobs. In fact, there was a time during the middle of the band’s career, when it all looked like it was ending. This was due to a drug addiction suffered by Gahan that resulted, at one point, in him lapsing into a seizure and being declared “clinically dead” for several minutes. He was revived and claims that the experience sent a shock wave through him. It did the same to his friend, Martin Gore. The song, “Never Let Me Down Again” was written by Gore about drug addiction and about how easy it is to think that you are in charge of the highs you are feeling when, in fact, the drug use clearly ends up controlling whole aspects of your life. “Never Let Me Down Again” is the song that often closes out live shows by Depeche Mode and is meant to reinforce the notion that, as a band and as friends, they are all lucky to be alive and together and that they are grateful for every day, every show and every song they get to play as a band.
Depeche Mode are one of the most successful of all of the Synth-Pop/Rock bands to have formed in the 1980s. They are still performing today. If you ever get a chance to see them then, you should go because their live shows are always well-received. So, without further delay, here is Depeche Mode with a song that has special meaning to them and their fans, “Never Let Me Down Again”. Enjoy.
The link to the video for the song, “Never Let Me Down Again” by Depeche Mode, can be found here.
The link to the official website for Depeche Mode, can be found here.
Thanks, as always, to KEXP for helping to inspire the writing of this post. The link to their wonderful website can be found here.