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 #152: Enjoy the Silence by Depeche Mode.
If there was something like a “Mount Rushmore” for bands from the 1980s who helped usher in the genre of SynthPop/Alternative/New Wave music then, Depeche Mode would certainly being one of the bands so honoured. With total album sales of over 100 million for their career, Depeche Mode have enjoyed a successful career right from their very first album. Their early hits read like an anthology of some of the very best music of my youth, including “Dreaming Of Me”, “Just Can’t Get Enough”, “Leave in Silence”, “Everything Counts”, “People Are People”, “Master and Servant”, “Blasphemous Rumours”, “Stripped”, “A Question of Lust” and many more. Depeche Mode really broke into the North American mainstream with an album called, “Music For the Masses”, which spawned mega hits, “Strangelove” and “Never Let Me Down Again”. They completed their ascension to the apex of the musical mountain with an album called, “Violator” from which came “Personal Jesus”, “Policy of Truth”, “World In My Eyes” and, today’s song, “Enjoy the Silence”. Depeche Mode were inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2020.
“Enjoy the Silence” was the single of the year in the UK in 1991. It is a song that is noted for the distinctive opening guitar riff as played by Martin Gore. Lead singer, Dave Gahan, often turns the singing duties over to the audience thus, making “Enjoy the SIlence” a crowd-pleasing sing-along song. The song, itself, is based upon the idea that we live in a noisy world that is often, too filled with words and information and that some of our most treasured moments happen in complete silence. There is the possibility of developing a greater sense of peace and intimacy when the only noise between two people is the sound of beating hearts and measured breaths. In the “official” video for “Enjoy the Silence”, Gahan plays the character of a King (based upon the story, “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery) who only manages to find peaceful moments as he walks alone in among mountains and through valleys. However, the band has many live videos that show the joy with which the band plays “Enjoy the Silence” and which the audience eagerly participates. I shall post both videos.
As our countdown draws nearer to the #1 ranking, we are going to be seeing, more and more, videos/songs that rate as the best or, among the best, of their genres. This is certainly the case of “Enjoy the Silence”, which is one of Depeche Mode’s biggest hits, as well as, with the band, itself, who remain one of the most successful and respected bands of their era.
So, without further delay, here is Depeche Mode with “Enjoy the Silence” from their album, “Violator”. Enjoy.
The link to the video for the song, “Enjoy the Silence” 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 website can be found here.