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 #80: Just Can’t Get Enough by Depeche Mode.
“Just Can’t Get Enough” by Depeche Mode was a song that was written by, then band member Vince Clarke, even before Depeche Mode released their first album. The funny thing about “Just Can’t Get Enough” is that my wife, who is eight and a half years from retirement, was only five years old when this song hit the airwaves. Yet, “Just Can’t Get Enough” is a song that still sounds fresh and vital, even today. It just goes to prove how the right song can come to define an entire era of music and stand the test of time; always bringing us, as listeners, right back to those days when we wore our hair in weird and wonderful ways, too.
In 1981 when “Just Can’t Get Enough” was released, it was done so as a single. In fact, Depeche Mode released their first three songs as singles. In those days, they still considered themselves more of a punk band than the Synth-Pop behemoths they were to become. As part of their Punk mindset, they operated on a shoestring budget and only developed music one song at a time. However, keyboardist and chief songwriter, Vince Clarke, had begun working as a part-time DJ in clubs and, in doing so, he became familiar with and enamoured by some of the synthesizer-driven dance music he was playing. Thus, he begun to experiment on his own and, in doing so, came up with the main melody for “Just Can’t Get Enough”. When they released this song as a single, it was met with much acclaim, setting Depeche Mode on a course that would, in time, take them all the way to The Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame; selling over 100 million albums worldwide along the way.
Vince Clarke stayed with Depeche Mode for their first album but then, left to strike out on his own. As noted in earlier posts that you can read here and here, Clarke found fame and good fortune first, with singer Alison Moyet in Yaz and then, with Andy Bell in Erasure. The remaining members of Depeche Mode: Dave Gahan on vocals, Martin Gore, who took up the songwriting duties in place of Vince Clarke, as well as, playing guitar, keyboardist, Andy Fletcher on bass guitar and keyboards and, finally, Alan Wilder on keyboards, too, had a long career that still has life in it, even today. Along the way, they have endured health issues, drug addictions, changes in the music industry with regard to the popularity of Synth-Pop and so on but, they have emerged in the end intact. Depeche Mode have been recognized as being one of the bands that “changed the world of music” and, as such, they are now accorded the type of respect that is given to elder statesmen who have left an indelible stamp on the world.
In the video that you are about to see, note how young they all look. They are not much older than The Beatles were when they first started out with “Love Me Do” and “Please, Please Me”. This video for “Just Can’t Get Enough” helped the band earn their first Top Ten hit in the UK and opened the door for success in the rest of the world. It is the only official video that shows Vince Clarke as a member of the band. So, without further delay, here is Depeche Mode, as they were when it all began, with one of Synth_pop’s greatest anthems, “Just Can’t Get Enough”. Enjoy.
The link to the video for the song, “Just Can’t Get Enough” 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 playing the best music of all-time. The link to their wonderful website can be found here.