I did not start seriously listening to Depeche Mode until the spring of 1988. I dabbled in the early stuff, knew the singles and could pretend interest when occasion required. It was not until picking up a copy of Music for the Masses that the band began to matter to me.
I remember sitting in the auditorium of my high school during the annual senior class assembly. I skipped Geometry that day as the teacher made it explicit our class would not be attending. Imagine my surprise and horror when I saw said teacher walk our class in, right past where I sat, trying to sink lower into the chair. She didn’t see me.
Towards the end of the assembly, a few students performed a lip sync to the song Sacred. They dressed as Mormon missionaries, out preaching the gospel. Hilarious. No matter when or where I hear that song, it’s what I see in my head-The darkened West Jordan High auditorium, sitting next to friends, having a great time.
My favorite Depeche Mode record is Black Celebration . I purchased it on lovely vinyl, two weeks after getting Music for the Masses. I played it through once or twice, liked it, but it didn’t overwhelm me. In fact, it did not become my favorite until my mid-20’s. It was the realization of a memory, always sort of in the background whenever that record played, a contented feeling that made the record important to me.
I am driving home from our graduation trip. Most of my friends are asleep in the back seat of the mini van. It is dark and we are somewhere between Nephi and Provo. Black Celebration is in the tape deck and I have discovered myself singing along to ever song. I am overcome by this fantastic sensation of absolute contentment. I am with the people (outside family) that I care most about, we have just spent a week together in the sand and sun, and while there were rough moments when friendships almost crumbled, most of that doesn’t matter now. I am happy.
I don’t recall listening to that tape during the week and I only associate it with that moment, listening to Stripped.
Funny enough, those memories only surface when I listen to the record from beginning to end.
I still listen and buy Depeche Mode releases, though I don’t think I have had the same interest since Songs of Faith and Devotion. I am sure this will upset some, but I think that should have been their swan song.
Here are a few more tracks off Black Celebration-
New Dress-Political DM…how odd.
Fly on the Windscreen-“I don’t care how you feel!”
But Not Tonight-A song I sang so many wrong lyrics to, had so many wrong interpretations of…do better.
And though it is not off Black Celebration, it is still my favorite DM song so…