Saturday, January 26, 2013

#467: Depeche Mode-Never Let Me Down Again (Top 500 Modern Rock Songs Of All Time)

(Top Modern Rock Songs Of All Time)
Song: "Never Let Me Down Again"
Artist: Depeche Mode
Release Date: August, 1987
From the Album: Music For The Masses (1987)

Quick Take: That the Smashing Pumpkins covered this in later years isn't too surprising -- but what is interesting is that they chose to do an acoustic version, perhaps figuring they couldn't top the original. It's doubtful anyone could; with Martin Gore's compressed guitar riff leading the way, Depeche here created not merely the calling card for its smash success Music for the Masses album, but an all-time anthem for the band and electronic music as a whole. About the only thing about the song that doesn't totally work is the lyrics, which are suggestive but not as intriguingly poisonous as so many of the band's other tunes. That one rhyme goes "Promises me I'm safe as houses/As long as I remember who's wearing the trousers" is a bit giggle-worthy. David Gahan's performance of the same, however, is big and strong, Gore's hidden harmony vocals an extra. What really makes the song is the overall delivery and arrangement, a massive beat echoing in the mix and the lead synth lines later accompanied by mock horns, strings, and more. It's as if Laibach were able to get one of its brutal post-Wagnerian epics onto the charts, and with a weird romantic patina at that. As Gore delivers the last "See the stars, they're shining bright" line with the song's fade, it's clear the band were on even more of a roll than ever. 

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