When I decided to start my Flashback Friday series in 2011, I decided to choose music that was popular right around the time that I was my daughter’s age. So that meant choosing songs that were popular from 1990 on. The song that sparked my idea was “Enjoy the Silence” by Depeche Mode. I was listening to it in the car with Rosie on my birthday in 2009, and the radio station said something to the effect of “Did you know that ‘Enjoy the Silence’ was recorded twenty years ago today?”
Holy cow. One of my very favorite songs was released on my 10th birthday. February 5th, 1990.
It’s a song that defined my adolescence. It’s the song that made sense to me, and brought me into the underworld of alternative music. Once I discovered Depeche Mode’s “Violator” album, my music preferences forever changed away from traditional Top 40.
Not only did I love the rhythmic beats and soaring passionate vocals of David Gahan, the lyrics spoke to me.
Vows are spoken to be broken
Feelings are intense
Words are trivial
So does the pain
Words are meaningless and forgettable
All I ever wanted, all I ever needed is here in my arms
Words are very unnecessary
They can only do harm
“Enjoy the Silence” was written and recorded in 1989, and the single was released on February 5th, 1990. It was the second single from their soon-to-be-released album “Violator.” It was Depeche Mode’s 24th single released in the United Kingdom, and many people consider it to be their signature song. The song one Best British Single at the 1991 BRIT awards.
It is one of Depeche Mode’s most popular and best known songs, and it has been recorded by other artists such as Tori Amos, Keane, Nada Surf, Breaking Benjamin…and even Susan Boyle. It peaked on the UK Singles Chart at number 6, which beat out their previous highest-charting single of “People are People” in 1984. The song reached number 8 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and became the only Depeche Mode single to achieve Top Ten status.
The song was written by Martin Gore, and was originally going to be a slow-paced ballad in C minor. Eventually, the band added upbeat back track with lots of drum and bass. In 2004, Depeche Mode released “Enjoy the Silence 04” and it peaked at number 7 on the UK Singles Chart. Even over 20 years later, “Enjoy the Silence” is one of the most played songs on modern alternative radio stations.
I really do love this song. I had it as my cell phone ringtone for about 5 years, and still have it selected for certain contacts. I’ve remained a HUGE Depeche Mode fan through the years, and actually gave my husband a pair of tickets to a DM concert for our one year wedding anniversary. A lot of people my age think that Nirvana defined their generation, but I wasn’t as involved in the grunge scene as I was in the alternative/new wave scene.
Anyone else love “Enjoy the Silence”?