Flashback Friday: “Enjoy The Silence” by Depeche Mode

depeche mode enjoy the silenceWhen 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.

depeche mode violator

Vows are spoken to be broken
Feelings are intense
Words are trivial
Pleasures remain
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

depeche mode violator rose“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”?

Flashback Friday: “Greatest Love of All” by Whitney Houston

whitney houston greatest love of allWhen I think of inspirational songs of the 80’s, I usually think of “Wind Beneath My Wings” and “Eye of the Tiger.” But Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All” is also at the top of the list.

With Whitney’s untimely death last Saturday, I decided to dedicate a Flashback Friday post to the talented songstress. Whitney faced many demons in her life, which I’m not going to commentate, but I do want to talk about my favorite song she sang.

When the song was released in 1986, I was still a bit young to love the song off the radio. But my elementary school music teacher Mr. Phay would teach us contemporary music to sing in class, and learning “The Greatest Love of All” was on of the songs that he taught in class. 20+ years later, I still remember every word.

Everybody’s searching for a hero
People need someone to look up to
I never found anyone who fulfill my needs
A lonely place to be
So I learned to depend on me”

“Greatest Love of All” was written by Michael Masser and Linda Creed, and George Benson actually sang it years before for Muhummad Ali’s biopic “The Greatest.” Whitney released “Greatest Love of All” on her debut album “Whitney Houston.” The single topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for three weeks in 1986, her second-longest stay atop this chart, behind the 1992 monster hit “I Will Always Love You”. It remains her third biggest hit behind “I Will Always Love You” and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me). Interestingly, all three songs have reemerged into the Billboard Hot 100 in response to Whitney’s death. It’s possible the her estate may acquire some fund through these music sales to make up for her lack of financial planning before her unexpected death.

I have to admit that my favorite rendition of this song is from the movie “Say Anything.” In the graduation scene, Joe sings an awful rendition of “The Greatest Love of All” (skip to 2:58). The song was in the movie “Coming to America” with a terrible rendition in a Miss Black Awareness Pageant. The song was even used in the show “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” Not only is it a great sounding song, it really is an iconic part of 80’s pop culture.

Were you like me? Did you stand in front of the mirror, with a hairbrush as a microphone, and belt out this anthem of self-esteem and self-love? No matter what they take from me, they can’t take away my dignity….