Depeche Mode about the album's songs
"World In My Eyes"
Alan Wilder: "'World In My Eyes' had in fact been recorded very early on during the Milan session and, perhaps for this reason, displayed familiar Depeche elements linking it with previous albums. It was completed in London and with its 'drop' 3rd verse and use of vocal double-tracking to fill out and build the later choruses, was probably the most 'electro' sounding track on the LP — something of a homage to Kraftwerk, in a rhythmical sense at least. Laughing in the face of criticism that electronic music was 'soulless' and would only appeal to a small eclectic audience, its success exhibited one of Depeche Mode's most fundamental philosophies."
Martin Gore: "I remember the original demo of 'World In My Eyes' being slightly faster and maybe slightly more obvious. While we were recording it in Milan, Dave was going away for a couple of days, so we worked on it and turned it into this really moody piece. I can remember Dave arriving back in the studio, slightly jet-lagged and being totally shocked, thinking that we just ruined the song, but half a day later he came back and said 'That's really good, the way it's turned out.' It always takes a while to get used to things."
Andy Fletcher: "For me, 'World In My Eyes' really shows how we've managed to have all these people from different countries all over the world together, liking Depeche Mode."
Alan Wilder: "The weird stuff at the end came together during the mixing stage with François Kevorkian. It's the kind of thing you resort to when you haven't really got an ending ;-)"
Alan Wilder: "The track itself was a significant move forward for the group but still retained elements of Depeche Mode's former experimental self. For example, the main 'stomp' was a recording of 2 or 3 people jumping up and down on flight cases working alongside Martin's John Lee Hooker guitar riff and the Kraftwerk-style synth parts."
Martin Gore: "It's a song about being a Jesus for somebody else, someone to give you hope and care. It's about how Elvis Presley was her man and her mentor and how often that happens in love relationships; how everybody's heart is like a god in some way. We play these god-like parts for people but no one is perfect, and that's not a very balanced view of someone is it?" "This song was our first experiment we had working with Flood and François Kevorkian, and we were really unsure about how that whole relationship would work. We were really happy with the song and we realised that it was a potential single, but we didn’t have any idea of the mass appeal that it would have. We thought that it was the sort of thing that we liked but the radio programmers would hate, and we’d be lucky if it reached no. 25 – it was one of those sort of feelings we had in the studio about this song. We were especially worried about America, because the moment you mention the word Jesus in the title, you’re asking for trouble, but the single eventually turned out to be Warner Bros.’ biggest selling 12” of all time."
Alan Wilder: "From memory, the drums were sampled from Led Zeppelin's 'When the Levee Breaks' but secondhand from a rap record. It is one of the most commonly used drum samples – for obvious reasons as it has that very special Bonham sound. The same snare drum sound appears on DM’s 'Get Right With Me'. I've also heard that snare on a Massive Attack record and many others. Other sounds on 'Halo', I'm more vague about, but we certainly would have used Flood's ARP 2600 in conjunction with other modular synths to create the bass parts and other sequencer parts. For the end choruses, there are some string samples which I think were derived from Elgar. One of my techniques is to find sections of classical strings and transpose / stretch these, then add my own samples, in order to formulate new and unusual arrangements. This was a case in point. The DM track 'Clean' utilised classical strings in a similar way." "I like the string arrangement and the fact that we used drum loops on it - something we had hardly done before that time. It's not a bad song either." "As for singles, 'Halo' was on a short-list but was never really a major contender. We ended up using it in a roundabout way by making a video as well as one for 'Clean' to fill out the 'Strange Too' compilation."
Martin Gore: "I suppose my songs do seem to advocate immorality but if you listen there's always a sense of guilt. On 'Halo' from the new album, you're right that I'm saying 'Let's give in to this' but there’s also a real feeling of wrongfulness."
"Waiting For The Night"
Alan Wilder: "Flood and I had been listening to Tangerine Dream and decided to try and create a similar atmosphere for this track. The main sequence was put together using his ARP and the sequencer that accompanies the synth. Due to its many velocity and filtering possibilities, this unit has a unique quality which is difficult to replicate using a modern-day sequencer triggered by MIDI. Once it has been set-up, in order for the sequence to be transposed to follow the chord structure of the song, I needed to play in each chord change from an external keyboard. A similar principal was applied to achieve the bubbling bass part which, together with the main sequence, forms the backbone of the track. The charm of the ARP sequencer stems from the slight tuning and timing variations that occur each time the part is played. This gives a sense of fluidity and continual change which seems to suit the song." "The main sequencer part here was produced using the ARP 2600 synth and sequencer, because it has many flaws when setting up your 16 note sequence for example tuning and gate length – this makes for happy accidents and almost random events. We would have fiddled around with that sequence for a while, tweaking the filters and envelopes within the ARP until we arrived at that particularly hypnotic end result. The resulting sequence shape would follow any held note on a keyboard to transpose between the song's basic chord changes as it ran, which we would then record, and that is essentially the spine of the whole thing. All the other sounds in that song act as mere embellishment."
Martin Gore: "I spend the day waiting for the night. It's a natural, perfect conclusion to the day."
"Enjoy The Silence"
Dave Gahan: "And that's why, if you notice, in the video, you'll see that I only sing one line in the whole thing every now and then, repeatedly: "Words are very unnecessary". Because you got all these beautiful scenes, beautiful photography everywhere, and you look at this fantastic photography, so words are unnecessary, and I'm a king, obviously, I'm supposed to have everything." "I remember Martin Gore sitting there and playing it, and he came up with this riff, and then I sang the song and everyone was surprised that I sang it so well – including myself. And then we spent like a week trying to make it into something: 'Oh wow! I think this could be a single!' and 'What about if we do this and do that,' and 'Maybe we'll have to redo the drum pattern,' and 'Mart, you could play the guitar a bit better.' And in the end, of course, we come right round, like full circle, and it's just like, 'Well, it sounded really good the first day we recorded it.'"
Martin Gore: "It's just about a feeling of not wanting anything else, feeling totally satisfied, and even the words and everything seem an intrusion. You don't need anything else, you're totally happy. It's a nice song, it's nice, that's a way to put it, it's nice." "This was the only time ever in the studio when we thought we had a hit single. When I finished the demo of this song it was more of a ballad and sounded a bit like the harmonium version that came out on one of the formats. Alan had this idea to speed it up and make it a bit more disco which I was really averse to at first, because I thought 'the song is called "Enjoy The Silence" and it's supposed to be about serenity, and serenity doesn't go with the disco beat'. So I was sulking for about two days but after he sped it up, I got used to it and added the guitar part, which adds to the whole atmosphere. We could really hear that it had a crossover potential. I have to say that I was sulking for two days for no reason." "So, originally the demo for 'Enjoy The Silence' was just me singing along to a basic pad. And it was really Alan Wilder and Flood who suggested that we speed it up and put a beat to it. And I was dead against it. I remember, because I thought it went completely against the aesthetic of the words and the meaning behind the song. So, I sulked off for a little bit. So, when I came back, yeah, it had a basic drum pattern and the baseline[sic] and that was all. And I still wasn't convinced. But Flood said to me, 'Could you just try playing some guitar along to it?' So, I played along and then I came up with a guitar line for it. And then the kind of choir part. And then it kind of started making a bit more sense to me. I'd like to take this moment to apologize to Alan and Flood."
Alan Wilder: "Strangely, the thing that immediately came to mind was that I could hear Neil Tennant singing it in my head. Something about the line "All I ever wanted" sounded very hamster.....er.... Pet Shop to me. Most DM songs changed tempo to some degree from the original demo although none I can think of have been that extreme. Martin's demos always had a complete set of lyrics but musically they varied from sometimes being quite detailed to sometimes very simplistic. I felt that to have taken the simple ballad approach for this song would have been to criminally pass on it's massive commercial potential. It was a great tune crying out for the kind of treatment it eventually got. Flood and I worked on the backing track before calling Martin in to play the guitar riff. As the track came together, I think it dawned on everyone even Martin, who had been the most reluctant about taking the up-tempo route that we had a hit on our hands." "Well, to be accurate, we mixed the LP together with Francois. Personally, I don't think there's much wrong with our mix of 'Enjoy The Silence'. The guitar sounds fine and the overall sound has a bit more sparkle. Daniel had a bee in his bonnet about the mix and felt very strongly that he could do better. We let him have a go and after 2 or 3 attempts as you can see from the credits decided that his mix was acceptable for the 7" version. Had he not pushed for it, I think we would have happily gone with the original mix. Funnily enough, our most successful single ever was one of the flattest, dullest sounding mixes with a snare drum that sounds like a sticky toffee pudding."
Andy Fletcher: "It's the first time ever in our whole career that we've actually thought we've got a hit single. We just knew straight away."
"Policy Of Truth"
Alan Wilder: "With 'Policy Of Truth' it took forever to find a lead riff sound which worked. We even tried a flute at one point!" "Recorded initially during the Puk sessions, 'Policy' went through many changes before being almost completely re-recorded at The Church." "Usually this would signify problems with a song although in this case we knew it was a strong track, not least a potential single. The main riff of the song proved such a problem to get a sound for and we must have tried 100 different variations before settling on what had become perhaps the sound of the album — slide guitar."
Martin Gore: "It has been one of my all time favourite songs that we've ever recorded. I really like the words to it and the whole concept of having to lie to keep up appearances — maybe it's better to do that. I just really like the whole subject matter of the song. I like the Terry Hoax version or the one by Dishwalla from the tribute album 'For The Masses', which is another rock version. I just like the fact that, sometimes the potential of the songs is seen when they are performed in a more conventional format. I think a lot of the time, the songs are overlooked, disregarded or not taken seriously because of the instrumentation we've used."
Alan Wilder: "Not really one of my favourites - hence penultimate track on LP filler position. I would put it in the same bag as 'Get Right With Me' from 'SOFAD', in that we never really quite knew which way to go with it. Again, I'm a bit vague about the demo but I remember the approach when we recorded it was based around using washy sounding, drone guitars a la Suicide which formed the backbone of the track. It was deliberately quite wet sounding to try to give it some atmosphere."
Martin Gore: "I suppose my songs do seem to advocate immorality but if you listen there's always a sense of guilt. Then there's 'Blue Dress' – that's the pervy song! – the idea of watching a girl dress and realising that this is 'what makes the world turn'."
Alan Wilder: "With 'Clean', we never had the delay bass line until the very end."
Martin Gore: "I just write about things that affect me. I find it very unappealing to write songs that are safe, that go nowhere, that do nothing. I know that 'Clean' has a lot of holy imagery, and that intertwines with the sex theme, which are two ideas I find interesting to mix together. But I don't try to analyze things."
Martin Gore: "It was the name of a make-believe film I invented about Elvis as the devil."
"Happiest Girl" (Jack Mix)
"Happiest Girl" (Jack Mix) original title, is a song produced during the recording of the 1990 album Violator by Depeche Mode.
Alan Wilder: "'Happiest Girl' was going to be on the LP" "'Happiest Girl' was left off Violator because we didn't think it was strong enough."
"Sea Of Sin" (Tonal Mix)
"Sea Of Sin" (Tonal Mix) original title, is a song produced during the recording of the 1990 album Violator by Depeche Mode.