Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sweetest Perfection - Violator at 20

March 19th and 20th marked the 20th anniversary of the release dates (UK & US respectively) for Depeche Mode's Violator album. For many it was their introduction to Depeche Mode thanks to the success of the songs "Personal Jesus" and "Enjoy The Silence." For others it was the next step for a band who had just about 2 years earlier had put on the concert of a lifetime at Pasadena's Rose Bowl with the 101st show on their Music for the Masses tour.
By the time Violator was released in 1990, I had been listening to Depeche Mode for 6 years. My introduction to their music came in 1984 with the song "People Are People." I still remember going to the record store and buying Some Great Reward on cassette. Soon after that came the purchases of Speak & Spell, A Broken Frame, and Construction Time Again, where I learned that I had also heard "Everything Counts" and "Just Can't Get Enough" on the radio long before PAP. I just never knew who sang them and was, I guess, too young at the time to have really formed a deep connection. But I soon became a devotee. Walls that were once covered in posters of Duran Duran became covered in posters of Depeche Mode. My first live show was on May 2, 1988 at the Seattle Center Coliseum on the MFTM tour.
I eagerly awaited the release of the follow up album, but I will confess that the first time I heard "Personal Jesus" I was less than impressed. It took me a few listens to warm up to it, but once I did, I was hooked. When Violator was released I was working at a record store so I was able to buy it right away. I was also able to play it when I worked - over and over. And over and over again I did. I loved this album. From the opening beats of "World In My Eyes" to the closing notes of "Clean" there was something special about Violator. The only song that didn't wow me was "Policy of Truth" - which to this day is still my least favorite song on the album. I don't dislike it, but it doesn't touch me in a way the rest of the songs do. Three of my Top 10 DM songs are on this album (Halo, Enjoy The Silence, & Waiting For The Night) with two others (Blue Dress & Clean) creeping in depending on my mood.
I wish Violator a very Happy Anniversary. It will always be a special album that will fill my life with incredible sounds and fun, exciting, and emotional memories. The subsequent tour found me traveling to both Vancouver, BC and Portland, OR to see them perform, and again, I was not disappointed. They remain, to this day, one of the greatest, yet most underrated (to non-fans) live bands around. And 20 years on, "Personal Jesus" and "Enjoy The Silence" remain concert staples - with occasional appearances by "World In My Eyes," "Policy of Truth," and "Halo" - always crowd favorites.

Thanks for reading from Rdwnggrl's World.


Anonymous said...

What a lovely post. Thanks for sharing Stacey!

Stacy said...

Thank you Kristin : )