Song Review: Depeche Mode – “Enjoy The Silence”

“Enjoy the Silence” was released as the second single from Depeche Mode’s 1990 album, Violator. The single was released on January 16, 1990, and peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Prior to “Enjoy the Silence,” I had heard a couple of singles from the previous album, Music for the Masses, as well as “Personal Jesus,” the lead-off single from Violator. While the 1988 release of “Strangelove” piqued my interest in the band, it wasn’t until the release of “Enjoy the Silence” when I could truly say I had become a fan of the band. I was in the ninth grade and close to turning 15 at the time this single was released, and I think what helped me gravitate toward this were the lyrics. I liked the music as well, but I think it was the lyrics that ultimately grabbed me. I fell in love with “Enjoy the Silence” when I first heard about 25 years ago, and I still love the song today. In fact, I have to say that it’s probably still my favorite Depeche Mode song of all-time. While I enjoy a lot of their material that came out before and after Violator, “Enjoy the Silence” holds a very special place in my heart.

When it comes to the music video, it’s director Anton Corbijn up to his usual artsy stuff. It primarily has footage of lead singer Dave Gahan dressed up as a king, wandering around various isolated locales while carrying a deck chair around. There’s a couple of times when Dave sits down in the deck chair and lip-synchs some of the lyrics, but he’s mostly wandering around. The shots near the end in the snow are actually someone else, because Dave got tired of the cold in Switzerland and left the set. Intercut with this footage are shots of the whole band. When it comes to the footage of Dave Gahan dressed as a king, all I can guess is since these shots are set where he’s in isolated locales, that this is supposed to represent enjoying the silence. The music video may not be anything terribly spectacular, the song itself is strong enough to be able to transcend any impression that the video may leave.

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