Depeche Mode is one of the most influential and successful bands in the history of electronic music. They have sold over 100 million records worldwide and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has inducted them. Their discography spans 15 studio albums, from 1981’s Speak & Spell to 2023’s Memento Mori. They cover a wide range of styles, from synth-pop to industrial-noir. But which Depeche Mode songs ranked worst to best?
Here is our ranking of 10 Depeche Mode songs, from worst to best, based on their musical quality, lyrical depth, and cultural impact.
10. A Pain That I’m Used To
A Pain That I’m Used To is the opening track of Depeche Mode’s 11th album, Playing the Angel. It showcases their darker and heavier sound in the 2000s. The song features distorted guitars, pounding drums, and Dave Gahan’s raspy vocals. He sings about his addiction to pain and suffering. The lyrics are bleak and nihilistic, and the music is aggressive and noisy.
However, the song lacks the subtlety and nuance that Depeche Mode is known for. It sounds like any other band could have made this generic industrial rock song. The song also fails to capture the emotional intensity and complexity of the band’s earlier songs about pain, such as Never Let Me Down Again or Enjoy the Silence. A Pain That I’m Used To is a disappointing opener for an otherwise solid album. This song ranks tenth on our list of Depeche Mode songs ranked.
9. Personal Jesus
Personal Jesus is one of Depeche Mode’s most popular and recognizable songs. It was their first gold-certified single in the US. The song is a catchy synth-rock anthem, with a memorable guitar riff, a gospel-inspired chorus, and a provocative message. The singer compares their lover to Jesus in the song, finding faith and salvation in them. Personal Jesus was inspired by the book Elvis and Me by Priscilla Presley. The televangelist scandals of the 1980s also influenced it.
The song is a clever and ironic commentary on the relationship between religion and romance. It has been covered by many artists, such as Marilyn Manson, Johnny Cash, and Rammstein. However, the song is also overplayed and overrated. It does not represent the best of Depeche Mode’s creativity and innovation. The song is too simple and straightforward. It lacks the depth and diversity that the band has shown in other songs. Personal Jesus is a good song, but not a great one. This song ranks ninth on our list of Depeche Mode songs ranked.
8. Enjoy the Silence
Enjoy the Silence is another one of Depeche Mode’s most famous and successful songs. The single is certified Gold in the US and Germany. It is a beautiful and haunting synth-pop ballad, with a soothing melody, a pulsating beat, and a powerful vocal performance by Dave Gahan. The song is also about the desire to be with someone in silence, without words or distractions, and to enjoy the moment.
Enjoy the Silence was originally written by Martin Gore as a slow and minimal song. It was transformed into a danceable and anthemic song by producer Flood and keyboardist Alan Wilder. The song also has an iconic music video, directed by Anton Corbijn, which features Gahan dressed as a king, wandering around different landscapes with a deck chair. The song is a masterpiece of pop music. It showcases Depeche Mode’s ability to combine emotion and elegance with rhythm and energy. Enjoy the Silence is a classic song, but it is not the best song by Depeche Mode. This song ranks eighth on our list of Depeche Mode songs ranked.
7. Never Let Me Down Again
Never Let Me Down Again is the opening track of Depeche Mode’s sixth album, Music for the Masses. It is one of their most epic and exhilarating songs. The song is a synth-rock masterpiece, with a soaring melody, a driving bassline, and a dramatic climax. The song is also about the feeling of euphoria and freedom that comes from being with someone who understands you, and the fear of losing that connection.
Never Let Me Down Again was inspired by Martin Gore’s experience of taking ecstasy with a friend. It also reflects the band’s growing popularity and ambition. The song also has a stunning live version, which features thousands of fans waving their arms in the air, creating a sea of light. The song is a testament to Depeche Mode’s musical and lyrical brilliance. It is one of their most uplifting and inspiring songs. This song ranks seventh on our list of Depeche Mode songs ranked.
Strangelove is the lead single of Depeche Mode’s sixth album, Music for the Masses. It is one of their most sensual and seductive songs. The song is a synth-pop gem, with a catchy and funky groove, a smooth and sexy vocal by Dave Gahan, and a playful and provocative lyric by Martin Gore. The song is about the pleasure and pain of love, and the willingness to do anything for someone, even if it is strange or dangerous.
Strangelove also has a hint of humor and irony, as it mocks the conventional and boring notions of love. The song also has several remixes, which add different flavors and moods to the song, such as the darker and heavier Maxi Mix, or the lighter and sweeter Single Mix. The song is a perfect example of Depeche Mode’s charm and charisma. It is one of their most fun and enjoyable songs. This song ranks sixth on our list of Depeche Mode songs ranked.
5. Black Celebration
Black Celebration is the title track of Depeche Mode’s fifth album. It is one of their most dark and atmospheric songs. The song is a synth-noir masterpiece, with a gloomy and ominous sound, a slow and hypnotic tempo, and a deep and somber vocal by Dave Gahan. The song is also about the feeling of despair and hopelessness that comes from living in a cruel and chaotic world, and the need to find some comfort and joy in the small and simple things.
Black Celebration also has a sense of defiance and resilience, as it celebrates the strength and courage of surviving the hardships and challenges of life. The song is a powerful and profound statement. It also marks a turning point in Depeche Mode’s musical and artistic evolution. This song ranks fifth on our list of Depeche Mode songs ranked.
4. Everything Counts
Everything Counts is the lead single of Depeche Mode’s third album, Construction Time Again. It is one of their most political and relevant songs. The song is a synth-pop anthem, with a catchy melody, a lively beat, and a catchy chorus. The song is also about the greed and corruption of the corporate and capitalist world, and the consequences of their actions on the environment and society.
Everything Counts is a sharp and sarcastic critique of the values and morals of the modern world. It also has a message of awareness and responsibility. The song also has a brilliant live version, which features a sing-along by the audience, creating a sense of unity and solidarity. The song is a timeless and universal song. It also shows Depeche Mode’s social and moral conscience. This song ranks fourth on our list of Depeche Mode songs ranked.
3. Soul With Me
Soul With Me is the sixth track on Depeche Mode’s 15th album, Memento Mori. It is one of their most soulful and touching songs. The song is a synth-pop ballad, with a warm melody, a soft beat, and a warm vocal by Martin Gore.
Soul With Me is about the feeling of connection and harmony that comes from sharing your soul with someone, and the need to cherish and protect that bond. The song is a sincere expression of love and gratitude. It also has a sense of peace and joy. It is a beautiful song that shows Depeche Mode’s essence and vitality. This song ranks third on our list of Depeche Mode songs ranked.
2. Never Let Me Go
Never Let Me Go is the eleventh track of Depeche Mode’s 15th album, Memento Mori. It is one of their most emotional and touching songs. The song is a synth-pop ballad, with a beautiful melody, a gentle beat, and a beautiful vocal by Martin Gore. The song is about the feeling of love and loyalty that comes from being with someone who accepts you, and also the fear of losing that bond.
Never Let Me Go is a heartfelt and sincere expression of gratitude and devotion, and it also has a sense of hope and courage. It is a wonderful song that shows Depeche Mode’s soul and spirit. This song ranks second on our list of Depeche Mode songs ranked.
1. Ghosts Again
Ghosts Again is the first single of Depeche Mode’s 15th album, Memento Mori. It is one of their most creative and surprising songs. The song is a synth-rock masterpiece, with a new melody, a moving beat, and captivating vocals by Dave Gahan and Martin Gore. The song captures the sensation of nostalgia and regret that arises when recalling someone who has departed, urging the listener to transition into the present and embrace the moment.
Ghosts Again is a clever and ironic commentary on the past and the future. It also has a message of forgiveness and redemption. It is a bold song that shows Depeche Mode’s courage and excellence. This song ranks first on our list of Depeche Mode songs ranked.
The Bottom Line
These are our 10 Depeche Mode songs ranked worst to best. Do you agree with our ranking? What are your favorite Depeche Mode songs? Let us know in the comments below. Also don’t forget to check out their latest album, Memento Mori, which is out now.