Listening to the best Depeche Mode songs was a mood back in the 80s – an infectiously dark one indeed. With the advent of synthesizers, they used it to create timeless tracks that make you break a leg on the dance floor – all the while making you realize how vile and lovely reality and personal struggles can be.
If you wish to go back in history and revisit the classics of one of the most popular bands of all time that defined the 80s, read this post till the end.
7 Best Depeche Mode Songs You Must Listen To Right NOW!
In my opinion (and popular polls so far), here are seven of the greatest Depeche Mode songs of all time.
7. Just Can’t Get Enough (Speak And Spell, 1981)
“When I’m with you baby, I go out of my head. And I just can’t get enough!”
If you lived in the 80s and decided to go to a disco club one night to get wasted, chances are you will probably be hearing this song over and over again.
Appearing on Depeche Mode’s debut album Speak and Spell (1980), this peppy synth-laden disco track was a huge hit. Who knew that one of the best Depeche Mode songs of all time could make you do down on the dance floor, compared to the more somber and darker later tracks?
Regarding the conception of this song, this is what vocalist Dave Gajan had to say – “The punk thing had just kind of ended, but there were still a few people who were hanging out in the clubs in London, who were trying to play music that you could dance to a bit more that wasn’t so violent, and ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’ became one of those.”
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6. Never Let Me Down Again (Music For The Masses, 1987)
“I’m taking a ride with my best friend. I hope he never lets me down again.”
The next time you go on a long drive with your best friend, I would suggest playing this song and having one hell of a trip!
“Never Let Me Down Again” off the album Music for the Masses (1987) is the anthem for camaraderie back in the 80s. A black-and-white video that shows two friends going on a ride together to lift each other spirits up also did the same for the masses as well!
However, there is a dark, secret twist to this song. Indeed, this song is about friendship – but with drugs.
This is a deceptive song that shows the injection or snort (the ride), followed by “flying high” (the euphoria) after taking drugs (best friend) – something that never lets you down (feel sad, addiction). No wonder it’s one of the top Depeche Mode songs, which also appeared on the Last of Us (2023) TV Series as well!
5. Policy Of Truth (Violator. 1990)
“It’s too late to change events. It’s time to face the consequence – For delivering the proof in the policy of truth.”
Violator (1990) marked a turning point in the band’s career. Hailed by both critics and fans as their magnum opus, every song off this album is a dark synth-pop song with melancholic undercurrents that are catchy as hell.
The Policy of Truth is a punchy song that will get you on the dancefloor – in the most melancholic way possible.
This song also had an interesting projection technique. The catchy intro riff of this song is actually played on a guitar and later looped from the keyboard. What culminated was one of the greatest Depeche Mode songs of all time.
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4. People Are People (Some Great Reward, 1984)
“I can’t understand. What makes a man hate another man? Help me understand!”
Since I love playing the drums and a few other percussive instruments, the opening electronic disco drum beats turned me on in the most musical way possible. I just had to include this song on this list of best Depeche Mode songs of all time.
However, this is one of the best because of its lyrics. I believe this song has one of the most relevant lyrics – the difference between people that leads to more and more hatred and intolerance. Considering the current state of the world, this song needs to be a wake-up call for all of us.
3. Everything Counts – In Large Amounts (Construction Time Again, 1983)
“All for themselves, after all. It’s a competitive world. Everything counts in large amounts.”
There is a reason why Depeche Mode was considered to be way ahead of its time. While their synth pop tracks might make you get on the groove on the dancefloor, they deceptively had serious and deep lyrics that mirrored the state of the world.
Everything Counts (In Large Amounts) is one of the best Depeche Mode songs not only for its groovy rhythms and video game-esque synth melodies eschewed with varied world music influences. It also reflected how competitive the world is becoming slowly. Every action and opportunity of yours counts – in large amounts.
2. Personal Jesus (Violator, 1990)
“Your own personal Jesus, Someone to hear your prayers, Someone who cares.
Your own personal Jesus, Someone to hear your prayers, Someone who’s there.”
It’s true that in the grand scheme of things, no one really cares about you. Sometimes you lose faith in the right people and build them with the wrong people, soon losing it again and spiraling down into this never-ending vortex of darkness and sadness.
Inspired by the book “Elvis and Me“- an autobiography by Priscilla Presley (wife of Elvis), guitarist/keyboardist Martin Gore noted how Elvis was slowly becoming a Jesus for the masses. People worshiped him like a god – a notion that only caused more internal struggle with fame and power that Elvis faced a lot in his life.
As one of the best Depeche Mode songs of all time, this song has it all – stomping rhythms, groove, and deep lyrics. It’s so good that legendary artists like Marilyn Manson, Hillary Duff, Sammy Hagar, and even Def Leppard covered this song.
1. Enjoy The Silence (Violator, 1990)
“Words are very unnecessary. They can only do harm.”
Enjoy the Silence is one of the most popular Depeche Mode songs of all time.
Featuring a catchy tune and groovy disco beats – this song represents your loved ones making sweet but false hopes and promises to you, only to barrage them in the end. What good are these words when it’s so untrue? Enjoy the Silence instead.
This song and personal Jesus off Violator catapulted Depeche Mode to legendary status. It charted in 17 countries for a good reason.
If you have never heard of any of these amazing Depeche Mode songs, now is your time to do so and feel like you are born in the wrong generation.
Let me know in the comments about what are your favorite Depeche Mode songs of all time!