Saturday, September 23, 2006

Number 804 - Depeche Mode

Number 804

Depeche Mode

"Personal Jesus"


"Personal Jesus" is Depeche Mode's twenty-third UK single, released on August 29, 1989, and the first single for the then upcoming album Violator. The song was covered by Johnny Cash, Lollipop Lust Kill and Gravity Kills in 2002, and by Marilyn Manson and by Richard Cheese in 2004. A Spanish version, titled "Tu único Dios (Personal Jesus)" was recorded by Acusicas for a Depeche Mode tribute album in 2006. The riff was sampled on Jamelia's "Beware Of The Dog" in 2006 .

The song itself was inspired by the book "Elvis and Me" by Priscilla Presley. According to songwriter 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 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, and that's not a very balanced view of someone, is it?"

The song became a big hit across the world, and is one of Depeche Mode's most successful songs, along with the following single, "Enjoy the Silence". It was the first time the guitar was used as the main instrument on a Depeche Mode song. This country-ish number took the world by storm and featured more advertising than usual with Depeche Mode, with magazine ads and a telephone campaign (people could call a number seen on magazine ads that would play the song). In addition, the single was particularly successful commercially thanks to the fact that it was released six months prior to the album it would later appear on. Up to that point, it was best selling 12" single in Warner Brothers history.

"Personal Jesus" has a plethora of remixes, almost unprecedented for Depeche Mode at the time. While most other Depeche Mode singles prior to "Personal Jesus" usually had band-made extended mixes, Depeche Mode started to invite more DJs and mixers to the fold, which would become the mainstay for all future Depeche Mode singles. François Kevorkian (who did the mixing for the Violator album, in general) mixed the single version, the "Holier Than Thou Approach" and the "Pump Mix," while producer Flood mixed the "Acoustic" version and the "Telephone Stomp Mix" as well as the single version and "Sensual Mix" of the single's B-side "Dangerous," a more disco-electronic track. The "Hazchemix" and "Hazchemix Edit" of "Dangerous" were mixed by Daniel Miller.

The back-cover of "Personal Jesus" features one of the band members and the back-side of a naked girl. The band member she is with depends on whether you have the 7" Vinyl (Martin Gore), the 12" Vinyl (David Gahan), the Cassette (Andrew Fletcher), or the original CD (Alan Wilder). On some copies she does not appear at all, such as the 2004 CD re-release, and on promo copies. On some limited releases, like the GBong17, all four pictures are available.
Anton Corbijn-directed music video for "Personal Jesus" is his first Depeche Mode video in color, and features the band in a ranch. MTV edited out some suggestive mouth movements of Martin Gore during the bridge and replaced it with some other footage from the video.
In 2004, the song was listed at #368 on
Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest songs of all time, and in September 2006 it was voted as one of the 100 Greatest Songs Ever in Q (magazine). In 2002 Johnny Cash chose to cover Personal Jesus on what would be his final studio album, American IV: The Man Comes Around.
For Johnny Cash see Number 705 & Number 624
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number 368 and the Album ranked at Number (Theres more?)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 63.7 out of 108
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