Depeche Mode, 'Violator' ad

Milestones is a periodic feature marking important album releases, concerts and figures in the history of ’80s college rock.

RELEASE: Depeche Mode, Violator

RELEASE DATE: March 19/20, 1990

PERSONNEL: Dave Gahan (vocals), Martin Gore (keyboard, guitar, vocals), Alan Wilder (programming, drums), Andrew Fletcher (keyboard); co-produced with Flood.

SINGLES: “Personal Jesus” (No. 13 on UK singles chart, No. 28 on U.S. singles chart, No, 3 on U.S. modern rock chart), “Enjoy the Silence” (No. 6/No. 8/No. 6), “Policy of Truth” (No. 16/No. 15/No. 2), “World in My Eyes” (No. 17/No. 52/No. 6)

BACKSTORY: Depeche Mode’s seventh album sealed the deal, turning an increasingly popular cult act into global superstars. The buzz started early, with DM issuing the record’s first single — the thumping,  guitar-driven “Personal Jesus” — nearly seven months ahead of the album. By the time Violator arrived, “Enjoy the Silence” also was a worldwide smash (it remains the band’s only Top 10 single in the U.S.). The peak of DM mania came 20 years ago Saturday, when the band’s appearance at a Wherehouse record store in Los Angeles on the day of Violator’s U.S. release sparked a near-riot (see video below).

THE MUSIC: As for the record itself, it’s a near-perfect effort; concise, at just nine tracks, Violator is deliberately paced, hitting on cold, precise electronics (“World in My Eyes,” “Halo,” “Clean”), soaring pop (“Enjoy the Silence”) and dirty electro-rock (“Policy of Truth”) while still managing a dark intimacy (“Waiting for the Night”). It’s an artistic peak that Depeche Mode hasn’t been able to replicate since.

REISSUED? Yes. In 2006, Mute Records released a remastered edition of the album in CD/DVD and vinyl formats; for the CD sets — it was actually an SACD in Europe — the bonus DVD featured the entire album mixed in 5.1 surround, Violator-era B-sides such as “Dangerous” and “Memphisto,” and a short documentary.

See full tracklist for ‘Violator′ and video of the Wherehouse riots after the jump…

Depeche Mode, 'Violator'

Tracklist: Depeche Mode, Violator

1. “World in My Eyes”
2. “Sweetest Perfection”
3. “Personal Jesus”
4. “Halo”
5. “Waiting for the Night”
6. “Enjoy the Silence”
(“Interlude #2 – Crucified”)
7. “Policy of Truth”
8. “Blue Dress”
(“Interlude #3”)
9. “Clean”




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