Analog Adventures: Violator

Depeche Mode


(Original release 1990, reprint 2014)

Depeche Mode is one of the most enduring electronic music acts. Their dark tendencies set them apart from the rest of the pack. 1990’s Violator continues the tradition of creating a moody atmosphere infused with synthesizers. Dave Gahan’s booming baritone voice along with Martin Gore’s songwriting and keyboards are the two keys to their brand of music.

Violator contains classic after classic, such as Personal Jesus. The song has been covered by numerous acts such as Marilyn Manson, Sammy Hagar, and perhaps most famously Johnny Cash. The rest of the album deals with themes such as addiction. Despite the dark themes the songs have catchy melodies and beats that will make you want to dance.  Each track is intimate in nature, which is another trademark of Depeche Mode.

The Record Itself

This version of Violator saw a 2014 re-release on 180 gram vinyl. The weight is satisfying to hold and feels indestructible. It is a gate fold with lyrics on the inside. The cover is a striking example of minimalist design highlighted by the stark contrast of having a single splash of color in the form of a flower on the front. The red shines against the deep black of the background. This contrast fits with the theme of the album, beauty among darkness.

The back and inner sleeve of the album.

Is It Worth it?

This is a widely available album currently going for $20-25 on Discogs, and is available new through retailers for a little more. If you have a spot in your collection for dark synth-pop, this album is a must have.

Outstanding Tracks

  • Sweetest Pefection
  • Halo
  • Enjoy the Silence

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Jose Diaz

Collector of analog media.

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