If you found that our recent ‘Album Tales’ deep-dive into the creation of Depeche Mode’s Violator whet your appetite for more Depechey tidbits, here’s a wee bonus: we reveal the musical inspirations behind four of Violator‘s top tracks.
Violator‘s mixer, François Kevorkian, is commended for adding an extra creative element to the album. Gore has described Kevorkian as “so pedantic with absolutely everything that he did”: “He would often disappear in the studio, you know, he’d be off in the corner somewhere with a pair of headphones on for two days working on a hi-hat.” Thanks to Kevorkian’s work on Kraftwerk’s 1986 album Electric Café, Depeche were suitably impressed and welcomed the French-born, US-based DJ/producer/remixer into the fold.
Pet Shop Boys
On his hunch that Gore’s original demo of Enjoy The Silence would sound epic sped-up into a dance track, Alan Wilder explained, “Strangely, the thing that immediately came to mind was that I could hear Neil Tennant singing it in my head. Something about the line ‘all I ever wanted’ sounded very hamster… er… Pet Shop [Boys] to me. Most DM songs changed tempo to some degree from the original demo although none I can think of have been that extreme.”
Clean was inspired by Pink Floyd’s One Of These Days (from their 1971 album Meddle). “[Pink Floyd] were doing something very different to anyone else at that time – you can hear electronics in there, and the influence of classical music,” Wilder said. “It’s got a very repetitive, synthesised sound, and the bass riffs with the echo have a very hypnotic groove that underpins it. We basically nicked that idea [for Clean]”.
“Flood and I had been listening to Tangerine Dream and decided to try and create a similar atmosphere for this track [Waiting For The Night],” Wilder revealed. “The main sequence was put together using his ARP and the sequencer that accompanies the synth… The charm of the ARP sequencer stems from the slight tuning and timing variations that occur each time the part is played. This gives a sense of fluidity and continual change, which seems to suit the song.”