Nov 062020

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20. Lotte Kestner – Question of Lust

Lotte Kestner loves covering Depeche Mode. She released an entire EP titled, simply, Covering Depeche Mode, then did yet another Depeche track on this year’s album Covers, Vol. 2. They’re all great, spare and angelic electro-folk ballads. Best of the bunch, by a hair, is “Question of Lust,” but the whole EP is worth tracking down. – Ray Padgett

19. Viktoriya Yermolyeva – Freelove

“Freelove” from 2007’s Exciter is an underrated latter-day Depeche Mode classic. Had it existed in the band’s ’80s or early ’90s heyday, it might have been as beloved its melodic forerunners “Somebody” or “Question of Lust.” Pianist Vika Yermolyeva, a.k.a. YouTuber Vkgoeswild, has covered a myriad of rock songs some of which truly have to be seen and heard to be believed. Her version of “Freelove” takes its cue from the original, then takes it even further, stripping things down to expose the song’s sublime melody and uncovering the undeniable emotional elegance in its bones. – Hope Silverman

18. Duncan Sheik – Stripped

If you know anything about Duncan Sheik, be it his first single “Barely Breathing” or his Tony-winning work on Spring Awakening, you know his music shares little in common with Depeche Mode. Nevertheless, on 2011 album Covers 80’s, he refashioned “Stripped” into a banjo-and-xylophones folk-rock number. It retains some darkness even while lightening up the instrumentation. – Ray Padgett

17. Zara James – Just Can’t Get Enough

This cover is less of a toe-tapper than the original, but it is still heartfelt, taking a dance hall bop into a romantic declaration. James’s vocals are crisp and soothing, and throughout we occasionally hear faint whispering “just can’t get enough” in the background. Towards the end James scats the opening line in tandem with the acoustic guitar to further connect us to the original’s iconic synth line. – Sara Stoudt

16. RuPaul – People Are People

“People Are People” was Depeche Mode’s breakthrough hit in America, but the band has been ambivalent about the song in the years since, saying it was a little too on-the-nose lyrically and not playing it live in over thirty years. But its message, however unambiguous, can still find new meaning in its singer. When RuPaul made it a dance floor smash, lyrics like “different people have different needs” and “It’s obvious you hate me though I’ve done nothing wrong” resonate in a whole new way, coming from the LGBTQ icon. Which of course is a good deal of the point. – Patrick Robbins

15. Keane – Enjoy the Silence

Keane’s take on “Enjoy the Silence” is stripped down, focusing on a pair of keyboards but without the dance-pop synths characteristic of the original. Attention to percussion even in this stripped-down version keeps the slightly syncopated bass drum complete with lighter, yet steady, tambourine. The vocals are faithful to the original melody, complete with the occasional background vocal echoes chiming in during the choruses. – Sara Stoudt

14. Unwoman – Blasphemous Rumours

If you made a list of bands you’d expect a gothic-electronic cellist to cover, The Cure would probably top the list… but Depeche Mode wouldn’t be far behind. Frankly, I’m surprised she’s only done it the once. Erica Mulvey makes it count, though, on the wonderfully looped “Blasphemous Rumours.” (And, yes, she also made our Best Cure Covers Ever list.) – Ray Padgett

13. Ghost – Waiting for the Night

“Waiting for the Night” did not appear on our Best Cover Songs of 2013 list. Why not? Because another song on that same covers EP, the Roky Erickson cover “If You Have Ghosts,” did. At number one, no less. Though this cover doesn’t quite match that one – few do – the masked metal band bring a gothic grandeur to the key changes. – Jane Callaway

12. Deftones – To Have And To Hold

Deftones singer Chino Moreno proved himself a bona fide fan of Depeche Mode when he persuaded his group to record “To Have and to Hold” for the 1998 tribute album For the Masses. He’d chosen a deep cut, clearly untroubled by the fact that it had no chorus, went nowhere, and could pretty well be described as three minutes of unrelenting tension and menace. Result: The Californian alt-metal band used the energy from their Around The Fur sessions to turn it into three minutes of unrelenting tension, menace, and extreme guitar aggression. There’s a squall of feedback, a scream, and then you’re right into it: Hitchcockian chords, mean bass playing, Moreno totally believable as the guy who “needs to be cleansed” with the help of “someone who cares,” and frenzied guitar noise that totally messes up your brain. Thrilling. – Adam Mason

11. Josh T. Pearson – Cover Me

You know we had to have a cover of the Depeche Mode song that shares our name. It’s a hell of a deep cut – who’s covering Depeche Mode songs from the 2010s? Josh T. Pearson is, that’s who. It was officially sanctioned by the band, released as a b-side to the “Cover Me” single, titled “Cover Me (Josh T. Pearson Choose Hellth Remix)” by someone who clearly doesn’t know the difference between a remix and a cover. – Ray Padgett

The list continues on Page 3.

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  11 Responses to “The Best Depeche Mode Covers Ever”

Comments (11)
  1. These are the best DM covers:

    Lady Fanny – Never Let Me Down Again
    Friendly Fires – Strangelove
    Penelope Austin – Heaven
    World In My Eyes – Lotte Kestner
    Groove Messangers – I Feel You
    Comatose – Comatose (Comatose Version)
    Herra Terra – Enjoy the Silence
    Agente Naranja – A Pain That I’m Used To
    Blasphemous Rumours
    Cranial Screwtop – New Life
    Eyes Lips Eyes – Halo
    CJ – Policy of truth
    Stevie Ann – Personal Jesus
    Big Nurse – Lie to me
    3 Minute Solution – Personal Jesus
    Charlotte Martin – Judas
    Official Version – Now This Is Fun
    Astyplaz – Walking In My Shoes
    Challenger In Pieces – Personal_Jesus
    Diefenbach – Policy Of Truth
    Gotye – Just Can’t Get Enough (Mothloop Mix)
    Kristy Thirsk – Behind The Wheel
    Marie Frank – It’s No Good
    Moi Caprice – Any Second Now
    Track72 Feat Mark Linn – Monument
    Janita – Enjoy the Silence
    Scala & Kolacny Brothers – Dream On
    Sofian – People Are People

  2. one more:

    Twintapes – Blasphemous Rumours

  3. Monster Magnet-black celebration, super version.

  4. And Marsheaux???

    Marsheaux – My Secret Garden

  5. Vader – I feel you

  6. This list is incomplete without representation from the recently re-released classic, STRANGE LOVE: PM Does DM.

    They’re all terrific but pat’s version of Policy of Truth is my favorite of the record. I think I even prefer it to the original.

  7. Former Human Beings : It’s No Good

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