Barrel of a Gun (Depeche Mode song)

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"Barrel of a Gun"
Single by Depeche Mode
from the album Ultra
B-side "Painkiller"
Released 3 February 1997
Format Vinyl record 7", 12", CD
Recorded January 1996 - February 1997
Abbey Road, Eastcote, Westside, Strongroom, RAK, London
Electric Lady, New York
Larrabee West, Los Angeles
Genre Industrial rock, electronic rock
Length 5:35 (Album Version)
4:00 (Radio Edit)
Label Mute Records
Writer(s) Martin Gore
Producer(s) Tim Simenon
Depeche Mode singles chronology
"In Your Room"
(1994)
"Barrel of a Gun"
(1997)
"It's No Good"
(1997)
Ultra track listing
- "Barrel of a Gun"
(1)
"The Love Thieves"
(2)
The Singles 86>98 (CD2) track listing
"In Your Room"
(4)
"Barrel of a Gun"
(5)
"It's No Good"
(6)

"Barrel of a Gun" is Depeche Mode's thirty-first UK single, released on 3 February 1997 (28 January in the US), and the first single from the band's ninth studio album Ultra.

Track history[edit]

"Barrel of a Gun" came after some difficult times for the band and its members. Musician Alan Wilder left the band in 1995, and lead singer David Gahan nearly died while in the throes of heroin addiction. Martin Gore had a string of seizures as well as battling alcoholism, and Andrew Fletcher was suffering from depression. In mid-1996, Gore tried to get Gahan and Fletcher interested in recording new Depeche Mode material by writing a few songs and seeing if anybody was interested in continuing after that. It worked, and the band were back together, except now a trio again for the first time since 1982's A Broken Frame.

"Barrel of a Gun" brings back the industrial music sound, and is one of the band's darkest songs. Gore wasn't sure if it was going to be a big hit, so he was reluctant to recommend this song as the first single, but when he eventually did, it turned out the rest of band, Daniel Miller, and producer Tim Simenon agreed. It reached number 4 in the UK chart in 1997, which at the time was their highest chart position jointly with "People Are People", released in 1984. Since then, "Precious" has also reached number 4 in the UK, in 2005.

The B-side is a 7+ minute instrumental called "Painkiller", which reflects the new dirty-electronic, vaguely rock angle of the band. A condensed (2+ minute) version shows up as a hidden track on the Ultra album as "Junior Painkiller".

Video[edit]

The music video for "Barrel of a Gun" is directed by Anton Corbijn, DM's long-time visual collaborator. It features Gahan with long hair singing with his eyes closed, with eyeballs drawn on his eyelids to make it seem like they are open. The video was shot in Morocco.

Track listings[edit]

30 second sample from Depeche Mode's "Barrel of a Gun".

Problems playing this file? See media help.

12": Mute / 12Bong25 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Barrel of a Gun" (5:29)
  2. "Barrel of a Gun (Underworld Hard Mix)" (9:37)
  3. "Barrel of a Gun (3 Phase Mix)" (5:23) (remixed by Sven Röhrig)
  4. "Barrel of a Gun (One Inch Punch Mix V2)" (5:28) (remixed by One Inch Punch)
  5. "Barrel of a Gun (Underworld Soft Mix)" (6:29)

12": Mute / L12Bong25 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Painkiller (Plastikman Mix)" (8:39)
  2. "Painkiller" (7:29)
  3. "Barrel of a Gun (One Inch Punch Mix)" (5:25)
  4. "Barrel of a Gun (United Mix)" (6:36) (remixed by United - Marc Waterman and Paul Freegard)

CD: Mute / CDBong25 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Barrel of a Gun" (5:29)
  2. "Painkiller" (7:29)
  3. "Barrel of a Gun (Underworld Soft Mix)" (6:29)
  4. "Barrel of a Gun (One Inch Punch Mix)" (5:25)

CD: Mute / LCDBong25 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Barrel of a Gun (Underworld Hard Mix)" (9:37)
  2. "Barrel of a Gun (United Mix)" (6:36)
  3. "Painkiller (Plastikman Mix)" (8:39)

CD: Mute / CDBong25X (EU)[edit]

  1. "Barrel of a Gun" (5:29)
  2. "Painkiller" (7:29)
  3. "Barrel of a Gun (Underworld Soft Mix)" (6:29)
  4. "Barrel of a Gun (One Inch Punch Mix)" (5:25)
  5. "Barrel of a Gun (Underworld Hard Mix)" (9:37)
  6. "Barrel of a Gun (United Mix)" (6:36)
  7. "Painkiller (Plastikman Mix)" (8:39)
  8. "Barrel of a Gun (3 Phase Mix)" (5:23)
  9. "Barrel of a Gun (One Inch Punch Mix V2)" (5:28)
  • This CD is the 2004 re-release

Promo 12": Mute / P12Bong25 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Barrel of a Gun (Underworld Hard Mix)" (9:37)
  2. "Painkiller (Plastikman Mix)" (8:39)
  3. "Barrel of a Gun" (5:29)
  4. "Barrel of a Gun (Underworld Hard Instrumental)" (9:13)

Promo 12": Mute / PL12Bong25 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Barrel of a Gun (One Inch Punch Mix V2)" (5:25)
  2. "Painkiller (Original Mix)" (5:26)
  3. "Barrel of a Gun (3 Phase Mix)" (5:29)
  4. "Barrel of a Gun (Original Mix)" (5:35)

Promo CD: Mute / RCDBong25 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Barrel of a Gun (Radio Edit)" (4:01)
  2. "Barrel of a Gun (Album Version)" (5:29)

7": Reprise / 17390-7 (US)[edit]

  1. "Barrel Of A Gun" (5:30)
  2. "Painkiller" (7:28)

CD: Sire/Reprise / 2-17409 (US)[edit]

  1. "Barrel of a Gun" (5:29)
  2. "Barrel of a Gun (United Mix)" (6:36)
  3. "Painkiller" (7:29)

CD: Sire/Reprise / 43828-2 (US)[edit]

  1. "Barrel of a Gun" (5:29)
  2. "Painkiller (Plastikman Mix)" (8:39)
  3. "Barrel of a Gun (Underworld Soft Mix)" (6:27)
  4. "Barrel of a Gun (One Inch Punch Mix V2)" (5:25)
  5. "Barrel of a Gun (Underworld Hard Mix)" (9:36)
  • "One Inch Punch Mix V2" was falsely mistaken for the regular "One Inch Punch Mix". The latter was not released in the US till the 2004 re-release.

Promo CD: Sire/Reprise / PRO-CD-8600 (US)[edit]

  1. "Barrel of a Gun (Radio Edit)" (4:01)
  2. "Barrel of a Gun" (5:29)

Charts[edit]

Chart (1997) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[1] 33
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[2] 15
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[3] 37
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[4] 18
Canada Alternative 30 (RPM)[5] 5
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[6] 3
France (SNEP)[7] 22
Germany (Media Control Charts)[8] 3
Italy (FIMI)[9] 4
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[10] 50
Norway (VG-lista)[11] 6
Spain (AFYVE)[12] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[13] 1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[14] 30
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[15] 4
US Billboard Hot 100[16] 47
US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks[16] 11

References[edit]

External links[edit]