Enjoy the Silence

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"Enjoy the Silence"
Single by Depeche Mode
from the album Violator
B-side "Memphisto", "Sibeling"
Released 5 February 1990[1]
Format Vinyl record, 7", 12", Cassette, CD
Recorded May 1989
Puk Studios, Denmark
Logic Studios, Milan[2]
Genre Dance-pop,[3] synthpop[3]
Length 6:12 (album version)
4:16 (radio edit)
Label Mute
Writer(s) Martin Gore
Producer(s) Depeche Mode, Flood
Certification Gold (RIAA)
Depeche Mode singles chronology
"Personal Jesus"
(1989)
"Enjoy the Silence"
(1990)
"Policy of Truth"
(1990)
Music video
"Enjoy the Silence" on YouTube

"Enjoy the Silence" is Depeche Mode's twenty-fourth UK single, recorded in 1989 and released on 5 February 1990, it was the second single from the then upcoming album Violator.

The single is Gold certificated in the US and Germany.[4] The song won Best British Single at the 1991 BRIT Awards.[5]

It has been recorded by many other artists, including Tori Amos, Anberlin, Breaking Benjamin, Hybrid and Keane.

"Enjoy the Silence" was re-released as a single in 2004 for the Depeche Mode remix project Remixes 81 - 04, and was titled "Enjoy the Silence (Reinterpreted)" or, more simply, "Enjoy the Silence 04".

B-sides[edit]

There are two instrumental B-sides to "Enjoy the Silence". "Sibeling" (the 12" B-side) is a soft piano-tune while "Memphisto" (the 7" B-side) is a darker, eerier track. The title of "Sibeling" refers to Finnish classical composer Jean Sibelius. According to Martin Gore, "Memphisto is the name of an imaginary film about Elvis as a Devil, that I created in my mind".[6]

Music videos[edit]

Original version[edit]

The Anton Corbijn-directed music video for "Enjoy the Silence" references the themes and storyline of the philosophical children's book The Little Prince. Footage of Gahan dressed as a stereotypical king wandering the hillsides of the Scottish Highlands, the coast of Portugal and finally the Swiss Alps with a deck chair is intercut with black-and-white footage of the band posing. Brief flashes of a single rose (which is also on the album cover of Violator) appear throughout the scenes.

When Corbijn presented the concept of the video to the band, which at the time was simply "Dave dressed up as a king, walking around with a deck chair", they initially rejected it. They changed their minds, when he explained that the idea was that the King (Dave) was represented "a man with everything in the world, just looking for a quiet place to sit"; a king of no kingdom. Andy Fletcher jokes that he favoured the video because "[he] only had to do about an hour's worth of work".

The video uses a slightly different mix of the album version of the song (the most notable difference being a new and extended introduction) that has not been released in any audio format. The final long shots of the king walking through the snow are not Gahan but rather the video's producer, Richard Bell. Gahan had left the set, tiring of the cold in Switzerland (recounted by Gahan in the intro to The Videos (86-98)).

World Trade Center Promo Video[edit]

In 1990, a promotional video for "Enjoy the Silence" was shot by French TV (for the TV Show "Champs-Élysées" with Michel Drucker) featuring Depeche Mode lip-syncing the song while standing atop the World Trade Center at the WTC rooftop World observatory.[7]

Track listing[edit]

Reception[edit]

Pitchfork Media included the song at number 15 on their Top 200 Tracks of the 90s.[8]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Enjoy the Silence 04[edit]