Ultra (Depeche Mode album)

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Ultra
Studio album by Depeche Mode
Released 14 April 1997 (1997-04-14)
Recorded January 1996 – February 1997; Abbey Road, Eastcote, Westside, Strongroom, RAK (London); Electric Lady (New York City); Larrabee West (Los Angeles)
Genre Alternative dance, industrial rock, alternative rock, synthpop
Length 60:04
Label Mute
Producer Tim Simenon
Depeche Mode chronology
Songs of Faith and Devotion
(1993)
Ultra
(1997)
Exciter
(2001)
Singles from Ultra
  1. "Barrel of a Gun"
    Released: 13 February 1997 (1997-02-13)
  2. "It's No Good"
    Released: 31 March 1997 (1997-03-31)
  3. "Home"
    Released: 16 June 1997 (1997-06-16)
  4. "Useless"
    Released: 20 October 1997 (1997-10-20)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[1]
Entertainment Weekly B+[2]
Los Angeles Times 2.5/5 stars[3]
NME 6/10[4]
PopMatters 7/10[5]
Q 4/5 stars[6]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[7]
Sputnikmusic 3/5 stars[8]
Vox 7/10[9]

Ultra is the ninth studio album by English electronic music band Depeche Mode, released on 14 April 1997 by Mute Records. The album was the band's first since the departure of Alan Wilder, who had left the band in 1995 having become disillusioned with life in Depeche Mode. Wilder's departure and lead singer Dave Gahan's drug problems, which culminated in a near-fatal overdose, had caused many people to speculate that the band was finished.[10] This is their first album as a trio since 1982's A Broken Frame.

Ultra debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart and at number five on the Billboard 200. By April 2006, the album had sold 584,000 copies in the United States.[11] Although the project was initially conceived as an EP, Ultra was the band's longest album to date, clocking in at one hour.

Promotion[edit]

To promote the release of the album the band played two short concerts in London and Los Angeles, titled Ultra Parties. The London concert took place on 10 April 1997 at Adrenalin Village and the Los Angeles concert was held on 16 May 1997 at the Shrine Exposition Hall. The Shrine show was produced by Philip Blaine whose 1500 Records was currently compiling the soon to be released Depeche Mode tribute album For the Masses. The shows featured Christian Eigner on drums and Dave Clayton on keyboards. The Los Angeles show was filmed by MTV but the performance was never broadcast in its entirety.[12][13]

Setlist

  1. "Uselink" (instrumental intro)
  2. "Barrel of a Gun"
  3. "Useless"
  4. "It's No Good"
  5. "Home"
  6. "Never Let Me Down Again"

2007 re-release[edit]

On 2 October 2007 (3 October in North America), Ultra was re-released in a two-disc set, along with Exciter, completing the Depeche Mode Collectors Edition catalog. The first disc is a remastered version of the original album, on a SACD/CD hybrid (except for in the U.S., where it's a CD only). The second disc is a DVD which features the album in DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1 and PCM Stereo. The B-sides from the album's singles can be listened to as well, including the standalone single "Only When I Lose Myself" and its B-sides.

Finally, like the other albums, there is a documentary on the making of Ultra titled Depeche Mode 95–98 (Oh well, that's the end of the band...), the subtitle of which comes from Gore's thoughts about Wilder's departure. The documentary begins with discussion from all parties of Wilder's departure before moving on to early album sessions despite Dave Gahan's drug issues present. Eventually, it moves on to Gahan's "death" and rehab. The documentary then covers the recording of Ultra and ends with a discussion on The Singles 86>98 and its corresponding singles tour. The whole band is interviewed, along with Alan Wilder, Daniel Miller, producer Tim Simenon, Mute executives, touring keyboardist Peter Gordeno, touring drummer Christian Eigner, Anton Corbijn and others.

The remastered version of the album was released on "deluxe" vinyl 30 March 2007 in Germany and 1 October 2007 internationally.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Martin L. Gore.

  1. "Barrel of a Gun" – 5:35
  2. "The Love Thieves" – 6:34
  3. "Home" – 5:42
  4. "It's No Good" – 5:58
  5. "Uselink" – 2:21
  6. "Useless" – 5:12
  7. "Sister of Night" – 6:04
  8. "Jazz Thieves" – 2:54
  9. "Freestate" – 6:44
  10. "The Bottom Line" – 4:26
  11. "Insight" – 6:26
  12. "Junior Painkiller" (hidden track) – 2:11
  • A ninety second pause separates "Junior Painkiller" from "Insight", which is actually only around five minutes and ten seconds in length.

2007 re-release (CD/SACD)[edit]

  • Disc 1 is a hybrid SACD/CD with a multi-channel SACD layer.
  • Disc 2 is a DVD which includes "Ultra" in DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1 and PCM Stereo plus the following bonus material:
Live tracks in London, April 1997 (in DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1, PCM Stereo)
  1. "Barrel of a Gun"
  2. "It's No Good"
  3. "Useless"
Bonus tracks (in PCM Stereo)
  1. "Painkiller"
  2. "Slowblow"
  3. "Only When I Lose Myself"
  4. "Surrender"
  5. "Headstar"
Additional material
  • Depeche Mode 95–98 (Oh well, that's the end of the band...) (50-minute documentary)

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Ultra.[14]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
France (SNEP)[40] Gold 100,000*
Germany (BVMI)[41] Gold 250,000^
Sweden (GLF)[42] Gold 40,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[43] Gold 25,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[44] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[45] Gold 584,000[11]
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[46] Platinum 1,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Raggett, Ned. Depeche Mode: Ultra > Review at AllMusic. Retrieved 25 June 2011.
  2. ^ Farber, Jim (18 April 1997). "Music review: Ultra". Entertainment Weekly (375). Retrieved 25 June 2011. 
  3. ^ Scribner, Sara (April 13, 1997). ""That Same Gloom and Doom Mode" [Ultra review]". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 8,2013. 
  4. ^ Oldham, James (4 April 1997). "Common Synths [Ultra review]". NME. 
  5. ^ Bergstrom, John (20 December 2007). "Depeche Mode Ultra". PopMatters.com. Retrieved 25 June 2011. 
  6. ^ Malins, Steve (May 1997). ""Downbeat" "Depeche Mode: everybody knows the trouble they've seen" [Ultra review]". Q. 
  7. ^ Gardner, Elysa (10 April 1997). "Ultra". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 25 June 2011. 
  8. ^ Monaghan, Tom (2 March 2011). "Depeche Mode Ultra". PopMatters.com. Retrieved 25 December 2011. 
  9. ^ Fadele, Dele (May 1997). ""Bleak Celebration" [Ultra review]". Vox. 
  10. ^ "Especial Depeche Mode: Ultra" (in Spanish). Hipersonica. Retrieved 5 May 2009. 
  11. ^ a b Caulfield, Keith (5 April 2006). "Ask Billboard: New Depeche Order Mode". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  12. ^ depeche mode dot com, depechemode.com 
  13. ^ depeche mode dot com, depechemode.com 
  14. ^ Ultra (CD liner notes). Depeche Mode. Mute Records. 1997. CDSTUMM148. 
  15. ^ "Depeche Mode – Ultra". australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  16. ^ "Depeche Mode – Ultra" (in German). austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  17. ^ "Depeche Mode – Ultra" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  18. ^ "Depeche Mode – Ultra" (in French). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  19. ^ "Depeche Mode – Chart history: Canadian Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  20. ^ "Depeche Mode / Ultra". TOP20.dk. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  21. ^ "Depeche Mode – Ultra" (in Dutch). dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  22. ^ a b "Hits of the World". Billboard 109 (18): 49. 3 May 1997. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  23. ^ "Depeche Mode – Ultra". finnishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  24. ^ "Depeche Mode – Ultra" (in French). lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  25. ^ "Depeche Mode | Chartverfolgung | Ultra" (in German). Musicline.de. PHONONET GmbH. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  26. ^ "Archívum › Kereső – előadó/cím szerint" (in Hungarian). MAHASZ. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  27. ^ "Hits of the World". Billboard 109 (18): 48. 3 May 1997. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  28. ^ "デペッシュ・モードのアルバム売り上げランキング" [Depeche Mode album sales ranking] (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  29. ^ "Depeche Mode – Ultra". charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  30. ^ "Depeche Mode – Ultra". norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 April 2009. 
  31. ^ a b "Hits of the World". Billboard 109 (19): 49. 10 May 1997. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  32. ^ "Depeche Mode – Ultra". swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 April 2009. 
  33. ^ "Depeche Mode – Ultra". swisscharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  34. ^ "1997 Top 40 Official Albums Chart UK Archive". Official Charts Company. 26 April 1997. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  35. ^ "Depeche Mode – Chart history: Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  36. ^ "Jahreshitparade Alben 1997" (in German). austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  37. ^ "Rapports Annuels 1997 – Albums" (in French). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  38. ^ "Gli album più venduti del 1997" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  39. ^ "The Year in Music 1997 – Top 200 Albums". Billboard 109 (52): YE-28. 27 December 1997 – 3 January 1998. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  40. ^ "Certifications Albums Or – année 1997" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 24 June 1997. Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  41. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Depeche Mode; 'Ultra')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  42. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. 9 April 1997. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  43. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Depeche Mode; 'Ultra')". Hung Medien. 
  44. ^ "British album certifications – Depeche Mode – Ultra". British Phonographic Industry. 1 April 1997.  Enter Ultra in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  45. ^ "American album certifications – Depeche Mode – Ultra". Recording Industry Association of America. 7 August 1997.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  46. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 1998 Awards". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Archived from the original on 4 May 2009. Retrieved 27 February 2014.