Personal Jesus

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This article is about the song by Depeche Mode. For the album by Nina Hagen, see Personal Jesus (album).
"Personal Jesus"
Single by Depeche Mode
from the album Violator
B-side "Dangerous"
Released 29 August 1989
Format
Recorded May 1989
Puk Studios, Denmark
Logic Studios, Milan[1]
Genre
Length 3:44 (7"/single version)
5:51 (12" version)
4:55 (album version)
Label Mute Records
Writer(s) Martin Gore
Producer(s)
Certification Gold (RIAA)[4]
Depeche Mode singles chronology
"Everything Counts" (live)
(1989)
"Personal Jesus"
(1989)
"Enjoy the Silence"
(1990)
Music video
"Personal Jesus" on YouTube
Violator track listing
"Sweetest Perfection"
(2)
"Personal Jesus"
(3)
"Halo"
(4)

"Personal Jesus" is Depeche Mode's 23rd UK single, released on 29 August 1989, and the first single from the album Violator. The single reached No. 13 on the UK Singles Chart[5] and No. 28 on the Billboard Hot 100.[6] The song was the first single to make the US Top 40 for the band since their 1984 single "People Are People" and was their first gold-certified single in the US (quickly followed by the band's subsequent single, "Enjoy the Silence").[7]

In Germany, the single is one of the band's longest charting song, staying on the country's singles chart for 23 weeks.[8]

In 2004, "Personal Jesus" was ranked No. 368 in Rolling Stone's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time",[9] and in September 2006 it was voted as one of the "100 Greatest Songs Ever" in Q magazine.

"Personal Jesus" was re-released as a single on 30 May 2011 for the new Depeche Mode remix album Remixes 2: 81–11, with the leading remix by the production team Stargate.

Since its release, the song has been covered by numerous artists including Gravity Kills, Marilyn Manson, Sammy Hagar, Jerry Williams, Lollipop Lust Kill, Nina Hagen, Richard Cheese, and Johnny Cash.

Inspiration[edit]

The song was inspired by the book Elvis and Me by Priscilla Presley. According to songwriter Martin Gore:

It's a song about being a Jesus for somebody else, someone to give you hope and care. It's about how Elvis Presley was her man and her mentor and how often that happens in love relationships; how everybody's heart is like a god in some way, and that's not a very balanced view of someone, is it?[10]

Background[edit]

In mid-1989, the band began recording in Milan with record producer Flood. The result of this session was the single "Personal Jesus", which featured a catchy bluesy riff and drum-based sound, radically different from anything the band had released thus far. The song became a big hit across the world, and is one of Depeche Mode's most successful songs, along with the following single, "Enjoy the Silence". Although not the first Depeche Mode song to feature guitar parts ("Behind the Wheel" and their cover of "Route 66" featured a guitar; "Love, in Itself" from Construction Time Again featured an acoustic guitar), it was the first time a guitar was used as a dominant instrument in a Depeche Mode song.

Prior to its release, advertisements were placed in the personal columns of regional newspapers in the UK with the words "Your own personal Jesus." Later, the ads included a phone number one could dial to hear the song.[11] The ensuing controversy helped propel the single to No. 13 on the UK charts, becoming one of Depeche Mode’s biggest sellers. The single was particularly successful commercially thanks to the fact that it was released six months prior to the album it would later appear on. Up to that point, it was the best selling 12" single in Warner Brothers history.[12]

"Personal Jesus" has a plethora of remixes, almost unprecedented for Depeche Mode at the time. While most other Depeche Mode singles prior to "Personal Jesus" usually had band-made extended mixes, Depeche Mode started to invite more DJs and mixers to the fold, which would become the mainstay for all future Depeche Mode singles. François Kevorkian (who did the mixing for the Violator album, in general) mixed the single version, the "Holier Than Thou Approach", the "Pump Mix", and the lesser-known "Kazan Cathedral Mix" (which was not available on any of the singles), while producer Flood mixed the "Acoustic" version and the "Telephone Stomp Mix" as well as the single version and "Sensual Mix" of the single's B-side "Dangerous", a more disco-electronic track. The "Hazchemix" and "Hazchemix Edit" of "Dangerous" were mixed by Daniel Miller.

The back-cover of "Personal Jesus" features one of the band members and the back-side of a naked woman. The band member she is with depends on whether it is the 7" Vinyl (Martin Gore), the 12" Vinyl (David Gahan), the Cassette (Andrew Fletcher), or the original CD (Alan Wilder). On some copies she does not appear at all, such as the 2004 CD re-release, and on promo copies. On some limited releases, like the GBong17, all four photos are available plus one photo of the full group (Martin is hugging the woman).

The Anton Corbijn-directed music video for "Personal Jesus" is his first Depeche Mode video in colour, and features the band in a ranch (suggested to appear as a brothel), placed in the Tabernas Desert of Almería, in Spain. MTV edited out some suggestive mouth movements of Martin Gore during the bridge and replaced it with some other footage from the video.

Track listings[edit]

All songs written by Martin L. Gore

Mixes[edit]

Francois Kevorkian

  • Personal Jesus (Single/7" Version)
  • Personal Jesus (Holier Than Thou Approach/12" version)
  • Personal Jesus (Pump Mix) (instrumental)
  • Personal Jesus (Kazan Cathedral Mix) (instrumental)(only available on the limited 4-disc edition of Remixes 81–04 and Just Say Da (Volume IV of the "Just Say Yes" series))
  • Personal Jesus (Album Version)

Flood

  • Personal Jesus (Telephone Stomp Mix)
  • Dangerous (Single Version)
  • Dangerous (Sensual Mix)

Daniel Miller

  • Dangerous (Hazchemix)
  • Dangerous (Hazchemix Edit)

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Appearances[edit]

Personal Jesus 2011[edit]

"Personal Jesus 2011"
Single by Depeche Mode
from the album Remixes 2: 81–11
B-side "Suffer Well (M83 Remix)", "Slowblow (Darren Price Mix)"
Released 18 April 2011
Format
  • Single
  • maxi single
Recorded 2010 – 2011
Genre Electronic, house
Length 3:56
Label Mute Records
Writer(s) Martin Gore
Producer(s) Stargate
Depeche Mode singles chronology
"Fragile Tension / Hole to Feed"
(2009)
"Personal Jesus '11"
(2011)
"Heaven"
(2013)
Remixes 2: 81-11 track listing
"Walking in My Shoes" (Anandamidic Mix)
(11)
"Personal Jesus (The Stargate Mix)"
(12)
"Slowblow (Darren Price Mix)"
(13)

"Personal Jesus 2011" is the remixed version of the single, released on 30 May 2011. The digital single was released in the UK on 18 April 2011. It was released a day later in the US.

Track listings[edit]

CD (Bong43)

  1. "Personal Jesus" (The Stargate Mix) — 3:57
  2. "Personal Jesus" (Alex Metric Remix) — 5:57
  3. "Personal Jesus" (Eric Prydz Remix) — 7:26
  4. "Personal Jesus" (M.A.N. Remix) — 5:24
  5. "Personal Jesus" (Sie Medway-Smith Remix) — 6:25

12" vinyl

  1. "Personal Jesus" (Alex Metric Remix) — 5:54
  2. "Personal Jesus" (M.A.N. Remix) — 5:22
  3. "Personal Jesus" (The Stargate Mix) — 3:56
  4. "Personal Jesus" (Eric Prydz Remix) — 7:25
  5. "Personal Jesus" (Sie Medway-Smith Remix) — 6:25

Digital Download

  1. "Personal Jesus" (The Stargate Mix) — 3:56
  2. "Personal Jesus" (Alex Metric Remix Edit) — 3:27

Beatport Exclusive Digital Download

  1. "Personal Jesus" (Eric Prydz Remix) — 7:26
  2. "Never Let Me Down Again" (Eric Prydz Remix) — 7:01

Promo CD (PCDBong43)

  1. "Personal Jesus" (The Stargate Mix) — 3:57
  2. "Personal Jesus" (Alex Metric Remix Edit) — 3:27
  3. "Personal Jesus" (Alex Metric Remix) — 5:57
  4. "Personal Jesus" (Eric Prydz Remix) — 7:26
  5. "Personal Jesus" (M.A.N. Remix) — 5:24
  6. "Personal Jesus" (Sie Medway-Smith Remix) — 6:25[27][28]

iTunes Store

  1. "Personal Jesus" (Alex Metric Remix) — 5:57
  2. "Personal Jesus" (Eric Prydz Remix) — 7:26
  3. "Personal Jesus" (M.A.N. Remix) — 5:24
  4. "Personal Jesus" (Sie Medway-Smith Remix) — 5:56

Charts[edit]

Chart (2011) Peak
position
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[29] 73
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders Dance)[30] 32
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[31] 43
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia Dance)[32] 43
Czech Republic (Rádio Top 100)[33] 62
Hungary (Single Top 20)[34] 5
Slovakia (Rádio Top 100)[35] 71
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[24] 73
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[36] 119

Cover versions[edit]

Johnny Cash cover[edit]

Johnny Cash recorded "Personal Jesus" for his 2002 album American IV. Producer Rick Rubin asked Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante to re-work an acoustic version of Martin Gore's song, which featured a simple acoustic riff that stripped down the song to a blues style. Frusciante plays guitar on the track, along with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell.

Marilyn Manson cover[edit]

"Personal Jesus"
Single by Marilyn Manson
from the album Lest We Forget: The Best Of
Released 4 October 2004
Format
Recorded 2004
Genre
Label
Writer(s) Martin L. Gore
Producer(s)
Marilyn Manson singles chronology
(s)AINT
(2004)
Personal Jesus
(2004)
Against All Gods Remix
(2005)
Music sample

Marilyn Manson's 2004 cover version of "Personal Jesus" appears on the band's best-of compilation, Lest We Forget: The Best of, and was that album's lead single. It was recorded by Marilyn Manson with instrumentation and arrangement by Tim Sköld at Manson's studio, Doppelherz Blood Treatment Facility, and mixed by Mark 'Spike' Stent, a veteran producer who had also frequently worked with Depeche Mode.

The cover does not deviate in any large degree from Depeche Mode's original version, apart from additional guitar distortion. The single was accompanied by a music video directed by Manson and Nathan "Karma" Cox, which features the band members in tableaux vivants accompanied by rear-projection images depicting various images of political figures such as John F. Kennedy, Joseph Stalin, Mahatma Gandhi, Adolf Hitler, George W. Bush and Fidel Castro.

Like the original version, this 2004 cover was also remixed by other artists. The "Personal Jesus Rude Photo Motor Mix" was produced by Felix da Housecat, Brian Black and Olivier Grasset, and appears as a b-side on the vinyl versions of the single.

Track listings[edit]

Enhanced CD single
  1. Personal Jesus — 4:06
  2. mOBSCENE Replet (Mea Culpa Remix by Bitteren Ende) — 4:35
  3. Personal Jesus (Rude Photo Motor Remix) — 5:50
  4. "Personal Jesus" video
German 3" CD single
  1. Personal Jesus — 4:06
  2. This Is the New Shit (remix by Sergio Galoyan — 4:28
UK 10" and UK 7"
  1. Personal Jesus (LP version)
  2. Personal Jesus (Rude Photo Motor Remix)
UK Enhanced CD single
  1. Personal Jesus — 4:06
  2. This Is the New Shit (Invective remix by Obiter Dictum) — 4:25
  3. mOBSCENE Replet (Mea Culpa Remix by Bitteren Ende) — 4:35
  4. "Personal Jesus" video

Jamelia sample[edit]

Singer-songwriter Jamelia recorded the song "Beware of the Dog" in 2006. This song sampled "Personal Jesus". "Beware of the Dog" peaked at No. 10 on the UK charts.

Hilary Duff sample[edit]

Actress and singer Hilary Duff recorded "Reach Out" in 2008. The song was also based upon a sample of "Personal Jesus".[37] "Reach Out" later became No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play chart.

Other covers[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cranna, Ian (April 1990). "Insidious". Q: 77. 
  2. ^ Buckley, Peter (2003). The Rough Guide to Rock. Rough Guides. p. 286. ISBN 978-1-8435-3105-0. "Given that, by now. Depeche Mode had become a stadium phenomenon in the States. Violator seemed an oddly introspective way to sell six million units (the synth-rock single "Personal Jesus“ was the exception to the rule)." 
  3. ^ (French) Michaud, Sébastien (2001). Depeche Mode: Éthique synthétique. Camion Blanc. p. 244. ISBN 978-2-9101-9626-4. 
  4. ^ "RIAA – Gold & Platinum Searchable Database – Personal Jesus". RIAA. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Depeche Mode – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  7. ^ Giles, Jeff (12–26 July 1990). "Depeche Mode Interview". Rolling Stone (582–583): 60–65. 
  8. ^ (German) "Depeche Mode – Single-Chartverfolgung". Musicline.de. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  9. ^ The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (1-500) at the Wayback Machine (archived 20 August 2006). Rolling Stone. RealNetworks. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  10. ^ Fox, Marisa (4 July 1990). "Pop a la Mode". Spin 6 (4). Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  11. ^ Macleod, Duncan (26 July 2007). "Depeche Mode Personal Jesus". The Inspiration Room. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  12. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Depeche Mode – Personal Jesus". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  13. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 51, No. 17, March 10, 1990". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  14. ^ "Dance/Urban – Volume 51, No. 3, November 18, 1989". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  15. ^ a b c "Lescharts.com – Depeche Mode – Personal Jesus" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  16. ^ "Depeche Mode – Personal Jesus". Officialcharts.de. GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  17. ^ "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  18. ^ a b (Italian) "I singoli più venduti del 1989". Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  19. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Depeche Mode – Personal Jesus" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  20. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Depeche Mode – Personal Jesus". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  21. ^ (Polish) "PERSONAL JESUS – Depeche Mode". LP3. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  22. ^ (Spanish) Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  23. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Depeche Mode – Personal Jesus". Singles Top 60. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  24. ^ a b "Depeche Mode – Personal Jesus – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  25. ^ CASH BOX Top 100 Pop Singles – Week ending MARCH 3, 1990 at the Wayback Machine (archived 7 October 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  26. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Depeche Mode – Personal Jesus". Tracklisten.
  27. ^ (Spanish) mOEnias (1 April 2011). "News... Depeche Mode - Personal Jesus '11 (Bong 43) "2011"". Ondasynthpop.blogspot.com. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  28. ^ Depeche Mode – "Personal Jesus 2011" at the Wayback Machine (archived 26 April 2011). Shout.ru. 5 April 2011. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
  29. ^ "Depeche Mode – Personal Jesus 2011 – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
  30. ^ (Dutch) "Ultratop 50 Dance – 04/06/2011". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  31. ^ "Ultratop.be – Depeche Mode – Personal Jesus 2011" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  32. ^ (French) "Ultratop 50 Dance – 07/05/2011". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  33. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201123 into search. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  34. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ – Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 10 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved 8 June 2011.
  35. ^ "SNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201122 into search. Retrieved 4 May 2011.
  36. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
  37. ^ Vena, Jocelyn (16 November 2008). "Hilary Duff Talks New LP, Depeche Mode Backstage At ‘Total Finale Live’". MTV. Viacom. Retrieved 7 September 2014. 

External links[edit]