Stripped (song)

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Single by Depeche Mode
from the album Black Celebration
B-side "But Not Tonight", "Black Day", "Breathing in Fumes"
Released 10 February 1986
Format Vinyl (7" and 12")
CD (1991 box set)
Recorded Late 1985
Genre Synthpop, dark wave
Length 3:52 (7"/single version)
6:42 (12" version)
4:14 (album version)
Label Mute
Writer(s) Martin Gore
Producer(s) Depeche Mode, Daniel Miller, Gareth Jones
Depeche Mode singles chronology
"It's Called a Heart"
"A Question of Lust"

"Stripped" is Depeche Mode's fifteenth UK single, released on 10 February 1986. It was the first single from the album Black Celebration, and the band's thirteenth overall and sixth consecutive single to hit the UK Top 20, peaking at number 15. "Stripped" is well known for its innovative use of sampling. The underlying beat is a distorted and slowed-down sound of a motorcycle engine running, while the main melody begins with a car's ignition starting, and the end uses sounds of fireworks.[1]

The band's U.S. label Sire Records, however, decided to use the B-side "But Not Tonight" on the soundtrack to the movie Modern Girls and included the song on US editions of Black Celebration. As a result, the single was flipped, and released as "But Not Tonight" in the United States to help promote the movie. The band was not happy with this decision, seeing "But Not Tonight" as a useless pop track recorded in less than a day. The single did not chart. Surprisingly, despite previous criticism of the song by the band, an acoustic version of "But Not Tonight" was sometimes performed by Martin Gore on Depeche Mode’s Delta Machine Tour and is included in the 2014 album "Live in Berlin".[2]

The other two B-Sides are "Breathing in Fumes" and "Black Day". "Breathing in Fumes" was a new song using samples from "Stripped", mixed by the band and Thomas Stiehler. "Black Day" is an acoustic, alternate version of "Black Celebration" sung by Martin Gore, and is co-written by him, Alan Wilder, and producer Daniel Miller – the only Depeche Mode song where Miller receives a writing credit.

The "Highland Mix" of "Stripped" was mixed by Mark Ellis (better known as Flood), who in the future would produce Depeche Mode's Violator and Songs of Faith and Devotion records. Some editions of the Black Celebration CD include the extended remix of "But Not Tonight" along with "Black Day" and "Breathing in Fumes" as bonus tracks.

The music video for "Stripped" was the last Depeche Mode video to be directed by Peter Care and was filmed outside of Hansa Studios in Berlin. The music video for "But Not Tonight" was directed by Tamra Davis. Two differently cut versions of both "Stripped" and "But Not Tonight" are available on "Video Singles Collection".

"Stripped" was featured in the film Say Anything....

Track listings[edit]

"But Not Tonight"
Single by Depeche Mode
from the album Modern Girls (soundtrack), Black Celebration
B-side "Stripped", "Black Day", "Breathing in Fumes"
Released 22 October 1986
Format Vinyl
Recorded Late 1985
Length 4:15 (7"/Single Version)
6:18 (US 12" Version)
5:12 (UK 12"/Album Version)
Label Mute
Writer(s) Martin Gore
Producer(s) Depeche Mode, Daniel Miller, Gareth Jones
Depeche Mode singles chronology
"A Question of Time"
"But Not Tonight"

7": Mute / 7Bong10 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Stripped" – 3:52
  2. "But Not Tonight" – 4:15

12": Mute / 12Bong10 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Stripped (Highland Mix)" – 6:42
  2. "But Not Tonight (Extended Remix)" – 5:13
  3. "Breathing in Fumes" – 6:07
  4. "Fly on the Windscreen (Quiet Mix)" – 4:24
  5. "Black Day" – 2:37

CD: Mute / CDBong10 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Stripped" – 3:52
  2. "But Not Tonight" – 4:15
  3. "Stripped (Highland Mix)" – 6:42
  4. "But Not Tonight (Extended Remix)" – 5:13
  5. "Breathing in Fumes" – 6:07
  6. "Fly on the Windscreen (Quiet Mix)" – 4:24
  7. "Black Day" – 2:37

The CD single was released in 1991 as part of the singles box set compilations.

7": Sire / 7-28564 (US)[edit]

  1. "But Not Tonight" [*] – 3:52
  2. "Stripped " – 3:59

12": Sire / 0-20578 (US)[edit]

  1. "But Not Tonight (Extended Mix)" [*] – 6:18
  2. "Breathing in Fumes" – 6:07
  3. "Stripped (Highland Mix)" – 6:42
  4. "Black Day" – 2:37

[*] The 7" and 12" versions on the US "But Not Tonight" single are different versions than used on the UK singles – they were remixed by Robert Margouleff. The 12" mix later appeared on the rare fourth disc of Depeche Mode's remix compilation, Remixes 81–04, as the "Margouleff Dance Mix."

CD: Intercord / INT 826.835 (Germany)[edit]

  1. "Stripped (Highland Mix)" – 6:42
  2. "But Not Tonight (Extended Remix)" – 5:12 [*]
  3. "Breathing in Fumes" – 6:07
  4. "Fly on the Windscreen (Quiet Mix)" – 4:24
  5. "Black Day" – 2:37

[*] This is the UK Extended 12" version. The German CD was released in 1986

All songs written by Martin Gore except "Black Day" which is written by Gore, Alan Wilder, and Daniel Miller

Chart performance[edit]

Country Peak
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[3] 10
Germany (Official German Charts)[4] 4
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[5] 8
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[6] 9
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[7] 4
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[8] 15

In Australia, "Stripped" missed the Kent Music Report top 100 singles chart, but was listed as one of the singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100 for 6 non-consecutive weeks in May and June 1986; with its highest ranking being fourth on this list.[9]

Rammstein cover[edit]

Neue Deutsche Härte band Rammstein released a cover of "Stripped" in 1998. This version cuts the line "Let me see you stripped down to the bone" to "Let me see you stripped", which was due to singer Till Lindemann's difficulty singing "down to the bone".[10] (The entire line is restored in the "Heavy Mental Mix" by Charlie Clouser.) The song was originally on the tribute album For the Masses and reached number 14 in the German single charts.[11] The song also appears as a hidden track on some special editions of the band's sophomore release Sehnsucht. It was the first English song released by the band.

The video for the song incorporated footage from the Leni Riefenstahl Nazi propaganda film Olympia, which led to threats against the band. Members of the band praised Riefenstahl's filmmaking abilities and aesthetic choices in a 2011 documentary of the making of the video, particularly the imagery of the athletes, while simultaneously disassociating themselves from Riefenstahl's politics. Members of Depeche Mode, especially Dave Gahan, responded positively to the cover, since it was so different from any other versions of Depeche Mode's work.[10]

Other versions[edit]

  • Also, in 1997, the Swedish electro/synth-pop band Statemachine released a version of "Stripped" on their album Legerdemain.
  • The Italian progressive death/doom metal band Novembre covered "Stripped" on the album 1995 album Arte Novecento
  • The USA one-man based black metal Leviathan covered "Stripped" on Demo Five.
  • In 2001, Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots covered "But Not Tonight" for the soundtrack to Not Another Teen Movie.
  • In 2004, German techno band Scooter covered "Stripped" on their album Mind the Gap, and later on their 2006 live album Excess All Areas. In 2007, they produced a download-only orchestral version of the song.
  • In 2005, Shiny Toy Guns covered "Stripped" on Goth Electro Tribute to Depeche Mode. The single can also be found in the second version of their 2005 album "We Are Pilots" in addition to Blood & Chocolate: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.
  • Swedish rock band Kent used to end many of their concerts during the Isola tour in 1998 by playing a cover of "Stripped", announcing it as "one of our favorite songs, that we sadly didn't write ourselves". This version was also performed on Swedish talk show Sen Kväll Med Luuk.
  • In 2005, American electro industrial band Brainclaw covered "Stripped" and released it as a digital single.
  • The intro to "But Not Tonight" is heavily sampled (with notes rearranged and set to a 3/4 beat) in the 2002 Dntel song, "Don't Get Your Hopes Up". The song was released on a 7" vinyl, Styrofoam/Dntel Split.
  • In 2006, Darkwave-revival duo She Wants Revenge covered the song live at the Jet Nightclub in Las Vegas, Nevada.[12]
  • In 2012, English power pop band Magic Eight Ball released their own version of "Stripped" as a limited edition single.
  • Sylvain Chauveau covered the song for Down to the Bone - An Acoustic Tribute to Depeche Mode with Ensemble Nocturne.
  • In 2011, darkwave band Lost Children covered the song as an online exclusive.
  • In 2010, Gregorian (band) covered the song on their album The Dark Side Of The Chant.


External links[edit]