John the Revelator / Lilian

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"John the Revelator"/"Lilian"
Single by Depeche Mode
from the album Playing the Angel
Released 5 June 2006
Format CD, maxi-CD, DVD, 12", digital download
Recorded January–July 2005, Sound Design
(Santa Barbara, California)
Genre Alternative rock, synthpop, electronic rock, industrial rock
Length 3:14 ("John the Revelator")
3:34 ("Lilian")
Label Mute Records
Writer(s) Martin Gore
Producer(s) Ben Hillier
Depeche Mode singles chronology
"Suffer Well"
"John the Revelator" / "Lilian"

"John the Revelator"/"Lilian" is the second double A-side single by Depeche Mode and their forty-fourth single overall, released on 5 June 2006. Both songs are featured on Depeche Mode's 2005 album, Playing the Angel and serve as the fourth single from the album (see 2006 in British music). The single became another UK Top 20 hit for the band, reaching number 18.

"John the Revelator" was added to BBC 6 Music's B-List, but it failed to make any other BBC playlists or that of Xfm London. It was also played by a few alternative rock radio stations in the US, including WKQX (Chicago), throughout 2006, despite not being released as a single there.

"John the Revelator" was edited down several seconds for the single, while "Lilian" was slightly remixed and the introduction was shortened.

The single is the first UK double A-side release by the band since "Blasphemous Rumours / Somebody" in 1984.

"John The Revelator" was played during Depeche Mode's Touring the Angel tour and can be watched on the tour's DVD.


While the Depeche Mode track known as "John the Revelator" should be considered a novel composition written by Martin Gore (rather than a "cover" song - like "Route 66", "Dirt" or "So Cruel" - three songs that are covered by Depeche Mode) the song has its origins in an early 20th-century gospel/folk song "John the Revelator" famously performed by Son House, Blind Willie Johnson, and later by such acts as The Holy Modal Rounders, The Blues Brothers and John Mellencamp, with each new version adding or ignoring the original lyrics if not the original context. Similarly, the Depeche Mode track employs several elements of the namesake including the call-and-response chorus ("who's that shouting? John the Revelator" etc. )

Usage in media[edit]

  • "John the Revelator" was used in the movie Man of the Year featuring Robin Williams as party background music when Eleanor confronts the Delacroy CEO about the glitch in the election program during the Delacroy celebration event.[citation needed]

Formats and track listings[edit]


Chart (2006) Peak
Danish Singles Chart[1] 1
Finnish Singles Chart[2] 16
German Singles Chart[3] 16
Hungarian Singles Chart[4] 5
Italian Singles Chart[5] 16
Spanish Singles Chart[6] 2
Swedish Singles Chart[7] 19
Swiss Singles Chart[8] 70
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[9] 18
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play[10] 38


  1. ^ "Discography Depeche Mode". Retrieved 4 March 2009.
  2. ^ "Discography Depeche Mode". Retrieved 4 March 2009.
  3. ^ "Chartverfolgung / Depeche Mode / Single". Retrieved 4 March 2009.
  4. ^ "Hungarian Singles Chart" (in Hungarian). Mahasz. Retrieved 10 April 2010. 
  5. ^ "Depeche Mode - John the Revelator (Song)". Retrieved 4 March 2009.
  6. ^ "Depeche Mode - John the Revelator (Song)". Retrieved 4 March 2009.
  7. ^ "Discography Depeche Mode". Retrieved 4 March 2009.
  8. ^ "Discography Depeche Mode". Retrieved 4 March 2009.
  9. ^ "Archive Chart: 2006-06-17" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  10. ^ "Depeche Mode > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 4 March 2009.

External links[edit]