People Are People

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"People Are People"
DepecheModePeopleArePeople.jpg
Single by Depeche Mode
from the album Some Great Reward
B-side"In Your Memory"
Released12 March 1984
StudioHansa Mischraum (West Berlin)
Genre
Length
  • 3:43 (7″/single version)
  • 3:52 (album version)
  • 7:11 (12″ version)
LabelMute
Songwriter(s)Martin L. Gore
Producer(s)
Depeche Mode singles chronology
"Love, in Itself"
(1983)
"People Are People"
(1984)
"Master and Servant"
(1984)
Music video
"People Are People" on YouTube

"People Are People" is a song by English electronic music band Depeche Mode, released on 12 March 1984 as the lead single from their fourth studio album, Some Great Reward (1984).[3] Recorded at Hansa Mischraum in West Berlin,[4] it was the band's first top-20 single in the United States, peaking at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Background[edit]

As with many Depeche Mode songs, the band members see different meanings in "People Are People". According to Martin Gore, the song is about racism. Alan Wilder adds that it could also be about war.[5]

"People Are People" was written by Gore, but the dancy, pop feel of the song may be credited to Alan Wilder. Wilder wrote the B-side, "In Your Memory". Each song has an extended remix, the "Different Mix" and the "Slik Mix" respectively (although the "In Your Memory" mix is often incorrectly called the "Slick Mix" or "Silk Mix"). It was one of the first songs recorded for the album when sessions began at the Hansa Mischraum studio in January 1984.

"This was the first song of ours that made a dent, really, into popular radio", said Dave Gahan in 2017. "We were using all these tape loops to create rhythms and the technology was quite advanced, but it wasn't anything like it is today, the things that you can do. We used to go into studios, and the first thing we'd do, we'd ask where the kitchen was – literally for pots and pans and things that we could throw down the stairs, and record the rhythms they would make crashing around, and then make it into loops."[6]

The Clive Richardson-directed "People Are People" video was released in two versions. The original video was made for the single version, but an alternate video was made with the "Different Mix". The music video featured footage of various military scenes from the Cold War, mixed with footage of the band aboard HMS Belfast and of a record press. The "Different Mix" video appears on Some Great Videos and Video Singles Collection.

Despite the song's success, Gore considers it one of his least favourite songs. He prefers his songs to have subtle metaphors to allow people to find their own meanings to his songs, and feels "People Are People" does not fit that description.[citation needed] In 1990, he listed the song among some of the music he "regrets", calling "People Are People" "too nice, too commercial."[7] It has not been played live since 1988.[8]

Album release[edit]

A compilation album titled People Are People was released in the United States, featuring several songs not previously available. The single itself was released in the US on 11 July 1984, though it did not reach the Billboard Hot 100 chart until May 1985, and was initially played only on modern rock and college radio. The single would eventually peak at number 13. In the UK, the single reached number four, which was at the time the band's highest singles chart position in their home country. Since then, "Barrel of a Gun" (1997) and "Precious" (2005) have also reached number four in the UK.

In West Germany, the song reached number one and was used as the theme to West German TV's coverage of the 1984 Summer Olympics, alluding to East Germany's participation in the Soviet-led boycott of the games. It was also used as the theme song of the 1990s BBC children's factual TV series It'll Never Work?.

In 2011, the song was included on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's list of the "500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll".[9]

Track listings[edit]

  • 7-inch single
A. "People Are People" – 3:43
B. "In Your Memory" – 4:01
  • 12-inch single
A. "People Are People" (Different Mix) – 7:11
B. "In Your Memory" (Slik Mix) – 8:12
  • UK and German limited-edition 12-inch single
A. "People Are People" (On-USound Mix by Adrian Sherwood) – 7:30
B1. "People Are People" – 3:43
B2. "In Your Memory" – 4:01
  • US 12-inch single
A. "People Are People" (Different Mix) – 7:11
B1. "People Are People" (On-USound Mix) – 7:30
B2. "In Your Memory" – 4:01

"In Your Memory" is falsely labeled as the "Slik Mix Edit"

  • French and German CD single (1988)
  1. "People Are People" (Different Mix) – 7:11
  2. "In Your Memory" (Slik Mix) – 8:12
  3. "People Are People" (7″ Version) – 3:50
  • UK CD single (1991)
  1. "People Are People" – 3:43
  2. "In Your Memory" – 4:01
  3. "People Are People" (Different Mix) – 7:11
  4. "In Your Memory" (Slik Mix) – 8:12

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Certifications for "People Are People"
Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[36] Silver 250,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

RuPaul version[edit]

"People Are People"
Rupaulpeoplearepeople.jpg
Single by RuPaul
from the album ReWorked
Released26 January 2006
Recorded2004
GenreDance
LabelRuCo
Songwriter(s)Martin L. Gore
Producer(s)
  • RuPaul
  • Tom Trujillo
RuPaul singles chronology
"Workout"
(2005)
"People Are People"
(2006)
"Call Me Starrbooty"
(2007)

American drag queen RuPaul covered "People Are People" in 2004 for his fourth studio album, Red Hot. His version, which features Tom Trujillo, was released as a retail single on 26 January 2006 to promote the remix album ReWorked. It peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart.

Track listing[edit]

  • CD single
  1. "People Are People" (Craig C. Radio) – 4:42
  2. "People Are People" (Giuseppe D's Rutroactive Club) – 8:20
  3. "The Price of One" (Craig C. Ru Edit) – 6:43
  4. "People Are People" (Craig C. Main Vocal) – 8:01
  5. "The Price of One" (Craig C.'s Mo' Trippin' Dub) – 10:02
  6. "People Are People" (Goodandevil) – 3:42
  7. "People Are People" (DJ Record Player's SSSnakin' Breakin') – 7:11
  8. "The Price of One" (Craig C.'s Mo' Trippin' Beats) – 2:41
  9. "People Are People" (Craig C. Dub) – 8:01
  10. "I Just Can't Wait" (Till Christmas) – 2:42

Charts[edit]

Chart performance for "People Are People"
Chart (2006) Peak
position
US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[37] 10

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "In a Relaxed Mode For 'Exciter'". Billboard. Vol. 113, no. 20. 19 May 2001. p. 11. ISSN 0006-2510 – via Google Books. the searing synth-pop sound that sparked a string of hits ("Just Can't Get Enough," "People Are People," ...
  2. ^ Mason, Stewart. "People Are People – Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 June 2013. "People Are People" was the single that introduced Depeche Mode's next-level sound as the group that made industrial music (à la Einsturzende Neubauten or Test Dept.)
  3. ^ "The games people play" (PDF). Record Mirror. 10 March 1984. p. 6. ISSN 0144-5804 – via World Radio History. Their new song is called 'People Are People' and comes out on March 12.
  4. ^ "Record News". NME. London. 10 March 1984. p. 40. ISSN 0028-6362.
  5. ^ Reid, Jim (10 March 1984). "Clunk Clunk Every Trip" (PDF). Record Mirror. p. 12. ISSN 0144-5804 – via World Radio History.
  6. ^ Greenblatt, Leah (23 March 2017). "David Gahan reveals stories behind Depeche Mode's biggest hits". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  7. ^ Maconie, Stuart (17 February 1990). "Sin Machine". NME. pp. 34–35. ISSN 0028-6362. Archived from the original on 4 January 2009. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  8. ^ "People Are People by Depeche Mode". Setlist.fm. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  9. ^ "Experience The Music: One Hit Wonders and The Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Archived from the original on 31 July 2013. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  10. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 88. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  11. ^ "Depeche Mode – People Are People" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  12. ^ "Depeche Mode – People Are People" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  13. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 0576." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  14. ^ "European Top 100 Singles" (PDF). Eurotipsheet. Vol. 1, no. 3. 16 April 1984. p. 8. OCLC 29800226 – via World Radio History.
  15. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – People Are People". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  16. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 20, 1984" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  17. ^ "Depeche Mode – People Are People" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  18. ^ "Depeche Mode – People Are People". VG-lista. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  19. ^ "SA Charts 1965–1989 (As presented on Springbok Radio/Radio Orion) – Acts D". The South African Rock Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 3 May 2018. Retrieved 13 July 2022.
  20. ^ "Depeche Mode – People Are People". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  21. ^ "Depeche Mode – People Are People". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  22. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  23. ^ Lazell, Barry (1997). "Depeche Mode". Indie Hits 1980–1989: The Complete U.K. Independent Charts (Singles & Albums). Cherry Red Books. ISBN 0-95172-069-4. Archived from the original on 5 February 2009. Retrieved 13 July 2022.
  24. ^ "Depeche Mode Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  25. ^ "Depeche Mode Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  26. ^ "Depeche Mode Chart History (Dance Singles Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved 13 July 2022.
  27. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 Singles – Week ending August 17, 1985". Cash Box. Archived from the original on 1 October 2012.
  28. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Depeche Mode – People Are People". GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  29. ^ "Depeche Mode – People Are People" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  30. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts – 1980s". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 22 November 2021.
  31. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1984 – Singles" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
  32. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1984" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
  33. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1984" (in Dutch). Dutch Charts. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
  34. ^ "Top 100 Singles (January 3–December 29, 1984)" (PDF). Music Week. 26 January 1985. p. 37. ISSN 0265-1548 – via World Radio History.
  35. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts – 1984" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  36. ^ "British single certifications – Depeche Mode – People Are People". British Phonographic Industry. 1 May 1984. Retrieved 13 July 2022.
  37. ^ "RuPaul Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 29 January 2011.

External links[edit]