Stripped (song)

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Single by Depeche Mode
from the album Black Celebration
  • "But Not Tonight"
  • "Breathing in Fumes"
  • "Black Day"
Released10 February 1986
RecordedLate 1985
GenreIndustrial, synth-pop
  • 4:14 (album version)
  • 3:52 (7-inch version)
  • 6:42 (12-inch version)
Songwriter(s)Martin Gore
Depeche Mode singles chronology
"It's Called a Heart"
"A Question of Lust"

"Stripped" is a song by British electronic music band Depeche Mode. It was released as the lead single from their fifth studio album, Black Celebration (1986), on 10 February 1986, through Mute Records. Written by the band's lead songwriter Martin Gore, "Stripped" has been described as an "ominous and intriguing pop song". It incorporates different samples into its instrumental; most notably, the sound of an idling motorcycle engine was taken, altered slightly, then used as a percussive element.

It was the band's sixth consecutive single to enter the UK Top 20, peaking at number 15. Elsewhere, it peaked at number 4 in Germany and reached the top 10 in Finland, Sweden, and Switzerland. German metal band Rammstein later covered the song for the 1998 Depeche Mode tribute album For the Masses. Despite having a controversial music video, it would go on to peak at number 14 in Germany and receive praise from Depeche Mode band members.


John Freeman of The Quietus described "Stripped" as an "ominous and intriguing pop song" that is lyrically akin to other songs written by Martin Gore featuring sensual lyrics about the human body.[1] Parts of the song's instrumental are built off of samples. The beginning of the song samples the sound of the ignition of lead singer Dave Gahan's Porsche automobile,[1] while the underlying beat is the sound of an idling motorcycle engine distorted and slowed down. The ending also incorporates the sound of fireworks.[2]


"But Not Tonight"
But not tonight single.jpg
Single by Depeche Mode
from the album Black Celebration (U.S. edition)
Released22 October 1986
RecordedLate 1985
  • 4:15 (album version)
  • 5:14 (extended mix)
Songwriter(s)Martin Gore
Depeche Mode singles chronology
"A Question of Time"
"But Not Tonight"

The 7-inch B-side for "Stripped" is "But Not Tonight", which was used in and for promotion of the film Modern Girls, while 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 co-written by him, Alan Wilder, and producer Daniel Miller—the only Depeche Mode song where Miller receives a writing credit.

"But Not Tonight" was included on the US release of Black Celebration as the twelfth and final track on the album, following "New Dress"; the album's initial UK CD release also includes the extended remix of "But Not Tonight", along with "Black Day" and "Breathing in Fumes", as bonus tracks.

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.

Music videos[edit]

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

Track listings[edit]

7": Mute / 7Bong10 (UK)

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

12": Mute / 12Bong10 (UK)

  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)

  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)

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

12": Sire / 0-20578 (US)

  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)

  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


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 six non-consecutive weeks in May and June 1986, with its highest ranking being fourth on this list.[14]

Rammstein cover[edit]

Rammstein - Stripped cover art.jpg
Single by Rammstein
from the album For the Masses
Released28 July 1998
Songwriter(s)Martin Gore
Rammstein singles chronology
"Du riechst so gut '98"
"Asche zu Asche"

Neue Deutsche Härte band Rammstein recorded a cover of "Stripped" for the 1998 Depeche Mode tribute album For the Masses. This version cut the line "Let me see you stripped down to the bone" to "Let me see you stripped" because of singer Till Lindemann's difficulty singing "down to the bone" in a manner that fit with the rest of the song[15] (the entire line is restored in the "Heavy Mental Mix" by Charlie Clouser). Released as a single on 28 July 1998, it reached number 14 on the German single charts.[16] The song also appears as the twelfth track on some special editions of the band's sophomore release, Sehnsucht (1997). It was also the band's first song done entirely in English.

The video for the song incorporated footage from Olympia, a documentary film on the 1936 Summer Olympics directed by Leni Riefenstahl.[17] Following the Second World War Riefenstahl was classified as a Nazi sympathizer by postwar authorities; the choice to use footage from a film by her 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 political views. 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.[15]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Stripped" – 4:25
  2. "Stripped (Psilonaut Mix by Johan Edlund-Tiamat)" – 4:28
  3. "Stripped (Heavy Mental Mix by Charlie Clouser)" – 5:12
  4. "Stripped (Tribute to Düsseldorf Mix by Charlie Clouser)" – 5:10
  5. "Stripped (FKK Mix by Günter Schulz-KMFDM)" – 4:35
  6. "Wollt ihr das bett in Flammen sehen? (Live Arena, Berlin '96)" [Video] – 5:01



  1. ^ a b Freeman, John (11 March 2016). "A Question of Lust: Depeche Mode's Black Celebration Revisited". The Quietus. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  2. ^ "A Recoil Retrospective – Depeche Mode special part 1: Black Celebration" Archived 16 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 16 October 2010.
  3. ^ Unterberger, Andrew (18 March 2017). "The 10 Most Underrated Depeche Mode Singles: Critic's Take". Billboard. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  4. ^ "European Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Eurotipsheet. Vol. 3, no. 10. 15 March 1986. p. 14. OCLC 29800226 – via World Radio History.
  5. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin – levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5.
  6. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Stripped". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 6 February 2021.
  7. ^ "Depeche Mode – Stripped". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  8. ^ "Depeche Mode – Stripped". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  9. ^ "Depeche Mode – Stripped". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Depeche Mode: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 6 February 2021.
  11. ^ "Indies – Top 50 Singles" (PDF). Music Week. 1 March 1986. p. 27. ISSN 0265-1548 – via World Radio History.
  12. ^ " – Depeche Mode – Stripped". GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  13. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts – 1986" (in German). Offizielle Deutsche Charts. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  14. ^ "National Top 100 Singles (66–100) > Singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the Top 100". Kent Music Report. No. 621. 9 June 1986 – via Imgur.
  15. ^ a b "Rammstein – Making of Stripped". Rammstein: Made in Germany bonus DVD. Archived from the original on 13 December 2021. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  16. ^ a b "Rammstein – Stripped" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  17. ^ Kuhlke, Olaf (2004). Representing German Identity in the New Berlin Republic: Body, Nation, and Place. Edwin Mellen Press. p. 197. ISBN 978-0-7734-6276-2. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  18. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia’s Music Charts 1988–2010 (PDF ed.). Mt Martha, Victoria, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. p. 229.
  19. ^ "Rammstein – Stripped" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  20. ^ "Rammstein – Stripped". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  21. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts – 1998" (in German). Offizielle Deutsche Charts. Retrieved 4 April 2020.

External links[edit]