My order of the reissue of Depeche Mode’s Songs of Faith & Devotion and Violator were waiting for me when I got home last night. After an insane week at work where I was only able to touch a couple items from my long To Do list, but that list still managed to grow exponentially longer, it was the perfect thing to bring me out of my slump.
With a beer in hand, I carefully unwrapped both albums – each new 180-gram pressings with new inserts – and put on Songs of Faith & Devotion.
This album was released in 1993, my senior year of high school. I had already fallen in love with DP with Violator 3-years earlier and the heavy play it received on MTV (when they used to play mostly videos), but the combination of electronic and grunge-worthy guitar of the new album resonated with me.
There was angst. There was confusion. There was blame and search for redemption. All things I felt as I was in my first serious boy-girl relationship. Yup, it took me until my senior year for that, but that’s really a different story.
Since then, I’ve listened to the album countless times. I’ve got many CD singles with remixes, MP4’s of videos, and a couple 12″ vinyl singles from my days in radio.
But listening to the full album on vinyl for the first time… well, it was amazing.
Some people will tell you listening to vinyl is all about the sound. Analog vs. digital and all that. But really, if you’re listening to electronic music, wouldn’t you think digital would be a better format?
For me, vinyl is the whole experience. It’s the care I have to take with the record, adjusting the speed to be perfect, and then placing the needle just so.
And it’s no the analog sound, but the soft hiss, crackle, and sizzle behind it all.
For the full length of the album, I forgot my phone. I didn’t check Facebook. The TV was off. I just danced around, sang along, and enjoyed it.
I put on my headphones at one point. As one song ended, it got very quiet and the soft hiss-crackle-sizzle of the heavy vinyl felt like it was pulling me in… deeper… deeper… then… BLAM the next song started like being hit by a tidal wave of sound and all I could do was smile.
I haven’t listened to Violator yet. That album has deeper meaning for me, so I anticipate the experience being even more intense.
But it’s also all just fun. Fun I can’t get with an MP3 or even a CD.
Coming up next…