Day 11 of the 30-Day Depeche Mode Challenge – Your Favorite Depeche Mode Instrumental
Today’s song is the hardest choice so far, and I suspect will be the hardest one of the batch. I spent nearly 45 minutes listening to an instrumentals playlist trying to decide. Why the hang up? Because all of Depeche Mode’s instrumentals from Music for the Masses and Violator are amazing pieces of music. Then you’ve got the optimistic “Nothing to Fear” and the badass “Painkiller” and “Headstar.” DM’s instrumentals have been slagged for years in discussions of new albums (and I’ve often agreed). I haven’t revisited some of the old B-side instrumentals in quite some time, so I’d forgotten just how great so many of them are.
For today’s challenge, I’ve gone with “Memphisto,” the dramatic and creepy B-side to “Enjoy the Silence.” The piano is hands down my favorite instrument, and one of my very favorite sounds in the world. When a piano is used with Martin’s dark and powerful style, it could easily serve as a chilling soundtrack to a silent film. All of the piano instrumentals for Music for the Masses and Violator have a cinematic quality to them that I love, but it was the histrionic and deliberate style of playing and the urgency of the composition that made me choose “Memphisto” for today’s challenge.
The cinematic feel of the song is intentional – apparently Martin wrote it with a fictitious movie in his mind, with Elvis as the devil. The title combines Memphis and Mephisto, a demon of German origin that eventually became a stock representation of a devil. (The more you know~!)