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Music for the Masses CD

119 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, October 25, 1990
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$13.92 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 5 left in stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

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This album is a culmination of Depeche Mode's middle-period experimentation. More informed by Goth than techno, it is still anchored by plenty of the larger-than-life-baritone melodrama so distinctive of David Gahan's vocals. The most experimental track is "Pimpf"--a song that heave-hoes along with the synthesized emulation of a Russian men's choir. Although nowhere near fast enough to be danceable, the commanding "Never Let Me Down" ranks as the best single on the track, with the most hummable "Strangelove" coming in at a close second. Each song is a praiseworthy accomplishment, but the singles here set off the experimental tracks, making the album seem thematically schizophrenic. --Beth Bessmer


1. Never Let Me Down Again
2. The Things You Said
3. Strangelove
4. Sacred
5. Little 15
6. Behind The Wheel
7. I Want You Now
8. To Have And To Hold
9. Nothing
10. Pimpf
11. Agent Orange
12. Never Let Me Down Again (Aggro Mix)
13. To Have And To Hold (Spanish Taster)
14. Pleasure, Little Treasure

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 1987
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Reprise / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002LCI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,180 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Lance Ehlers on August 12, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Wow. I'm really surprised that I'm going to be the first person to mention this: The thing which makes this reissue disappointing for me is that every incarnation of this album up to this point (well, maybe not on vinyl) flowed from Pimpf straight into the pseudo "bonus" tracks "Agent Orange," "Never Let Down Again (Aggro Mix)," "To Have And To Hold (Spanish Taster)" and "Pleasure Little Treasure." Now, the album ends with "Pimpf." If over the years you've listened to this album 10,000 times like I have, you're going to feel a bit cheated, like you aren't getting the whole album. Those kind-of-kind-of-not bonus tracks have always felt like an integral part of this album. "Agent Orange" and "Pleasure Little Treasure" are now seated at the kids' table, pushed into their own, separate little section along with some additional B-sides on the DVD. You have to navigate around on the DVD menu to access them. It seems particularly weird to regard "Pleasure Little Treasure" as a "bonus" track, given that it was one of the first cuts from the album to be pushed as a single. And sadly, "To Have And To Hold" and the Aggro mix of "Never Let Me Down Again" are nowhere to be found.

The sound mix is great, as is the documentary, but you really should approach this reissue as something to complement one of your favorite albums, not as a replacement for it.
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Distant Voyageur on December 5, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Continuing the bleakness of where 1986s Black Celebration left off, Music For The Masses is slightly brighter yet much colder than the previous album. The album cover perfectly portrays what the mood of the album is like; the hazy sunset portrays the bleak minor tracks and the bullhorns seem to portray the extremely experimental, and downright sonic bite of the music.
NEVER LET ME DOWN AGAIN-Who can ever forget the danceable "Never Let Me Down Again" with it's bizarre instrumentation, metallic beats, buzzy synthesizers, harsh piano licks and stabbing sonics towards the ending. I would say that it's the most schizophrenic tracks on the CD. The loud melody would portray the sunny daytime feel, but the eerieness gives the 'sunny mood' an unpleasant feel like something is not right. As the song climaxes with the orchestral band in the background before gradually fading into a dreamy, hissing steam pipe sound effects which bring us into the dreamy haze of the next track. This is an unforgettable classic from an unforgettable band.
THE THINGS YOU SAID-This song is much darker, and more mellow and portrays a very dreamy haze of the monotony of the same old things over & over in adolescence and also the admitting of ones weakness and not keeping secrets. Musically speaking, the music itself perfectly fits the meaning. I just love it's dark, dreamy, grey, hazy atmosphere. No idea why this wasn't made a single. :/ It's one of my favorites.
STRANGELOVE: Who can ever forget this track. Strangelove is one of the most danceable track on the LP. However, where the version played on the radio has the thumping, bass-heavy beat, the version the parent album has a much lighter beat, but it doesn't rob the song of it's power.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Michael D. Abernethy on May 6, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Depeche Mode revolutionized music with a collection of great songs, revolutionary recording techniques, and one of the biggest cult followings in music history. Back in March of 1987, Music For The Masses proved to be another defining moment in an already legendary band's catalogue. Released only a year after their seminal "Black Celebration" album, Music For The Masses was strangely both dark and danceable. The fusion of the two elements of "goth" and "dance" opened up Depeche Mode's sound to a whole new audience of clubgoing teens who could appreciate not only the beat heavy polyrhythms, but also the honestly bleak lyrics. Coincedentally, Music For The Masses would prove to be released at the height of the 80's dance scene of 1987 and 1988 - this timing would prove to be a boon for Depeche, as Music For The Masses sold more copies in the U.S. than any of their previous recordings. With the first single, "Strangelove," the band actually scored their first stateside top 40 hit since 1985's "People Are People." They even got regular play on MTV for the first time, and earned a performance on 1987's MTV Video Music Awards. Not only did Music For The Masses open up Depeche Mode's commercial influence, but it also revolutionized their sound as well. Never before had the band relied so heavily on rhythm to carry their songs. Recordings such as "Strangelove," "Behind The Wheel," and "Nothing" display the bands intimate knowledge of layered percussives and employ them to brilliant effect. Never since have Depeche Mode incorporated such complex rhythms into their music as on Music For The Masses. This album, in my opinion is the paradigm of eighties dance-pop.Read more ›
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ilker Yucel on June 27, 2000
Format: Audio CD
"Black Celebration" had solidified DM's synth pop sound within the realms of a darkly sensual and gothic exploration into the listener's emotions. Now with "Music for the Masses," that sound is continued through more great songs wrought with sexual undertones, gothic soundscapes, and blistering dance rhythms that dare the listener to get up and move in ecstasy. The songs on this album are lyrically profound, and the music atmospheric and dark, yet accessible. Truly a sound for the masses. Upbeat tempos with downbeat backdrops, and songs so infectious...it makes great driving music...
-"Never Let Me Down Again": a brilliant opener with a pulsating rhythm and a great buildup to a fade out of echoing synth riffs and harmony vocals. An acoustic cover was done by Smashing Pumpkins for the "For the Masses" tribute album.
-"The Things You Said": this is arguably my favorite song on the album. An airy ambient minimalist song, with a great gothic bassline.
-"Strangelove": the single mix was far more upbeat, but this version certainly fits within the ambient context of the rest of the album. Great lyrics that would seem to suggest bondage, but still subtle enough to make the listener get up and dance.
-"Sacred": my least favorite song on the album, to me there is nothing special about it. This is the one song the album could have done without, though the intro sample of vocal choirs buried in the mix is pretty cool.
-"Little 15": why this song was released as a single ONLY in France, I don't know, but it is a great song. Lyrically not unlike "A Question of Time" from "Black Celebration," but again, far more subtle and more provocative. Beautiful.
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