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Ultra (180 Gram Vinyl)

170 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

2014 Vinyl re-release of Depeche Mode's 1997 album. The album comes in gatefold sleeves with thick slabs of 180 gram black audiophile vinyl, all containing inserts and liner notes.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Barrel Of A Gun
  2. The Love Thieves
  3. Home
  4. It's No Good
  5. Uselink
  6. Useless
  7. Sister Of Night
  8. Jazz Thieves
  9. Freestate
  10. The Bottom Line
  11. Insight
  12. Junior Painkiller (Album Version-Hidden Track)

Product Details

  • Vinyl (March 25, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B00I458258
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (170 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,912 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Ilker Yucel on June 8, 2000
Format: Audio CD
First of all, I am a very avid fan of both Depeche Mode and Alan Wilder (as in his work both in DM and Recoil), so do not make the assumption that I am not aware of Wilder's contributions to DM's repertoire in the past. I find him to be an impressive musical talent without whom DM probably could not have survived. But now both Wilder and the band have progressed to the point where they can now do things beyond anything they did together. Second of all, this album is perhaps the most musically mature DM have ever been, even including their previous two albums "Violator" and "Songs of Faith and Devotion." "Ultra" is the best album DM have ever produced. Between Martin Gore's intelligent and thoughtful songwriting, and David Gahan's soulful vocals (with some help from Martin on a few songs), this collection of songs is the album that got me into Depeche Mode and to this day remains my favorite.
-"Barrel of a Gun": The opening track is perhaps the most edgy, and ranks up there with songs like "I Feel You," and "Rush." The guitars are very raw and the rhythm is very pulsing. This song is the kind of song to bang your head to in a goth club. The vocals punchy and aggressive, this is one of DM's best singles.
-"The Love Thieves": Now this is a very sad and kinda jazzy song. It was featured in the TV show "La Femme Nikita" and was used very expertly to portray a brooding character. Very appropriate, and the song just fits those moods of sad solitude. The kind of song to listen to after a bitter breakup. It's sadness is the type that just might uplift your spirits...
-"Home": Beautiful is all I have to say about this song.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By CoryRay on April 14, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Quite simply, this is one of the best albums ever made. You'd have to be crazy to love Depeche Mode and not think this album is one of the pinnacles of their career. This album is as good in every way as Violator - if not better. There isn't one bad track. As with all their albums, there is such a plethora of moods and sounds throughout, yet it all contains a subtle dark quality that no one pulls off quite like DM. This has remained one of my favorite all-time CDs since its release. Three of the absolute best songs ever made appear here: "Home," "Useless," and the much underrated "Freestate." "Home" is one of the most beautiful songs ever written, giving me tingles still today with its breathtaking chorus, and is Martin's best vocal performance to date. "Useless" is just brilliant, with trippy synths, great guitar work, and great lyrics. "Freestate" is one of the most unique DM songs ever, using slide guitar, a sweeping intro that induces images of a lonely desert highway, a kickin' electronic beat, and some of the best lyrics to ever grace a song (I could almost swear it was written just for me). If you can't get past the lack of Alan Wilder or the goth look Dave was sporting during this album, then you truly are missing out on a true masterpiece. This album has helped me convert many many friends into DM fans. I couldn't live without it.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By M. Sanew on October 10, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I have been waiting for this release for over a year now.
I currently own the Music for the Masses, Violator, and Songs of Faith 5.1/Remasters.

Ultra is by far my favorite Depeche Mode work, while others are close there is something about the way the music on ultra as well as the vocals blend together. This is a smooth album.

The CD like all the remastered albums are not the highlight. I cannot audibly tell the difference between my original 1997 CD and the remastered, aside from some songs sounding a bit more bright or clear, the bass is a bit more punchy in some songs as well. That may be placebo effect.

On to the 5.1 mix. DTS and Dolby Digital
I have a mid to high end audio system that is properly calibrated, and the bass management is setup properly.
This is the first Depeche Mode album with a 5.1 mix that actually makes the songs sound different and not just up-mixed to surround sound.

In fact some of the songs sound very different. The sound engineers did not just take the original stereo recording and spread it out there was some obvious thought behind making Ultra a 5.1 album. Like it was made from the ground up again.

There are different sounds in different places, sounds you could not hear in the 2 channel recording and things that also don't even sound the same anymore. The clarity is superb, the use of the surround channels is just right, sometimes they get distracting though.
What I really like is that they did not just stick the vocal tracks on the center channel like in some of the previous remasters.
The vocals are very well spread through the front speakers and carefully carry to the rears in some tracks.

The Dolby Digital and DTS mix are nearly identical.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Kid A on January 5, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I'll admit that I hated this when it first came out. In fact, I hated it for many years. I hated it until Playing the Angel came out and I was able to put this release in context. I suppose Violator and Songs of Faith and Devotion are to blame. Ultra is a lot like the cigarette after sex. The excitement was over after Songs of Faith and Devotion. Wow, those are a couple of intense albums. It's easy to dismiss Ultra as the also-ran for Depeche Mode.

The fact is, though, that after listening to this again and again, something occurs to you. Depeche Mode had moved on and perhaps you hadn't yet. It's hard to let go of the past, especially with music. We tend to want to cement ourselves into an era that we truly enjoyed. That doesn't mean that we should dismiss the future. After Alan Wilder's departure and Dave's well documented battle with drugs, Depeche Mode got themselves back up and moved on. This album proves that they had what it takes to provide music that matters.

When I first heard Barrel of a gun, my reaction was "Cool. This album is going to continue where SoFaD left off". I was then sadly disappointed when I found it was the only track that had that edgy, angst-ridden feel to it. The rest just bored me. Since then I've come to appreciate Ultra for what it is. Depeche Mode had continued to reinvent themselves.

There are several interesting pieces that prove DM's continued relevance. Check out Home, It's No Good, Useless and The Bottom Line for some Depeche Mode that could easily be called as classic as tunes like Halo, Sometimes, and the others we all love.

I can't bring myself to give this album the five stars that so many others have. It's certainly not their best work, but it is DM and so far, that's more than enough.
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Ultra (180 Gram Vinyl)
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