In 2004, Depeche Mode's role in pioneering the 12" remix was celebrated with the release of Remixes 81-04, a compilation of some of their most iconic remixes, specially commissioned new remixes and and Freelove - DJ Muggs Remix.
To promote the release, a single was needed. Enjoy The Silence was chosen and it was passed to various remixers to allow them to create their own version of the song. Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda's remix was chosen as the single version and he removing all of the song's original beauty and replacing it with lots of Linkin Park sounds. Enjoy The Silence - Reinterpreted is not exactly a high point in the band's singles catalogue.
Happily, the single's formats were stuffed with more interesting remixes. Here's the story of Enjoy The Silence 04.
AND FORGETTABLE - ENJOY THE SILENCE 04
Enjoy The Silence 04, BONG34, was released on 18th October 2004. It was the first single that the band had released since BONG magazine ended so there was no official announcement that way. From what I recall, (presuming I'm wrong then please send in pics and I'll add them with credits) there was no postcard sent out to mailing list members as there had been with previous singles. As the age of the digital download had dawned, there may well have been emails sent out - I can't go back that far in my inbox so can't confirm that one way or another. There would have been music press announcements of course, however, I can't find any pictures of them either.
I have failed you here, dear reader. All I can tell you for certain is that the single was released on 18th October 2004.
At least I'll be able to share the usual reviews with you right/? Well, no, I can't actually. I have looked into every corner of the internet and have come up with nothing. The album reviews did have a few things to say about it however. Here is Pitchfork's view, taken from its review of Remixes 81-04:
"The massive record concludes with "Enjoy the Silence" as "reinterpreted" by Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda. Appearing on the band's 1990 masterwork Violator, the original single was an elegant, expressive take on an old theme, one familiar even to Gloria Estefan: "Words Get in the Way". But I'd take Miami Sound Machine over Shinoda's thuggish faux-rebellious thrash and his penchant for using Pro Tools-perfect guitar distortion that's as frigid as your ex-girlfriend. "Words are meaningless and regrettable," Gahan sings, and so is this remix-- in all of its antiseptic glory."
Typically "edgy" Pitchfork language there but setting that aside, I do agree with the view that the remix does nothing for the song. Nice to see Gloria Estefan there too. Perhaps she and the Miami Sound Machine might have made a better fist of the remix. Ok, maybe not.
There was no promotion by the band so chart performance relied on the video which, I am sorry to say, we will come onto. The single entered the UK charts in the Top Ten, landing at an impressive number 7. It stayed in the charts for a further four weeks at 15, 24, 41 and finally 67.
As I have repeated to the point that even I get bored hearing it, Enjoy The Silence was where it all started for me with Depeche Mode and, as a result, I love the song dearly. I also love all the 1990 remixes of the song and so when this single was released, I was keen to hear what Mike Shinoda made of it as I hadn't minded one or two Linkin Park songs. I didn't enjoy when I heard it and having listened to it again this week after what I imagine is a gap of nearly 17 years, I still don't like it now. He's made an arse of it basically, giving the song a sort of Nu-Metal makeover, ending in something that sounds like it took him three minutes to knock up. When a remix offers a fresh take on a song while still retaining the elements that made the song great in the first place, it can be wonderful. When a remix butchers the original, it's a mess. This is in the latter category.
This version of the song has never been played live thank God.
Oh, bloody hell.
This video is a disaster on every single level so I'm not going to waste your time by attempting to make you read a full description of it. Instead, here is in bullet point form:
- Cartoon workers all watching One Night In Paris at their desks
- Why is One Night In Paris not showing them playing Enjoy The Silence at least
- The Reinterpreted version suddenly blares out of the speakers in the office no doubt as a punishment
- Look, there's a bit of Devotional too
- Men in hats
- Everyone runs away
- Flowers start growing around the office, sprouting out of every possible place
- Ah, the Violator rose
Not quite a match for the original 1990 video basically
There were nearly as many promos as there were official releases in the UK for this single, There were akso a frankly baffling number of digital only releases.
The promo CD, RCDBONG34, features three tracks, each a remix of Enjoy The Silence - Reinterpreted, Richard X Mix (reasonable) and Ewan Pearson Remix (Radio Edit) (hmmm).
The first of three promo 12" singles was a double 12". P12BONG34 features four remixes of Enjoy The Silence. On Side A, there is the Timo Maas Extended Remix which is very boring. Side B contains Ewan Pearson Extended Remix which is longer than the Radio Edit version and much worse for that.
On Side C we have Richard X Extended Mix which is the best of the bunch here and that is only because it's polite enough not to be any of the others. Side D features Ewan Pearson Extended Instrumental.
PL12BONG34 is the star of the show here.
It features the same tracks as L12BONG34 so we'll come to that shortly.
Finally, there is PXL12BONG34.
The three tracks featured here also feature on XL12BONG34.
The first official release is the 12" single 12BONG34. On the A-side, we have the Timo Maas Extended Remix which really does nothing at all of any interest.
The B-side contains the equally uninteresting Ewan Pearson Extended Remix.
L12BONG34 is where things get interesting. Note that the cover says "depeche remixes 04" rather than "depeche enjoy the silence 04." That is because Enjoy The Silence doesn't feature here. On Side A we have the glorious Something To Do (Black Strobe Remix). This is a perfect example of a remix by a fan of the band that takes the original, puts the remixer's stamp on it thus producing something quite wonderful. It is an epic remix.
Side B contains two superb remixes too. World In My Eyes (Cicada Remix) is utterly splendid and Photographic (Rex The Dog Dubb Mix) up there with the Something To Do remix on Side A for me.
Finally in the vinyl section, we got an XL12. XL12BONG34 has three more new remixes on it. On Side A, we get Halo (Goldfrapp Remix), a lovely take on the song and the version used on the Delta Machine tour.
Side B isn't quite as interesting as Side A. Clean (Colder Version) does nothing to improve the original version at all and Little 15 (Ulrich Schnauss Remix) is fairly nondescript. That said, it's nice to see three songs feature here that aren't obvious candidates for remixing.
There were CD singles too of course. CBGONG34 features Enjoy The Silence (Reinterpreted) and Halo (Goldfrapp Remix).
LCDBONG34 contains the Timo Maas Extended Remix and Ewan Pearson Remix (Radio Edit) versions of Enjoy The Silence and is saved from mediocrity with track 3 - Something To Do (Black Strobe Remix). Phew.
XLCDBONG34 is an interesting one, at least once you get past the first two tracks - the Richard X Extended Mix and Ewan Pearson Extended Remix versions of Enjoy The Silence.
Track 3 is the excellent World In My Eyes (Cicada Remix) and itr's followed by Mercy In You (The BRAT Mix), a superb old fashioned 12" remix by the band's webmaster Daniel Barassi.
Other than the records and CDs above. there were six different CD-Rs kicking about in Britain. There were also digital releases of all the tracks on the formats above in addition to which you could get the digital only tracks Something To Do (Black Strobe Alternative Mix) and Photographic (Rex The Dog Faithful Mix). Both are excellent and would have been better candidates for actual format release than a few of the remixes featured on vinyl and CD.
Elsewhere, France released a version of CDBONG34 that for reasons best known to the label added the video of Enjoy The Silence Reinterpreted too.
In the US, a double 12" promo was released. On Side A we get Enjoy The Silence (Reinterpreted) and the Ewan Pearson Extended Remix. Side B features the Richard X Extended Remix
Side C contains the Timo Maas Extended Remix and Side D thankfully has World In My Eyes (Cicada Remix) and Something To Do (Black Strobe Remix). There is another US 12 " promo that has the Halo remix, the Mike Shinoda remix and Nothing (Headcleanr Rock Mix), a disasterous take on the much-more-popular-than-I-thought-it-was Music For The Masses track. There is a promo CD with those three tracks on it too, plus another four CD-Rs.
The US 12" has the Extended Remix versions of Enjoy The Silence by Timo Maas and Ewan Pearson on Side A.
On Side B, we have Enjoy The Silence (Richard X Extended Mix) and World In My Eyes (Cicada Remix).
The US CD single is a 6 track affair. It starts with four remixes of Enjoy The Silence - Reinterpreted, Timo Maas Extended, Ewan Pearson Extended and Richard X Extended.
It ends with World In My Eyes (Cicada Remix) and Something To Do (Black Strobe Remix).
It was of course entirely right that Depeche Mode's contribution to the 12" remix was celebrated with Remixes 81-04 and it was fascinating to see new takes on some classic songs. The difficulty with remixing a song like Enjoy The Silence however is that you are taking on a classic and it is very easy to get that wrong. I suppose that the single released to promote the campaign needed to be one most people would know and using Mike Shinoda to remix it tapped into a music scene that was very popular at that point so, as an idea, it wasn't a bad one. It's a pity that in reality it just didn't work.
We would have to wait another year or so before we heard from Depeche Mode again and when we did, we were presented with a classic Depeche song, Precious. We will look at that and its bafflingly bad video next time.