The third and final single from Spirit was the best of the three released from the album, the Dave, Christian and Peter written Cover Me.
By the time the single was released, the song had already become a standout track on the Global Spirit Tour, despite Dave's "WILL YA?" part every night somewhat interrupting the mood. So with that in mind, WILL YA join me on a look at Cover Me?
WAY UP HERE IN THE NORTHERN LIGHTS - COVER ME
Cover Me was released on 6th October 2017 and, in a surprise move, the digital and physical formats were released on the same day. Oddly, this meant we got our hands on the 12" and CD only a month after we'd grabbed the Going Backwards releases. Being a Depeche Mode fan is never a cheap experience.
Cover Me had received quite a lot of attention when Spirit was reviewed. The Guardian said:
"...(T)he fantastic Cover Me, the latter a lone crack of light amid the otherwise consuming darkness: it slowly builds up to a finale that takes up half the song, is entirely instrumental and based around a simple analogue synth arpeggio."
Clash Music loved the song too:
"Cover Me is one of those redemptive songs that Depeche Mode are so good at, with that slow climb out of misery toward some sort of anguished optimism. The track includes an extended analogue middle section that feels like the coda from Violator’s Clean’expanded into a full song. It's reverential, but fresh at the same time."
Even Pitchfork approved:
"On Cover Me, Gore’s haunting Lanois-esque guitar twang allows you to close your eyes and picture yourself under the Northern lights Gahan sings about."
Finally, the Quietus summed the track up nicely:
"Another twisted ballad that’s ushered in by sweeping and sustained chords. The bass pulses like a heartbeat and the beats increase incrementally yet the pace remains measured and steady. But just as you think you’ve got a handle on things, everything gets bigger – more beats, more glacial sweeps and rhythms that suggest a re-acquaintance with Kraftwerk’s ‘Autobahn’ - except the tempo."
Good reviews all round really which was nice to see. The band even decided to actively promote the single which was about the first time they'd done that sort of thing since Peter's Pop Show in 1989 (hmmm - really?). They appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live on 4th October 2017 and played a live version of the Radio Edit of the song:
That's really rather lovely. I like that edit with the vocal coming back in again. The live set up is in place for this performance with Christian on mercifully subtle drums and Peter caressing his keyboards as only he can. Martin bobs around looking cool because, well. because he's Martin Gore and Fletch bobs his head about at times like Stevie Wonder, Fletching his keyboards for the full song. Dave, a man who has spent the preceding 5 months prowling stadium stages wanders around like a caged tiger albeit one wearing a nifty suit and sporting a pencil moustache and what appear to be fangs. He's on Global Spirit Tour mode and though he doesn't give it the traditional "WILL YA?" he does try to get the audience clapping along. Stadium is as stadium does.
Cover Me is a bloody marvellous song and sounds more like Depeche Mode than the rest of Sprit does if you see what I mean. It's Dave's finest Depeche track for me, just edging out Suffer Well and Nothing's Impossible. It was played at all 130 Global Spirit Tour gigs and rightly so. It's accompanying film, also of course the video for the song, was great. All in all, a superb song, a great live moment and if it is the last Depeche Mode single that we ever get, not a bad one to end on. Before you all write in, I have no idea if it will be the last single - let's hope not eh?
It didn't chart in the UK of course. Why on earth would it do that? It did get to number 3 in Poland however and number 35 in Hungary.
The video/film for the live shows was filmed in Venice Beach in October 2016 around the same time as the Where's The Revolution video.
Not much happens so there's not much to review but it is an oddly watchable video featuring only Dave as he wanders around in his spacesuit reminiscing about the days he ruled space. As it's Anton, it's naturally in black and white, but that suits the mood of the song nicely.
What a way to end the final video review eh? No cocktails, no spacehoppers, no Martin's nipples, no big hair and no voodoo monsters in a field. Sometimes less is more I suppose.
The first of two formats was a CD single. It's a 55 minute, eight track release.
The tracks are:
1. Cover Me (Radio Edit) - lovely
2. Cover Me (Warpaint Steez Remix) - this is a decent remix by Warpaint. They supported the band on the tour and were part of the Facebook takeover. I asked them the question "What Depeche Mode song would you choose to cover?" They answered with an eyeroll and lots of other people started piling in which I thought was harsh. I went back on to defend myself and unmuted my speakers only to be greeted by Warpaint's cover of World In My Eyes playing on the Facebook page. Silly arse.
3. Cover Me (Erol Alkan Black Out Rework) - an initially sparse mix that builds into something rather enjoyable
4. Cover Me (Texas Gentlemen Remix) - This sort of works but has something about it that is quite annoying
5. Cover Me (Ellen Allien U.F.O. RMX) - The first of two clubbier (God I am old) remixes. It's the best of the two
6. Cover Me (Ben Pearce Remix) - the second of the clubby (stop it ffs) remixes and the weakest track here.
7. Cover Me (Josh T. Pearson Choose Hellth Remix) - this is tremendous. I'm a big Josh T Pearson fan and he covers Cover Me in his own unique style, adding parts of the Depeche song to wonderful effect. A cracker.
8. So Much Love (Kalli Remix) - a noisy, hugely enjoyable mix of this noisy, hugely enjoyable song. It would have made a decent single I think.
The 12" was another double 12" featuring a host of remixes. Sides A and C are pictured above.
And there are Sides B and D. The tracklisting is:
1. Cover Me (Ellen Allien U.F.O. RMX)
2. Cover Me (I Hate Models Cold Lights Remix) - This is pretty long but pretty good
1. Cover Me (Nicole Moudaber Remix) - Another interesting remix that gets more interesting as it goes along
2. So Much Love (Kalli Remix)
1. Cover Me (Erol Alkan White Light Rework) - as enjoyable as his remix on the CD
2. Cover Me (Texas Gentlemen Remix)
1. Cover Me (Warpaint Steez Remix)
2. Cover Me (Josh T. Pearson Choose Hellth Remix)
And that was that. Cover Me came out, the Global Spirit Tour rumbled on for another 9 months and we got no more singles. The band ended the tour spectacularly and then headed off to hibernation.
Will we see another Depeche Mode single? Will we see them tour again? At this point, only Depeche Mode know.
For forty years they have thrilled millions of us and have blazed a unique trail in the music world which will see their music stand the test of time. A number of their albums are rightly lauded as landmarks in music but their singles deserve recognition too. As we've seen throughout this series, they're not a bad singles band are they?
Let's hope I get to do Part 57 sometime soon. In the meantime, look out for a post in the next few days that contains links to all 56 parts of this series.