DJ Badger:  The News and the Journal

Entry One Hundred One.
Saturday, 2009.08.29, 1:06 AM CST.

"Personal Jesus" - two decades ago!
Current Mood:  Tired.

I figured it would be fitting to make this Journal Entry number "101."

Ladies and gentlemen, as of today, it has now been twenty years since the original commercial release of one of Depeche Mode's most famous anthems, "Personal Jesus."

The original USA 12" vinyl promo was sent out with the acoustic version of the song on both sides, without a band name or title.  So, when Tulsa's KTOW radio (RIP) received the track, they played it knowing that the band was Depeche Mode, but not knowing (to my knowledge) what the actual title of the song was.  (At one point, they thought the title was "Reach Out and Touch Faith."

The KTOW DJs also didn't let the listeners know that there was a "harder" version coming, which prompted some of my friends and I to theorize that perhaps DM were preparing to release an all-country album in the style of the "Personal Jesus" acoustic version.  (Considering Martin's admiration of old country music shown in the 1988 Depeche Mode film 101, this didn't seem like too much of a stretch.)

So, eventually, Paul at Mohawk Music brought in the UK 12" single, and I rushed out to buy it.  The cover art was controversial enough - a picture of an unshaven Dave Gahan with his hands on the shoulders of a fully nude model (seen from the back only).  When I got the record home, I played the new remix of the track - Francois Kevorkian's Holier Than Thou Approach.  I was blown away.  The hammering beat, the distorted guitar riff, and Dave Gahan's more-brutal-than-usual vocals combined to make this a track unlike anything they had never released before.

A week or so later, Paul brought in the USA 12" Single, as well as the "limited" UK 12" single with different remixes.  I picked up every remix that Mute (DM's record label) released, and played the track at countless gigs, including my own first-ever DJ performance at the Sequoyah High School Homecoming, exactly one month after the "Personal Jesus" release date.

In fact, in the fall of 1989, I played the track at a Claremore High School event, and was informed afterwards by someone there that I almost got the plug pulled on me when I immediately followed (or preceded; I don't remember) "Personal Jesus" with Front 242's controversial track "Welcome 2 Paradise."  (The Front 242 track, for those of you who are unfamiliar, primarily features samples of various televangelists.)  Heh heh.

Anyway, the track received enormous amounts of club and radio play, and at one point became the "best-selling single of all-time" [thus far] for Warner Brothers.  It still receives some radio play here in the Tulsa market.

It's amazing to think that an entire 20 years have passed since the release of "Personal Jesus."  Maybe I'm getting old after all.

More later,



(Below:  "Personal Jesus" - UK 12" single, limited UK 12" single, and USA 12" promo.)

Personal Jesus UK 12-inch      Personal Jesus limited UK 12-inch

Personal Jesus USA 12-inch promo