Sep 23, 2017
Episode 34: Depeche Mode - "Heroes" (David Bowie cover) and "Cover Me" (2017)
In the last episode, our hosts mentioned they would next be doing another "emergency episode" to talk about "Cover Me," the recently-announced third single off Depeche Mode's 2017 album, "Spirit." However, the morning they started their preparations for the show, Brian and Sarah were greeted with the news that Depeche Mode had released a video performance of David Bowie's "Heroes" in celebration of the song's 40th anniversary. So this episode has become dual-purposed, discussing two new releases from the mighty Mode.
Brian wants to be sure the listeners are familiar with the source material before he and Sarah get into discussing the cover version, so he provides a wealth of information on David Bowie's "Berlin" period, the recording of the album "Heroes," and background about the song "Heroes" itself. Sarah points out he has turned this into a more of a "crossover" episode than the New Order one where they mention John Denver for about two minutes.
Having caught everyone up on the original song, Brian looks to Sarah to provide information on Depeche Mode's recording of "Heroes," which took place during the Highline Sessions in New York City. She explains the long-standing connection between Dave Gahan, this song, and Depeche Mode, and how David Bowie was an important influence in Dave's life. The two hosts then trade comments on the performance, various aspects of the song, and the accompanying video. In addition to talking about the typical things like vocals and instrumentation, Sarah makes note of both Dave's and Martin's wardrobe choices in the video, and how she recently realized Dave's choice actually has a connection to David Bowie.
Our hosts then turn their attention to the original subject of this episode: the song "Cover Me," soon to be released as the third single from "Spirit." Brian and Sarah both discussed this song during the concert report episode, but they have plenty of additional things to say about it here. They also feel more free to talk about the accompanying video, which, in a surprising move, turns out to be the same video that was shown during the concert. Sarah explains how complicated it is to work a pedal steel guitar, which is used in this song, and Brian muses about what he perceives to be a dark end for the character Dave portrays in the video.
For some reason, Sarah always seems taken aback during these emergency episodes when Brian asks her to provide a record-adapter rating for the song. However, she thinks on her feet and comes up with a rating for "Cover Me"-- perhaps a little too off-the-cuff, but she's relatively comfortable with it. Brian has obviously put more thought into his rating, and gives a good explanation of why he gives what he does. He then poses a relatively simple extra-credit question to Sarah: what should the next single be off of "Spirit," and what do you think it will actually be?
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