“Home” is Depeche Mode’s thirty-third UK single, released on June 16, 1997, and the third single for the album Ultra. It is also the third (and most recent) UK single with Martin Gore on lead vocals, and the second stand-alone single with him on lead vocals (the others are “A Question of Lust” and “Somebody”, which was a double A-side with “Blasphemous Rumours”). Though it was planned to be released in the US, it ended up being scrapped due to some radio stations playing the song “Useless” instead, leading people in the US to believe that was the third single, when it was the fourth single. Reprise scrapped the US release of “Home”, despite there already being confirmed tracklists, and released “Home”/”Useless” as a double A-side single. “Home” is a ballad with haunting strings and layered arrangements. The single version of “Home” has an ambient intro, then the drum beat featured in the album version, and is the same length as the album version. There are no actual B-sides for “Home”, just live versions of “Barrel of a Gun” and “It’s No Good” recorded during the Ultra Party concert in London. The music video for “Home” is the only Ultra video not directed by Anton Corbijn, but instead by Steve Green. It features an alien exploring an apartment complex, and uses a shortened version of the song. During the “Touring the Angel” world tour, “Home” was included in the setlist, and the “Air Around the Golf” arrangement was used for the first half part of the song.
“Barrel of a Gun” is Depeche Mode’s thirty-first UK single, released on February 3, 1997 (January 28 in the US), and the first single from the band’s ninth studio album Ultra. “Barrel of a Gun” came after some difficult times for the band and its members. Musician Alan Wilder left the band in 1995, and lead singer David Gahan nearly died while in the throes of heroin addiction. Martin Gore had a string of seizures, and Andrew Fletcher had some emotional problems of his own. In mid-1996, Gore tried to get Gahan and Fletcher interested in recording new Depeche Mode material by writing a few songs and seeing if anybody was interested in continuing after that. It worked, and the band were back together, except now a trio again for the first time since 1982’s A Broken Frame. “Barrel of a Gun” brings back the industrial music sound, and is one of the band’s darkest songs. Gore wasn’t sure if it was going to be a big hit, so he was reluctant to recommend this song as the first single, but when he eventually did, it turned out the rest of band, Daniel Miller, and producer Tim Simenon agreed. It reached number 4 in the UK chart in 1997, which at the time was their highest chart position jointly with “People Are People”, released in 1984. Since then, “Precious” has also reached number 4 in the UK, in 2005. The B-side is a 7+ minute instrumental called “Painkiller”, which reflects the new dirty-electronic, vaguely rock angle of the band. A condensed (2+ minute) version shows up as a hidden track on the Ultra album as “Junior Painkiller”. The music video for “Barrel of a Gun” is directed by Anton Corbijn, DM’s long-time visual collaborator. It features Gahan singing with his eyes closed, with eyeballs drawn on his eyelids to make it seem like they are open. The video was shot in Morocco.
Watch the new video on tape.tv (in GAS) here and here and on VEVO (in USA) here.
Listen up, Depeche Mode fans—and we know there’s a lot of you—at midnight (CET) tonight the Timothy Saccenti-directed video for Depeche Mode‘s latest single “Heaven” will have its premiere right here and on Electronic Beats. You may have already heard the single, the second to be taken from the highly anticipated 13th album Delta Machine, as it had its first play on American radio (and quickly made it onto the internet) earlier today. We’re expecting great things from the video, director Saccenti was responsible for creating memorable clips for the likes of Battles, Washed Out and Flying Lotus. You’ll have to check back here at midnight to see what he does for the boys from Basildon. [Source]