|6. Cover Me
List of Spirit songs
|Produced by||James Ford|
|Recorded at||Sound Design (Santa Barbara)|
Jungle City (New York)
|Engineered by||Jimmy Robertson|
|Mixing assistance||Brendan Morawski|
|Mastered by||Brian Lucey|
|Studio assistance||Connor Long|
|Pedal steel guitar||James Ford|
|Art direction||Anton Corbijn|
|Recorded||April - August, 2016|
|Originally released||6 October 2017|
|Live performances as Depeche Mode||139 times *|
|Total live performances||139 times *|
Depeche Mode have said in interviews (like during the 2016 press conference) that producer James Ford taught himself to play Martin's pedal steel guitar within one day while in the studio, and thus this guitar was used in some songs, including 'Cover Me'.
Dave talked about this song extensively to Phil Marriott:
"I wanted ['Cover Me'] to be very cinematic, and I had this sort of idea of us finally destroying this beautiful planet that we live on. Hence the northern lights: it's just one in many millions of beautiful things... the oceans, just things that we take for granted. And the "Northern lights" was just a metaphor that I wanted to use, because I did once experience actually being there while that was happening, way up north in Scandinavia. Yeah [it's quite an emotional experience], and it's also out of the world somehow, quite spiritual, and moving, moving to the point of tears, the beauty of something happening in our universe. And so I had this idea at that time, a little lyrical idea, not really a melody. But anyway, I came back to that, and that became that song. And I also saw the song in two halves, where the second half was where we are finally leaving or something. This person or whoever it is, who I live vicariously through, leaves the planet, only to find another planet that is exactly the same as ours, and he has this horrible feeling of like, "Oh wow, it's not the planet, it's me, I am doing this. I'm destroying this beautiful world that I live in. And that can be just an emotional relationship that you have with another person, or trying to be having a relationship with another person that you can't quite get to because you just can't. And that, for me, is quite often where I find myself with music and songs: I am quite often this other person. Of course it's me, but I can live vicariously through this performer, this guy that I've created, which is me, but a character. And throughout songs and films and books and stuff like that, that's where I get lost. [...] With 'Cover Me', the song that was coming to mind a lot, the feeling of the song that I wanted to get on this, and it's a totally different kind of song, but the feeling that I wanted to get was like Bowie's song 'Life On Mars', where the second half of the song seems to go to another place, or 'Space Odyssey', that kind of feeling. It opens up for you, the listener, to just be able to go off in their own dreams and ideas."
Dave told New Statesman that Martin Gore did not understand this metaphor:
"I'm like, 'What the fuck do you know? I never question your songs, Martin, I just sing them!'"
Martin and Dave told Amazon:
Dave Gahan: "I thought that a big surprise for me was how 'Cover Me' ended up being. I heard that song when that song was written by myself, Pete and Christian, who have been performing live with us next to twenty years. So they had some ideas that they wanted me to write to, and it ended up being 'Cover Me'. And I always heard this idea of the song being in two halves: one half is this sort of lyrical idea, and the other song being something kind of another world. For me, it sounds really well on the album. The song is here and you kind of go in a spaceship and go somewhere else. And that was kind of the idea behind the song. It came out really well, I was really pleased - I think everybody was in the end. I was surprised how well that came out. Sometimes you are just dreading the demos. If you are in a band, and you bring in the demos, and you try to get them [into it, you say] "Look, this is a demo. I want us all to collectively work on this, and let's see where it goes." It's sometimes really difficult to have another person to hear what you hear and you can't really explain it. But that one definitely got everyone involved, and it went off. And Martin got very involved, we sat down at the piano, we worked on some of the lyrical ideas as well as well as the melody... maybe not so much the melody but some of the chords. And Martin is great with that, he would sit at the piano and get into the song as well, and he'd really kind of give his best. And he did, I think, on that song."
Martin Gore: "The demo was quite good, but I think that in the studio we really took it on and made it into something that was even better. And the bit at the end, that really long instrumental piece, did not exist before. So I think that that has made that song into something that was much better than the demo, even though the demo was quite good."
Keyboard programmer Matrixxman said in an interview with Mode2joy.pl:
"Cover Me required some quality time. Maybe there were some other [songs off 'Spirit' too that were difficult to make] but this one stands out in my mind. This particular track Dave wrote initially. He was adamant that we should all try to get busy and „fuck it up” as the kids would say. At first I had a tough time coming up with compelling things for this tune but Dave did a great job of urging us to get weird and creative. James did some really cool tweaking of the voicing of the chords which helped push it in a darker direction. I came up with a sort of Pink Floyd-ish arpeggiated synth pattern that I hummed to Martin and we set about making that. Kurt worked his synth magic as well. Next thing you know, all of the contributions really brought the track to life. It took on this eerie, cinematic quality that wasn’t previously present.
The coda [in the track] was either James [Ford's idea] or Dave’s doing, but creatively speaking, it was an amalgamation of everyone’s talent then and there. I’m happy that the arpeggio thing I contributed helped tie it together. Kurt [Uenala] came up some epic synth stuff as well."
I've felt better
I've been up all night
I can feel it coming
The morning light
The air is so cold here
It's so hard to breathe
We better take cover
Will you cover me
Way up here with the Northern lights
Beyond you and me
I dreamt of us in another life
One we've never reached
You know we're sinking
We could fade away
I'm not going down with you
The air is so cold here
Too cold to see
We have to take cover
Way up here with the Northern lights
Beyond these broken bars
I pictured us in another life
Where we're all super stars
Songwriter: Dave Gahan, Peter Gordeno and Christian Eigner
Publishing Information: ©2015 Sony ATV Music Corp., JJSR Productions Inc. and Reservoir/Reverb Music Ltd. All rights on behalf of itself and JJSR Productions Inc. admin. by Sony ATV Music Corp. (BMI). (USA) Published by Sony ATV Music Publishing Ltd, Licensed by JJSR Productions Inc., and Reservoir/Reverb Music Ltd. (Rest Of The World)
- Main article: Available recordings of "Cover Me"
- Main article: List of dates where "Cover Me" was played