Enjoy The Silence

From DM Live - the Depeche Mode live encyclopedia for the masses
Jump to navigationJump to search
5. Waiting For The Night
6. Enjoy The Silence
List of Violator songs
7. Policy Of Truth
Enjoy The Silence
Song Enjoy The Silence
By Depeche Mode
Songwriter Martin L. Gore
Produced by Depeche Mode
Recorded at Puk Studios, Denmark
Logic Studios, Milan
Length (mm:ss) 6:12 (album version)
4:15 (single version)
Tempo 113 BPM
Time signature 4
Key C Minor
Engineered by Pino Pischetola
Peter Iversen
Steve Lyon
Goh Hotoda
Alan Gregorie
Dennis Mitchell
Phil Legg
Engineering assistance Daryl Bamonte
Dick Meaney
David Browne
Mark Flannery
Design Anton Corbijn
Recorded 1989
Originally released 5 February 1990
Live performances as Depeche Mode 986 times *
Total live performances 1061 times *

"Enjoy The Silence" is a song from the 1990 album Violator by Depeche Mode. It was released as a single on 5 February 1990.


Martin Gore: "It's just about a feeling of not wanting anything else, feeling totally satisfied, and even the words and everything seem an intrusion. You don't need anything else, you're totally happy. It's a nice song, it's nice, that's a way to put it, it's nice."

Dave Gahan: "And that's why, if you notice, in the video, you'll see that I only sing one line in the whole thing every now and then, repeatedly: "Words are very unnecessary". Because you got all these beautiful scenes, beautiful photography everywhere, and you look at this fantastic photography, so words [are unnecessary], and I'm a king, obviously, I'm supposed to have everything."

Martin Gore, Dave Gahan – MTV 120 Minutes

This was the only time ever in the studio when we thought we had a hit single. When I finished the demo of this song it was more of a ballad and sounded a bit like the harmonium version that came out on one of the formats. Alan had this idea to speed it up and make it a bit more disco which I was really averse to at first, because I thought 'the song is called "Enjoy The Silence" and it's supposed to be about serenity, and serenity doesn't go with the disco beat'. So I was sulking for about two days but after he sped it up, I got used to it and added the guitar part, which adds to the whole atmosphere. We could really hear that it had a crossover potential. I have to say that I was sulking for two days for no reason.

— Martin Gore – BONG, issue #37 – 1998

Dave Gahan – Alvor, Portugal
Retrieved via "Depeche Mode Classic Photos And Videos".

So, originally the demo for ['Enjoy The Silence'] was just me singing along to a basic pad. And it was really Alan [Wilder] and Flood who suggested that we speed it up and put a beat to it. And I was dead against it. I remember, because I thought it went completely against the aesthetic of the words and the meaning behind the song. So, I sulked off for a little bit [...] So, when I came back, yeah, it had a basic drum pattern and the baseline[sic] and that was all. And I still wasn't convinced. But Flood said to me, 'Could you just try playing some guitar along to it?' So, I played along and then I came up with a guitar line for it. And then the kind of choir part. And then it kind of started making a bit more sense to me.

I'd like to take this moment to apologize to Alan and Flood.[1]

— Martin Gore – Parklife DC – 26 April 2019

'Enjoy The Silence' was originally a slow track, a ballad almost, as a demo but I think Alan and Flood really believed that there was something else to get out of that track as an uptempo number. Martin was definitely against the idea because it was his song and that's how he'd heard it, but he said, "Okay, you do it and we'll see." I remember coming to visit them in the studio and Fletch and Martin being very excited, saying, "Dan, we've got to play you this track!" We went to one of the little rooms to the side of the studio, they played me 'Enjoy the Silence', which was half-finished and I just went, "This is going to be huge." It was just a perfect pop song, absolutely great. This was the version, by the way, that Martin had written and Alan and Flood had worked on to make it what it was.[2]Daniel MillerElectronic Beats – 2013

When Martin gave you the 'Enjoy The Silence' demo, what made you figure it would be good if it was sped up? Did you slow or speed up any other songs?

Wilder: Strangely, the thing that immediately came to mind was that I could hear Neil Tennant singing it in my head. Something about the line "All I ever wanted" sounded very hamster.....er.... Pet Shop to me. Most DM songs changed tempo to some degree from the original demo although none I can think of have been that extreme.

Martin's demos always had a complete set of lyrics but musically they varied from sometimes being quite detailed to sometimes very simplistic. I felt that to have taken the simple ballad approach for this song would have been to criminally pass on it's massive commercial potential. It was a great tune crying out for the kind of treatment it eventually got. Flood and I worked on the backing track before calling Martin in to play the guitar riff. As the track came together, I think it dawned on everyone (even Martin, who had been the most reluctant about taking the up-tempo route) that we had a hit on our hands.[3]Alan WilderShunt

I thought the very nature of the song was, you know, enjoy the silence, so it ought to have a very serene atmosphere. It took me a while to get used to the idea, but as we took it further that way with the guitar riff, it really pulled together.[4]

— Martin Gore – Select – December 1990

"It's the first time ever in our whole career that we've actually thought we've got a hit single. We just knew straight away."[5]

— Andrew Fletcher – EPKMUTEL5

F. Kevorkian mixed all the Violator album but for 'Enjoy The Silence' you preferred to release the Miller/ Flood and Miller / Legg mixes. What's the reason? Is it true that you don't like the sound of the guitar in the Kevorkian one?

Wilder: Well, to be accurate, we mixed the LP together with Francois. Personally, I don't think there's much wrong with our mix of 'Enjoy The Silence'. The guitar sounds fine and the overall sound has a bit more sparkle. Daniel had a bee in his bonnet about the mix and felt very strongly that he could do better. We let him have a go and after 2 or 3 attempts (as you can see from the credits) decided that his mix was acceptable for the 7" version. Had he not pushed for it, I think we would have happily gone with the original mix. Funnily enough, our most successful single ever was one of the flattest, dullest sounding mixes with a snare drum that sounds like a sticky toffee pudding.[6]

— Alan Wilder – Shunt

The only thing about [François Kevorkian's mixing] was that, while the record was great, I wasn't happy with 'Enjoy The Silence' as it was. I had real demo-itis about it. I'd heard this rough version which they'd done, and in my head, that's how it had to sound. So I said, 'Look, I love the album, but I'm not feeling the way 'Enjoy The Silence' is at the moment. Can I go off and mix it with somebody else just to try it?' So, I went off with a guy called Phil Legg, who was an engineer I'd worked with, and did it the way I'd always heard it. I think they were so burned out by the end—it took a long time making that record—that they said, 'Okay, whatever you say,' and they used that version.[2]

— Daniel Miller – Electronic Beats – 2013

Gahan recalled the group's excitement during the song's production:

I remember [Martin Gore] sitting there and playing it, and he came up with this riff, and then I sang the song and everyone was surprised that I sang it so well – including myself. And then we spent like a week trying to make it into something: 'Oh wow! I think this could be a single!' and 'What about if we do this and do that,' and 'Maybe we'll have to redo the drum pattern,' and 'Mart, you could play the guitar a bit better.' And in the end, of course, we come right round, like full circle, and it's just like, 'Well, it sounded really good the first day we recorded it.'[5]

— Dave Gahan – EPKMUTEL5

As with prior singles, Daniel Miller mixed the 7" version, which went on to win the Brit Award for 'Single Of The Year' as voted for by Radio 1 listeners — a stark contrast with the group's normally lukewarm reception with audiences in their home country. To illustrate their reciprocally lukewarm enthusiasm for the music media, Depeche Mode collectively boycotted the award presentation. Alan Wilder recalls in a Violator editorial on Shunt, the official Recoil site: "We were all pretty like-minded about avoiding industry-based award ceremonies. Best left to Sting and Elton."

"Perversion" demo tape

Handwritten info sheet for the "Perversion" demo tape.

The demo of 'Enjoy The Silence' from "Perversion" circulates and is available to listen to in its entirety below. The "Harmonium" mix of 'Enjoy The Silence' closely resembles this original demo version. That version of the track is basically a re-recorded version of this demo.


Enjoy The Silence

Words like violence

Break the silence

Come crashing in

Into my little world

Painful to me

Pierce right through me

Can't you understand

Oh my little girl

All I ever wanted

All I ever needed

Is here in my arms

Words are very unnecessary

They can only do harm

Vows are spoken

To be broken

Feelings are intense

Words are trivial

Pleasures remain

So does the pain

Words are meaningless

And forgettable

All I ever wanted

All I ever needed

Is here in my arms

Words are very unnecessary

They can only do harm

Enjoy the silence

Songwriter: Martin L. Gore
Publishing Information: ©1990 Grabbing Hands Music Ltd/EMI Music Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.


Sample sources

"Enjoy The Silence"
Depeche Mode
Self-made samples
Sample Notes Audio
Synthesizer elements The synthesized bassline audible throughout "Enjoy The Silence" is produced on the Roland System 700 modular analog synthesizer.
Vocal elements The textured choral stabs heard on the first beat of every measure throughout "Enjoy The Silence" are comprised of a series of sampled choir sounds each playing individual notes of a chord. Among these sounds are two sourced samples derived from the Bulgarian State Female Vocal Choir's 1975 "Sableyalo mi Agontze (The Bleating Lamb)", the first of which is played on the first beat per measure throughout the song, the second of which is played on the first beat of every fourth chorus measure (in time with the lyric "In my arms"); a choir sound previously used for live performances of "Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth" on the Music For The Masses tour; and a series of custom vocal "ahh" samples likely produced by sampling vocal sustains sung by Martin Gore, which are notably also used to play the choir melody heard in the song's outro.
Vocal elements The vocal "ahhs" heard during the outro of "Enjoy The Silence" are comprised of a series of solo vocal "ahh" samples likely produced by sampling vocal sustains sung by Martin Gore.[footnotes 1] For live performances of "Enjoy The Silence", these choir elements were employed from its live debut through 2009, when it was replaced with new choir parts for use on the Tour Of The Universe and later tours (with one exception in 2013, when it returned for a live performance as part of a television promotion).
Synthesizer elements A melancholic bell or "water droplet-like" sequence audible during the intro and middle eight sections of "Enjoy The Silence" is comprised of a sample derived from the opening moments of "Blasphemous Rumours". Notably, this sample would later be utilised for a melody heard during the verse sections of "Walking In My Shoes".

Click to display/hide audio example

Choir elements A choir pad comprised of an organ or accordion-like sound layered with a sustained vocal originally sung by Gore for use during the middle eight section of "Waiting For The Night" is played during the chorus sections of "Enjoy The Silence" as it has been performed on all live arrangements since its live debut (as well as the intro of its World Violation tour arrangement).[footnotes 2]

Sample sources
Sample Source Status Notes Audio
Choir elements Bulgarian State Television Female Vocal Choir - Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares - "Sableyalo mi Agontze (The Bleating Lamb)" - 1975
A series of choir pads which partly comprise the choir stabs audible throughout "Enjoy The Silence" are derived from the Bulgarian State Female Vocal Choir's 1975 "Sableyalo mi Agontze (The Bleating Lamb)" as performed with Bulgarian traditional singer Kalinka Valcheva. The Bulgarian State Television Female Vocal Choir is notable for its membership, who are chosen from country villages for the beauty and fullness of their voices.

Click to display/hide audio example

Drum elements, snare drum, conga drum elements Ten City - Foundation - "That's The Way Love Is (Deep House Mix / Extended Version)" - 1989
A series of manipulated, treated samples of audio (including a snare drum, a looped section of audio featuring a conga rhythm, and, likely, a bass drum part) derived from the "Deep House Mix / Extended Version" remix of Ten City's 1989 single "That's The Way Love Is" are utilised throughout "Enjoy the Silence".[footnotes 3] Violator producer Flood briefly described the use of sampled drum elements utilised for "Enjoy the Silence" on 14 May 2011 at the 2011 Short Circuit presents Mute festival event:

So we've done a couple of songs, and then it was time to hack into "Enjoy the Silence". So, I said, "Well, why don't we just copy an old disco classic, the rhythm of it?" So we started off doing that [...][7] [We] started off with [the drums], here we go. [drum rhythm plays] Which are, some of them are actually lifted from the original song. I mean, I shouldn't say that, but I just did. [audience laughs] So, that's just a copy, a complete copy of this track [...][8]

Alan Wilder would later critique the snare drum in an undated Q&A on Shunt: "Funnily enough, our most successful single ever was one of the flattest, dullest sounding mixes with a snare drum that sounds like a sticky toffee pudding."[9]

Click to display/hide audio example

Harpsichord elements Emulator III OMI Universe of Sounds: Volume 2 - Harpsichord - "B1 HARPSIC"
The harpsichord instrument used to accent the bassline of "Enjoy The Silence" starting from the middle eight section is partly derived from the Emulator III Universe of Sounds: Volume 2 voice "Harpsichord".[footnotes 4] The harpsichord sample is layered with a detuned copy of itself to produce a chorusing effect. A sampled bass synth part heard prominently in the opening moments of "Clean" is then layered with the harpsichord part on most notes used throughout the song. Notably, this sound is also used throughout Nitzer Ebb's "I Give To You".

Click to display/hide audio example

Brass elements Emax I factory library disk #ZD705: French Horn - Preset #1: "French Horns", SAMPLE 6
The middle eight and outro sections of "Enjoy The Silence" feature a french horn melody derived from the "French Horns" preset of Emax I factory library disk #ZD705 "French Horn".

Click to display/hide audio example

Choir, orchestral elements Emulator II factory library disk #12: Voices and Emulator II factory library disk #05: Marcato Strings
A choir pad featured in the chorus sections of "Enjoy The Silence" is likely comprised of samples derived from Emulator II factory library disk #12 "Voices" and Emulator II factory library disk #05 "Marcato Strings". The pad is prominently featured in the opening moments of the "Hands And Feet" remix of "Enjoy The Silence".

Click to display/hide audio example

Note: In this example, the two Emulator II voices are first played separately. They are then layered together, then played with an upper mid-frequency EQ boost to approximately match the equivalent sound in the "Hands And Feet" remix of "Enjoy The Silence", which prominently features the choir pad with added phasing effects/processing.

Music video

Original version

Main article: Enjoy The Silence (official music video)

Directed by Anton Corbijn. The music video for 'Enjoy The Silence' features Dave Gahan dressed as a king carrying a folding deck chair. Through a series of landscape shots, Gahan is seen roaming solemnly through lush, remote vistas in humble search of a quiet place to sit, interspersed with quick cuts of black and white footage featuring the band and stylized photographs of the iconic Violator rose. The video uses an officially unreleased (in audio form) edit of the album version of 'Enjoy The Silence', featuring an alternate introduction comprised of the outro choir melody, harpsichord-like stabs, bass stabs, the primary choir stabs, a hi-hat pattern and snare.

Edited versions

There are two edits of the 'Enjoy The Silence' music video. One version begins with Fletcher looking to his right, with various shots of Gahan mouthing the lyrics directly to the camera intercut with long shots of him roaming the Scottish Highlands, Praia Da Prainha beach, and the Swiss Alps. The video concludes with a shot of Gahan dressed in costume singing the line "Enjoy the silence", before putting a finger to his lips.

The second version features Martin Gore looking to his right in the opening moments. In this version, the shots of Gahan singing to the viewer are cut, leaving only two scenes in which he sings the lines "Words are very unnecessary – They can only do harm." The video concludes with a shot of Gahan unfolding and sitting on his deck chair in the snow while the final line "Enjoy the silence" brings the song to a close. Some minor differences in the black and white group footage exist between the two versions of the video.

B-roll footage

48 minutes of B-roll footage from the video shoot for Enjoy The Silence sourced from an unknown generation VHS tape digitized by DMLiveWiki can be watched below. The majority of the video footage consists of the band members standing around for the black & white portion of the music video. The last 18 minutes contains B-roll footage of Dave's outdoor scenes in the king costume. Because the VHS's audio is various remixes of the song, the audio has been removed. The video quality is not particularly good, unfortunately.

Marketing and promotion

1990-03-24 – Champs-Elysées World Trade Center TV Promo

On 24 March 1990, Depeche Mode filmed a promotional video featuring the band members miming to the album version of 'Enjoy The Silence' on the rooftop observation deck of Two World Trade Center for French variety show Champs-Elysées.


Live performances

Main article: Available recordings of "Enjoy The Silence"
Main article: List of dates where "Enjoy The Silence" was played

Live versions

This section provides an example of a live version of Enjoy The Silence from each tour that it was played.


  • A cover of 'Enjoy The Silence' is featured in season one episode six of The CW drama series The Vampire Diaries. The song is also featured in 2012 Canadian romantic drama film Laurence Anyways.
  • 'Enjoy The Silence' has been covered by Bartrek (1992), The Johns Hopkins University Octopodes (1995), Norton's (1995), SYZYGY (1995), The Escape (1996), Failure (1998), Tori Amos (2001), No Use for a Name (2001), Ágnes Vanilla (2001), Flesh Field (2001), Evergreen Terrace (2002), Dave Gold (2002), Caater (2002), Nullsleep (2002), Inscape (2003), Talla 2XLC (2003), Swift (Hardcore) (2003), Vitamin String Quartet (2003), Pat MacDonald (2003), Dead Souls Rising (2003), F...Etc (2005), It Dies Today (2005), Tanghetto (2005), Eggshell Boy (2005), Oberon (2005), Sylvain Chauveau and Ensemble Nocturne (2005), Lacuna Coil (2006), Texas Lightning (2006), Anberlin (2006), Scala & Kolacny Brothers (2006), Dolapdere Big Gang (2006), Janita (2006), Ryan Star (2006), Susanna and the Magical Orchestra (2006), Keane (2007), Moriarty (2007), Morphology (2007), Orleya (2007), Exilio (2008), Fragmentos Industriales (2008), Graham Blvd (2008), Cluster (Italy) (2008), Sub-Level 03 (2008), Gregorian (2009), Star Industry (2009), Marco Rochowski (2009), DJ Ino feat. Silent Djazz (2009), Sue Ellen (2009), Red Blooded Women (2009), Gracias X La Música (2009), Nada Surf (2010), Lisa Wahlandt (2010), Memento feat. Ken Spector (2010), Bebo Best, Evelins and Mr. Lova (2010), The Brains (2010), Breaking Benjamin (2011), Susan Boyle (2011), Patti Austin (2011), Alessandro Deledda (2011), Radiottanta (2011), Rockabye Baby! (2012), Mademoizelle Fizz (2012), Valerio Rinaldi (2013), Los Auténticos Decadentes (2013), Erdinc Erdogdu feat. Kivanch K (2013), Parralox (2013), Trevor Something (2014), Space March (2014), Denmark + Winter (2014), Music Box Mania (2014), Herbert Weixelbaum (2014), Daniel Dobbs and Weebl (2015), Music Legends (2015), White Noon (2015), Acousticman Chillout (2015), One-Eyed Doll and Eyes Set to Kill (2016), Damian Bermudez (2016), Chateau Pop (2017), Carla Bruni (2017), Acoustic ChillMan and Seba Gaido (2017), Ki:Theory (2017), Were I Blind (2017), and Tulia (2018).
  • 'Enjoy The Silence' has been sampled in the following songs and remixes by Depeche Mode and other artists:
    • 'The Silence' – Mike Koglin (1998)
    • 'Silence' – Kyle Lucas (2008)
    • 'The Silence' – Sorcerer (1993)
    • 'The Voice' – Bad Company UK (2001)
    • 'Strangelove (Remix)' – Depeche Mode (1992)
    • 'Love Is The Power' – DJ Maxwell (2010)
    • 'Enjoy The Silence' – Yvan & Dan Daniel (2007)
    • 'Duke Duvet' – Saint Etienne (1993)
    • 'World In My Eyes (Ultimix)' – Depeche Mode (1990)
    • 'All I Ever Wanted (Main Version)' – Da Mode (2004)
    • 'Freelove (Deep Dish Freedom Remix)' – Depeche Mode (2001)
    • 'The Silence' – Luca Debonaire and DJ Marlon (2018)
    • 'Cuts Like Fire' – Cinnamon Chasers (2011)
    • 'The Silence' – DJ Demand (2001)
    • 'Enjoy The Silence (Arkus P Remix)' – Arkus P (2005)
    • 'Digital Graveyard // 忘れ物はありません' – DJ NB (2016)
    • 'Silence Is Loud (SRB Remix)' – DJ Dione (2011)


  1. Other songs to feature these vocal elements include "Memphisto", "World In My Eyes", "Policy Of Truth" (as a layer mixed in with the lead melody), "Halo", "Sibeling" (layered quietly as a melodic element), and the sustained choir chords heard during the second verse of "In Your Room" as it was performed on the Devotional, Exotic, and Global Spirit tours.
  2. Notably, this sound is also utilised for the main choir pad heard throughout all versions of "Sea Of Sin", as well as a chorus pad layered with several of the vocal "ahh" sounds most obviously heard in the outro of "Enjoy The Silence" for use during the chorus sections of "Halo" as it has been performed on all live arrangements since its live debut (with one exception in the 2013-2014 Delta Machine tour).
  3. Credit to fan Heiko Brune for this discovery.
  4. Fan credit: Richard López.


  1. Source: "Interview: Martin Gore of Depeche Mode (In Conversation with Daniel Miller of Mute Records @ Moogfest 2019 — 4/26/19)"Parklife DC, 26 April 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Source: “It’s almost too personal”: Daniel Miller contemplates the Depeche Mode catalogueElectronic Beats, 2013.
  3. Source: recoil.co.uk '86–98' editorial (archived)
  4. Source: Faith, Hope and Depravity – Select, December 1990.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Source: Depeche Mode: A Short Film, EPKMUTEL5, included with the Singles 86>98 promotional box set, PBXMUTEL5.
  6. Source: Shunt Q&A: Violator (archived)
  7. "FLOOD about the making of Enjoy the Silence @ Short Circuit Presents Mute festival" - youtube.com - Video uploaded by YouTube user "Blank" on 29 May 2011
  8. "Flood talks about Enjoy the Silence (Soundedit 2011)" - youtube.com - Video uploaded by YouTube user "de-mo ralizacja" on 11 November 2014
  9. Wilder, Alan. "Shunt Q&A: ARCHIVES : DEPECHE MODE : VIOLATOR". recoil.co.uk. https://web.archive.org/web/20181128152225/http://oldsite.recoil.co.uk/forum/qa/dmviol.htm. Archived 28 November 2018, p. 1.

1981-1985: Dreaming Of MeNew LifeJust Can't Get EnoughSee YouThe Meaning Of Love
Leave In SilenceGet The Balance RightEverything CountsLove In ItselfPeople Are PeopleMaster And ServantBlasphemous Rumours / SomebodyShake The DiseaseIt's Called A Heart
1986-1989: StrippedBut Not TonightA Question Of LustA Question Of TimeStrangelove
Never Let Me Down AgainBehind The WheelLittle 15Personal Jesus
1990-1998: Enjoy The SilencePolicy Of TruthWorld In My EyesI Feel YouWalking In My ShoesCondemnationIn Your RoomBarrel Of A GunIt's No GoodHomeUseless
Only When I Lose Myself
2001-2009: Dream OnI Feel LovedFreeloveGoodnight LoversPreciousA Pain That I'm Used To
Suffer WellJohn The Revelator / LilianMartyrWrongPeaceFragile Tension / Hole To Feed
2013-2017: HeavenSoothe My SoulShould Be HigherWhere's The RevolutionGoing Backwards
Cover Me
2023: Ghosts Again
1992-1998: Faith HealerDriftingStalker / Missing Piece
2000-2008: Strange HoursJezebelPreyAllelujah
2003-2008: Dirty Sticky FloorsI Need YouBottle Living / Hold OnA Little PieceKingdomSaw Something / Deeper And Deeper
2012-2015: Longest DayTake Me Back HomeAll Of This And NothingShine
1989-2003: CompulsionStardustLoverman
2012-2015: SpockSingle BlipAftermathsEuropa Hymn • "Pinking" (Christoffer Berg Remix)
Official releases