Enjoy The Silence

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Enjoy The Silence
Depeche Mode
Produced by
Recorded at
Puk Studios, Denmark
Logic Studios, Milan
Length (mm:ss)
6:12 (album version)
4:15 (single version)
112 BPM
Time signature
C Minor
Engineering assistance
Daryl Bamonte
Dick Meaney
David Browne
Mark Flannery
Originally released
January 16, 1990
Played live
869 times *
Total live plays
943 times *

'Enjoy The Silence' is a song from the 1990 album Violator by Depeche Mode. It was released as a single on January 16, 1990.


Dave Kendall asked Martin Gore and Dave Gahan about the meaning of the song on MTV's 120 Minutes:

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 in Bong issue no. 37, 1998:

"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."

Daniel Miller told Electronic Beats in 2013:

"'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."

Q&A from Alan Wilder's Shunt:

From: Josh

Q: 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?

A: 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.

Alan Wilder elaborated on it in his '86 - 98' editorial:

"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."

Wilder was also asked about the different mixes of the track on Shunt:

From: Electric cafe

Q: F. Kervorkian 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 Kervorkian one?

A: 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.

Daniel Miller explained his point of view on this matter to Electronic Beats:

"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."

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.'"[1]

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:

"We were all pretty like-minded about avoiding industry-based award ceremonies. Best left to Sting and Elton."


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.

Music video

Dates with available recordings of Enjoy The Silence

There are currently 529 recordings of Enjoy The Silence available.

Dates where Enjoy The Silence was played

1990 World Violation Tour

Enjoy The Silence was played 88 times during this tour.

1993 Devotional Tour

Enjoy The Silence was played 93 times during this tour.

1994 Exotic Tour

Enjoy The Silence was played 60 times during this tour.

1997 Ultra Parties

  • Enjoy The Silence was not played during this tour.

1998 The Singles Tour

Enjoy The Silence was played 65 times during this tour.

2001 Exciter Tour

Enjoy The Silence was played 86 times during this tour.

2003 Paper Monsters Tour (Dave Gahan solo)

Enjoy The Silence was played 73 times during this tour.

2003 "A Night With Martin L. Gore" (Martin L. Gore solo)

Enjoy The Silence was played only once during this tour.

2005-2006 Touring The Angel

Enjoy The Silence was played 124 times during this tour.

2009-2010 Tour Of The Universe

Enjoy The Silence was played 103 times during this tour.

2013-2014 Delta Machine Tour

Enjoy The Silence was played 114 times during this tour.

2017-2018 Global Spirit Tour

Enjoy The Silence was played 136 times during this tour.

5. Waiting For The Night
6. Enjoy The Silence
List of Violator songs
7. Policy Of Truth

1981-1985: Dreaming of MeNew LifeJust Can't Get EnoughSee YouThe Meaning Of LoveLeave in SilenceGet The Balance Right!Everything CountsLove In ItselfPeople Are PeopleMaster And ServantBlasphemous RumoursSomebodyShake The DiseaseIt's Called A Heart
1986-1989: StrippedBut Not TonightA Question Of LustA Question Of TimeStrangeloveNever Let Me Down AgainBehind The WheelLittle 15Route 66Personal Jesus
1990-1999: Enjoy The SilencePolicy of TruthWorld In My EyesI Feel YouWalking In My ShoesCondemnationIn Your RoomBarrel Of A GunIt's No GoodHomeUselessOnly When I Lose Myself
2000-2009: Dream OnI Feel LovedFreeloveGoodnight LoversPreciousA Pain That I'm Used ToSuffer WellJohn the RevelatorLilianMartyrWrongPeaceFragile TensionHole To Feed
2010-2017: HeavenSoothe My SoulWhere's The RevolutionGoing BackwardsCover Me
1992-1998: Faith HealerDriftingStalkerMissing Piece
2000-2008: Strange HoursJezebelPreyAllelujah
2003-2008: Dirty Sticky FloorsI Need YouBottle LivingHold OnA Little PieceKingdomSaw SomethingDeeper And Deeper
2012-2015: Longest DayTake Me Back HomeAll Of This And NothingShine
1989-2003: CompulsionStardustLoverman
2012: SpockSingle BlipAftermaths