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3. Personal Jesus
4. Halo
List of Violator songs
5. Waiting For The Night
Song Halo
By Depeche Mode
Songwriter Martin L. Gore
Produced by Depeche Mode
Recorded at Puk Studios, Denmark
Logic Studios, Milan
Length (mm:ss) 4:30
Tempo 112 BPM
Time signature 4
Key E♭ Minor
Engineering assistance Daryl Bamonte
Dick Meaney
David Browne
Mark Flannery
Mixed by François Kevorkian
Recorded May 1989 – January 1990
Originally released 19 March 1990
Live performances as Depeche Mode 431 times *
Total live performances 431 times *

"Halo" is a song from the 1990 album Violator by Depeche Mode.


Martin Gore says in the 1990-02-17 issue of NME:

"I suppose my songs do seem to advocate immorality but if you listen there's always a sense of guilt. On 'Halo' from the new album, you're right that I'm saying 'Let's give in to this' but there’s also a real feeling of wrongfulness."

Alan Wilder told Electricity Club in 2011:

Q: If there’s a favourite all time Depeche Mode track here at The Electricity Club, it’s 'Halo'. Could you tell us how you and co-producer Flood put together the palette of sounds that comprised the final arrangement?

A: "From memory, the drums were sampled from Led Zeppelin's 'When the Levee Breaks' (but secondhand from a rap record). It is one of the most commonly used drum samples – for obvious reasons as it has that very special Bonham sound. The same snare drum sound appears on DM’s 'Get Right With Me'. I've also heard that snare on a Massive Attack record and many others. [...] Other sounds on 'Halo', I'm more vague about, but we certainly would have used Flood's ARP 2600 in conjunction with other modular synths to create the bass parts and other sequencer parts. For the end choruses, there are some string samples which I think were derived from Elgar. One of my techniques is to find sections of classical strings and transpose / stretch these, then add my own samples, in order to formulate new and unusual arrangements. This was a case in point. The DM track 'Clean' utilised classical strings in a similar way."

Q&A on Alan Wilder's Shunt:

Kev & Schtace: Specifically, what are the elements of the song 'Halo' that you like. This is one of my favourite DM songs. The mood/atmosphere is powerful with an excellent build-up - it reminds me of the feeling I get when I listen to the LP version of 'In Your Room'.

A: "I like the string arrangement and the fact that we used drum loops on it - something we had hardly done before that time. It's not a bad song either."

Alan Wilder in his editorial on Violator:

"As for singles, 'Halo' was on a short-list but was never really a major contender. We ended up using it in a roundabout way by making a video (as well as one for 'Clean') to fill out the 'Strange Too' compilation."



You wear guilt

Like shackles on your feet

Like a halo in reverse

I can feel

The discomfort in your seat

And in your head it's worse

There's a pain

A famine in your heart

An aching to be free

Can't you see

All love's luxuries

Are here for you and me

And when our worlds

They fall apart

When the walls come tumbling in

Though we may deserve it

It will be worth it

Bring your chains

Your lips of tragedy

And fall into my arms

And when our worlds

They fall apart

When the walls come tumbling in

Though we may deserve it

It will be worth it

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

Music video

Live performances

Main article: Available recordings of "Halo"
Main article: List of dates where "Halo" was played


  • 'Halo' has been sampled in the following songs and remixes:
    • 'Prawdziwy Rapper Klamca (Propaganda Wersja)' - Peja and Slums Attack (2005)
    • 'Precious (DJ Dan 4 A.M. Mix)' - Depeche Mode (2005)
  • 'Halo' has been covered by Józsa Alex and Quick (2003), Dimitris Korgialas (2005), and Weak13 (2017).