It's Called A Heart

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"A Depeche Mode fan is anyone who still gives us the time of day after having heard 'It's Called A Heart (Slow Mix)'."
- Alan Wilder, BONG 52[1]

Notes

Dave Gahan and Andrew Fletcher appeared on 'Saturday Picture Show: Pop Profile' in September 1985, and they took a note from Martin Gore with them on which Gore wrote the meaning of It's Called A Heart:

Interviewer: Now, your new single is called...?
Dave Gahan: It's Called A Heart.
Interviewer: Thank you. And what's that about?
Dave Gahan: (nods towards Fletch)
Andrew Fletcher: Well basically... let me get my instructions out from the songwriter!
Dave Gahan: Andy phoned up Martin this morning, let's find out about it.
Andrew Fletcher: Basically, the heart, Martin thought it was quite a mystical thing and the centre where good and evil were supposed to stem from...
Dave Gahan: (opens a note, hands the note to Fletch)
Andrew Fletcher: ...that's right, yeah, where good and evil are supposed to stem from, yeah that's what the song is about.

Martin Gore says in the November 1985 issue of Popcorn magazine (translated from German):

"The text deals with the dangers within a romantic relationship, but even more clearly than our last hit 'Shake the Disease' in which it was especially about mutual ache through words. In the new song, it's about feelings in general - how they arise, how to keep them and how to deal with it. There is a line in there that says "I'll lend it to you if you treat it tenderly" - that should mean: you should not play with love and expressions of love, because the heart of every human being is their most vulnerable part. You cannot run away immediately when something is not quite working well in a relationship. I am someone who is very much into long-term relationships. Crises are actually good for couples. With them, you get to know each other better and you must pull through together. And what's also very important to me: two people who love each other must avoid exploiting the psychological weaknesses of the other. When that happens, I think something is not right anyway."

He also says in the 1985-10-23 issue of Mädchen magazine (translated from German):

"Anyone who loves, surrenders themself[sic] to the other. One who plays with the feelings of the other and even exploits them, commits an unforgivable cruelty."

Quotes from the documentary on the DVD of the Black Celebration remaster from 2006:

Martin Gore: "We just didn't have a song that was good and suitable to go on that compilation at that time, and we ended up recording It's Called A Heart, which is probably my least favourite track that we ever released."

Alan Wilder: "I remember I was vehemently against it, because I felt it was really going backwards, it was so poppy and trite, and he had other songs that were much better, like Fly On The Windscreen, because that was the B-side. It was a much, much stronger song, and I tried to argue to get it flipped over to become the A-side, but I think the first word is "death", and Neil Ferris said "NO". And I was outvoted, really, but I wasn't happy about it, and I sulked for a long time."

Gahan discussed 'It's Called A Heart' in an October 1985 interview with British magazine No. 1:

Dave Gahan: "Our latest. I do find it very hard to enjoy singles until a good while after they've been out. At the time there are just too many other things to do to sit back and think about the single."
Interviewer: Why have the singles compilation?
Dave Gahan: "It´s the end of a period for us. We need to start afresh on the new LP and this will give us enthusiasm."[2]

Selection as a single

In a documentary included in the remastered edition of the Black Celebration album, it is revealed that there was some internal debate between Depeche Mode and Mute Records as to which song was to be the A-side on what would eventually become the 'It's Called A Heart' single release. The group initially wished to release 'Fly On The Windscreen' as a single, but were denied due to the input of a Mute Records publicist who found its use of the word "death" in the leading line of the song too problematic for serious contention as a single. Debate ensued, in which Alan Wilder rigorously argued in favour of flipping 'Fly On The Windscreen' to the A-side. Wilder was outvoted due to the input of Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, Andrew Fletcher, Daniel Miller, and Neil Ferris of Ferret & Spanner, a P.R. firm who promoted records in the United Kingdom for Mute Records, who each argued in favour of releasing 'It's Called A Heart' as the A-side.[3] As a result, 'It's Called A Heart' was released as the A-side on Depeche Mode's fourteenth UK single on September 16th, 1985, with the 5:03 version of 'Fly On The Windscreen' as the B-side. The 'Final' version of 'Fly On The Windscreen was included as an album track on Black Celebration the following year.

Lyrics


It's Called A Heart

There's something beating here inside my body

And it's called a heart

You know how easy it is

To tear it apart

If I lend it to you

Will you keep it safe for me

I'll lend it to you

If you treat it tenderly

There's something beating here inside my body

And it's called a heart


There's a sun shining in the sky

But that's not the reason why

I'm feeling warm inside

The answer isn't classified, it's my heart

From the moment I started

I tried to be goodhearted

Yes I tried my best

And more or less

I spoke from my heart


There's a lot to be learned

And you learn when your heart gets burned


Hearts could never be owned

Hearts only come on loan

If I want it back

I will take it back, I'll take my heart

But I will try my best and more or less

I will speak from my heart

Yes I will speak from my heart

Speak from my heart


Songwriter: Martin L. Gore
Publishing Information: ©1985 Grabbing Hands Music Ltd/EMI Music Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

Music video

The music video for 'It's Called A Heart' is directed by Peter Care and was shot on location in a Berkshire] cornfield.

Dates with available recordings of It's Called A Heart

There are currently 61 recordings of It's Called A Heart available.

Dates where It's Called A Heart was played

1986 Black Celebration Tour

It's Called A Heart was played 76 times during this tour.

1987-1988 Music For The Masses Tour

  • It's Called A Heart was not played during this tour.

1990 World Violation Tour

  • It's Called A Heart was not played during this tour.

1993 Devotional Tour

  • It's Called A Heart was not played during this tour.

1994 Exotic Tour

  • It's Called A Heart was not played during this tour.

1997 Ultra Parties

  • It's Called A Heart was not played during this tour.

1998 The Singles Tour

  • It's Called A Heart was not played during this tour.

2001 Exciter Tour

  • It's Called A Heart was not played during this tour.

2003 Paper Monsters Tour (Dave Gahan solo)

  • It's Called A Heart was not played during this tour.

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

  • It's Called A Heart was not played during this tour.

2005-2006 Touring The Angel

  • It's Called A Heart was not played during this tour.

2009-2010 Tour Of The Universe

  • It's Called A Heart was not played during this tour.

2013-2014 Delta Machine Tour

  • It's Called A Heart was not played during this tour.

2017-2018 Global Spirit Tour

  • It's Called A Heart was not played during this tour.


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


References