Personal Jesus

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Martin Gore told Spin Magazine:

"It's a song about being a Jesus for somebody else, someone to give you hope and care. It's about how Elvis was her man and her mentor and how often that happens in love relationships; how everybody's heart is like a god in some way. We play these god-like parts for people but no one is perfect, and that's not a very balanced view of someone is it?"

Johnny Cash covered the song in 2002, and said:

"It's a very fine, fine evangelical song, probably the most evangelical gospel song I ever recorded, although I don't know if the writer meant it to be that, but that's what it is. It's where you find your comfort, your counsel, your shoulder to lean on, your hand to hold on to your Personal Jesus."

As was written in Alan Wilder's '86 - 98' editorial on Shunt:

"The track itself was a significant move forward for the group but still retained elements of DM's former experimental self. For example, the main 'stomp' was a recording of 2 or 3 people jumping up and down on flight cases working alongside Martin's John Lee Hooker guitar riff and the Kraftwerk-style synth parts."

Musician Charlie Marchino happened to be in the same building, and says:

"I was at Logic Studios where Depeche Mode was recording 'Violator', and one day, I am playing ping pong with one of them. They play and challenge each other with ping pong every day. But then they are recording 'Personal Jesus' and I am wondering how they make the drumming loop in a military marching style at the beginning of the song. I am wondering what instrumentation they are using, what technological effects. So I follow after them and my jaw drops. They are on the metallic stairwell, and using its roaring, they are beating their feet on the staircase, all together, tum, tum, tu tu tum. Record and mix. Unbelievable."

Martin Gore in Bong issue no. 37, 1998:

"This song was our first experiment we had working with Flood and Francois Kevorkian, and we were really unsure about how that whole relationship would work. We were really happy with the song and we realised that it was a potential single, but we didn’t have any idea of the mass appeal that it would have. We thought that it was the sort of thing that we liked but the radio programmers would hate, and we’d be lucky if it reached no. 25 – it was one of those sort of feelings we had in the studio about this song. We were especially worried about America, because the moment you mention the word Jesus in the title, you’re asking for trouble, but the single eventually turned out to be Warner Bros.’ Biggest selling 12” of all time."

Vince Clarke said in 2001:

"To me, 'Personal Jesus' is like a rock sound, I suppose. It's not really like a typical American rock. I think it's far more clever and imaginative than that. If you told me that there would be a record like Violator, that they might have written 'Violator', 20 years ago, I would not have believed you. Going for that amount of time, then they're a band that have had a huge influence."

Dates with available recordings of Personal Jesus

There are currently 448 recordings of Personal Jesus available.

Dates where Personal Jesus was played

1990 World Violation Tour

Personal Jesus was played 89 times during this tour.

1993 Devotional Tour

Personal Jesus was played 93 times during this tour.

1994 Exotic Tour

Personal Jesus was played 60 times during this tour.

1997 Ultra Parties

  • Personal Jesus was not played during this tour.

1998 The Singles Tour

Personal Jesus was played 65 times during this tour.

2001 Exciter Tour

Personal Jesus was played 86 times during this tour.

2003 Paper Monsters Tour (Dave Gahan solo)

Personal Jesus was played 71 times during this tour.

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

  • Personal Jesus was not played during this tour.

2005-2006 Touring The Angel

Personal Jesus was played 124 times during this tour.

2009-2010 Tour Of The Universe

Personal Jesus was played 105 times during this tour.

2013-2014 Delta Machine Tour

Personal Jesus was played 112 times during this tour.

2017-2018 Global Spirit Tour

Personal Jesus was played 138 times during this tour.