For the Masses

For the Masses is a 1998 tribute album to Depeche Mode, specifically the works of Martin Gore. The album charted in America and reached the Top 20 in Germany, making it the most successful Depeche Mode tribute album of all time.[1] The album title is taken from Depeche Mode's 1987 album Music for the Masses.[2] The album cover was photographed by Martyn Atkins who shot and designed early Depeche Mode artwork; the whole album artwork is consistent with the past Depeche Mode albums.[3]

For the Masses
Compilation album by
various artists
Released4 August 1998
Singles from For the Masses
  1. "Stripped"
    Released: July 28, 1998


The project was started by the band members of God Lives Underwater, David Reilly in particular, in collaboration with their manager Gary Richards and Philip Blaine of 1500 Records (an A&M Records label until 2001),[2] featuring a wide array of bands including The Cure, Smashing Pumpkins, Deftones, Rammstein, and Meat Beat Manifesto. Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, and Foo Fighters wanted to do tracks but schedule complications prevented them.[3] Manson, who wanted to cover "Personal Jesus," eventually did so for his greatest hits album Lest We Forget: The Best of in 2004. Credited executive producers for the album are Philip Blaine and Gary Richards.


The compact disc release features a notoriously poor use of HDCD encoding. When decoded as HDCD, one channel signals a -4dB gain adjustment throughout, making it noticeably quieter than the other. If played as a regular CD, however, the gain adjustment information is ignored.[4]

The Smashing Pumpkins version of "Never Let Me Down Again" was originally released a few years previously as a b-side for "Rocket".[1] Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins performed the song "Never Let Me Down Again" with Depeche Mode at the KROQ Acoustic Christmas concert in 1998. The "World in My Eyes" cover by The Cure also appears on the Cure box set Join the Dots.

Rammstein released their cover of "Stripped" as a single, accompanied by a controversial[5] music video, directed by Philipp Stölzl, which uses excerpts from Olympia, a Leni Riefenstahl documentary film covering the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. The single charted at No. 14 in Germany. A live version is notably available on the Völkerball DVD.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic      [6]
NME           [7]

In his critical review for Allmusic, Stephen Erlewine writes that Depeche Mode songs are "difficult to cover without replicating the original arrangements" and that only a few bands succeeded in making the songs their own. He singles out the versions from Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, Gus Gus, and Rammstein, stating that "they're almost good enough to make the overall mediocrity of the album worthwhile." [6]

NME states that this tribute album is "not about investigating Depeche Mode's legacy, but massaging swollen egos". The Smashing Pumpkins and The Cure are commended for attempting something different while the rest of the entries fail in adding their own twist to the songs and are hoping for "some controversy-free exposure".[7]

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Martin Gore.

1."Never Let Me Down Again" (from Music for the Masses, 1987)The Smashing Pumpkins4:01
2."Fly on the Windscreen" (from Black Celebration, 1986)God Lives Underwater5:22
3."Enjoy the Silence" (from Violator, 1990)Failure4:20
4."World in My Eyes" (from Violator, 1990)The Cure4:51
5."Policy of Truth" (from Violator, 1990)Dishwalla3:45
6."Somebody" (from Some Great Reward, 1984)Veruca Salt4:05
7."Everything Counts" (from Construction Time Again, 1983)Meat Beat Manifesto5:24
8."Shake the Disease" (from The Singles 81→85, 1985)Hooverphonic3:59
9."Master and Servant" (from Some Great Reward, 1984)Locust3:40
10."Shame" (from Construction Time Again, 1983)Self4:12
11."Black Celebration" (from Black Celebration, 1986)Monster Magnet4:16
12."Waiting for the Night" (from Violator, 1990)Rabbit in the Moon7:34
13."I Feel You" (from Songs of Faith and Devotion, 1993)Apollo Four Forty5:21
14."Monument" (from A Broken Frame, 1982)GusGus5:21
15."To Have and to Hold" (from Music for the Masses, 1987)Deftones2:53
16."Stripped" (from Black Celebration, 1986)Rammstein4:44
Total length:73:48


  1. ^ a b Malins, Steve (2001). Depeche Mode : A Biography. Andre Deutsch. p. 248. ISBN 978-0-233-99430-7.
  2. ^ a b Newman, Melinda (February 28, 1998). "The Beat: Depeche Mode Tribute A Dream Come True". Billboard Magazine. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 110 (9): 16. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 22 May 1998. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. ^ a b "For The Masses - Philip Blaine interview Archived 2011-10-08 at the Wayback Machine" Bong Magazine N:o 36 (June 1998). Retrieved 21 May 2011.
  4. ^ "List of HDCD-encoded Compact Discs". Hydrogenaudio. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Nazis? Heil, no!" NME. 14 September 1998. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  6. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. For the Masses at AllMusic. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  7. ^ a b "For The Masses - Album Review". NME. 19 September 1998. Retrieved June 29, 2011.

External linksEdit