Number Ones: #56


  • DEPECHE MODE It’s Called A Heart (Mute)
  • Week Ending 12th October 1985
  • 2 Weeks At #1

After some unexpected chart-toppers, we are back on more familiar territory with Depeche Mode’s third #1.

It had been just over a year since their last, Master & Servant, and followed a pair of singles that reached #2; the AA-side Blasphemous Rumours/Somebody, and a non-album track Shake The Disease. Having released a studio album in every year since 1981, the band (or more likely the record label) chose to take stock at the end of 1985 with a Greatest Hits set, The Singles 81>85.

The obligatory new song to promote its release, It’s Called A Heart was poppier than anything Depeche Mode had done since 1983, and seemed to represent an artistic backwards step in its attempt to serve as a commercial appetiser for the compilation. A necessary evil, in some ways. Enough songs about blasphemy and disease, chaps, thanksverymuch, you could almost hear the A&R department saying….we need airplay! And pre-Christmas sales!

Certainly, the band themselves were unhappy bunnies, feeling that Fly On The Windscreen – a brilliant, doom-laden slab of monolithic industrial pop – should have been the A-side rather than the B-side. “Death is everywhere…..there are flies on the windscreen for a start, reminding us we could be torn apart tonight”.

Mute Records won the battle, they got the pop song they wanted to flog Singles 81>85 (and it was by no means a dud), but Depeche Mode went on to win the war with their most remarkable and defiantly uncompromising album a few months later.

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