"Personal Jesus" is Depeche Mode's 23rd UK single, released on 29 August 1989, and the first single from the album Violator. The single reached No. 13 on the UK Singles Chart[5] and No. 28 on the Billboard Hot 100.[6] The song was the first single to make the US Top 40 for the band since their 1984 single "People Are People" and was their first gold-certified single in the US (quickly followed by the band's subsequent single, "Enjoy the Silence").[7]

In Germany, the single is one of the band's longest charting song, staying on the country's singles chart for 23 weeks.[8]

In 2004, "Personal Jesus" was ranked No. 368 in Rolling Stone's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time",[9] and in September 2006 it was voted as one of the "100 Greatest Songs Ever" in Q magazine.

"Personal Jesus" was re-released as a single on 30 May 2011 for the new Depeche Mode remix album Remixes 2: 81–11, with the leading remix by the production team Stargate.

Since its release, the song has been covered by numerous artists including Gravity KillsMarilyn MansonSammy HagarJerry WilliamsLollipop Lust KillNina HagenRichard Cheese, andJohnny Cash.


 [hide*1 Inspiration


The song was inspired by the book Elvis and Me by Priscilla Presley. According to songwriter Martin Gore:

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, and that's not a very balanced view of someone, is it?[10]


In mid-1989, the band began recording in Milan with record producer Flood. The result of this session was the single "Personal Jesus", which featured a catchy bluesy riff and drum-based sound, radically different from anything the band had released thus far. The song became a big hit across the world, and is one of Depeche Mode's most successful songs, along with the following single, "Enjoy the Silence". Whilst not the first Depeche Mode song to feature guitar parts ("Behind the Wheel" and their cover of "Route 66" featured a guitar; "Love, in Itself" from Construction Time Again featured an acoustic guitar), it was the first time a guitar was used as a dominant instrument in a Depeche Mode song.

Prior to its release, advertisements were placed in the personal columns of regional newspapers in the UK with the words "Your own personal Jesus." Later, the ads included a phone number one could dial to hear the song.[11] The ensuing controversy helped propel the single to No. 13 on the UK charts, becoming one of Depeche Mode’s biggest sellers. The single was particularly successful commercially thanks to the fact that it was released six months prior to the album it would later appear on. Up to that point, it was the best selling 12" single in Warner Brothers history.[12]

"Personal Jesus" has a plethora of remixes, almost unprecedented for Depeche Mode at the time. While most other Depeche Mode singles prior to "Personal Jesus" usually had band-made extended mixes, Depeche Mode started to invite more DJs and mixers to the fold, which would become the mainstay for all future Depeche Mode singles. François Kevorkian (who did the mixing for the Violator album, in general) mixed the single version, the "Holier Than Thou Approach", the "Pump Mix", and the lesser-known "Kazan Cathedral Mix" (which was not available on any of the singles), while producer Flood mixed the "Acoustic" version and the "Telephone Stomp Mix" as well as the single version and "Sensual Mix" of the single's B-side "Dangerous", a more disco-electronic track. The "Hazchemix" and "Hazchemix Edit" of "Dangerous" were mixed by Daniel Miller.

The back-cover of "Personal Jesus" features one of the band members and the back-side of a naked woman. The band member she is with depends on whether it is the 7" Vinyl (Martin Gore), the 12" Vinyl (David Gahan), the Cassette (Andrew Fletcher), or the original CD (Alan Wilder). On some copies she does not appear at all, such as the 2004 CD re-release, and on promo copies. On some limited releases, like the GBong17, all four photos are available plus one photo of the full group (Martin is hugging the woman).

The Anton Corbijn-directed music video for "Personal Jesus" is his first Depeche Mode video in colour, and features the band in a ranch (suggested to appear as a brothel), placed in the Tabernas Desert of Almería, in SpainMTV edited out some suggestive mouth movements of Martin Gore during the bridge and replaced it with some other footage from the video.

Track listings[edit]Edit

All songs written by Martin L. Gore

7", Cassette
Mute / Bong17, CBong17 (UK)
  1. "Personal Jesus" — 3:44
  2. "Dangerous" — 4:20
Mute / GBong17 (UK)
  1. "Personal Jesus" — 3:44
  2. "Dangerous (Hazchemix Edit)" — 3:01
  3. "Personal Jesus (Acoustic)" — 3:26
12", mini-CD
Mute / 12Bong17, CDBong17 (UK)
  1. "Personal Jesus (Holier Than Thou Approach)" — 5:51
  2. "Dangerous (Sensual Mix)" — 5:24
  3. "Personal Jesus (Acoustic)" — 3:2


Limited 12", mini-CD
Mute / L12Bong17, LCDBong17 (UK)
  1. "Personal Jesus (Pump Mix)" — 7:47
  2. "Personal Jesus (Telephone Stomp Mix)" — 5:32
  3. "Dangerous (Hazchemix)" — 5:34
Mute / CDBong17X (EU)
  1. "Personal Jesus" — 3:44
  2. "Dangerous" — 4:20
  3. "Personal Jesus (Acoustic)" — 3:26
  4. "Dangerous (Hazchemix Edit)" — 3:01
  5. "Personal Jesus (Holier Than Thou Approach)" — 5:51
  6. "Dangerous (Sensual Mix)" — 5:24
  7. "Personal Jesus (Pump Mix)" — 7:47
  8. "Personal Jesus (Telephone Stomp Mix)" — 5:32
  9. "Dangerous (Hazchemix)" — 5:34
  • This CD is the 2004 re-release
Sire/Reprise / 21328-2 (US)
  1. "Personal Jesus" — 3:44
  2. "Personal Jesus (Holier Than Thou Approach)" — 5:51
  3. "Dangerous (Hazchemix)" — 5:34
  4. "Personal Jesus (Pump Mix)" — 7:47
  5. "Personal Jesus (Acoustic)" — 3:26
  6. "Dangerous (Sensual Mix)" — 5:24
  7. "Personal Jesus (Telephone Stomp Mix)" — 5:32
  8. "Dangerous" — 4:20
  • US single released 19 September 1989


Francois Kevorkian

  • Personal Jesus (Single/7" Version)
  • Personal Jesus (Holier Than Thou Approach/12" version)
  • Personal Jesus (Pump Mix) (instrumental)
  • Personal Jesus (Kazan Cathedral Mix) (instrumental)(only available on the limited 4-disc edition of Remixes 81–04 and Just Say Da (Volume IV of the "Just Say Yes" series))
  • Personal Jesus (Album Version)


  • Personal Jesus (Telephone Stomp Mix)
  • Dangerous (Single Version)
  • Dangerous (Sensual Mix)

Dennis Miller

  • Dangerous (Hazchemix)
  • Dangerous (Hazchemix Edit)


Weekly charts[edit]Edit

Chart (1989) Peak


Canada (RPM 100 Singles)[13] 44
Canada (RPM 20 Dance Singles)[14] 14
France (SNEP)[15] 27
Germany (Media Control AG)[16] 5
Ireland (IRMA)[17] 7
Italy (FIMI)[18] 3
Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)[19] 62
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[20] 14
Poland (Polish Singles Chart)[21] 5
Spain (AFYVE)[22] 5
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[23] 17
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[24] 5
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[5] 13
US Billboard Hot 100[6] 28
US BillboardHot Dance Club Play[6] 12
US BillboardHot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales[6] 9
US BillboardModern Rock Tracks[6] 3
US Cash Box[25] 31
Chart (2007) Peak


Denmark (Tracklisten)[26] 15
Chart (2011) Peak


France (SNEP)[15] 91
Chart (2013) Peak


France (SNEP)[15] 114

Year–end charts[edit]Edit

Chart (1989) Position
Italy (FIMI)[18] 12


Personal Jesus 2011[edit]Edit

"Personal Jesus 2011"
Single by Depeche Mode
from the album Remixes 2: 81–11
Released 18 April 2011
Format Single, Maxi Single
Recorded 2010 – 2011
Genre Synthpopalternative dance
Length 3:56
Label Mute Records
Writer(s) Martin Gore
Producer(s) Stargate
Depeche Mode singles chronology
"Fragile Tension / Hole to Feed"


"Personal Jesus '11"




"Personal Jesus 2011" is the remixed version of the single, released on 30 May 2011. The digital single was released in the UK on 18 April 2011. It was released a day later in the US.


CD (Bong43)

  1. "Personal Jesus" (The Stargate Mix) — 3:57
  2. "Personal Jesus" (Alex Metric Remix) — 5:57
  3. "Personal Jesus" (Eric Prydz Remix) — 7:26
  4. "Personal Jesus" (M.A.N. Remix) — 5:24
  5. "Personal Jesus" (Sie Medway-Smith Remix) — 6:25

12" vinyl

  1. "Personal Jesus" (Alex Metric Remix) — 5:54
  2. "Personal Jesus" (M.A.N. Remix) — 5:22
  3. "Personal Jesus" (The Stargate Mix) — 3:56
  4. "Personal Jesus" (Eric Prydz Remix) — 7:25
  5. "Personal Jesus" (Sie Medway-Smith Remix) — 6:25

Digital Download

  1. "Personal Jesus" (The Stargate Mix) — 3:56
  2. "Personal Jesus" (Alex Metric Remix Edit) — 3:27

Beatport Exclusive Digital Download

  1. "Personal Jesus" (Eric Prydz Remix) — 7:26
  2. "Never Let Me Down Again" (Eric Prydz Remix) — 7:01

Promo CD (PCDBong43)

  1. "Personal Jesus" (The Stargate Mix) — 3:57
  2. "Personal Jesus" (Alex Metric Remix Edit) — 3:27
  3. "Personal Jesus" (Alex Metric Remix) — 5:57
  4. "Personal Jesus" (Eric Prydz Remix) — 7:26
  5. "Personal Jesus" (M.A.N. Remix) — 5:24
  6. "Personal Jesus" (Sie Medway-Smith Remix) — 6:25[27][28]


Chart (2011) Peak


Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[29] 73
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders Dance)[30] 32
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[31] 43
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia Dance)[32] 43
Czech Republic (IFPI)[33] 62
Hungary (Single Top 20)[34] 5
Slovakia (IFPI)[35] 71
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[24] 73
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[36] 119

Cover versions[edit]Edit

Johnny Cash cover[edit]Edit

Johnny Cash recorded "Personal Jesus" for his 2002 album American IV. Producer Rick Rubin asked Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante to re-work an acoustic version of Martin Gore's song, which featured a simple acoustic riff that stripped down the song to a blues style. Frusciante plays guitar on the track, along with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell.

Marilyn Manson cover[edit]Edit

"Personal Jesus"
Single by Marilyn Manson
from the album Lest We Forget: The Best Of
Released 4 October 2004
Format Vinyl record 7", 10", CD
Recorded 2004
Genre Industrial rockelectronic
Label Interscope/Nothing
Writer(s) Martin L. Gore
Producer(s) Marilyn Manson and Tim Sköld
Marilyn Manson singles chronology


Personal Jesus


Against All Gods Remix


Music sample
"Personal Jesus"   0:00 

Marilyn Manson's 2004 cover version of "Personal Jesus" appears on the band's best-of compilation, Lest We Forget: The Best of, and was that album's lead single. It was recorded byMarilyn Manson with instrumentation and arrangement by Tim Sköld at Manson's studio, Doppelherz Blood Treatment Facility, and mixed by Mark 'Spike' Stent, a veteran producer who had also frequently worked with Depeche Mode.

The cover does not deviate in any large degree from Depeche Mode's original version, apart from additional guitar distortion. The single was accompanied by a music video directed by Manson and Nathan "Karma" Cox, which features the band members in tableaux vivants accompanied by rear-projection images depicting various images of political figures such as John F. Kennedy,Joseph StalinMahatma GandhiAdolf HitlerGeorge W. Bush and Fidel Castro.

Like the original version, this 2004 cover was also remixed by other artists. The "Personal Jesus Rude Photo Motor Mix" was produced by Felix da Housecat, Brian Black and Olivier Grasset, and appears as a b-side on the vinyl versions of the single.

Track listings[edit]Edit

Enhanced CD single
  1. Personal Jesus — 4:06
  2. mOBSCENE Replet (Mea Culpa Remix by Bitteren Ende) — 4:35
  3. Personal Jesus (Rude Photo Motor Remix) — 5:50
  4. "Personal Jesus" video
German 3" CD single
  1. Personal Jesus — 4:06
  2. This Is the New Shit (remix by Sergio Galoyan — 4:28
UK 10" and UK 7"
  1. Personal Jesus (LP version)
  2. Personal Jesus (Rude Photo Motor Remix)
UK Enhanced CD single
  1. Personal Jesus — 4:06
  2. This Is the New Shit (Invective remix by Obiter Dictum) — 4:25
  3. mOBSCENE Replet (Mea Culpa Remix by Bitteren Ende) — 4:35
  4. "Personal Jesus" video

Jamelia sample[edit]Edit

Singer-songwriter Jamelia recorded the song "Beware of the Dog" in 2006. This song sampled "Personal Jesus". "Beware of the Dog" peaked at No. 10 on the UK charts.

Hilary Duff sample[edit]Edit

Actress and singer Hilary Duff recorded "Reach Out" in 2008. The song was also based upon a sample of "Personal Jesus". "Reach Out" later became No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play chart.

Other covers[edit]Edit

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