"Strangelove" is Depeche Mode's 18th UK single, released on 13 April 1987, and the 1st single for the then upcoming album Music for the Masses. It reached number 16 in the UK charts[1] (Depeche Mode would fail to make the Top 10 of the UK singles chart throughout the second half of the 1980s), but hit number 2 in West Germany and in South Africa, and was a Top 10 success in several other countries (SwedenSwitzerland, etc.). In the US, "Strangelove" went to number 50 on the Billboard Hot 100[2] and was the first of 9 number-ones on the US Dance charts, where it stayed for 3 weeks at the top.[3]

The original version of "Strangelove" is a fast-paced pop track. Though successful, this did not seem to fit with Music for the Masses's darker style, soDaniel Miller made a slower version that became the album version. Alan Wilder, in the Q&A section of his Recoil website, writes that the band felt the single version was "too cluttered" and was the reason Miller's remix was commissioned. Miller expounded on this in the Music for the Masses re-master documentary DVD, stating he felt the original single version was too complicated and would benefit from being simplified.

It was remixed by production team Bomb the Bass and released again as a single in the USA as "Strangelove '88", finally reaching number 50 on the Hot 100.[2]


 [hide*1 B-sides


There are two B-Sides for "Strangelove", both instrumental. "Pimpf" is a dark instrumental that is mostly piano, named after the members of one of the Hitler Youth organizations. "Pimpf" later shows up as the final track on Music for the Masses. There is also a remix available on some "Strangelove" single releases called "Fpmip" ("Pimpf" backwards).

The second instrumental is "Agent Orange", named after the herbicide used in the Vietnam War. At the end of the song, you can hear some morse code. Rumoured to mean "If anybody can hear this, please help me", it is actually just gibberish (LAXI ".-.. .- -..- ..", several times repeated). "Agent Orange" later shows up as the first bonus track on the CD/Cassette version of Music for the Masses.

Music videos[edit]Edit

The music video for "Strangelove" was directed by Anton Corbijn and appears on the Strange video and The Videos 86>98. Shot on Super 8 and monochrome, the video sees the band in various Parislocations, hotel rooms and in a studio posing in front of a rolling backdrop. At 0:24, the video shows an image of Senate House, University of London with the words "Strange Love" projected on it. The live action is combined with short stop-frame animation sequences. The video also stars two models in underwear (one of whom was Anton Corbijn's partner), as well as passing pedestrians, featured in the closing 'out-takes' sequence of fast-edit shots. In the USA, MTV objected to some of the more revealing footage of the models and the video was edited to replace them with images of the band.

There was also a Corbijn-directed video for "Pimpf", exclusive to the Strange video, which features David GahanAlan Wilder and Andrew Fletcher shouting at each other and syncing with the synthetic chanting, while Martin Gore plays the song on a piano. While Gore plays the piano in the video, it is Wilder who plays the piano on all piano-instrumentals by the band from 1987–1990 as well as "Somebody".

In 1988, another video for "Strangelove" was released for the album version. It was directed by Martyn Atkins, who did photography for earlier DM albums. It was not publicly released on any videocassettes or DVDs until the The Videos 86>98+ DVD in 2002. This video is much simpler than the original, and features the band performing inside a city-scape location (Senate House, the federal headquarters of the University of London).

Other appearances and versions[edit]Edit

  • In 1988, along with the track "Nothing", a new mix of the song hit the American dance charts and on 7 September 1988 the band played "Strangelove" on the MTV Video Music Awards in the US.[4]
  • "Strangelove" has been sampled in the songs "Life Ain't a Game" by Ja Rule,[5] "I Won't Be Crying" by Infernal,[6] "Fuck You Blind" by Kid Rock and "Point of View" by Samantha Mumba.
  • In 1994, Italian musician Savage covered the song for his album Strangelove.
  • "Strangelove" was covered by two bands for Gucci's new perfume Guilty advertising campaigns in 2010-11: Friendly Fires for Gucci's Guilty For Her in 2010 and Bat for Lashes for Gucci's Guilty For Himperfume advert, screened in 2011.[7] Both songs were released as free mp3 downloads from Gucci's YouTube page and various blogs.[8]
  • "Strangelove" was covered by English musician Bat For Lashes during her appearances in June 2011 at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall for the annual arts/entertainment/music festival 'Vivid Live'.[9]
  • In 2011, the song was covered by DMK, a band featuring Colombian artist Dicken Schrader and his children Milah and Korben, playing toys and common utensils as musical instruments.[10]


Chart (1987) Peak


Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[11] 29
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[12] 20
Belgium (VRT Top 30 Flanders)[13] 14
Canada (RPM 20 Dance Singles)[14] 11
France (SNEP)[15] 25
Germany (Media Control Charts)[16] 2
Ireland (IRMA)[17] 5
Italy (FIMI)[18] 16
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[19] 24
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[20] 30
Poland (Polish Singles Chart)[21] 4
South African Chart[22] 2
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[23] 5
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[24] 3
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[1] 16
US Billboard Hot 100[2] 50
US BillboardHot Dance Club Play1[25] 1
US BillboardHot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales1[25] 5


Track listings[edit]Edit

7": Mute / Bong13 (UK) & 7": Sire / 7-28366 (US)[edit]Edit

  1. "Strangelove" – 3:45
  2. "Pimpf" – 4:33

12": Mute / 12Bong13 (UK)[edit]Edit

  1. "Strangelove (Maxi Mix)" – 6:32
  2. "Strangelove (Midi Mix)" – 1:38
  3. "Fpmip" – 5:21

12": Mute / L12Bong13 (UK)[edit]Edit

  1. "Strangelove (Blind Mix)" – 6:31
  2. "Pimpf" – 4:33
  3. "Strangelove (Pain Mix)" – 7:19 (remixed by Phil Harding)
  4. "Agent Orange" – 5:05

12": Mute / DanceBong13 (UK)[edit]Edit

  1. "Strangelove (Blind Mix)" – 6:31
  2. "Strangelove (The Fresh Ground Mix)" – 8:14 (remixed by Phil Harding)
  • Very rare promo release, with a white label, though some bootlegs are available.

CD: Mute / CDBong13 (UK)[edit]Edit

  1. "Strangelove (Maxi Mix)" – 6:32
  2. "Pimpf" – 4:33
  3. "Strangelove (Midi Mix)" – 1:38
  4. "Agent Orange" – 5:05
  5. "Strangelove" – 3:45
  • Originally released in Cardsleeve [1987] in two different versions [black labeled/red labeled disc]
  • Re-released as 5track CD Single in Slim Jewel Case in 1991.

CD: Mute / CDBong13 (UK)[edit]Edit

  1. "Strangelove" – 3:45
  2. "Pimpf" – 4:33
  3. "Strangelove (Maxi Mix)" – 6:32
  4. "Agent Orange" – 5:05
  5. "Strangelove (Blind Mix)" – 6:31
  6. "Fpmip" – 5:21
  7. "Strangelove (Pain Mix)" – 7:19
  8. "Strangelove (Midi Mix)" – 1:38
  • The second CD is the 1992 re-release

12" Sire / 0-20696 (US)[edit]Edit

  1. "Strangelove (Maxi Mix)" – 6:32
  2. "Strangelove (Midi Mix)" – 1:38
  3. "Strangelove (Blind Mix Edit)" – 6:10
  4. "Fpmip" – 5:21

12" Sire / 0-20769 (US)[edit]Edit

  1. "Strangelove" (Pain Mix) – 7:19
  2. "Strangelove" (Pain Mix 7" Edit) – 3:29
  3. "Agent Orange" – 5:05
  • "Fpmip" is "Pimpf" with a different intro that sounds like the song played backwards.

All songs written by Martin L. Gore

3"CD Sire/Reprise / 2-27777 (US)[edit]Edit

  1. "Strangelove (Remix Edit)" – 3:52 (remixed by Tim Simenon & Mark Saunders)
  2. "Nothing (Remix Edit)" – 3:58 (remixed by Justin Strauss)

7" Sire / 7-27777 (US)[edit]Edit

  1. "Strangelove" (Album Version 7" Edit) – 3:44
  2. "Nothing" (Remix Edit) – 3:58
  • Also released on Cassette (Sire / 27991-4)

12" Sire / 0-21022 (US)[edit]Edit

  1. "Strangelove (Highjack Mix)" – 6:30 (remixed by Tim Simenon & Mark Saunders)
  2. "Strangelove (Remix Edit)" – 3:46
  3. "Nothing (Zip Hop Mix)" – 7:06 (remixed by Justin Strauss)
  4. "Nothing (Dub Mix)" – 6:40 (remixed by Justin Strauss)

CD Sire / PRO-CD-3213 (US)[edit]Edit

  1. "Strangelove" (Remix Edit) – 3:46
  2. "Strangelove" (Album Version 7" Edit) – 3:44
  3. "Strangelove" (Blind Mix 7" Edit) – 3:57
  4. "Strangelove" (Highjack Mix) – 6:30
  • US promo CD

The "Zip Hop Mix" of Nothing appeared on the rare fourth disc of Depeche Mode's remix compilation, Remixes 81-04 in 2004.

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