Ultra (Depeche Mode album)

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Ultra
Depeche Mode - Ultra.png
Studio album by Depeche Mode
Released 14 April 1997 (1997-04-14)
Recorded January 1996 – February 1997
Studio
Length 60:04
Label Mute
Producer Tim Simenon
Depeche Mode chronology
Songs of Faith and Devotion
(1993)Songs of Faith and Devotion1993
Ultra
(1997)
Exciter
(2001)Exciter2001
Singles from Ultra
  1. "Barrel of a Gun"
    Released: 3 February 1997
  2. "It's No Good"
    Released: 31 March 1997
  3. "Home"
    Released: 16 June 1997
  4. "Useless"
    Released: 20 October 1997
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[1]
Chicago Sun-Times 3.5/4 stars[2]
Chicago Tribune 3/4 stars[3]
Entertainment Weekly B+[4]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[5]
Los Angeles Times 2.5/4 stars[6]
NME 6/10[7]
Q 4/5 stars[8]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[9]
Spin 6/10[10]

Ultra is the ninth studio album by English electronic music band Depeche Mode, released on 14 April 1997 by Mute Records. It is the band's first album since the departure of Alan Wilder, who had left the band in 1995 having become disillusioned with life in Depeche Mode. Wilder's departure and lead singer Dave Gahan's drug problems, which culminated in a near-fatal overdose, had caused many people to speculate that the band was finished,[11] this is their first album as a trio since 1982's A Broken Frame, along with it being their first album where the band themselves were not involved with production.

Ultra debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart and at number five on the Billboard 200. By April 2006, the album had sold 584,000 copies in the United States,[12] the project was initially conceived as an EP.

In 1999, Ned Raggett ranked the album at number 50 on his list of "The Top 136 or so Albums of the Nineties",[13] that same year, the annual Ultra Music Festival in Miami was named after the album by its co-founder Russell Faibisch,[14] and acknowledging its influence on the Polish rock scene, Tylko Rock ranked it at number 71 in its list of "100 Albums That Shook Polish Rock".[15]

Promotion[edit]

To promote the release of the album the band played two short concerts in London and Los Angeles, titled Ultra Parties, the London concert took place on 10 April 1997 at Adrenalin Village and the Los Angeles concert was held on 16 May 1997 at the Shrine Exposition Hall. The Shrine show was produced by Philip Blaine whose 1500 Records was at that point compiling the soon to be released Depeche Mode tribute album For the Masses, the shows featured Christian Eigner on drums and Dave Clayton on keyboards. The Los Angeles show was filmed by MTV but the performance was never broadcast in its entirety.[16][17]

Setlist

  1. Instrumental intro, "Uselink" on Los Angeles, "Junior Painkiller" on London
  2. "Barrel of a Gun"
  3. "Useless"
  4. "It's No Good"
  5. "Home"
  6. "Never Let Me Down Again"

2007 re-release[edit]

On 2 October 2007 (3 October in North America), Ultra was re-released in a two-disc set, along with Exciter, completing the Depeche Mode Collectors Edition catalog, the first disc is a remastered version of the original album, on a SACD/CD hybrid (except for in the U.S., where it's a CD only). The second disc is a DVD which features the album in DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1 and PCM Stereo. The B-sides from the album's singles can be listened to as well, including the standalone single "Only When I Lose Myself" and its B-sides.

Finally, like the other albums, there is a documentary on the making of Ultra titled Depeche Mode 95–98 (Oh well, that's the end of the band...), the subtitle of which comes from Gore's thoughts about Wilder's departure. The documentary begins with discussion from all parties of Wilder's departure before moving on to early album sessions despite Dave Gahan's drug issues present. Eventually, it moves on to Gahan's "death" and rehab, the documentary then covers the recording of Ultra and ends with a discussion on The Singles 86>98 and its corresponding singles tour. The whole band is interviewed, along with Alan Wilder, Daniel Miller, producer Tim Simenon, Mute executives, touring keyboardist Peter Gordeno, touring drummer Christian Eigner, Anton Corbijn and others.

The remastered version of the album was released on "deluxe" vinyl 30 March 2007 in Germany and 1 October 2007 internationally.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Martin L. Gore.

No. Title Length
1. "Barrel of a Gun" 5:35
2. "The Love Thieves" 6:34
3. "Home" 5:42
4. "It's No Good" 5:58
5. "Uselink" 2:21
6. "Useless" 5:12
7. "Sister of Night" 6:04
8. "Jazz Thieves" 2:54
9. "Freestate" 6:44
10. "The Bottom Line" 4:26
11. "Insight" (includes hidden track "Junior Painkiller" at 6:40) 8:37

2007 re-release (CD/SACD)[edit]

  • Disc 1 is a hybrid SACD/CD with a multi-channel SACD layer.
  • Disc 2 is a DVD which includes "Ultra" in DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1 and PCM Stereo plus the following bonus material:
Live tracks in London, April 1997 (in DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1, PCM Stereo)
  1. "Barrel of a Gun"
  2. "It's No Good"
  3. "Useless"
Bonus tracks (in PCM Stereo)
  1. "Painkiller"
  2. "Slowblow"
  3. "Only When I Lose Myself"
  4. "Surrender"
  5. "Headstar"
Additional material
  • Depeche Mode 95–98 (Oh well, that's the end of the band...) (50-minute documentary)

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Ultra.[18]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Belgium (BEA)[47] Gold 25,000*
France (SNEP)[48] Gold 100,000*
Germany (BVMI)[49] Gold 250,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[50] Gold 50,000^
Sweden (GLF)[51] Gold 40,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[52] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[53] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[54] Gold 584,000[12]
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[55] Platinum 1,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Ultra – Depeche Mode". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 June 2011. 
  2. ^ Kim, Jae-Ha (13 April 1997). "Depeche Mode, 'Ultra' (Mute/Reprise)". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 28 March 2017. (Subscription required (help)). 
  3. ^ Kot, Greg (18 April 1997). "Depeche Mode: Ultra (Mute)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 10 September 2016. 
  4. ^ Farber, Jim (18 April 1997). "Ultra". Entertainment Weekly. No. 375. New York. Retrieved 25 June 2011. 
  5. ^ Sullivan, Caroline (11 April 1997). "The Mode test". The Guardian. London. 
  6. ^ Scribner, Sara (13 April 1997). "That Same Gloom and Doom Mode". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  7. ^ Oldham, James (4 April 1997). "Common Synths". NME. London. Archived from the original on 17 August 2000. Retrieved 10 September 2016. 
  8. ^ Malins, Steve (May 1997). "Downbeat". Q. No. 128. London. p. 118. ISSN 0955-4955. 
  9. ^ Gardner, Elysa (10 April 1997). "Depeche Mode: Ultra". Rolling Stone. New York. Retrieved 25 June 2011. 
  10. ^ Weisbard, Eric (May 1997). "Spins: Platter du Jour". Spin. Vol. 13 no. 2. New York. pp. 110–11. ISSN 0886-3032. Retrieved 8 January 2017. 
  11. ^ "Especial Depeche Mode: Ultra" (in Spanish). Hipersonica. Retrieved 5 May 2009. 
  12. ^ a b Caulfield, Keith (5 April 2006). "Ask Billboard: New Depeche Order Mode". Billboard. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  13. ^ Breathe internet
  14. ^ Duran, Jose D. (2013-03-14). "How Russell Faibisch Built Ultra Music Festival -- and Whom He's Battled Along the Way". Miami New Times. Retrieved 2016-08-08. 
  15. ^ Acclaimed Music - Ultra
  16. ^ depeche mode dot com, depechemode.com 
  17. ^ depeche mode dot com, depechemode.com 
  18. ^ Ultra (CD liner notes). Depeche Mode. Mute Records. 1997. CDSTUMM148. 
  19. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Depeche Mode – Ultra". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  20. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Depeche Mode – Ultra" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
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  27. ^ "Depeche Mode: Ultra" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
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  29. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Depeche Mode – Ultra" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  30. ^ "Top 40 album DVD és válogatáslemez-lista – 1997. 17. hét" (in Hungarian). MAHASZ. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  31. ^ "Hits of the World". Billboard. Vol. 109 no. 18. 3 May 1997. p. 48. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 8 January 2017. 
  32. ^ デペッシュ・モードのアルバム売り上げランキング [Depeche Mode album sales ranking] (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on 7 December 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  33. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Depeche Mode – Ultra". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  34. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Depeche Mode – Ultra". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  35. ^ a b "Hits of the World". Billboard. Vol. 109 no. 19. 10 May 1997. p. 49. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 8 January 2017. 
  36. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
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  39. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  40. ^ "Depeche Mode – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Depeche Mode. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
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  49. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Depeche Mode; 'Ultra')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  50. ^ Salaverrie, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (PDF) (1st ed.). Madrid: Fundación Autor/SGAE. p. 944. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. Retrieved 8 January 2017. 
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  52. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Depeche Mode; 'Ultra')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. 
  53. ^ "British album certifications – Depeche Mode – Ultra". British Phonographic Industry. 1 April 1997.  Enter Ultra in the search field and then press Enter.
  54. ^ "American album certifications – Depeche Mode – Ultra". Recording Industry Association of America. 7 August 1997.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
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