Stripped (4:17)

Cover of The Singles 86>98

From The Singles 86>98 and 87 other releases

“Stripped” is Depeche Mode’s fifteenth UK single, released on February 10, 1986. It was the first single from the album Black Celebration, and the band’s thirteenth overall and sixth consecutive single to hit the UK Top 20, peaking at #15. “Stripped” is well known for its innovative use of sampling. The underlying beat is a distorted and slowed-down sound of a motorcycle engine running, while the main melody begins with a car’s ignition starting, and the end uses sounds of fireworks.

The band’s U.S. label Sire Records, however, decided to use the B-side “But Not Tonight” in the soundtrack to the movie Modern Girls and included the song on US editions of Black Celebration. As a result, the single was flipped, and released as “But Not Tonight” in the United States. The single did not chart. The band was not happy with this decision, seeing “But Not Tonight” as a useless poppy track recorded in less than a day.

The other two B-Sides are “Breathing in Fumes” and “Black Day”. “Breathing in Fumes” is a new song using samples from “Stripped”, mixed by the band and Thomas Stiehler. “Black Day” is an acoustic version of “Black Celebration” sung by Martin Gore, and is co-written by him, Alan Wilder, and Daniel Miller (The only Depeche Mode song with Daniel Miller as writer).

The “Highland Mix” of “Stripped” was mixed by Mark Ellis (better known as Flood), who in the future would produce Depeche Mode’s Violator and Songs of Faith and Devotion records. UK Editions of the Black Celebration CD include the extended remix of “But Not Tonight” along with “Black Day”, and “Breathing in Fumes” as bonus tracks.

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