Twenty-seven years ago this week, English electronic band Depeche Mode released their seventh studio album, Violator. A darker tone than the band’s previous Music for the Masses, the songs were also more personal. There’s a narrative point of view to them, as if each is being sung by a man to a woman, attempting to woo her in various ways, but with a tinge of guilt and remorse. The title may refer to this man, who feels that he is violating this woman as he attempts to seduce her.
The album was a massive success for the band, and propelled them to true stardom. It was a surprise to the band, who up to that point had done well enough with electronic music fans but hadn’t really crossed over to mainstream success. The album would eventually be certified triple platinum, and it was the band’s first effort to crack the Billboard Top 100.
Depeche Mode never quite caught lightning in a bottle again, not to the extent that Violator accomplished. Still, the album was a massive success and remains one of the greatest dark romance albums every created.