Meaning of Policy of Truth by Depeche Mode & The Story Behind

“Policy of Truth” is one of Depeche Mode’s most famous singles, which belongs to the dance music genre. This song sounded quite often in the discos of the nineties and gained great fame in different countries. The song is lyrical, thoughtful, but with a peppy motive. Reissued in different albums of the group with different names. There is some debate about the meaning of the song. Let’s try to figure out what it really is.

The story behind of the creation of the song “Policy of Truth”

In 1990, Martin Gore writes the words and musical accompaniment for this song. In the same year “Policy of Truth” was released as a single from the seventh album “Violator”. There were three different singles on this album, but it is “Policy of Truth” that becomes the most famous in the charts.

The single was recorded on the second side of the album and was the shortest of all songs (namely the second side) in foreign countries. The song does not have any backstory, so it is not known what prompted Martin Gore to write it with that message in mind. “Policy of Truth” was performed by David Gahan, who is the band’s vocalist. He performed almost all the tracks from this album.

Interesting facts about the song “Policy of Truth”:

  • Martin Gore determined the theme of the album and all the songs included in it, although quite often he avoided explaining the ideas and themes of his works.
  • Critics described this album and the songs as dark, vicious and gloomy compositions, in which one could see the theme of existentialism.
  • Martin Gore also noted that his work was influenced not only by pop musicians and their works, but also by such writers as Camus, Brecht and Kafka, whose main ideas were existentialism and the inner loss of a person. That is why such motives are so often traced in the musician’s songs.
  • The music video for “Policy of Truth” was directed by Anton Corbijn.
  • There are several versions of this song, but the only difference between them lies in the timing – somewhere they are longer or shorter by a few seconds: album (4:55), and singles (from 5:05 to 5:12).
  • In the 1990 charts, “Policy of Truth” was number thirty-seven in the top 100 in the Netherlands, but in the US it reached number one on the Billboard Alternative Songs (number one) and on the Billboard Dance Club Songs (number two).The Meaning of "Policy of Truth" - Depeche Mode
  • “Policy of Truth” charted at number seven in Germany and Spain, and thirty-one in France.
  • In Switzerland, according to the Schweizer Hitparade, the song took the twelfth place in the charts, which was a pretty good result.
  • During the recording, live instruments were used – drums and guitars.
  • Dave Gaana noted that the attempt to introduce classic blues chords into the music led to the creation of a new sound, which they called futuristic blues.
  • The song “Policy of Truth” was included in the album “Violator” in a stripped down version.
  • The song “Policy of Truth” combines the genres of alternative dance, synth-pop and funk.
  • The radio version of the song is almost a minute shorter than the single version.
  • The single was slightly modified by François Kevorkian. He lengthened the song, changed the vocals to be more thoughtful and sensual, and slowed down the tempo. He also worked on changing this composition during the recording of new studio albums.
  • The song features brass instruments and a flat guitar riff.
  • The cover of the song depicts a blurred half-naked woman, and on different albums it is different.
  • The theme of love is revealed in the video. The lyrical hero tries to catch up with the lyrical heroine, but she runs away from him every time, which hints that the relationship between them has not yet been determined, although there are scenes in which they are shown as a couple that begins to experience a breakup. The heroine easily forgets her lover and tries to forget about him, but he just can’t do it and continues to follow her and watch how she lives now.

The meaning of the song “Policy of Truth”

The opening lines of the song directly indicate that the lyrical heroes are close to breaking. The fact is that the lyrical heroine does not accept lies, but she herself hides something from the lyrical hero. She does not tolerate lies and does not like being deceived, but the hero notes that she herself has fallen into the trap of her own lies and has not yet realized this. In his opinion, she is deceiving herself, although she adheres to the so-called politics of truth.

The hero accuses her of not listening to advice and was convinced that she could cope with any problems on her own, but she did not succeed. Despite the fact that she always tried to tell the truth, the hero is convinced that she often reflects on how things would have been different if she had lied then. This, in his opinion, will never give her peace, but it’s too late to change something.

Both of them have only the consequences of the mistake they made, and it is directly related to the fact that the girl who chose the path of truth did not lie, although this, apparently, could save their relationship. Turning to the very “truth police”, she picked up evidence that confirmed her point of view, although she promised herself that she would never do it again.

The lyrical hero assures that she is rather tired of these throwing and that it is high time for her to learn the lesson that she cannot understand. He says that she needs to hide what she wants to hide and say what she wants to say, and then be prepared for the fact that there will be many times more problems, because such directness always entails consequences.

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