“Barrel of a Gun” by Depeche Mode

The lyrics of “Barrel of a Gun” center on a character who – for lack of a better word – is a reprobate individual. He is consumed by his appetites to the point of degenerating into a distasteful fellow. Additionally he is in much need of rest but unable to attain it, indicative of a tormented soul. Moreover it seems that some people look up to him as a role model, even though he admits that they should not perceive him as such. Ultimately this lifestyle has him always staring down the barrel of a gun, as in his life constantly being in danger. 

It has been speculated that Depeche Mode member Martin Gore wrote this about the band’s lead singer, Dave Gahan. And why? This was because Gahan was at that time going through a dark chapter in his life. He was actually struggling with near-lethal drug abuse. He even attempted suicide at the time.

Facts about “Barrel of a Gun”

This track came out on 3 February 1997. It was actually the leadoff single from and first song on the playlist of Ultra. Ultra is the title of an album which Depeche Mode released that year. And it was put out by the band’s long-time label, Mute Records.

As usual this Depeche Mode song was written by band member Martin L. Gore. And its producer is Tim Simenon.

Anton Corbijn, a visual artist who worked extensively with Depeche Mode, directed the music video to this track. And said clip was actually filmed in the North African country of Morocco.

This track reached number one in a handful of countries, including Spain and Sweden (where it has also been certified gold). It peaked at number four in the UK and overall charted in about 20 nations.

Although Depeche Mode lead singer Dave Gahan did not write this song, he was able to relate to it considering that he was concurrently facing drug abuse issues and even attempted suicide in 1995.

This would be the first single that Depeche Mode released since band member Alan Wilder, who had been with the group since 1982, left in mid-1995.

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