Depeche Mode

Walking in My Shoes

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Though the song itself was never completed in a mix that satisfied everyone in the band, both the album version and the slightly tweaked single version of "Walking in My Shoes," the latter of which starts off this disc, still are marvelous efforts. With a darkly beautiful lead piano line, subtle but effective scratches, a slow build of full orchestration that gets even better as it goes, and striking, haunting guitar from Gore, it's a dramatic, cinematic number. Gore's lyric works well too, with Gahan giving it another grander-than-might-be-thought reading. A slew of remixes from outside sources crop up on the disc, starting with an excellent, full-bodied workover, the "Grungy Gonads" mix from Johnny Dollar and Portishead, the latter a year away from their own breakthrough with Dummy. The slow threat of the song carries over perfectly, with extra scratches and new rhythms to complement the swooping strings. Jack-of-all-trades musician and producer William Orbit steps in with the "Random Carpet" mix, initially substituting a more straightforward breakbeat, adding distorted bass stabs, and swirling high synth tones to the song. Mark Stent, veteran of past remixes for the band, creates two this time around -- an effective enough extended mix and the well-titled "Ambient Whale" mix -- while Spirit Feel contributes a final "Anandamidic" mix with deep, tribal drumming and a much more minimal arrangement. In the midst of all these variations, a wholly new song, "My Joy," crops up in two separate versions. The basic 7" mix feeds Gahan's vocals through distortion part of the time, otherwise serving up deep, funky beats à la the title track, though a touch sped up, and a busy overall mix with guitar, keyboards, and more creating a thick, dreamy atmosphere. The "Slow Slide" mix, meanwhile, doesn't change pace much, but does present a less-cluttered version, with Gore's guitar work coming through very well in particular.

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