Depeche Mode

Fly on the Windscreen

Song Review by

Virtually the antithesis of the driving A-side "It's Called a Heart", the dry "Fly on the Windscreen" was a much more experimental piece - dark and filled with disturbing imagery. Indeed, while "It’s Called A Heart" grappled with love and its consequences, "Fly On The Windscreen" dealt with death, the torn heart of the flip now giving way to the torn bodies here.

"Death is everywhere," Dave Gahan sings, "the more I look, the more I see, the more I feel a sense of urgency." Long before Freud, writers had noted the relationship between death and desire, and it’s this that composer Martin Gore explores so effectively, if disconcertedly, here. Musically, the song is equally unsettling, disparate melodies and riffs barely joining together, but still being knocked into an amorphous shape by the sharp crack of the beatbox. Included the following year, 1986, on Depeche Mode's Black Celebration album, "Fly On the Windscreen" is an evocative number, disquieting and dangerous, and one of the band's most intriguing compositions ever.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Catching Up with Depeche Mode 1985 Sire 5:05
It's Called a Heart 1985 Warner Bros. 7:48
Black Celebration 1986 Sire 5:18
Stripped 1986 Mute 4:24
Singles Box, Vol. 3 1991 Reprise / Mute 7:49
No Image 1991 Arista 0:00
X1 [Box] 1991 Sire
X2 Disc 6: B-Sides (Sex) 1991 Arista 5:08
X2 [Box] 1991 Sire 5:08
Singles Box, Vol. 5 2004 Reprise / Mute 5:22