Depeche Mode - John the Revelator
To close the curtain on Playing the Angel ahead of their appearance at this years O2 Wireless Festival, Depeche Mode have opted to release this rather pointless double A-side, bringing the grand total of single tracks from the LP up to five. The last double flip-side single I can recall was back in 1984, where again it consisted of a potentially controversial "religion bashing" song, backed to something far more harmless. Something for the fans, something for the radio.
John the Revelator is a foot stomper in the style of Personal Jesus, needlessly remixed for the single release. For some unknown reason the song fades at the end, robbing it of some of its potency, with of the electronic burbling at the intro slightly fiddled with as well. Some of the harshness seems to have been removed also, which to my ears is completely pointless.
As for Lilian, it has no place as a single, and has also been remixed, making the intro slightly punchier and skimming off some of the fat. As a song it is pretty drab, with a very Depeche chorus - "Pain and misery always hit the spot, knowing you can't lose what you haven't got". Its one of Gore's better lyrics from the album, set to a rather tiresome melody.
This whole release serves little purpose in my mind, only to remind people that the album is still available and that they have a few festival dates this summer. There is also a bewildering array of remixes available for those who want to hear the song over and over. In a year where they are already re-releasing everything not nailed down, it seems a shame they choose to milk this album as well.