Hilary Duff bastardizes Depeche Mode

Hilary Duff’s new video, featuring samples from “Personal Jesus”

The bastardization of all that’s sacred is complete. Hilary Duff’s latest single is a blatant rip-off of one Depeche Mode’s biggest songs, Personal Jesus, except she changes the loner-and-loser lyrics to bubble-gum sexual innuendo-lite and steals Britney Spears’ vocal machine.

For all you youngsters out there, Depeche Mode was the emo of the 80s. I’m obviously showing my age, but People are People instantly transports me back to junior high school dance parties.

Personal Jesus was released in 1989. It was actually inspired by Elvis Presley, according to band member Martin Gore.

It’s a song about being a Jesus for somebody else, someone to give you hope and care. It’s about how Elvis was her man and her mentor and how often that happens in love relationships; how everybody’s heart is like a god in some way, and that’s not a very balanced view of someone, is it?

[From Wikepedia]

It’s also about being alone and having someone just as lonely to comfort you in your solitude. When you’re 18 and about to move 1000 miles away for college where you have no friends, it’s bloody brilliant.

Here are some of the lyrics:

Your own Personal Jesus
Someone to hear your prayers
Someone who cares
Your own Personal Jesus
Someone to hear your prayers
Someone who’s there

Feeling unknown
And you’re all alone
Flesh and bone
By the telephone
Lift up the receiver
I’ll make you a believer

Take second best
Put me to the test
Things on your chest
You need to confess
I will deliver
You know I’m a forgiver

Reach out and touch faith

Here are the lyrics to the Hilary Duff version, called Reach Out:

Tunnel vision had him locked on in my sight
On a mission, for position by the end of the night
It’s like a prayer, playin’ games with the hunter
You better run boy, time to surrender

And all I need is to feel you
All I want is to feel you

Reach out and touch me
Before I go insane
Reach out and touch me
Boy don’t you make me wait
I’m a diamond and you’re so on the money
Reach out and touch me
And all I need is to feel you
Reach out and touch me

Like a prayer, your touch can take me there
Ain’t no mind, you and me in a secret affair
Oh boy you’re killing me and you don’t even know it
Try to hold back but I can’t control it

There’s even a rip-off of (or possibly an homage to) Madonna’s Like a Prayer.

This makes me sad in so many ways. I’m sure Depeche Mode will make a ton of money from it, but music today is so vapid that even Depeche Mode are only in it for the money. Hilary Duff has turned into a poor man’s Britney Spears clone. And I feel old ranting against kids these days and their music.

I think I’ll go put on The Smiths. That’s sure to cheer me up, at least until Miley Cyrus covers Girlfriend in a Coma.

For any of you whippersnappers who like the Hilary Duff song, her album Best of Hilary Duff will be released November 11.

Here’s the original version of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus,” which is much much better.

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37 Responses to “Hilary Duff bastardizes Depeche Mode”

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  1. DarthMommy says:

    I am a huge DM fan, but…I know I am gonna regret this, but..but…I kinda like it. 😳

  2. Anthony says:

    I’m so glad you included the original DM version, after about 30 secs I stopped listening to the awful fake version and ran thru the original about 5 times! DM rule, I’ve been a fan since 1980 🙂

  3. Ophelia says:

    I’m a huge DM fan, The Cure, The Smiths, all of that. I disagree that they were the original emo unless the only factor has to be that the lyrics are emotional or pertaining to emotions. The sound is *completely* different IMO.I hate all emo music out now, yet those so-called emo 80’s bands (and DM, The Cure, and Morrisey are all still making great music)are all I listen to. I just get pissy when anyone puts Depeche Mode in the same general category as Fallout Boy. Maybe it’s just me.
    But what Duff has done is a crime against music.. there should be some kind of penalty she should have to endure. God, is nothing sacred?

  4. DarthVadersLoveChild says:

    I worship DM and have since they started although some of that old stuff (a broken Frame, etc) is pretty cheeseball compared to anything that came out after Construction Time Again. That said, Im sort of pissed that DM have let so many crappy artists bastardize their songs. Marilyn Manson already did a completely unlistenable cover of Personal Jesus. Makes me wonder if they just need the money or if someone else actually owns the rights to their back catalogue. And I agree with Ophelia, DM, The Cure, Smiths are not Emo, they are not the Godfathers of Emo. Emo sucks and I do not see how you can listen to FallOut boy or any of todays “Emo” bands and compare them at all except for the boys having a penchant for eyeliner I fail to see any comparison.

  5. Bella says:

    I really like the Depeche Mode song, never heard it before- but I recognized the tune. It’s been ripped off before by Jamelia in Beware of the Dog- http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=U19kE-GKgRQ

  6. sandy says:

    I agree sammie, the smiths will erase the horrific noise that h.duff just produced.
    hilary, girl, what were you thinking????
    why can’t these youngsters produce original music ?
    recycled music and movies suck 😡

  7. SarahS says:

    Love the DM original, also love the Johnny Cash cover.

  8. M1a says:

    I wish we live in medieval times so we can burn her for that! 😉

    Cover? DM? HILLARY DUFF?!?!?!

  9. sassyspank says:

    wow, that was kind of painful.

  10. ff says:

    I love Depeche Mode, but it doesn’t bother me. A lot of bands back then ripped off other artists etc. and so it goes. There are going to be some kids that find the original through this song so I don’t mind.

    It’s like when Devo did Dev2.0.

    The only thing that would annoy me was if the original came on and kids wondered why these guys were ripping off Hilary Duff. And even if that happens it’ll be all of two seconds before someone puts them straight.

    Seriously, were people upset when Rihanna’s SOS heavily sampled Soft Cell’s Tainted Love? If they were I don’t remember hearing about it.

    This is just how it goes from generation to generation. Save your upset for when they start sampling Pixies.

  11. vdantev says:

    *Grits his teeth and says nothing*

  12. Anne says:

    Covering it alone but destroying it as well??? Blasphemy!

  13. LaPetomane says:

    1989? Yikes. I bought the “CD single” of personal jesus back in the day and had it for about ten years I suppose. It had about 4 or 5 different versions on it. I love the song, but it had an acoustic version on there that would knock your freaking socks off.

  14. Murmur says:

    Why doesn’t she try writing a song HERSELF.

    Just a thought.

  15. Kay says:

    At least she ripped their best song. It could have been donkeys making noise and with that sample, I’d still listen to it.

  16. Ron says:

    Again I have to say, the idea factory has closed.

    It’s funny, every now and then I hear a remake of something and think they did a great job–like when No Doubt covered It’s My Life by Talk Talk–but most of the time they just suck! And to rape Depeche Mode and Madonna in one song, who knew Hil had those kinda balls.

  17. Baholicious says:

    @Kay: Personal Jesus is so not their best song. Black Celebration? Master and Servant? People are People? Come on.

    Other than that, I’m with Dante on this.

  18. Thumbelina says:

    What a rip-off, but if someone covers and messes up “Blasphemous Rumors” then my head will ‘splode.

  19. chrissymacq says:

    it’s no good.

    i am a huge enromus huge fan of dm

    i cannot believe the guys – especially martin – would be okay with this.

    i will spend the rest of tonight trying to forget this.

  20. KPC says:

    Okay, I could see us all liking it drunk at a club…very drunk.

  21. Lisa says:

    I’m a real devotee of DM. Just please be all aware that the DM Tour of the Universe will start soon, in early 2009 – I have already bought the tickets for Milan (Italy) concert, they’re almost finised.
    So I think that DM will just don’t care about Hillary Duff doing a cover, or whatever else she does: they ‘ve made enough money til today, and honestly Dave, Andy, Martin (+ Alan) are on a higher level to worry about nonsense.
    Anyway, if somebody makes a cover of a DM ‘song of ’89, (see also Marylin Manson) this only means their songs maintain a great,evergreen sound.

  22. rahul says:

    she is a west singer
    she is a west douter
    she is a west girlfriend
    and i love her
    hy hilary if you read this side that please responce me on me.rahulkumar@rediff.com i wating you forever
    i love you in my hart
    i love you and god blace you
    you dont vary i save you any where
    i dont write english sucsesfully than you understand that

  23. mkeMuse says:

    Fall Out Boy rips off Depeche Mode too, on their new song “I Don’t Care”. That song really put a dent on many a mind.

  24. Emily says:

    rahul… you’re a creep…

    and I honestly don’t think you can call it a rip off because from what I understand whe did it with permission. That’s not a rip-off, it’s using bits of someone else’s songs.

  25. NoirTech says:

    I almost cried when I heard this song. Made me feel a little better that DM wasn’t into it.

    Depeche Mode… Read More’s Dave Gahan feels the pain of the band’s fans — kind of — over Hilary Duff’s “Reach Out” single, which includes samples from the band’s song “Personal Jesus.”

    “It’s a little weird,” Gahan told the Los Angeles Times. “I think it was something that (bandmate and songwriter) Martin (Gore) didn’t really have any choice over; they kind of did it anyway. But, you know, my daughter loves it. You know what she said to me? ‘But it’s not the same, Dad.’ ”

    Depeche Mode will release a new album in the spring. It will be the cult rock band’s first studio album since 2005, and a tour will follow.

  26. DH says:

    Some covers of DM are quite good, while others are quite bad. Of all the DM covers ever done, Duff’s is not the worst.. and that is really saying something!

    The worst DM cover HAS GOT to be Smashing Pumpkins covering “Never Let Me Down”. Billy-Boy should be shot… that’s all I have to say.

  27. gilvas says:

    panic, from the smiths, is a rip-off from a t-rex’s song, and it is just a little piece of history…

  28. Kate says:

    When I first heard about this I thought oh know (even though some of Hilary’s songs are catchy) but once I heard it, I liked it which is more than I can say for the new Depeche Mode single called WRONG!

  29. Stacy Ann says:

    As a Hilary fan, I feel I gotta side with her on this one. But, I hate the song, hate the video and miss Hilary’s image pre this blasphemous slander she calls a new single. I’m with you guys on this! Though I can’t say I like the original any better :[

  30. Keith says:

    I am disgusted that HD is prepared to take the work of other artists and pass it off as her own and that The younger general public are being conned like it. So this is what music is these days is it? And the reason my age group (41 btw) who have followed mode since 1982 ( live 1983) love them so much is becuase they’ve never done it ….. They actually craft their own music….. Fancy doing that Hilary??

  31. meg says:

    im only 19, and i listened to depeche mode my whole life (props to my parents for that!) and i am so pissed off that she took this pretty awesome song of theirs, and butchered it! i agree that we should burn her! i seriously believe that depeche mode probably had very little say in this…i dont see them selling their song rights to stupid little pop trash girls. it makes more senes to me to think that.

  32. sabrina Robles says:

    i love hilary duff but when i heard this song i was thats not her song my mom listen to dm and later that day i played that song and she got so pissed off. it horrible

  33. Jeffrey says:

    Seldom is a remake or cover better than the original but in the case of sampling, it becomes a different song altogether, either good or bad on it’s own but impossible to compare to the original that was sampled.

    What is so shameless and irritating about this Duff version and TONS of ‘new’ songs these days is that they are passed off as ‘new songs’ but they depend so heavily on the sample that at the core, there is really nothing new.

    In my opinion it is insulting to the musical intelligence of the listener. Clearly, the music industry is having a big laugh at our expense – literally $$$.

    What’s even extra irritating with songs like this is that they go even farther down the path of unoriginality as to utilizing key lyrics of the old song as well as depend on the sample.

    If I were an HD fan, regardless of her having permission or not, I’d be pretty disappointed that she can’t be more creative with her music.

    So what do we do about it? First and foremost we bask in positive energy by reveling in the greatness of bands like DM that contributed to the development of pop music and don’t let the industry get under our skin.

    Secondly, don’t listen to sludge like this and certainly don’t buy it.

    Thirdly, educate others that they are being had.

    Fourthly, DEMAND MORE from the artists you love! Maybe then the industry will start producing better music.

  34. Summer says:

    The pics on the website are kick ass!

  35. Bob80 says:

    Depeche Mode, emo of the 80’s? Stupidest thing I ever read…

  36. Kathryn says:

    Wow, she copied one of DM’s most beautiful songs, lol, this is completely disgusting, I hope she feels ashamed at least.