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"People Are People"
Song by Depeche Mode
from the album Some Great Reward
B-side"In Your Memory"
Released12 March 1984
  • January 1984
  • Hansa Mischraum, West Berlin
  • 3:43 (7"/single version)
  • 3:52 (album version)
  • 7:11 (12" version)
Songwriter(s)Martin Gore

"People Are People" is Depeche Mode's 10th UK single recorded at Hansa Mischraum in West Berlin, and released on 12 March 1984.[3] It was their first hit single in the US and the first single from the Some Great Reward album.

Song information[]

"People Are People" was written by Martin Gore, but the dancy, pop feel of the song may be credited to Alan Wilder. Wilder wrote the B-side, "In Your Memory". Each song has an extended remix, the "Different Mix" and the "Slik Mix" respectively (although the "In Your Memory" mix is often incorrectly called the "Slick Mix" or "Silk Mix"). It was one of the first songs recorded for the album when sessions began at the Hansa Mischraum studio in January 1984.

The Clive Richardson-directed "People Are People" video was released in 2 versions. The original video was made for the single version, but an alternate video was made with the "Different Mix". The music video featured footage of various military scenes from the Cold War, mixed with footage of the band aboard the HMS Belfast. The "Different Mix" video appears on Some Great Videos and Video Singles Collection.

Despite "People Are People"'s success, Martin Gore considers it as one of his least favourite songs. He prefers his songs to have subtle metaphors to allow people to find their own meanings to his songs, and feels "People Are People" does not fit that description[citation needed]. It has not been played live since 1988.[4]

Album release[]

A compilation album titled People Are People was released in the US, featuring several songs not previously available. The single itself was released in the USA on 11 July 1984, though it did not reach the Billboard Hot 100 chart until May 1985, and initially was played only on modern rock and college radio. The single would eventually peak at no. 13. In the UK, the single reached number 4, which was at the time the band's highest singles chart position in their homeland. Since then, "Barrel of a Gun" (1997) and "Precious" (2005) have also reached number 4 in the UK.

In West Germany, the song was a no. 1 hit and was used as the theme to West German TV's coverage of the 1984 Olympics, alluding to East Germany's participation in the Soviet-led boycott of the games. It was also used as the theme song of the 1990s BBC Children's factual TV series, It'll Never Work?.

In 2011 the song was included on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's list of the "500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll".[5]

Track listings[]

Depeche Mode version[]

7": Mute / 7Bong5 (UK) & Sire / 7-29221 (US)[]

  1. "People Are People" – 3:43
  2. "In Your Memory" – 4:01

12": Mute / 12Bong5 (UK)[]

  1. "People Are People (Different Mix)" – 7:11
  2. "In Your Memory (Slik Mix)" – 8:12

12": Mute / L12Bong5 (UK)[]

  1. "People Are People (On-USound Mix)" – 7:30 (remixed by Adrian Sherwood)
  2. "People Are People" – 3:43
  3. "In Your Memory" – 4:01

12": Sire / 0-20214 (US)[]

  1. "People Are People (Different Mix)" – 7:11
  2. "People Are People (On-USound Mix)" – 7:30
  3. "In Your Memory" – 4:01

"In Your Memory" is falsely labeled as the "Slik Mix Edit"

CD: Mute / CDBong5 (UK)[]

  1. "People Are People" – 3:43
  2. "In Your Memory" – 4:01
  3. "People Are People (Different Mix)" – 7:11
  4. "In Your Memory (Slik Mix)" – 8:12


Weekly charts[]

Preceded by
"Big in Japan" by Alphaville
German number-one single
30 April 1984 – 14 May 1984 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Send Me an Angel" by Real Life

RuPaul version[]

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"People Are People (The RuMixes)"
Song by RuPaul
from the album Red Hot and ReWorked
Released26 January 2006
  • RuPaul
  • Tom Trujillo
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Music video
"People Are People" on YouTube

RuPaul's version of the song was recorded in 2004 for the studio album Red Hot. His version, which features Tom Trujillo, was released as a retail single on 26 January 2006 to promote the remix album ReWorked. It peaked at no. 10 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart.

CD: RuCo / 001-5 (US)[]

  1. "People Are People (Craig C. Radio)" – 4:42
  2. "People Are People (Giuseppe D's Rutroactive Club) – 8:20
  3. "The Price of One (Craig C. Ru Edit)" – 6:43
  4. "People Are People (Craig C. Main Vocal)" – 8:01
  5. "The Price of One (Craig C.'s Mo' Trippin' Dub)" – 10:02
  6. "People Are People (Goodandevil)" – 3:42
  7. "People Are People (DJ Record Player's SSSnakin' Breakin')" – 7:11
  8. "The Price of One (Craig C.'s Mo' Trippin' Beats)" – 2:41
  9. "People Are People (Craig C. Dub)" – 8:01
  10. "I Just Can't Wait (Till Christmas)" – 2:42

Chart performance[]

Chart (2004) Peak
US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[29] 10

Other cover versions[]

"People Are People" was also covered by the German artist Götz Alsmann in 1985, by A Perfect Circle on their anti-war album eMOTIVe (2004) and Dope on their 2005 album American Apathy.

Christian techno/alternative band Code of Ethics also remade the single in 2008 on their "Lost in Egypt" disc. German industrial/gothic metal band Atrocity also recorded a cover version of the song for their 2008 covers album Werk 80 II, a collection of 1980s tracks recorded in their style. Memphis rapper Cities Aviv sampled "People are People" on the song "Die Young" from his 2011 album Digital Lows.

In February 2012, "People Are People" was covered by James Whetzel for his "Sarod & Beats Covers" series. The piece was re-imagined with all acoustic hand percussion taking the place of drum machines. Sarod and violin (played by Das Dhoom's Sebastian Lange) play the role of the synthesizers in the original tune.[30]


  1. "In A Relaxed Mode For 'Exciter'". Billboard. 113 (20): 11. 19 May 2001. ISSN 0006-2510. the searing synth-pop sound that sparked a string of hits ("Just Can't Get Enough," "People Are People,"...
  2. Mason, Stewart. "People Are People – Song Review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 23 June 2013. "People Are People" was the single that introduced Depeche Mode's next-level sound as the group that made industrial music (à la Einsturzende Neubauten or Test Dept.)
  3. "Record News". NME. London, England: 40. 10 March 1984.
  4. "People Are People by Depeche Mode". Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  5. "Experience The Music: One Hit Wonders and The Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  6. "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – CHART POSITIONS PRE 1989". Hung Medien. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  7. " – Depeche Mode – People Are People" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  8. " – Depeche Mode – People Are People" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  9. "Radio 2 Top 30 : 26 mei 1984" (in Dutch). Top 30. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  10. "Top RPM Singles: Issue 0576." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  11. "InfoDisc : Tous les Titres par Artiste" (in French). InfoDisc. Select "Depeche Mode" from the artist drop-down menu. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  12. "The Irish Charts – Search Results – People Are People". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  13. "Indice per Interprete: D" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  14. "Nederlandse Top 40 – Depeche Mode - People Are People" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  15. " – Depeche Mode – People Are People" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  16. " – Depeche Mode – People Are People". VG-lista. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  17. "PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE – Depeche Mode" (in Polish). LP3. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  18. " – Depeche Mode – People Are People". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  19. " – Depeche Mode – People Are People". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  20. "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 "Depeche Mode – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  22. CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending AUGUST 17, 1985 at the Wayback Machine (archived 1 October 2012). Cash Box magazine.
  23. " – Depeche Mode – People Are People" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  24. "Jaaroverzichten 1984" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
  25. "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1984" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
  26. "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1984" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
  27. [[[:Template:Certification Cite/URL]] "[[:Template:Certification Cite/Title]]"] Check |url= value (help). British Phonographic Industry. URL–wikilink conflict (help) Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type People Are People in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  28. [[[:Template:Certification Cite/URL]] "[[:Template:Certification Cite/Title]]"] Check |url= value (help). Recording Industry Association of America. URL–wikilink conflict (help) If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  29. "RuPaul Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 29 January 2011.
  30. "People Are People by James Whetzel". Retrieved 21 October 2014.

External links[]

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