Nothing lasts forever :: Songs of my youth

some-great-reward

It Doesn’t Matter :: Depeche Mode
from the album, Some Great Reward

It doesn’t matter,
if this all shatters, 
nothing lasts forever.
But, I’m praying, 
that we’re staying,
together.”

A Little History:

It Doesn’t Matter was not a big hit for Depeche Mode, it did not play endlessly on KROQ (the local alternative radio of choice in 1984-1985, that played tons of Depeche Mode), it did not have a music video on heavy MTV rotation, and I am pretty sure it never played at any of the High School dances I went to (though, I do think they played it once, or twice, at Cloud 9, the all-ages dance club at Knott’s Berry Farm, back in the mid-late 80’s). That said, it is one of my personal top five Depeche Mode songs, as well as a never fail memory trigger to a time of my adolescent life.

It Doesn’t Matter is off of Some Great Reward is the fourth album by Depeche Mode, released in 1984. The album peaked at # 5 in the UK and at # 51 in the US. The title comes from the last lines of the bridge in the song, Lie to Me, when it repeats near the end. The album was supported by the Some Great Reward Tour.

Melody Maker hailed the album, noting a “truly remarkable development in the voice of Gahan“. Reviewer Barry McIlheney noted that “It used to be okay to slag this bunch off because of their lack of soul, their supposed synthetic appeal, their reluctance to really pack a punch.” He concluded that Some Great Reward “just trashes such bad old talk into the ground and demands that you now sit up and take notice of what is happening here, right under your nose“.

NME criticized the album, stating that it “suffers from too many missed grips on good ideas.” Reviewer David Quantick found the tunes “ordinary” but he nevertheless rated the singles as “fine“. He finally stated that the result was “annoying” and concluded: “Depeche Mode can be one the few acts worthy of the name pop group. It’s just that they should be so much better.”

A Little Memory:

I was sixteen and I swore to all the music in the world that I was in love in that giant, world stopping being in love kind of way. He was beautiful, he made me laugh, he loved music almost as much as I did, and I never felt nervous around him. He was by far miles more “cool” then I was, yet he did not seem to realize it, or, I don’t know, maybe he knew and it just didn’t matter. He smelled amazing, had this voice that I could listen to for hours, and was kind to me in a way that no boy had ever been before. The only problem was, he was never going to love me back, not in the way I loved him, not ever.

We were young and I guess I did not realize the things he was trying to hide. If you asked me, I could not tell you exactly how we met, or what prompted us to start spending so much time together. I could not tell you when I realized he was gay either, though I think a part of me always knew. He never talked about it with me. I am not sure he ever talked about it with anyone, but that did not change anything. Not the truth of who he was, nor my love for him, not one bit.

He kissed me once, outside of a dance we had met up at. Even today, almost thirty years later, I can still feel how it felt. There were fountains dancing behind us, and the faint sound of a song from this album was playing in the background, though not this one. It was a small kiss, a gesture most likely, but it shattered the earth around me, and made my heart soar. Even then I think I knew nothing more would ever come of us, beyond the friends we were, but I didn’t care, not really.

We stayed in touch after High School. He helped introduce me to a chapter in my life that would change my life completely, though it was during that chapter that we lost touch with each other completely. I never looked back, after awhile I was too swept up in a proverbial “new me“, and I assumed he was off doing the same. But, whenever I would hear this song I would think back at our early friendship, the confidence he gifted to me without knowing, that kiss by the water, and the lesson that love, no matter how all-consuming, may not last forever.

Even now, it is what I remember when I hear this song.

It Doesn’t Matter

Depeche Mode 1984

5 thoughts on “Nothing lasts forever :: Songs of my youth

  1. Easily one of my favorite DM songs. It’s a long list of favorites, but there’s something about it, the wistful, longing, hopeful nature of that song that I’ve always connected with.

    I don’t have a story like yours, but I love the song. 🙂

      1. There really is. I think part of it is the sub-bassline coupled with the staccato high notes. But the words touch such a sad, hopeful place.

        The whole album is great, though. Lie To Me, Somebody, Blasphemous Rumours…all so classic. 🙂

      2. I vividly remember buying Some Great Reward and The Smiths self-titled on the same day, both on cassette, and wearing them out.

        There is something tragically romantic and vulnerable, and yes, sad and hopeful, in the song. I agree, the whole album is so great!

  2. I remember hearing the album on at a house party, probably early high school. Just indelibly etched in my memory, having crushes, listening to emotional music like this. So good. 🙂

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