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Depeche Mode - People Are People - Lyrics Meaning

"People Are People" is a 1984 single that became Depeche Mode's breakthrough hit in the United States. Despite its 1984 release, the song didn't crack the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. until 1985 after it garnered attention on modern rock and college radio.

Martin Gore penned lyrics that convey a message that people shouldn't judge one another. The lyrics question and condemn unfound hate. The song asks that humans put an end to superficial differences and unjustified violence or prejudice. Gore touches upon racial discrimination, homophobia, and religious intolerance in simple, easy to understand words.

Ironically, it's that lack of depth or complexity in the lyrics that Gore loathes about the song. Gore typically specializes in writing lyrics that are somewhat nonfigurative and best left for the listener's interpretation. He feels that "People Are People" spells out everything to the listener and prevents them from painting a picture of their own through a unique interpretation.

So, despite the song's immense popularity worldwide, Depeche Mode has refrained from performing the song live in concert since 1988. "People Are People" is still widely played on the radio throughout the world. Dope, RuPaul, and A Perfect Circle have all covered the song as well.

Meanings of other songs by Depeche Mode:
Enjoy The Silence

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