The menacing opener of Depeche Mode's 14th studio album Spirit is a direct response to the state of the world in 2017. David Gahan sings amid jabbing keyboards and Martin Gore's backing vocals:
We're going backwards Turning back our history Going backwards Piling on the misery
"If we want things to change, a revolution, we need to talk about it and about caring about what goes on in the world," Gahan told Rolling Stone. "It doesn't seem the way things are in London. We seem to be going in another direction, and I think Martin felt like he needed to express that."
The song sums up the theme running through the album that the human race have lost their spirit. "You can't get away from the constant wrongs that are going on," keyboardist and songwriter Martin Gore told The Sun. "There's the Syrian crisis, the issues in the gay, lesbian and transgender communities, and there was a period when you couldn't turn on the news without seeing another black person getting shot by the police. The whole race thing in America is crazy. It seems like it hasn't really come on at all since the Civil Rights. What did Civil Rights really achieve?"
Gore added that Spirit is "trying to point out to people that somehow we've lost our way" but that it is also "calling out to them to think and make change, trying to find our way back to a path. That's why I liked Spirit as the album title, as it asks where has our spirit gone? We need to re-find it."
"What's Up" by 4 Non Blondes has endured as one of the most popular songs of the '90s, but it wasn't a huge hit at the time and the band split after one album. Frontwoman Linda Perry went on to write hits for Pink and Christina Aguilera.