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Depeche Mode do a “Kate Bush” thanks to The Last Of Us

The electropop titans are having a bit of a resurgence following their inclusion in the season premiere of HBO's new series


Those who tuned into HBO’s new series The Last Of Us might have noticed Depeche Mode’s ‘Never Let Me Down Again’ popping up in an ominous capacity. In the episode’s final moments, a radio flashes into life, playing a warning in the shape of the Essex electro-pop outfit’s 1987 single.

It seems there’s been a bit of Kate Bush/Stranger Things alchemy at work again, as the exposure has introduced a new generation to Martin Gore’s slick, sultry single, while reminding older viewers that they should really be listening to more Depeche Mode.  

Depeche Mode - Never Let Me Down Again (Official Video) (Heard on Episode 1 of The Last Of Us)

As reported by Twitter user @busterswordboi, searches for the song leapt 3000% following the series premiere. It’s also currently standing at 47 million streams on Spotify, although with some way to go to catch the band’s most popular single ‘Enjoy The Silence’ at 425 million streams. Depeche Mode are back on tour this summer, with dates in Dublin and London.

Series co-creator Craig Mazin told HBO’s The Last Of Us podcast that he chose the song for its combination of upbeat tempo and lyrical darkness. As explained earlier in the episode, songs from different decades have different meanings, with 80s being unequivocally bad.

The Last of Us | Official Trailer | Max

The song’s opening verse certainly fits well with the themes of the series premiere, as Dave Gahan sings: “I’m taking a ride with my best friend/I hope he never lets me down again/He knows where he’s taking me/Taking me where I want to be.” Ostensibly about drugs, there’s also a strong connection to the journey ahead of Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsay).

Based on the acclaimed 2013 game and co-created by the game’s creator Neil Druckmann and Chernobyl’s Craig Mazin, The Last Of Us debuted on HBO in the US on Sunday and in the UK on Sky Atlantic on Monday. Early reviews suggest the show, which details a treacherous journey through a dystopian future where mankind has been overrun by a fungal infection, is set to be one of the network’s biggest hits in some years.


Get tickets for Depeche Mode’s 2023 UK and Ireland shows here