Johnny Cash Never Needed To Ask For Permission, Martin Gore Explains

Martin Gore couldn’t believe it when he heard Johnny Cash’s cover of one of Depeche Mode’s tracks’ Personal Jesus.’ Gore told Financial Times that Cash didn’t reach out to them for permission. However, the musician was aware that he was Johnny Cash after all by explaining:

“Yeah, I didn’t believe it when somebody called me and said, ‘I’ve just heard Johnny Cash singing ‘Personal Jesus’ on the radio.’ Of course, being Johnny Cash, you don’t ask for permission. But I thought it was great.”

Besides Cash, Smashing Pumpkins also put their spin on a Depeche Mode track. They covered ‘Never Let Me Down Again’ from Depeche Mode’s 1987 album, ‘Music for the Masses’; it even became a part of ‘Not Another Teen Movie’s soundtrack. Frontman Dave Gahan even told AllStar Magazine in 1998 that he ‘particularly liked it’ and thought it was ‘a lot better’ than the original one they released.

Several musicians covered Depeche Mode since they were ahead of the curve, especially in electronic and alternative music. Gore shared with Financial Times that he struggled with personal relationships so his passion for making any type of music helped him express himself. He added:

“I guess we were ahead of our time musically. What was happening back then for me was the true meaning of alternative – especially from ’83 to ’90 before it got more commercialized. You could do whatever you wanted. I struggled with relationships, so it was easier to write than do things.”

You can read Martin Gore’s interview with Financial Times here and listen to Johnny Cash’s cover of ‘Personal Jesus’ below.