"Master and Servant" is Depeche Mode's eleventh UK single (released on 20 August 1984) and the second single from the Some Great Reward album. Despite controversy surrounding the song, it still managed to reach number 9 in the UK Singles Chart. It also peaked at number 49 in the American dance chart and at number 87 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Conception and composition
The overtly sexual, BDSM-themed lyrics of "Master and Servant" — complete with synthesized whip-and-chain sound effects — reportedly meant that the song was banned by many radio stations in the United States (although the song reached the Billboard Hot 100 chart anyway, albeit only at number 87 and for only a three-week chart stay).
Reportedly, the song narrowly avoided a radio ban by the BBC as well. "Master and Servant" might have been banned if the one BBC staffer who wanted to ban the record had not been away on holiday at the time the other staffers voted on whether to add "Master and Servant" to their playlist.