“Shake the Disease” was one of two new songs on the 1985 compilation albums The Singles 81→85 and Catching Up with Depeche Mode, along with the band’s subsequent single “It’s Called a Heart”.

Alan Wilder felt this song captured the essence of the band, saying that “there’s a certain edge to what we do that can make people think twice about things. If we’ve got a choice between calling a song ‘Understand Me’ or ‘Shake the Disease’, we’ll call it ‘Shake the Disease’. There’s a lot of perversity and innuendo in our lyrics, but nothing direct.”

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