ARTIST: Depeche Mode
TITLE: Construction Time Again
YEAR RELEASED: 1983
CHART ACTION: #6 UK
SINGLES: Everything Counts (#17 Dance, #6 UK), Love, in Itself (#21 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Not over in the US, no.
LINEUP: Martin Gore, Alan Wilder, David Gahan, Andy Fletcher
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: An artistic turnaround, and the path forward for Depeche Mode.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Alan Wilder joined Depeche Mode as a full member for this album, and whether it was that, or Martin Gore’s evolution as a songwriter, Depeche Mode definitely moved in a positive direction.
The band was now adding depth to its sonic palette, with a darker mood, complex song structures, and samples of industrial-type sounds that helped add a more experimental edge to their sound. Vocals were also utilized as more than just a melody-carrier as well as the layered vocals with Gahan and the band added to the moody atmosphere.
“Everything Counts” got their first real notice in the US after their initial hit, even though it was just in clubs and dance floors. It also was a dance tune with a political message, which led the band to include more political and social messaging in its songs. More importantly, it had a hook to die for which got people moving.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Wilder wrote two songs on the album, and continued to contribute songs until his departure.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes. Originally the CD had a hidden track (a reprise of “Everything Counts”). In 2007, a deluxe version with their pre-album single “Get the Balance Right” (#13 UK, #31 US Dance), which set the stage for the album.
GRADE: A-: Depeche Mode moves from just a synth-pop band to something more ambitious.