Depeche Mode: Martin Gore (vocals, guitar, keyboards, synthesizer); David Gahan (vocals); Andy Fletcher (guitar, keyboards, background vocals); Alan Wilder (keyboards, background vocals).
Recorded between December 1981 and January 1984 in Shoreditch, Blackfriars and Kreuzburg.
Depeche Mode's fourth American album is more a patchwork compilation of singles documenting a rather confusing period in the band's career. After the twinkly synthpop of their 1981 debut SPEAK AND SPELL, founding songwriter Vince Clarke left the band in the hands of alternate songwriter Martin Gore, a transition documented on the uneven but intriguing A BROKEN FRAME and CONSTRUCTION TIME AGAIN.
Gore escaped Clarke's musical and lyrical shadow with the release of "People Are People," a semi-industrial anthem with a clanking arrangement that sounded slightly more like Throbbing Gristle than A Flock of Seagulls, and semi-politicized lyrics concerning themes which would come to dominate Gore's writing over ensuing albums. Elsewhere, this collection features "Get the Balance Right," a near-forgotten gem of a single, and the long version of their 1983 hit "Everything Counts."