Everything Counts - Depeche Mode


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Depeche Mode - Everything Counts
"Everything Counts" is Depeche Mode's eighth UK single (released on 11 July 1983) and third US single (released on 2 November 1983), from the then upcoming album Construction Time Again. It was the first in a long line of industrial-inspired singles released by the band, and has been referred to as "arguably...the first English-language industrial pop hit." The single was re-released (in live format) on 13 February 1989 (25 March 1989 in the US) to support the live album 101. Read more

Background and themes

In January 1983, shortly before the release of the "Get the Balance Right!" single, lyricist Martin Gore attended an Einstürzende Neubauten concert, giving him the idea to experiment with the sounds of industrial music in the context of pop. This experimentation hinged on the band's first use of a Synclavier, a synthesizer that not only contained a large number of pre-programmed sounds, but also allowed for samples to be imported. With this, the band proceeded to travel around the neighbourhood where they could tape "found" sounds and feed them into the Synclavier, then manipulate the noises to fit into their songs. These sounds consisted mainly of hammering anvils, clanging pipes, running water, and the like. In addition to the "found" sounds used as samples, the single also samples a variety of musical instruments, such as the xylophone and a melodica (which Martin has been known to play on stage for the song). That spring, the band converged in London to begin recording their third album, Construction Time Again, and changed recording studios as well. For the previous two albums, the band had recorded at Blackwing Studios, but would switch to John Foxx's "The Garden" studio. This change, along with the addition of Gareth Jones to the production team facilitated the band's transition from the hook driven pop songs of their past (a transition that had begun to take shape in 1982 with the more noticeably melancholy "Leave in Silence"). The band continued perfecting their industrial formula over their next two albums, 1984's Some Great Reward and 1986's Black Celebration.

In addition to the change in the band's musical influence, the single would introduce a transition in lyrical content as well. Construction Time Again would include a bevy of political themes, sparked by the poverty Gore had seen on a recent trip he had taken to Thailand. These themes were in stark contrast from the inoffensive, love-themed pop numbers of the band's early career. "Everything Counts", specifically addresses corporate greed and corruption in the music industry, as the chorus sings of "grabbing hands" that "grab all they can". Perhaps surprisingly, the single was released at a time when the band itself was not under a formal contract with Mute Records.

It was also the first song in the band's catalogue which includes both of the band's singers prominently (at different times). Lead vocalist David Gahan sings the verses, while song writer Martin Gore sings the chorus.

Live performances and re-release

The song would quickly catch on as a fan favorite at the band's concerts, and was used as the opening song for the Construction Time Again tour. The first live version of the song to appear on a commercial release came from the Some Great Reward tour in 1984, when a recording from a show in Liverpool appeared on the double A-sided "Blasphemous Rumours/Somebody" single. During the Music for the Masses tour, the band used "Everything Counts" as the final encore and in 1989, the song would be re-released as a single in live form, to promote the live album 101. All live tracks from the release were recorded on 18 June 1988 at the Pasadena Rose Bowl during the final performance of the aforementioned Music for the Masses tour. This version of the song is famous for the recording of the crowd continuing to sing the chorus long after the music had stopped.

It also appears in Devotional as the closer. It was played during the first two legs of Touring the Angel in the first encore, and also appears on the Touring the Angel: Live in Milan-DVD.

Everything Counts was also remixed and re-released in 2006. Everything Counts - Oliver Huntemann & Stephan Bodzin Dub features on the limitied edition release of the single Martyr. There´s also a unreleased Oliver Huntemann & Stephan Bodzin remix that floats on the internet, which contains more vocal parts from the original version.

Music videos

The music video for "Everything Counts" was directed by Clive Richardson in and around Berlin. The band returned to Richardson after not being satisfied with the work of Julien Temple for the A Broken Frame singles. Richardson had previously directed the video to "Just Can't Get Enough" two years earlier. According to Wilder, "It was felt that after the Julien Temple years, we needed to harden up not only our sound but also our image. Clive had lots of new ideas which didn't involve stupid storyboards where we were required to act." In the original music video, the xylophone, the melodica, and the shawm are played by Alan Wilder, Martin Gore, and Andrew Fletcher, respectively. The shawm, however, is produced by a synthesizer on the studio recording, but the band used the real shawm in the music video and television performances for show.

The "Everything Counts (Live)" video was directed by D.A. Pennebaker. The video not only includes portions of the live performance, but also contains various references to the money made from merchandise and ticket sales at the concert, humorously connected to the theme of corruption and greed of the song.


The original release's B-side "Work Hard" is notable in that it is the first Depeche Mode song (excluding instrumentals) that is credited to both Martin Gore and Alan Wilder (the only other case of this is 1986's "Black Day", an alternate version of "Black Celebration," credited to Gore, Wilder, and Daniel Miller).

The B-side of the live re-release is a live recording of "Nothing", a track from Music for the Masses. The 12" release also includes live recordings of "Sacred" and "A Question of Lust".

Song versions
[edit] Remixes of "Everything Counts"

On the original release, there was only one remix available. The 12" version of the single is called "Everything Counts (In Larger Amounts)", although sometimes (such as on the US release of Construction Time Again) it is referred to simply as the "Long Version".

The live re-release of the single, however, contains a plethora of mixes, from a variety of remixers, despite the fact that the standard 7" and 12" versions contained no remixes. This release is first Depeche Mode single to be released in a 10" vinyl format; the A-side of the 10" inch version is the "Absolut Mix", remixed by Alan Moulder (certain versions refer to this mix as the "Alan Moulder Mix"). The B-side included the original release's 12" version as well as the "Reprise", a 55-second reprisal of the song's chorus originally placed following the final track ("And Then...") on the Construction Time Again album. Specifically, it is the ending of "Everything Counts (In Larger Amounts)" with the beat removed.

The limited edition 12" version is the "Bomb the Bass Mix", remixed by Tim Simenon and Mark Saunders. Simenon would eventually be used by the band as a producer, for the 1997 album Ultra.
[edit] B-side remixes

A variety of mixes of other songs would appear on these single releases as well. On the 1983 release, the 12" B-side contains an extended version of "Work Hard" titled the "East End Remix".

Two remixes of "Nothing" appear on the 1989 release as well, including the "Remix Edit" (sometimes referred to as the "US 7" Mix" as it was the 7" B-side to the US-only single "Strangelove '88") and the "Zip Hop Mix" by Justin Strauss.

A remix of "Strangelove" also appeared on the B-side of the limited edition 12" vinyl, referred to as the "Highjack Mix" by Tim Simenon and Mark Saunders, who also mixed the A-side.


Melodic Death Metal band In Flames covered this song on their 1997 album Whoracle. German band Cinema Bizarre sampled this song in their song Escape to the Stars

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