Construction Time Again

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Construction Time Again
Studio album by
Released22 August 1983 (1983-08-22)
Depeche Mode chronology
A Broken Frame
Construction Time Again
People Are People
Singles from Construction Time Again
  1. "Everything Counts"
    Released: 11 July 1983
  2. "Love, in Itself"
    Released: 19 September 1983

Construction Time Again is the third studio album by English electronic music band Depeche Mode, released on 22 August 1983 by Mute Records.[3][4] It was the band's first album to feature Alan Wilder as a member, who wrote the songs "Two Minute Warning" and "The Landscape Is Changing". The album's title comes from the second line of the first verse of the track "Pipeline". It was recorded at John Foxx's Garden Studios in London, and was supported by the Construction Time Again Tour.

The album was preceded by the single "Everything Counts", released on 11 July and reached No. 6 on the UK Charts and was also promoted by the single "Love, in Itself", which was released on 19 September and reached No. 21 on the UK Charts.

Background and themes[edit]

In January 1983, shortly before the release of the "Get the Balance Right!" single, songwriter Martin Gore attended an Einstürzende Neubauten concert, giving him the idea to experiment with the sounds of industrial music in the context of pop.[5]

This album introduced a transition in lyrical content for the group. Construction Time Again would include a bevy of political themes, sparked by the poverty Gore had seen on a then-recent trip he had taken to Thailand.[5]

Producer Daniel Miller, has explained the recording process as "a massive leap forward". Due to the band, as well as Miller, having an urge to change up their processes they decided to change which studio they would work in, which was decided to be John Foxx's Garden Studios in London, and they also met Gareth Jones, who had worked with Foxx on his album Metamatic (1980). Initially, Jones was reluctant to work with the group as he felt they were too commercial and viewed them as 'pop' and 'lightweight', which he saw as an issue. However, Foxx had persuaded Jones to work with the band as he felt that due to his appreciation for Mute Records' musical output, such as Miller's "Warm Leatherette" the band would be worth while as Miller was their producer and they were a Mute label artist.[6] Jones would provide contributions to further albums such as Some Great Reward (1984) and Black Celebration (1986).

With regards to the heavy amount of sampling, the band would sample various 'found' sounds, such as toy instruments or other objects like stones and objects found in construction sites which they would manipulate using the Synclavier. Band member Alan Wilder said, "You can take the purest voice in the world, and fool around with it digitally until it's the most evil, monstrous sound. Or you can take a moose fart and make it beautiful."[7] Miller recalled "Martin [Gore] would turn up with some toy or some other weird instrument and we just started recording it, sampling it, doing shit with it."[8] He looked back on the recording process as one of the most enjoyable he has been through stating "I sit at home with my synthesizers making great noises, but when you can put those experiments into the pop form that's thrilling."[7]


Promotional poster for the tour

The tour, which took place in Europe, began in September 1983 in Hitchin, England. Following an initial leg of dates in the United Kingdom and Ireland, a second leg in December reached Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands and West Germany.

In March 1984, the group performed its first dates in Italy and Spain. The final date was a one-off show in June supporting Elton John in Ludwigshafen, West Germany, where "People Are People", the lead single from their next album, made its live debut on the special set. A tour in support of the act's subsequent studio release, Some Great Reward, followed in September.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
The Austin Chronicle[9]
Number One5/5[10]
Record Mirror[13]
Rolling Stone[14]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[15]
Smash Hits7/10[16]

On the album's politically inclined lyrics, Anne Lambert of Number One wrote: "[Martin Gore]'s protest songs are serious and sharply observed, but they retain that distinctive ear for a commercial melody". She concludes: "It's impossible to pick out tracks, as the whole effect is sharp, tight, smooth and absolutely riveting!"[10] In Smash Hits, Peter Martin notes that the band's attention is now turned "outwards to the world (and all its problems)", pointing out the Russian, European and Oriental influences apparent in the music. He goes on: "The songs are still electronically based, but the brilliantly melodic and bouncy edge is contrasted by a brooding 'Tin Drum'-type sparseness." Summing up, Martin calls the album "[a] brave departure."[16]

New Musical Express hailed the album, saying that "Everything Counts" "is Mode's best ever single [...] It sold because it combines edgy and poignant melodies held in thrilling tension; a tough, urgent dancebeat; and a gleamingly modern sound with an element of quirkiness to mark it out in the crowd. And the same goes for every other track on the album." Reviewer Mat Snow qualified Alan Wilder's composition "Two Minute Warning" as "a haunting melody whose transition from verse to chorus explodes in one of those breathtakingly uplifting moments" and concluded that Depeche Mode "have made a bold and lovely pop record. Simple as that."[18]

Commenting on the results of the band's new line-up, AllMusic's Ned Raggett considers Construction Time Again to be "a bit hit and miss... [although] when it does hit, it does so perfectly". Singling out "Love, in Itself", Raggett observes: "Depeche never sounded quite so thick with its sound before, with synths arranged into a mini-orchestra/horn section and real piano and acoustic guitar spliced in at strategic points." Regarding Wilder's songwriting, Raggett states: "Wilder's... songwriting contributions are fine musically, but lyrically, 'preachy' puts it mildly, especially the environment-friendly 'The Landscape Is Changing'."[4]

PopMatters reviewer Michael Keefe claimed it "marked the shift of this movement away from the band’s bouncier beginnings. Leaving behind the perky synth pop of 'Just Can't Get Enough' (from Speak & Spell) and 'See You' (of A Broken Frame), 'Love, in Itself' consented to offer a beat you could dance to, but it bore a heart of darkness. Martin Gore expressed his gloomy view on the redemptive potential of love to cure 'All of the absurdities that lay before us / All of the doubts and uncertainties that lay in store for us.' The track 'Pipeline', meanwhile, is unrelentingly depressing. It's also overly lethargic. 'More Than a Party' is up-tempo, but far from upbeat. It's seething, pre-industrial groove prefigured the following album's musically similar, yet vastly superior, 'Master and Servant'."[19]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Martin L. Gore, except where noted. All lead vocals by Dave Gahan, except where noted

Side one
No.TitleLead vocalsLength
1."Love, in Itself" 4:29
2."More Than a Party" 4:45
4."Everything Counts"
  • Gahan
  • Gore
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
5."Two Minute Warning"Alan Wilder 4:13
  • Gahan
  • Gore
7."The Landscape Is Changing"Wilder 4:49
8."Told You So"  4:26
9."And Then..." (includes the hidden track "Everything Counts (Reprise)")  5:39
Total length:42:26
9."And Then..."4:35
10."Everything Counts (Reprise)" (hidden track)1:05
Total length:42:27
US and Canadian CD
9."And Then..."5:40
10."Everything Counts" (Long Version)7:23
Total length:49:50

2007 Collectors Edition (CD + DVD)[edit]

A short film
1."Depeche Mode: 1983 (Teenagers Growing Up, Bad Government, and All That Stuff)" (written and produced by Roland Brown; directed by Ross Hallard and Phil Michael Lane)38:56
Construction Time Again (DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1 and PCM Stereo)
1."Love, in Itself" 4:29
2."More Than a Party" 4:46
3."Pipeline" 5:55
4."Everything Counts" 4:21
5."Two Minute Warning"Wilder4:13
6."Shame" 3:52
7."The Landscape Is Changing"Wilder4:49
8."Told You So" 4:27
9."And Then..." 4:40
10."Everything Counts (Reprise)" (hidden track) 0:59
Additional tracks (PCM Stereo)
11."Get the Balance Right!" 3:17
12."The Great Outdoors!"
  • Gore
  • Wilder
13."Work Hard"
  • Gore
  • Wilder
15."Get the Balance Right!" (Combination Mix) 8:01
16."Everything Counts (In Larger Amounts)" 7:22
17."Love, in Itself.4" 4:40


Credits adapted from the liner notes of Construction Time Again.[20]



Certifications for Construction Time Again
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Germany (BVMI)[31] Gold 250,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[32] Gold 100,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


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  2. ^ Reed, Alexander S. (5 June 2013). Assimilate: A Critical History of Industrial Music. Oxford University Press. p. 231. ISBN 978-0-19983-260-6.
  3. ^ "News in brief..." (PDF). Music & Video Week. 20 August 1983. p. 3. ISSN 0265-1548 – via World Radio History. Depeche Mode, currently in the singles chart with Everything Counts, release their third album, Construction Time Again STUMM 13), on Mute Records on August 22.
  4. ^ a b c Raggett, Ned. "Construction Time Again – Depeche Mode". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  5. ^ a b Thompson, Dave (14 January 2005). "The Landscape Is Changing". Q. pp. 78–83. ISSN 0955-4955. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2011 – via Sacred DM.{{cite magazine}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
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  7. ^ a b "Sacred DM - Q 14 01 05". 24 July 2011. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2023.
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  9. ^ Gray, Christopher (15 June 2007). "Reissues". The Austin Chronicle. ISSN 1074-0740. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  10. ^ a b Lambert, Anne (27 August 1983). "Riveting Stuff". Number One. No. 17. London. p. 32. Retrieved 26 November 2019 – via Depeche Mode Press File.
  11. ^ Keefe, Michael (10 May 2007). "Catching Up (Again) with Depeche Mode". PopMatters. Archived from the original on 12 May 2007. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  12. ^ "Depeche Mode: Construction Time Again". Q. No. 107. London. August 1995. pp. 138–139. ISSN 0955-4955.
  13. ^ Page, Betty (27 August 1983). "Men at Werk". Record Mirror. London. p. 22. ISSN 0144-5804.
  14. ^ Sheffield, Rob (19 April 2007). "Into the Mode". Rolling Stone. No. 1024. New York. p. 66. ISSN 0035-791X.
  15. ^ Sheffield, Rob (2004). "Depeche Mode". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 229–230. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  16. ^ a b Martin, Peter (1–14 September 1983). "Depeche Mode: Construction Time Again". Smash Hits. Vol. 5, no. 18. London. p. 21. ISSN 0260-3004. Retrieved 14 August 2017 – via Depeche Mode Press File.
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  18. ^ Snow, Mat (27 August 1983). "Uplifting New Buildings". NME. London. p. 31. ISSN 0028-6362.
  19. ^ "Depeche Mode: Black Celebration - PopMatters Music Review". 12 May 2007. Archived from the original on 12 May 2007. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  20. ^ Construction Time Again (liner notes). Depeche Mode. Mute Records. 1983. STUMM 13.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  21. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 4376b". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
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  23. ^ " – Depeche Mode – Construction Time Again" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  24. ^ " – Depeche Mode – Construction Time Again". Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  25. ^ " – Depeche Mode – Construction Time Again". Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  26. ^ " – Depeche Mode – Construction Time Again". Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  27. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  28. ^ Lazell, Barry (1997). "Depeche Mode". Indie Hits 1980–1989: The Complete U.K. Independent Charts (Singles & Albums). Cherry Red Books. ISBN 0-95172-069-4. Archived from the original on 5 February 2009. Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  29. ^ Scaping, Peter, ed. (1984). "Top 100 LPs: 1983". BPI Year Book 1984. British Phonographic Industry. pp. 44–45. ISBN 0-906154-04-9.
  30. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts – 1984" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  31. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Depeche Mode; 'Construction Time Again')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  32. ^ "British album certifications – Depeche Mode – Construction Time Again". British Phonographic Industry. 10 November 1983. Retrieved 29 September 2020.

External links[edit]