Some Great Reward

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Some Great Reward
Studio album by
Released24 September 1984 (1984-09-24)
RecordedJanuary–August 1984
Depeche Mode chronology
People Are People
Some Great Reward
The Singles 81→85
Singles from Some Great Reward
  1. "People Are People"
    Released: 12 March 1984
  2. "Master and Servant"
    Released: 20 August 1984
  3. "Blasphemous Rumours" / "Somebody"
    Released: 29 October 1984

Some Great Reward is the fourth studio album by the English electronic music band Depeche Mode, released on 24 September 1984 by Mute Records. The album peaked at number five in the United Kingdom and number 51 in the United States, and was supported by the Some Great Reward Tour.[4] This also saw the band using samplers, much like they did in their previous studio album Construction Time Again (1983), which they would continue to use in their following studio albums Black Celebration (1986) and Music for the Masses (1987).

Additionally it also saw the band addressing more personal themes such as sexual politics ("Master and Servant"), adulterous relationships ("Lie to Me"), and arbitrary divine justice ("Blasphemous Rumours").[5] "Blasphemous Rumours" was released as a double A-side with "Somebody".

This was the first album where they achieved chart success in the US with the single "People Are People" which reached No. 13 on the charts in mid-1985 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was a Top 20 hit in Canada. It was also the first album that peaked at a higher position on a chart that was not from the band's home country as it peaked at No. 1 in Germany.[6]


Promotional poster for the concert held in Lund, Sweden

The tour was the band's longest to date.[7] A concert held at Alsterdorfer Sporthalle in Hamburg, West Germany, was recorded and issued as a video release titled The World We Live In and Live in Hamburg (1985). The European release featured 16 songs, while the North American version featured 11 songs. The video has not yet seen a DVD release.

American synth-pop and electronic band Book of Love were the opening act for all 15 tour dates of the North American leg of the tour.[8]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
The Austin Chronicle[10]
Number One3/5[11]
Record Mirror[14]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[15]
Smash Hits8+12/10[16]

Melody Maker's Barry McIlheney hailed Some Great Reward and noted a "truly remarkable development" in Dave Gahan's voice, concluding that while "[i]t used to be okay to slag this bunch off because of their lack of soul, their supposed synthetic appeal, their reluctance to really pack a punch", the album "just trashes such bad old talk into the ground and demands that you now sit up and take notice of what is happening here, right under your nose".[19]

Depeche Mode in 1984

NME critic David Quantick was critical of the sound of the record, and felt that it "suffers from too many missed grips on good ideas". He continues: "It ought to be an intelligent chart contender, a mix of commercial class and magpie manipulation of the unconventional; it isn't. When that bonk and clatter is used... it's just a nod to left-field, rather than use of the sound." Of the songs and singing he says: "Often the tunes are ordinary; Martin Gore, as ever, favours a bit of a drone. In small doses (singles) this is fine. Over 40 minutes, the interest begins to wane. Dave Gahan's voice has improved greatly – in that he's learned how to use its limited range – but like the melodies, it imparts mucho sameiness to the record." He concludes: "Depeche Mode can be one the few acts worthy of the name pop group. It's just that they should be so much better."[20]

In Number One, Sunie expressed similar reservations: "The sadly under-rated Depeches turn out consistently excellent singles. But 45s rather than LPs remain their forte [...] They've progressed a million musical miles from their boppy origins, but Martin Gore's lyrics haven't kept up. Over a whole LP, their gaucheness is a major distraction from the record's musical merits."[11]

Carole Linfield, in Sounds, felt the balance of powerful music and personal lyrics was just right: "The combination of the Depeche strength of vocal and now the Depeche delicacy is going to be hard to beat... This package is a carefully assorted, daintily arranged symphony ... one that carries emotion, devotion and yet never gives way to feebleness or predictability. OK... the lyrics look trite, often naïve and frequently clichéd when printed out [...] Yet Depeche have the right balance and necessary gauche to pull it off. Perhaps it's simply that power – never mawkish – that sustains it. Whichever way, the combination locks in. The Depeche Mode clicks."[17]

German DJ Paul van Dyk cited Some Great Reward as his all-time favourite album, stating it is "one of the albums that really has influenced both myself and probably everyone who is somehow involved in electronic music."[21]


In 2006, Some Great Reward was re-released with a bonus DVD. The CD was remastered and was released on a CD/SACD hybrid. The bonus DVD includes the B-sides "In Your Memory" and "(Set Me Free) Remotivate Me" in addition to a remix of "Somebody" and several live versions of some of the songs from the album. The DVD also includes a documentary on the making of the album.

The remastered album was released on vinyl in March 2007.

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."Something to Do"
  • Gahan
  • Gore
2."Lie to Me" 5:04
3."People Are People"
  • Gahan
  • Gore
4."It Doesn't Matter"Gore4:45
5."Stories of Old" 3:12
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
6."Somebody" Gore4:26
7."Master and Servant"  4:13
8."If You Want"Wilder 4:40
9."Blasphemous Rumours" 
  • Gahan
  • Gore
Total length:40:18

2006 Collectors Edition (CD + DVD)[edit]

  • Video
A short film
1."Depeche Mode: 1984 ("You Can Get Away with Anything If You Give It a Good Tune...")" (written and produced by Roland Brown; directed by Ross Hallard and Phil Michael Lane)29:20
  • Audio
Some Great Reward (DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1 and PCM Stereo)
1."Something to Do" 3:47
2."Lie to Me" 5:04
3."People Are People" 3:52
4."It Doesn't Matter" 4:45
5."Stories of Old" 3:14
6."Somebody" 4:28
7."Master and Servant" 4:12
8."If You Want"Wilder4:41
9."Blasphemous Rumours" 6:22
Live tracks (DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1 and PCM Stereo)
10."If You Want" (live in Basel, 30 November 1984)Wilder5:15
11."People Are People" (live in Basel, 30 November 1984) 4:16
12."Somebody" (live in Liverpool, 29 September 1984) 4:30
13."Blasphemous Rumours" (live in Basel, 30 November 1984) 5:30
14."Master and Servant" (live in Basel, 30 November 1984) 5:33
Additional tracks (PCM Stereo)
15."In Your Memory"Wilder4:06
16."(Set Me Free) Remotivate Me" 4:18
17."Somebody" (Remix) 4:21


Credits adapted from the liner notes of Some Great Reward.[22]

Depeche Mode[edit]


  • Daniel Miller – production
  • Depeche Mode – production
  • Gareth Jones – production
  • Ben Ward – engineering assistance
  • Stefi Marcus – engineering assistance
  • Colin McMahon – engineering assistance


The artwork photo was taken by the Round Oak Steelworks in Brierley Hill near Dudley, England. The Steelworks was demolished in 1984.[23] Nowadays Merry Hill Shopping Centre is at the location.

  • Brian Griffin – photography
  • Stuart Graham – photography assistance
  • Martyn Atkins – design
  • David A. Jones – design
  • Marcx – design



Certifications for Some Great Reward
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Germany (BVMI)[38] Gold 250,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[39] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[40] Platinum 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


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  10. ^ Gray, Christopher (15 December 2006). "Depeche Mode". The Austin Chronicle. ISSN 1074-0740. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
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  14. ^ Levy, Eleanor (29 September 1984). "Handsome Reward". Record Mirror. London. p. 21. ISSN 0144-5804.
  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. Retrieved 23 January 2019 – via Google Books.
  16. ^ Martin, Peter (27 September – 10 October 1984). "Depeche Mode: Some Great Reward". Smash Hits. Vol. 6, no. 19. London. p. 25. ISSN 0260-3004.
  17. ^ a b Linfield, Carole (29 September 1984). "Slave Labour". Sounds. London. ISSN 0144-5774.
  18. ^ Dalton, Stephen (May 2001). "Enjoy the Silence: 20 Years of Depeche Mode Albums". Uncut. No. 48. London. p. 66. ISSN 1368-0722.
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  20. ^ Quantick, David (6 October 1984). "Modeahead? Uh-Uh...". NME. London. p. 40. ISSN 0028-6362.
  21. ^ Ramirez, Miguel (21 May 2015). "Paul van Dyk: "ATLANTIS is driven by the pure sense of what electronic music is"". Trance Project. Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  22. ^ Some Great Reward (liner notes). Depeche Mode. Mute Records. 1984. CD STUMM 19.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  23. ^ "Round Oak Steel Works drive past" – via YouTube.
  24. ^ " – Depeche Mode – Some Great Reward" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  25. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 0581". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  26. ^ " – Depeche Mode – Some Great Reward" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  27. ^ "European Top 100 Albums" (PDF). Eurotipsheet. Vol. 1, no. 35. 26 November 1984. p. 9. OCLC 29800226 – via World Radio History.
  28. ^ " – Depeche Mode – Some Great Reward" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
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  39. ^ "British album certifications – Depeche Mode – Some Great Reward". British Phonographic Industry. 19 October 1984. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  40. ^ "American album certifications – Depeche Mode – Some Great Reward". Recording Industry Association of America. 4 August 1994.

External links[edit]