Saturday, 29 August 2009

What got me into... Depeche Mode

Get the Balance Right (UK Number 13 Feb 1983)

Get the Balance Right

I always get into bands via a side door. A bit skew whiff, so to speak. They may have enough songs to fill the Albert Hall, but I pick up on the underdog track. And it's always a single that touches something (don't ask me what) which then sends me into a fact-finding, catalogue-buying frenzy. Get the Balance Right is the perfect example: an album bridger, unloved by band and fans alike but still my one of my all-time favourites by Depeche Mode. Between the Martin Gore album A Broken Frame and the album that defined their sound, Construction Time Again, the band had to come up with a single lest anyone forgot who they were.

The aptly named Get the Balance Right is as light as its predecessors but as heavy as its successors with the political overtones. The video's very stilted, of course, but the synth pop is still as crisp and the dubby groove still ahead of its time. The band themselves aren't particularly fond of the song because of the pressure of producing it to order. The follow-up was the mammoth hit Everything Counts which introduced Construction Time Again and in turn dwarfed GTBR. After that, Dave Gahan started tinting his hair - still didn't shave until 1993 though - Martin Gore got kinky, Andy Fletcher began sounding more and more like Sid James and Alan Wilder just got livid. The single made me re-visit and fall in love with their debut album, Speak and Spell, go see them live for my first ever gig with Construction Time Again and love Some Great Reward most of all. Go here for a neat upsum of their big singles...


Joseph said...

I love, love, love this song but "People Are People" was my intro.

"Alan got livid" HAHA

Hello sir, long time no chat! I've been M.I.A.!

Echorich said...

Now I loved Speak & Spell, but when GTBR came out, I saw that there was more to DM than Just Can't Get Enough. You are so right in that it was a statement, even if forced, of Martin and Dave's intention to move on from Vince's influence. And while Construction Time Again is GREAT!, Some Great Reward IS the GREATEST DM ALBUM OF ALL!!!

Anonymous said...

'Everything Counts' made my Top 100 Songs of all time ever list. I doubt whether Construction is anyone's favourite DM album any more though? My actual most played DM track is 'Mercy In You' from Songs of Faith ... I don't know why, nobody else seems to think it's that special but I think it's PERFECT.