While Martin Gore had created his share of fine hit singles for Depeche Mode following Vince Clarke's departure, most were pleasant rather than deathless. That all completely changed with "Everything Counts," which saw both his own songwriting abilities matched with an increasing ambition of the band as a whole. With a big, full-bodied rhythm, as much indebted to hip-hop's worship of the breakbeat and industrial music's own love of huge beats as to disco's similar enthrallment, "Everything Counts" remains one of the band's best numbers. Gore's lyrical sentiments, ripping into corruption and compromised ideals via a perverse singsong (Gore's own sweet delivery of the chorus is particularly ironic in this light), match the brutal work at play. David Gahan's lead vocal is a bit sour at points, but he handles himself well most of the time, letting the combination of drum machine, sampled metallic scrapes, deep synth bass, and, playing the lead melody, a sampled shawm, or Chinese oboe, come to the fore. Aggressive and beautiful at once, it can arguably be called the first English-language industrial pop hit.