Depeche Mode

It's No Good

Composed by Martin Gore

Song Review by

One could easily question the sequencing of Ultra, because the album reveals three of its strongest tracks in the first four songs. "It's No Good," along with "Barrel of a Gun" and "Home," easily takes its place among Depeche Mode's many classics. Even more than "Barrel of a Gun," "It's No Good" feels like it could have been a perfect fit on Violator. The song flows with a dark swagger, as trademark keyboard/synth sounds that are unmistakably Depeche Mode percolate and simmer. Producer Tim Simenon gives the song a glossy shine while still allowing for scuzzy percussion from Victor Endrizzio and an undercurrent of punchy industrial effects. David Gahan's vocals are bothered but confident, as if vocal coach Evelyn Halus has told him to simply relax and let the music flow over his voice. Martin Gore's lyrics are rather humorous and deftly to the point: "Don't say you love me, it's understood/Don't say you're happy, out there without me/I know you can't be, 'cause it's no good." Gore and Gahan paint the picture of a nonchalant lover with loads of patience. It's a kind of emotional security that's rare in Depeche Mode's music, as there's not an iota of angst on display. It has to be said that Gahan sounds a bit out-of-it during key passages in the song. Whether he's channeling his bouts with drug addiction and death is debatable, but his voice is somehow full of irony and irony-free all at once. "It's No Good" is a look to the past, through a prism of subtlety and maturity, as well as a marvelous injection of attitude on Ultra. Director Anton Corbijn's witty, colorful video for the song, in promotion of Ultra, expertly captured the song's spirit and Gahan's new self-confidence.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Absolute Music, Vol. 15 1993
Various Artists
Ultra 1997 Rhino
Fused 1997
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
MTV Grind, Vol. 1 1997
Various Artists
Tommy Boy 3:42
It's No Good 1997 Mute
No Image 1998
Various Artists
The Singles 86>98 1998 Rhino / Warner Bros. 5:59
Videos 1986-1998 1998 Warner Bros.
Home 1998 Mute
Platin: The Very Best of [CD 2] 2000
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 5:39
The Singles 81>98 2001 Sony Music
One Night in Paris: The Exciter Tour 2002 Sony Music
Videos 86>98+ 2002 Mute
Absolute Number One: 1995-1999 2003
Various Artists
Eva 5:56
Singles Box, Vol. 6 2004 Mute/Reprise
Remixes 81>04 2004 Mute 4:56
The Work of Director Anton Corbijn [DVD] 2005
Various Artists
Useless 2006 Mute
The Best of Depeche Mode, Vol. 1 2006 Sony Music
No Image 2007 Sony Music / Sony Music Distribution
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Mixed Repertoire 5:58
Tour of the Universe: Barcelona 20/21.11.09 2010 EMI / Mute
Tour of the Universe: Barcelona 20/21.11.09 2010 Capitol
No Image
Various Artists
Top Hits/90's Only Number 1's
Various Artists
Warner Bros. / Warner Music 5:59
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