Originally released as a stand-alone single in the U.K. in April 1984, "People Are People" ended up becoming Depeche Mode's U.S. breakthrough hit, getting enough MTV and club airplay that Sire Records ended up gathering a number of stray single tracks and remixes and releasing the stopgap People Are People LP in the States. (This made U.S. consumers feel slightly cheated a few months later when "People Are People" showed up yet again on the Some Great Reward album.) It's ironic that this is the song that broke the group in the States as opposed to a poppier slice of synth pop like "See You," because "People Are People" was the single that introduced Depeche Mode's next-level sound as the group that made industrial music (à la Einsturzende Neubauten or Test Dept.) palatable to the masses: the song features samples of clanging pipes, shattering glass, and other sounds recorded by the group and engineer Gareth Jones at a German junkyard during the sessions for Construction Time Again, manipulated into a deliberately choppy rhythm that emphasizes the beat to a considerably larger extent than Depeche Mode's earlier singles. (The overall effect is oddly similar to the contemporaneous singles by the Art of Noise, particularly since "People Are People" also makes use of a Trevor Horn trademark, the Fairlight orchestral stab.) Over this, the group repeatedly chants a sloganeering chorus, in between which Dave Gahan sings a well-intentioned but unfortunately trite set of lyrics about hatred and other bad vibes. Lyrically and musically, the song's saving grace is a refrain sung by songwriter Martin Gore, whose lightweight voice suits the lyrics' questioning tone better than Gahan's more strident delivery.