Depeche Mode

A Question of Time

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Song Review by

A poppy, throbbing industrial tale of cliques and lust, "A Question of Time" is a perfect lead-in companion to "Stripped" on Black Celebration. David Gahan sings of a good-looking fifteen year old peer. It's difficult to listen to the song without thinking of the sixteen-year-old protagonist of "Blasphemous Rumours," though with its fuzzy, fun dance beats and angry tone, "A Question of Time" shares more in common musically with "Master and Servant" and "Behind the Wheel." "I've got to get to your first, before they do," he tells the object of his admiration. He knows that it's just "a question of time" before his friend is "stripped down" and "messed up" by the popular kids. The song has overtones of exploitation when Gahan sings, "I condemn them/I know my kind/What goes on in our minds." Gahan sings in deep, unapologetic tones. Martin Gore's higher background shout of "It should be better with you" adds an extra layer of desperation to the song. The album version feels just slightly limp compared to the live recording on 101, though the industrial chug is irresistibly catchy and endearing in every recorded version. "A Question of Time" is a perfect example of Depeche Mode's marriage of industrial-tinged electronic pop music with themes of love and lust.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Black Celebration 1986 Sire 4:10
A Question of Lust 1986 Warner Bros. 0:00
Hits '86: Die Internationalen Superhits 1986
Various Artists
Ariola 4:05
Une Nuit a La Mode, Vol. 1 1990 Antilles 5:10
No Image 1990 Antilles 0:00
Singles Box, Vol. 3 1991 Reprise / Mute 11:08
X1 Disc 2: The Twelve Inches (Zwei) 1991 Arista 10:58
X1 [Box] 1991 Sire
Modern Rock 1986: Hang the DJ 1996
Various Artists
Rhino 4:16
The Singles 86>98 1998 Mute / Reprise
Videos 1986-1998 1998 Warner Bros.
The Singles 81>98 2001 EMI 4:01
Videos 86>98+ 2002 Mute
The Best Of, Vol. 1 2006 Reprise / Sire / Mute