Depeche Mode

Everything Counts

Composed by Martin Gore

Song Review by

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.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Construction Time Again 1983 Rhino 7:20
Blasphemous Rumours 1984 Warner Bros. 5:45
People Are People 1984 Sire 7:20
No Image 1986 Warner Reprise Video 0:00
Just Say Mao: Volume III of Just Say Yes 1989
Various Artists
Sire 5:30
Une Nuit a La Mode, Vol. 1 1990 Antilles 6:07
Depeche Mode Singles 7-12 1991 Mute / Reprise 5:53
Selections from Box Sets 1 & 2 1991 Sire / Reprise 3:58
No Image 1991 Arista 0:00
X1 Disc 2: The Twelve Inches (Zwei) 1991 Arista 6:04
X1 Disc 3: The Twelve Inches (Trois) 1991 Arista 7:19
X1 [Box] 1991 Sire
Pop & Wave, Vol. 1 1993
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 4:09
No Image 1993 ADD Records 5:15
The Singles 86>98 1998 Mute / Reprise
The Singles 81>85 1998 Mute / Sire 3:59
The Singles 81>98 2001 EMI 6:38
Singles Box, Vol. 4 2004 Reprise / Mute 7:22
Remixes 81>04 2004 Reprise 6:02
Singles Box, Vol. 2 2004 Rhino / Warner Bros. 7:21
Taipai 2006 Global Underground 5:34
The Best Of, Vol. 1 2006 Reprise / Sire / Mute
Mute Audio Documents 2007
Various Artists
Mute 3:58
DJ Deicious and Till Pres. Big and Dirty Sounds 2007
Various Artists
Big & Dirty 5:08
Felix: Metropolitan Dining and Dancing 2007
Various Artists
Ministry Of Sound 6:13
Remixes, Vol. 2: 81>11 2011 Reprise 6:53
Formel Eins: Spring Fever!
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution