Depeche Mode

It's No Good

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
Eva 0:00
Ultra 1997 Reprise 5:58
Electronica: Full On Big Beats 1997
Various Artists
Fused 1997
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
MTV Grind, Vol. 1 1997
Various Artists
Tommy Boy 3:42
Bravo Hits, Vol. 17 1997
Various Artists
Warner Music 4:06
It's No Good 1997 Reprise 0:00
Future Mix, Vol. 1 1998 Twisted America / MCA 7:30
No Image 1998
Various Artists
The Singles 86>98 1998 Mute / Reprise
DJ-Kicks 1998 !K7 4:40
Videos 1986-1998 1998 Warner Bros.
Platin: The Very Best of [CD 2] 2000
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 5:39
The Singles 81>98 2001 EMI 5:59
Global Underground: Afterhours 2002
Various Artists
Global Underground 4:29
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 Reprise 5:01
The Work of Director Anton Corbijn [DVD] 2005
Various Artists
The Best Of, Vol. 1 2006 Reprise / Sire / Mute
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Mixed Repertoire 5:58
No Image
Various Artists
Top Hits/90's Only Number 1's
Various Artists
Warner Bros. / Warner Music 5:59