Depeche Mode had long blurred the line between pop and more experimental styles, but "Never Let Me Down Again" seemed to almost blur the edges of reality. What composer Martin Gore claimed was merely an ode to a plane ride, took on ever more preposterous proportions when fans and critics set to work interpreting the song for their own ends.
The confusion lay in the number's simple, straight-forward lyrics being thrown against a grandiose musical backdrop, giving the words much more weight than they'd otherwise merit, and thus egging listeners on to hypothesize ever more elaborate meanings to them.
Skipping over the themes of homo-erotica, drugs and the like which were many observers’ first guest, one of the more intriguing theories places the song as a tribute to Marc Almond, pointing out the coda’s strong resemblance to the finale of Soft Cell's "Torch". Or, perhaps, the band were leaving behind the factories of Germany to fly off to explore the mountains of Slovakia, as another enterprising critic drew parallels between that country's most famous sons Laibach and "Never Let Me Down"'s Wagnerian sense of musical proportion.
Even as critics and fans' flights of fancy soared, however, the single itself glided gracefully up the British chart and into the Top 25. In later years, the song would also provoke a cover from the Smashing Pumpkins. But that's another kettle of fish entirely!