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Author Topic: 1983: Construction Time Again  (Read 44925 times)

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1983: Construction Time Again
« Reply #30 on: 25 June 2012 - 02:53:31 »
1983-08-13 - No. 1 (UK) - NEW LIFE

[Taken from the now-defunct website]

[No.1, 13th August 1983. Words: Paul Bursche. Pictures: Uncredited]
" "It's very odd," says Dave. "When we play German cities the word gets around that we're in town as if we're some big hip band. I'm pleased. It shows that our music does have a wider appeal." "
Summary: Easy-going, brief band interview immediately prior to the release of 'Everything Counts'. The band are caught on the cusp: while growing out of their earlier lightweight image, they are just starting to venture into the classic Mode territory.  Here they don't seem particularly comfortable in either category, although the first stirrings of partying and excess are coyly hinted at... [876 words]

    They're not the fresh-faced innocents they used to be. They're still making sweet pop but now the songs are about the nasty music biz.
    Paul Bursche met the boys from Basildon and copped a quick lesson on the meaning of life.
    You could forgive the four Depeches if they were a bit tetchy and bad-tempered these days.
    Despite their recent singles showing a growing maturity, the band are still looked upon as no more than teen idols by a lot of people.
    Luckily their good humour has remained intact, but Andy Fletcher just can't understand it.
    "As soon as people hear the name they start to think that here's another sweet pop single. I hope that people will give the new album a proper listen. They might be surprised."
    The new album is called 'Construction Time Again' and that's a good description. It focuses on a band building on past successes while still looking for new avenues to explore, far from their early sugary days.
    Depeche Mode emerged from Basildon in 1980 with a string of hits including 'New Life' and 'Just Can't Get Enough'.
    They were the first band to perfect the sweet sound of synth, guided by songwriter Vince Clarke.
    But when Vince left to form Yazoo he took all the acclaim with him and suddenly Depeche were yesterday's thing - despite Martin Gore taking the mantle of songwriter and giving us great songs like 'See You'.
    Their new LP still has all those tinkling synth lines, but they've tried other instruments as well.
    "There's a track called 'Pipeline' on the album," says Alan Wilder. "It's got a lot of strange percussion in it. What we did was to just go out and start banging on anything we could find. Dave's vocal was even recorded outdoors."
    The album runs parallel with the lads themselves growing up. It was recorded away from their normal nestling ground of Blackwing Studios, in London and Germany.
    The boys, similarly, have broadened out.
    "All the travelling we've done has certainly helped," admits Dave Gahan.
    But Andy doesn't see growing up in such a definite light.
    "I still feel the same as I did when I was 16," he says.
    "Obviously, though, my friends have told me that I've changed in loads of ways. The same must go for the band. We've gradually evolved into a more mature group."
    The reaction in some of the places they have visited has certainly changed ideas about the group. For instance, in Germany, the group are regarded as very hip.
    "It's very odd," says Dave. "When we play German cities the word gets around that we're in town as if we're some big hip band. I'm pleased. It shows that our music does have a wider appeal."
    All this touring, however, doesn't seem to have led to the sort of on-the-road antics that normally have groups adorning the front covers of the Sun with tales of orgies and debauchery.
    Alan sneers. "I think that a lot of groups need to do that for the publicity. It's a very old-fashioned rock thing."
    "I'm not saying that we don't get up to these things," adds dashing Dave. "It's just that if we do they don't get out. I mean, most of these groups work for really large companies and there's always someone who will tell the press. Our company is so small that we know it wouldn't leak out."
    They do seem to steer away from the wild life, do Depeche. Their last single told us to 'Get The Balance Right', which meant no wild excesses - an attitude totally contrary to the traditional view of rock as rebellion.
    Their new single 'Everything Counts' is more an offensive, however. It gets at all the big deals and falseness.
    It focuses on the two-faced attitudes that abound in industry. And not only the music biz, but anywhere where money is involved. Gore states that behind all the deals and motives lies pure selfishness.
    "I'm not so personally bitter," says Martin. "I lead a good enough life. It's just things that I've noticed."
    "We're in a good position to be observers," says Alan. "We're always meeting groups and hearing about dodgy deals. I suppose we're lucky because we're in a position where it doesn't apply to us."
    This is because Depeche Mode are still an independent group on the small Mute label.
    "We've had our arguments with Daniel Miller (the head of Mute)," says Dave, "but we've been in it together from the very start, so we're a good team."
    This closeness within the company has always meant that Mute would support Depeche Mode, so they don't have to be too worried about the whole affair of hits.
    They can get on with doing their own thing. This includes the forthcoming album and a British tour in September.
    The boys have grown up and are now in a position of far greater control. But they're not prepared to ditch the teenage fans who have put them there. Some groups, like Japan, may have done this but Martin has other ideas.
    "Without the fans we wouldn't be in a position to try things. And while our music does explore a bit more it's still commercial."
    Enjoy the album.

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1983: Construction Time Again
« Reply #31 on: 25 June 2012 - 02:54:20 »
1983-08-16 - Granada TV (UK) - Hold Tight

Everything Counts:

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1983: Construction Time Again
« Reply #32 on: 25 June 2012 - 02:54:35 »
1983-08-18 - Smash Hits (UK) - Dave Gahan Personal File

[Converted into text using OCR. A large part of this interview was reprinted in 1986:]

NAME: David Gahan.
BORN: May 9 1962 in Chigwell, Essex.
FIRST RECORD BOUGHT: It was either David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” (when it was re-released in 1972) or something by Slade — “Cum On Feel The Noize” or “Gudbuy T’Jane”, one of those. I never bought any albums when I was that young.
FIRST CONCERT: Probably a punk concert in ’77. We used to go up to Chelmsford Chancellor Hall a lot. It could have been The Damned, The Clash, the Banshees or 999. They all used to play together there. The Damned were my favourite band at that time.
MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT: Once, it was at Brighton Jenkinsons, I was thrown out of the dressing room with no clothes on, only my pants, and found myself right in the middle of the gig. I was banging on the door and there were all these people asking for my autograph. They let me back in after a while.
WHAT HAVE YOU GOT IN YOUR POCKETS? About 60p in change. a front-door key, a hankie and two receipts: one’s for a cheque from Granada TV (£126 for doing Get Set For Summer) I paid into the bank this morning; the other is for a copy of Smash Hits I bought at WH Smith’s.
WHAT MAKES YOU ANGRY? Disorganization. I hate things when they’re disorganized, whether it’s work or just going out with friends. I like everything to be sorted out. Other than that, ignorant people and a lot of journalists.
EVER FEEL LIKE MOVING OUT OF BASILDON? I will one day. I want to sort out my life a bit more first — decide what I want to do and where I want to go. Maybe somewhere abroad. I’ve liked a lot of the places we’ve visited; Japan and Thailand particularly.
THE WORST JOB YOU’VE EVER HAD: Being a tea boy for Jarvis the builders. I had to sweep up all the dust and rubble after they’d finished working. It was freezing. I’ve never stuck a job for more than two or three weeks.
WHAT RECORD DO YOU LOOK OUT FOR ON JUKE BOXES? At the moment I really like The Lotus Eaters’ thing and Bowie’s “China Girl”. I don’t use that many juke boxes because I don’t often go into pubs.
WHOSE HOME PHONE NUMBER WOULD YOU PAY THE MOST FOR? David Bowie’s, I suppose. I really respect him, have got all his albums and have always followed him. I saw him in Berlin just recently and really enjoyed it.
MOST TREASURED POSSESSION: My Yamaha - X-registration XT trial bike. I’ve had it for about a year. When I get home I just get on it and drive around for hours, go and see all my friends. I failed my driving test the other day but with my bike I can still get around.
WHAT’S “EVERYTHING COUNTS” ABOUT? It’s directed at multi-national corporations and the power they have. They always want to take, to milk as much profit as possible, and that’s true of record companies too. It’s more of an observation, though, than having a go.
WHAT’S THE WEIRDEST THING A FAN’S EVER SENT YOU? There’s a girl who regularly sends us a cartoon strip about the band. There’s a different story each time — detective stories and so on, The drawings are great.
FAVOURITE YAZOO RECORD: “State Farm”, the B-side of their new single. Not as a song, just the sounds. It’s quite gimmicky.
DO YOU LIKE CAPPUCCINO? Very much, as long as there’s plenty of chocolate bits on it.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO MARGARET THATCHER? I don’t know. My only thing is disarmament. They should disarm or come to some sort of solution about it. I don’t see why we should have American bases here. I really feel for the people who demonstrate about it.

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1983: Construction Time Again
« Reply #33 on: 25 June 2012 - 02:56:53 »
1983-08-20 - No. 1 (UK) - DAVID GAHAN YEAHS AND YEUKS

[Taken from the now-defunct website]

[No.1, 20th August 1983. Picture: Uncredited.]
Summary: A brief profile of Dave's favourite songs and worst niggles. [149 words]

1.   Lady Grinning Soul – David Bowie.
2.   Station To Station – David Bowie.
3.   Do The Strand – Roxy Music.
4.   Hyacinth House – Doors.
5.   L.A. Woman – Doors.
6.   L’America – Doors.
7.   Vicious – Lou Reed.
8.   No Tears – Tuxedo Moon.
9.   Love My Way – Psychedelic Furs.
10.   Perfect – The The.
I can’t say why I like all of these songs, I just do. I listen to them when I’m getting ready to go out, or on a plane maybe.

1.   Most journalists! Because we had a few meetings with them in Germany recently and I’m very disillusioned at the moment.
2.   People who talk behind your back – especially when you find out about it.
3.   Japanese food – it’s hip, but I hate it.
4.   Disorganisation when we’re working on something.
5.   Recording studios with red lights. They look really seedy – the last album we did was under white lights, much better.

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1983: Construction Time Again
« Reply #34 on: 25 June 2012 - 02:57:43 »
1983-08-20 - Sounds (UK) - UP FOR GRABS

[Taken from the now-defunct website]

[Sounds, 20th August 1983. Words: Johnny Waller. Picture: Carole Segal.]
 “ Whatever we say always gets distorted, so what people are reading about us is often incorrect. In a way, being misinterpreted is worse than being misquoted because misinterpretation can destroy your whole point of view! ”
Summary: Imaginatively-arranged interview, focussing if anything on the band's mistrust of the press and the pop music merry-go-round, with the conversation sliced into brief soundbites for each subject. The writer seems genuinely interested in each band member's point of view, striving to understand their points and present them fairly. While the writer is upbeat about Construction Time Again, this doesn't drown out other aspects. A recommended piece. [2648 words]

FIERCE WORDS I: Depeche Mode stand by their ideals.

    “The grabbing hands / grab all they can / all for themselves / after all / it’s a competitive world / everything counts in large amounts.” – from “Everything Counts”.

ANONYMITY I: the little girls (don’t) understand.

    We’re walking through the streets of Bayswater, the six of us – the four fun-loving Depeche Mode lads, photographer Carole and myself – when we come across a playground that would be ideal for taking some pictures.
    No sooner than the band have started posing, we are surrounded by a gaggle of giggling youngsters, nervously edging closer, coyly hoping to speak to the stars in front of them.
    Eventually one of the older girls – a precocious 13 maybe – steps out of the blushing throng and asks for David Gahan’s signature. As he scribbles his name he playfully enquires as to whether she knows who he is, and she immediately replies “of course, you’re Kajagoogoo!” [1]
    “Christ Kaja-bloody-googoo!” explodes the singer in mock disgust, “why couldn’t it be someone really good like The Birthday Party?”

DEPECHE AND THE PRESS: an (unfortunately) necessary evil:
    How do you regard the press?
Martin: “Not too highly.”
    Would you rather not have done this interview?
Fletch: “Yeah, ‘cos I’m lazy!”
Martin: “ANY interview really!”
Alan: “Also it’s only the journalist’s view of us, so whatever we say always gets distorted, so what people are reading about us is often incorrect. In a way, being misinterpreted is worse than being misquoted because misinterpretation can destroy your whole point of view!”
    So what’s the main thing you’ve always wanted to convey?
Alan: “No, there’s no ONE message to Depeche Mode and I’m not saying it’s only us who get misinterpreted, I’m sure it happens to all bands.”
Martin: “We haven’t really got a message. We only talk to the press when we’ve got a new single or album coming out or when we’re going on tour – That’s our message really!”
    Last week, Depeche Mode’s forceful new single “Everything Counts” jumped to number ten in the charts. This week their third LP, “Construction Time Again” – a startling, mature culmination of innovation and melodicism – is released. Next month, they launch themselves on an extensive tour.
    This is indeed a message worth heeding.

PHOTOGRAPHS: just one more please – look this way!
Fletch: “I hate having my picture taken – I’m totally unphotogenic. I really don’t like seeing my photo in magazines, I’d just as rather not have my photo taken when we do interviews.”

    Do you find them an intrusion?
    “To a certain extent, yeah.” [2]

ROCK’N’ROLL: where do Depeche fit in with the Police and Rod Stewart?
Fletch: “When the band first started, we had a very anti-rock’n’roll attitude, things like we didn’t want to tour, we didn’t want to get involved with limousines or anything like that, the whole rock’n’roll syndrome.
    “And to a certain extent, we’ve carried those ideals through… and we still haven’t got a record contract at all, we’re really proud that our deal with Mute is based on trust, we’re proud of the fact that we could go out tomorrow and sign to EMI!
    “And we haven’t got a manager either, which is another achievement we’re proud of. It’s funny really, we’ve no manager or anything but no other labels have ever contacted us, nor Yazoo either. I don’t know why, maybe it’s like football managers, they’re not allowed to approach players!”
    Would you ever consider leaving Mute?
Alan: “In certain situations – if there wasn’t a proper working relationship. But although we could always sign to Virgin or something, we’re doing as well on Mute as we could with any major label.”
Fletch: “We’ve had to do certain things that – at the time – we didn’t want to do and I agree that IS a compromise… like our agent is always telling us we have to play more and he wanted us to do a few festivals this summer, so he booked us to do 15!
    “But we just don’t want to do those sort of things, so we cut it back a bit… down to one, in fact! And that’s enjoyable, it was good, and we didn’t have time to do any more.”
PUBLIC IMAGE / PRIVATE PEOPLE: this is off the record for a moment
Fletch: “When we first started to get success, the problem was that we were really splattered over every paper and we over-exposed ourselves… we were young and naïve and that was the image that kept with us for quite a while.”
    Off-stage, off the record, Depeche Mode are surprisingly eager, chatty and enthusiastic. David, the ex-punk, is full of himself and full of jokes, the most obviously affable and talkative member: he laughs a lot but takes Depeche Mode seriously: “This is a job,” he reminds me at one point.
    Alan, the new boy, has amazing confidence and authority – you’d think he was a founder-member. Articulate and understanding, he takes time to explain the reasons behind actions, the motives under ambitions.
    Fletch seems initially gawky and ill at ease, almost as though he’s too anxious to please. He needn’t worry… down-to-earth concern and doubt make people warm to him.
    Songwriter Martin Gore is the mystery man. He hates talking about his lyrics, though he’s nowhere near as sullen and withdrawn as I’d been led to expect. Mostly he lets the other three dominate the interview but was always willing to pursue a point where necessary.
    And so – contrary to the popular press myth – Depeche Mode have quite a lot to say for themselves: two sides of a C90 cassette in fact, plus a meandering discussion that spilled over into the meal we had afterwards. Where do Depeche Mode fit in among other young bands I’ve talked to? One of the least boring ever, I’m glad to say.
FIERCE WORDS II: David rises to the bait.
    In his review of your single “Everything Counts”, Garry Bushell said you were “stupefyingly predictable”.
    “He’s an arsehole” spits David.
    He is not smiling when he says this. [3]
LOYALTY AND APPREHENSION: the fickleness of pop fans.
    When you haven’t had a new record out for a while, do you ever wonder if your fans will have forgotten you?
    David: “Oh yeah – I think that all the time! Every single for me is a real worry because I wonder if those people still want to know us. There are ten bands I could name who have become really successful in the last year, and we’ve hardly had anything out.
    “But I think if your records get played on the radio, you can make NEW fans as well. From the mail we get, we’ve obviously got a very strong following who buy our records in the first week – sometimes they like it, sometimes they don’t… but they still buy it!”
    Why do you inspire such loyalty?
    “I dunno, hopefully they really like us!”
    Do you think they trust you?
    “I don’t think TRUST comes into it.”

Martin: “It’s usual practice that fans trust bands that give away stuff like THIS.” He picks up a Belle Stars sweatband given away with some product or other.
    “That’s what people generally think is honest – but is that honest? That’s what I want to know.
    “We’d never do anything like that, but at least those fans are getting a free sweatband, so they’re probably happy.” [4]
    Did it worry you when Tears For Fears and Kajagoogoo stole your audience?
David: “Not really, because we saw what happened to us, and we saw exactly the same thing happening to them – over-exposure! We toured with Blancmange twice and we get on really well with them and we were very happy for their success and we saw what they were going through. They were in the papers all the time – and you can’t sustain that sort of public image.”
    At the height of your own success, did it seem like a kind of madness, with everything going too fast?

David: “I suppose it was, but I don’t think we noticed it that much.”
Martin: “We were probably enjoying it too much! We used to do interviews every day, it was ridiculous! We didn’t really think about it, we just did it.”
David: “We didn’t really take it in until later when we realised there was no point in doing it at all, there’s no point in doing an interview if you’ve got nothing to talk about.”
[1] - Try this article, which shows that even in 2001 the band members were still not only largely unrecognised as individuals, but not particularly wanting it any other way.
[2] - It's a dislike that has stayed with him - in Bong 42 in 1999 he stated that photo shoots were his least favourite aspect of being in the band.
[3] - Dave is quoted elaborating on that review in Steve Malins' biography: "Garry Bushell didn't like it, but he's a 40-year-old skinhead - what can you say? We find him quite amusing." (p. 70)
[4] - Overall, the band's releases have been remarkably low on out-and-out freebies. But some of the more arcane merchandise for the Singles 86>98 album included: a Depeche Mode coffee-mug, Depeche Mode dog-tags, a Depeche Mode wristwatch and Depeche Mode nail-varnish.

FIERCE ACTION: Depeche take it into their own hands.
David: “We’ve done some interviews that have been pretty revealing – even to ourselves – but there are others that have been so dreadful that we’ve just got up and walked out! There was one where we even took the tape! It was a complete idiot in Belgium and we just took the tape back off him… he was quite shocked, but we felt a lot better because we didn’t have a stupid interview going out on the radio.”
Fletch: “We’re going to try to be a lot harder on journalists in the future…”
    This new Depeche resolve – they keep using the words “hard” and “tough” throughout the interview – is more than welcome and long overdue. They should become as arrogantly boastful as people like Dexys: the stunning, exciting music on “Construction Time Again” warrants it.
David: “I’m definitely disillusioned with journalists in general though. It’s the same all over the world – we’ve just done some interviews in Germany and I just couldn’t be bothered… you know what they’re going to ask – how the name is pronounced.
    “We’ve been together three years now – I’d like to think people don’t really care how the name’s pronounced and that they’d be more interested in listening to the songs.”

    When “Construction Time Again” is released, they will be, David, they will be.
LOVE LOVE LOVE: Depeche Mode open their hearts.
    I’ve always found the music of Depeche Mode too cold by far, it definitely didn’t have a sexual edge… but that’s changing. More recent songs like “Get The Balance Right”, “Everything Counts” and one superb new track “Love In Itself” hint at a new wistful softness at the centre of the recently discovered toughness.
    You almost seem prepared to admit more now.
David: “I think that’s probably true in a way, and we want to be more open to touch people’s imaginations. We’ve progressed naturally, developing through what we’ve seen and heard.”
    But what’s meant by the lyric “Love’s not enough in itself”?
Martin: “I think that’s true – it’s not!”
    But that sounds quite pessimistic, saying love can’t conquer!
Martin: “But it’s true, though I still think love is important.”

    So what else do you crave apart from love?
Martin: “Ah, I haven’t quite worked that one out yet.”
David: “I think there’s a lot of personal things in that song that you wouldn’t want to talk about in an interview – maybe Martin’s trying to find out what else there is to life.”
    Do you feel more able to reveal your emotions in songs than interviews?

Martin: “Definitely – because I haven’t quite worked out yet what I want in life, I don’t think anyone has.”
CONSTRUCTION TIME AGAIN: maturity and progression
David: “We feel a lot more confident now – and I think it shows in the new album, it comes across more. I feel a lot more confident in doing my vocals now, we’ve moved on s far from our first album, I just hope people give us a chance. What we can give them is what we think is a 100 per cent good album.”
Fletch: “We’ve got a really unique sound now, no-one else sounds like us – especially our latest stuff – and we’re vastly improving. This album should be the one really, it’ll be one of the albums of the year, I think.”
    It almost seems like a coming of age, why is that?
David: “It’s just a different mood – the second album was quite depressive because that’s the mood we were in at the time… but the mood in the studio this time was definitely up! So it’s an up album.”
Alan: “We’ve been making this album – including writing the songs and doing demos – since the beginning of the year, so that’s eight months of our lives… and you’ve just got to have the confidence that what you release is actually what you heard in your head when you first thought of the song.”

David: “We want a lot more people to listen to our music because I think it’s really good… as Martin said before, we do this because we really enjoy it, we think the music is great.”

Alan: “And the motivation of enjoyment is now stronger than ever! The more success you have, the less you have to compromise – so then you can channel your music in EXACTLY the direction you want it to go.”
    One of the songs, “Pipeline”, seems to hark back to the Kraftwerk-inspired idea of using technology both as a musical and lyrical base.
David: “Well “Pipeline” was very experimental in that every sound on there has been made from us just out on the street hitting things, recording it and playing it back in different ways – like, even the vocal was recorded in a tunnel!”
ANONYMITY II: fame has its advantages
David: “We don’t tend to exploit fame in that way, although obviously we could if we wanted. Sometimes it’s easier to get into clubs after a gig.”

Fletch: “But on my birthday in Basildon, there wasn’t one club we could get into – they wouldn’t let us in, even though they knew who we were!”
Alan: “Yeah, but it WAS over-25s night!”
GUILT: the price of fame.
    Do you ever feel you should help those who are less fortunate than you?
Alan: “It’s difficult, because who do you help? How many millions of people are there who really need help?”
Fletch: “Sometimes you feel guilty that you’re earning a lot more money than someone who’s on the dole – and I feel really guilty when I ask my friends for a drink and they say they can’t afford it. I feel for them, but I dunno what I can do about it really…”
    Do you think you deserve all the money you get?
Fletch: “I don’t know, I’m not sure… no, I don’t think I do really!”
David: “But it’s a job and you get paid very well for doing it, but you have to work hard in all sorts of ways – it’s not an easy job… but the reward is very large if you do it well. But the cost is very big as well, you sometimes have to sacrifice things like friendship. [1] But your real friends always stick by you.”
NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST, CAPITALISM AND SUBVERSION: something lurks beneath the surface.
    Tell me about “Two Minute Warning”.
Alan: “It’s almost surreal – the possibility of a nuclear holocaust is so terrifying, but to actually turn it round and try to make it beautiful – and the tune is very light and bouncy – is more of a challenge than making it doomy. I really like the idea of people humming “Two Minute Warning” without realising what it’s about.”
David: “And I think the same applies to “The grabbing hands grab all they can”. They might suddenly think “well, what does all this mean?” Admittedly a lot of people will just hum the tune and never think about it, just cos it’s a good beat – that’s exactly what my mum does.”
    Although they deny any overt sympathies with communism or even a democratic kind of socialism [2], Depeche Mode write lyrics such as “taking from the greedy / giving to the needy” (“Pipeline”), while the new LP sleeve depicts a man wielding a hammer. The previous one showed a woman with a sickle. The connection can be made.
AND FINALLY: the last words.
David: “I think it’s quite funny – people shouldn’t take us THAT seriously!”
[1] - This theme was to surface again five years later, when in the film 101 Dave comments that although he's making more money than when he was stacking shelves in a supermarket, he was in a sense happier then, because the touring life means losing friends.
[2] - Overt sympathies there may not be, but it seems as if they'd become the subject of some wearing down from journalists eager to pin the left-wing political activist tag on them. Try this article from the following month: it seems as if they were insufficiently clear on what their views boiled down to so that after repeated suggestions from the press they briefly believed it themselves.

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Re: 1983: Construction Time Again
« Reply #35 on: 25 June 2012 - 02:58:49 »
1983-08-27 - NME (UK) - Uplifting new buildings

Uplifting New Buildings
"Lots of surprises in store/This isn't a party/It's a whole lot more," sings Dave Gahan in 'More Than A Party'. It's a song from 'Construction Time Again', Depeche Mode's third album, easily their best yet.
First impressions: the sleeve of last year's 'A Broken Frame' portrayed a peasant woman wielding a sickle over a dauntingly endless steppe of wheat. No big deal, laughed the Basildon boys at the time; it's was just a pretty picture. Come the next witch-trials, they won't be able to offer any such flimsy excuse for 'Construction Time Again'. Again beautifuly photographed by Brian Griffin, a hero of socialist realism stands poised atop a mountain crag, his hammer raised aloft. And you thought British Leyland had problems: "There was a time/When all on my mind was love/Now I find/That most of the time/Love's not enough/In itself" (Love, In Itself).
You'll find no 'Meaning Of Love', 'See You', or even 'Leave In Silence' here; 'Construction Time Again' avoids the personal. It's on it's soapbox, thinking aloud about the world and it's woes with a voice in equal measure acute, uncertain, naive, and gauche. But there's an honesty, almost a shyness, that convinces you that Depeche Mode aren't just another bunch of two-bit pop stars sounding off the party line to garner some intellectual credibility.
Indeed, in today's escapism, a right-on attitude stands low in the list of chart cert ingredients. And so it must be to Mode's credit that they have abandoned the evergreen moon-June formula which has brought them thus far so enjoyably in favour of a thought-provoking breach of teen-dream etiquette. Who would have thought it? Would ABC take such a risk? Would Roxy? Would Bowie?
To me 'Everything Counts' is Mode's best ever single, and undeniably one of their biggest hits. Yet the nation didn't clutch it to its bosom to endorse its analysis of how capitalism can only thrive on the most selfish motives. It sold because it combines edgy and poignant melodies held in thrilling tension; a tough, urgent dancebeat; and a gleamingly modern sound with an element of quirkiness to mark it out in the crowd. And the same goes for every other track on the album.
Alan Wilder's 'Two Minute Warning', one of a pair of his compositions here, is a dreamlike anticipation of the Big One, set in a haunting melody whose transition from verse to chorus explodes in one of those breathtakingly uplifting moments so beautiful because so rarely heard.
'And Then ...' is similiarly inspired. An Oriental percussion motif, like Chinese water torture or ringing hammer blows (note the symbolism) introduces the song. Variations of this idea, evoking the two linked concepts of the Communist East and tireless industry ('Construction Time Again' - geddit?), thread through the whole LP.
'And Then ...' continues with a contrapuntal synth-bass line which flexes and drives the song onwards through the verses of weary despair, then upwards into a soaring chorus of shimmeringly spacious rapture reminiscent of The Police at their best. At such moments you would believe Mode can fly.
What else? Dave Gahan's voice resounds with unsuspected strength and subtlety, and Martin Gore must now be regarded amongst our premier songwriters. The sounds and textures Mode's Gore, Fletcher and Wilder coax from their synthesisers and associated hardware are so rich and various that Messrs Heaven, League and Clarke appear by comparison somewhat primitive. European tonmeisters like Kraftwerk and Yello's Blank had better look to their sequencers.
Like one of '83's other great LPs, Soft Cell's 'Art Of Falling Apart', 'Construction Time Again' demonstrates how obsolete the term "electro-pop" has now become. Depeche Mode have made a bold and lovely pop record. Simple as that."
Mat Snow, New Musical Express, 27th August, 1983

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1983: Construction Time Again
« Reply #36 on: 25 June 2012 - 03:00:08 »
1983-08-27 - Record Mirror (UK) - Men at werk

[I typed out the text.]


DEPECHE MODE  'Construction Time Again' (Mute STUMM 13)
I like Depeche Mode because they're such jolly likeable chaps, so unaffected by the Business and unpretentious because of it. This fresh attitude has alwyas shown in their vinyl output, but whereas before it pushed them towards the sweet, now it's led them in richer, harder directions.
Uncle Dan's taken them to Berlin and now they're off the wall! The tunes are still pure and simple, but their machinery's gone into top gear to give the sound and underlying sinister feel. 'More Than A Party' and its track-mates succeed in being metallic without being cold. melodic without being twee. Whee!
They go even more new wave metal on 'pipeline', but smooth it out with a pretty Japanese melody (have they been listening to YMO albums?). The times, in fact, all retain a hauting nursery rhymish quality which suits the subject matter. They've gone environment-conscious in the Alan Wilder-penned 'Two Minute Warning' and 'The Landscape Is Changing', and justic-conscious in Martin Gore's 'Shame' and, of course, the delicious 'Everything Counts'. And there's a real maturity in all deptartments, especially in the richer textures they've discovered.
I like Depeche Mode. They've been left alone, out of the teenybop whirl, to grow on their ownsome, leaving Vince and his Fairlight Orchestra to the toytown synthipop while they move on to more satisfying things. In the immortal words of that well worn cliché, this album will surprise a lot of people...!
5 stars
Betty Page

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1983: Construction Time Again
« Reply #37 on: 25 June 2012 - 03:01:06 »
1983-08-27 - No.1 (UK) - RIVETING STUFF

[Taken from the now-defunct website]

[No.1, 27th August 1983. Words: Anne Lambert. Pictures: Uncredited]
" Anyone who thinks they know all there is to know about the Modes from their hit singles needs this album. "
Summary: Short review of "Construction Time Again", embracing the band's change of direction wholeheartedly. Few reviewers would praise the album as highly, especially in later years, but the reviewer comes closer to appreciating the spirit of the album than many contemporaries. [113 words]

Construction Time Again (Mute)
    Anyone who thinks they know all there is to know about the Modes from their hit singles needs this album.
    With the exception of Alan Wilder’s “The Landscape [Is Changing]” and the brilliant “Two Minute Warning”, all songs are written by a passionately caring Martin Gore.
    His protest songs are serious and sharply observed, but they retain that distinctive ear for commercial melody.
    Obviously lovingly made, the Modes have lots of fun on this LP, bashing away on anything that makes an unusual sound, notably so on the rhythmic “Pipeline”.
    It’s impossible to pick out tracks, as the whole effect is sharp, tight, smooth and absolutely riveting! Buy it.

1983-08-27 - No.1 (UK) - Whispers

Mute Records supremo Daniel Miller is so in fear of the wrath of Depeche Mode that he forgot to tell them that the first few thousand copies of the album 'Construction Time Again' had been warped at the pressing plant. So warped in fact that Whispers own personal copy is now full of geraniums.

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Re: 1983: Construction Time Again
« Reply #38 on: 25 June 2012 - 03:01:41 »
1983-09-27 - Melody Maker (UK) - Album Review

[As reprinted in Uncut's Ultimate Music Guide in 2013:]

[...] They seem to want musical respect very badly - and occasionally their attempts are extremely laudable - but their rejection of the twee three-minute pop syndrome also results in long, earnest bouts of tedium.
Colin Irwin

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1983: Construction Time Again
« Reply #39 on: 25 June 2012 - 03:02:41 »
1983-08-xx - Unknown (UK) - Depeche Mode

[Thanks to meldepeche for this article.]

[I typed out the text:]

It must be very difficult for Depeche Mode, because for too much of the time recently, they've been rather upstaged by ex-member Vince Clarke and his partner in Yazoo, Alison (who no longer likes being called Alf very much, especially as she's about to embark on a solo career, for which, of cource, we wish her the very best of luck). When Vince left Depeche Mode, apparently because he didn't enjoy playing on the road, it was widely felt that the group would just fall apart, as Vince had been the group's main songwriter, but Martin Gore suddenly began to write songs, and everything continued wonderfully well. The problem was that Yazoo scored rather bigger hits all the time, while Depeche were starting to get only Top 20 hits, instead of Top Tenners. Now, of course, Yazoo has burnt itself out (once again, apparently, because Vince didn't want to play live any more), and he's now got his own record label, Reset Records, which has just released its first single, "The Face Of Dorian Gray", performed by one of Vince's discovies, a bloke called Robert Marlow. So now both Yazoo, and more importantly Vince, are no longer on the same label as Depeche Mode, they may be able to get some attention for themselves. In fact, they already stated earlier this year with tours of the United States and Canada, where they'd played to good responses before, and the Far East, which was uncharted territory for them. They needn't have worried, as there were riots at several concerts resulting from fans being too enthusiastic, and even one at the airport in Hongkong. As soon as they got back here, they started recording 'Everything Counts', which is going nicely, thank you, up the charts, plus a new album, although we won't be hearing that for a while, maybe until the autumn, when the group kick off a tour in Britain and Ireland in September, which will terminate with three dates at London's Hammersmith Odeon. Finally, it seems as though Depeche Mode, now composed of Martin Gore, Andy Fletcher, Dave Gahan and latest arrival Alan Wilder, who joined the group at the start of the last year for their first American tour, are about to achieve great fame opn their own account, and not just as the band Vince Clarke left at the end of 1981.

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Re: 1983: Construction Time Again
« Reply #40 on: 25 June 2012 - 03:02:55 »
1983-08-xx - Canale 5 (Italy) - Superclassifica Show

Everything Counts:

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1983: Construction Time Again
« Reply #41 on: 25 June 2012 - 03:03:30 »
1983-08-xx - Depeche Mode - Information Sheet 8

Depeche Mode Official Information Service

                                        INFORMATION SHEET NO. 8/83

I have enclosed the requested items/information which I hope are satisfactory. Please do not hesitate to write back to me if there is anything about DEPECHE MODE that you would like to know and I will do my best to answer your questions. Please send a stamped, self addressed envelope to the address below quoting the number 9/83 at the end of August for Information Sheet No. 9/83.

DEPECHE MODE NEWS: Unfortunately, Dave failed to pass his driving test. He had a very old and grumpy test instructor who failed him on two silly little points and just generally 'had it in for him'. Not to be deterred, Dave's applied for a second test and hopes to take it this month.

Dave and I will be arriving home from our holiday in Lanzarote at around 5.00pm on Thursday 18th August if anyone would like to come and meet us at Gatwick Airport.

Due to personal problems Anne is no longer running the Info. Service with me and will not be replying to mail. At the moment I am dealing with the letters alone and must apologise if replies aren't too detailed etc but as I'm sure everyone can appreciate I'm literally rushed off my feet until I can clear up the backlog. Please don't stop writing though as I really do enjoy reading what everyone is doing, your views on concerts and things, and your thoughts and opinions on records etc. From September until January we will be on tour almost continually and I must ask that questions and enquiries be kept to a minimum (although orders and Info. Sheets pose no problem and can be dispatched as normal, with only a short delay, whenever you like).

TELEVISION: There will be an appearance on ITV's 'Hold Tight' this month.

RECORD NEWS: On August 1st a Special Limited Edition of "Everything Counts' goes on sale. The A side as the 7" but the B side has live versions of 'New Life' 'Boys Say Go!' 'Nothing to Fear' 'Meaning of Love'. Please do not write to me for details as I can't fet hold of any!!

'Construction Time Again', the new album is released on August 22nd. The lyrics will be on the inner sleeve and the tracks are: 'Love, In Itself' 'More Than a Party' 'Pipeline' 'Everything Counts' 'Two Minute Warning' Shame' 'The Landscape is Changing' 'Told you So' 'And Then...'

TOUR DATES: There is a rumour that Matt Fretton might be supporting. All concerts are fully confirmed and tickets are now available only at the box offices (NOT FROM ME) prices œ4/œ3.50 everywhere except Dublin œ6.50 Belfast œ5 Glasgow œ4 London œ4/œ4.50.

                   September  7th Hitchin,Herts,The Regal(special warm-up gig)         
                              9th Dublin SFX Hall
                             10th Belfast Ulster Hall
                             12th Bristol Colston Hall (0272 22957)
                             13th Brighton Dome (0272 682046)
                             14th Southampton Gaumont (0703 29772)
                             15th Coventry Apollo (0203 56122/3)
                             16th Sheffield City Hall (0742 735295/6)
                             18th Aberdeen Capitol (0224 23141)
                             19th Edinburgh Playhouse (031 557 2590)
                             20th Glasgow Tiffany's (041 332 0992)
                             21st Newcastle City Hall (0632 320007)
                             23rd Liverpool Empire (051 708 7714)
                             24th Manchester Apollo (061 273 1112/3)
                             25th Nottingham Royal Concert Hall(060242328)
                             26th Hanley Victoria Hall (0782 24641/610940)
                             28th Birmingham Odeon (021 643 6101)
                             30th Cardiff St. David's Hall (0222 371236)
                   October    1st Oxford Apollo (0865 244544)
                              3rd Portsmouth Guildhall ( 0705 824355)
                      6th,7th,8th London Hammersmith Odeon (01 748 4081)

           42 Hillway Billericay Essex CMII 2LS

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1983: Construction Time Again
« Reply #42 on: 25 June 2012 - 03:03:51 »
1983-09-01 - Smash Hits (UK) - Album Review

Basildon boys who sing pretty electropop songs about love. Right? Wrong. Now they've grown up, love is not enough and attention is turned outwards to the world (and all its problems). Russian, European and Oriental influences are all apparent in the music. The songs are still electronically based, but the brilliantly melodic and bouncy edge is contrasted by a brooding "Tin Drum"-type sparseness. A brave departure. (7 out of 10)
Peter Martin

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1983: Construction Time Again
« Reply #43 on: 25 June 2012 - 03:04:27 »
1983-09-03 - The Times (UK) - Album Review

[Taken from an Intranet archive.]

Depeche Mode, from Basildon, Essex, are obviously boys who enjoy elevenses. Their music on Construction Time Again is wide awake. They have written nine songs that would grace the chart and have also managed to find the elusive warm button on their synthesizers.
I did not expect Depeche Mode's main lyricist, Martin Gore, to have so much blood in him but everything from "Told You So" - which paraphrases "Jerusalem" - to "Two-Minute Warning" suggests that they are as keen to inform as to entertain. Their third album, Construction Time Again is music to dance of the debris to, until lunchtime.
Max Bell

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Re: 1983: Construction Time Again
« Reply #44 on: 25 June 2012 - 03:09:29 »
1983-09-09 - WDR (Germany) - WWF Club

Everything Counts: