Construction Time Again

Construction Time Again
Depeche Mode - Construction Time Again.png
Studio album by
Released 22 August 1983 (1983-08-22)[1]
Studio The Garden, London
Length 42:26
Label Mute
Depeche Mode chronology
A Broken Frame
Construction Time Again
Some Great Reward
Singles from Construction Time Again
  1. "Everything Counts"
    Released: 11 July 1983
  2. "Love, in Itself"
    Released: 19 September 1983

Construction Time Again is the third studio album by English electronic music band Depeche Mode. It was released on 22 August 1983 by Mute Records.[4] It was the band's first album to feature Alan Wilder as a member, who wrote the songs "Two Minute Warning" and "The Landscape Is Changing". The album's title comes from the second line of the first verse of the track "Pipeline". It was recorded at John Foxx's Garden Studios in London, and was supported by the Construction Time Again Tour.

Background and themes

In January 1983, shortly before the release of the "Get the Balance Right!" single, songwriter Martin Gore attended an Einstürzende Neubauten concert, giving him the idea to experiment with the sounds of industrial music in the context of pop.[5]

This album introduced a transition in lyrical content for the group. Construction Time Again would include a bevy of political themes, sparked by the poverty Gore had seen on a then-recent trip he had taken to Thailand.[5]


The tour, which took place in Europe, began in September 1983 in Hitchin, England. Following an initial leg of dates in the U.K. and Ireland, a second leg in December reached Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands and West Germany.

In March 1984, the group performed its first dates in Italy and Spain. The final date was a one-off show in June supporting Elton John in Ludwigshafen, West Germany, where "People Are People", the lead single from their next album, made its live debut on the special set. A tour in support of the act's subsequent studio release, Some Great Reward, followed in September.

Critical reception

On the album's politically inclined lyrics, Anne Lambert of Number One wrote: "[Martin Gore]'s protest songs are serious and sharply observed, but they retain that distinctive ear for a commercial melody". She concludes: "It's impossible to pick out tracks, as the whole effect is sharp, tight, smooth and absolutely riveting!"[7] In Smash Hits, Peter Martin notes that the band's attention is now turned "outwards to the world (and all its problems)", pointing out the Russian, European and Oriental influences apparent in the music. He goes on: "The songs are still electronically based, but the brilliantly melodic and bouncy edge is contrasted by a brooding 'Tin Drum'-type sparseness." Summing up, Martin calls the album "[a] brave departure."[13]

New Musical Express hailed the album, saying that "Everything Counts" "is Mode's best ever single [...] 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." Reviewer Mat Snow qualified Alan Wilder's composition "Two Minute Warning" as "a haunting melody whose transition from verse to chorus explodes in one of those breathtakingly uplifting moments" and concluded that Depeche Mode "have made a bold and lovely pop record. Simple as that."[15]

Commenting on the results of the band's new line-up, AllMusic's Ned Raggett considers Construction Time Again to be "a bit hit and miss... [although] when it does hit, it does so perfectly". Singling out "Love, in Itself" Raggett observes: "Depeche never sounded quite so thick with its sound before, with synths arranged into a mini-orchestra/horn section and real piano and acoustic guitar spliced in at strategic points." Regarding Alan Wilder's songwriting, Raggett states: "Wilder's... songwriting contributions are fine musically, but lyrically, 'preachy' puts it mildly, especially the environment-friendly 'The Landscape Is Changing'."[4]

Track listing

All lead vocals by Dave Gahan, except where noted.

All tracks are written by Martin L. Gore, except where noted.

2007 Collectors Edition (CD + DVD)


Credits adapted from the liner notes of Construction Time Again.[16]



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Germany (BVMI)[27] Gold 250,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[28] Gold 100,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ "News in Brief..." (PDF). Music & Video Week: Europe's leading music business paper. 20 August 1983. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 March 2021. Depeche Mode, currently in the singles chart with Everything Counts, release their third album, Construction Time Again STUMM 13), on Mute Records on August 22.
  2. ^ Abebe, Nitsuh (20 July 2006). "Depeche Mode: Speak & Spell / Music for the Masses / Violator Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  3. ^ Reed, Alexander S. (5 June 2013). Assimilate: A Critical History of Industrial Music. Oxford University Press. p. 231. ISBN 9780199832606.
  4. ^ a b c Raggett, Ned. "Construction Time Again – Depeche Mode". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  5. ^ a b Thompson, Dave (14 January 2005). "The Landscape Is Changing". Q. pp. 78–83. ISSN 0955-4955. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2011 – via Sacred DM.
  6. ^ Gray, Christopher (15 June 2007). "Reissues". The Austin Chronicle. ISSN 1074-0740. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  7. ^ a b Lambert, Anne (27 August 1983). "Riveting Stuff". Number One. No. 17. London. p. 32. Retrieved 26 November 2019 – via Depeche Mode Press File.
  8. ^ Keefe, Michael (10 May 2007). "Catching Up (Again) with Depeche Mode". PopMatters. Archived from the original on 12 May 2007. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  9. ^ "Depeche Mode: Construction Time Again". Q. No. 107. London. August 1995. pp. 138–39. ISSN 0955-4955.
  10. ^ Page, Betty (27 August 1983). "Men at Werk". Record Mirror. London. p. 22. ISSN 0144-5804.
  11. ^ Sheffield, Rob (19 April 2007). "Into the Mode". Rolling Stone. No. 1024. New York. p. 66. ISSN 0035-791X.
  12. ^ Sheffield, Rob (2004). "Depeche Mode". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 229–30. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. Retrieved 13 January 2019 – via Google Books.
  13. ^ a b Martin, Peter (1–14 September 1983). "Depeche Mode: Construction Time Again". Smash Hits. Vol. 5 no. 18. London. p. 21. ISSN 0260-3004. Retrieved 14 August 2017 – via Depeche Mode Press File.
  14. ^ Dalton, Stephen (May 2001). "Enjoy the Silence: 20 Years of Depeche Mode Albums". Uncut. No. 48. London. p. 66. ISSN 1368-0722.
  15. ^ Snow, Mat (27 August 1983). "Uplifting New Buildings". NME. London. ISSN 0028-6362.
  16. ^ Construction Time Again (liner notes). Depeche Mode. Mute Records. 1983. STUMM 13.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  17. ^ "Depeche Mode Chart History".
  18. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 4376b". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  19. ^ " – Depeche Mode – Construction Time Again" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  20. ^ "Le Détail des Albums de chaque Artiste". InfoDisc (in French). Retrieved 4 January 2019. Select "DEPECHE MODE" from the drop-down menu and click "OK".
  21. ^ " – Depeche Mode – Construction Time Again" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  22. ^ " – Depeche Mode – Construction Time Again". Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  23. ^ " – Depeche Mode – Construction Time Again". Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  24. ^ " – Depeche Mode – Construction Time Again". Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  25. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  26. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts – 1984" (in German). Offizielle Deutsche Charts. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  27. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Depeche Mode; 'Construction Time Again')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  28. ^ "British album certifications – Depeche Mode – Construction Time Again". British Phonographic Industry. 10 November 1983. Retrieved 29 September 2020.

External links