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Some Great Reward

4.6 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
$53.51 $0.32

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Certified platinum by the RIAA (8/94).

Depeche Mode's lyrical content, at times impossibly contrived, is a potential source of frustration. "I don't want to start any blasphemous rumours / But I think that God's got a sick sense of humour / And when I die / I expect to find him laughing," goes the chorus of "Blasphemous Rumours," an antireligion song using attempted teenage suicide and fatal car accidents as testimonial. Lyricist Martin Gore always scores points for creative rhyming, but one gets the feeling the choice of subject matter is nearly arbitrary, that the band could write equally depressing songs about a bad hair day--and mean it. But this is the fun, and maybe even the genius, of Depeche Mode. When it comes to patent controversy, they are as self-indulgent as they wanna be. Depeche's first U.S. single, "People Are People," also contained on Some Great Reward, is no less of an eye roller than "Blasphemous Rumours," but its tone is inversely inspiring to the nihilistic picture painted by "Rumours." Two other opposites that attract, the naughty little industrial-lite, S/M-colored "Master and Servant" perfectly juxtaposes the leaning-on-the-windowsill-staring-at-the-moon love song "Somebody." --Beth Bessmer

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Something To Do
  2. Lie To Me
  3. People Are People
  4. It Doesn't Matter
  5. Stories Of Old
  6. Somebody
  7. Master And Servant
  8. If You Want
  9. Blasphemous Rumours

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Original Release Date: 1984
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002L75
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,679 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mr. VINE VOICE on October 7, 2006
Format: Audio CD
While many fans consider 1986s Black Celebration to be the pinnacle moment when the band crossed over into truly dark territory, it was 1984s Some Great Reward that garnered Depeche Mode worldwide appeal, including for the first time, in the US. The breakthru hit single: People Are People, would cause a massive outcry of interest in the band and lead to another attempt at appeal in the States, that would come true. What's of course ironic today is the fact that the band, including song writer, Martin Gore, no longer particularly care for People Are People anymore, even though it is still one of their all time biggest hits. (To the best of my knowledge, it hasn't been performed live since the famed 101 concert in Pasadena, California.)

With People Are People such a huge success, the task was at hand to come out with a followup single that would be as impressive. Master And Servant would be the song chosen for that task. A song, that would take forever to record, mix and finally finish (one of the longest in recorded DM history), it would not outdo the success of People Are People, but it did do well just the same. But for Depeche Mode and Martin Gore, their third single from Some Great Reward would ultimately become one of their most controversial. That song of course is Blasphemous Rumours. Its premise is basically that universal question: "Why does God allow bad things to happen?" Christian and other religious groups were in an uproar over it, and it was banned from being played in the UK and certain other countries (none of which were the US). The song was released as a double A-side single, with the other song being, Somebody.
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Format: Audio CD
'some great reward' is perhaps depeche mode's funniest album title. as the band inched closer and closer to the global domination that would one day be theirs, one can help but wonder if a be-skirted martin looked at sun-in'd-bangs dave and said, 'is this all we get?' or maybe it's the bands nod to its increasing fanbase, or a middle-finger to those who thought there were going to get another mildly poppy, pleasant, inoffensive DM album (though it started with 'construction time again, let's face it, this was the death knell of the 'photograph of you,' 'see you,' 'new life,' 'just can't get enough' dm brand of music).

no, no, dear friends, this wasn't your daddy's dm. suddenly martin was clad in s&m gear, handcuffs, leather (or was it pleather?), dave put a little sun-in in his hair, alan was a full-feldged member, and fletch, well, he was fletch (pushing his mic back and forth on stage and little else). 'some great reward,' i believe, was the blueprint for albums like 'pretty hate machine,' everything nitzer ebb did do, front 242 would do, and spawned a generation of knock offs (red flag, seven red seven, cause and effect). 'industrial' music? it started with 'some great reward.'

'some great reward' is the album that came to define the depeche mode *sound.* it's cold and detached, it's pervy undertones bubbling just below the surface. from the get-go 'some great reward' sounds like an album recorded squarely under the fist of the iron curtain. 'something to do' sounds like heavy machinery dropped off a 100ft ledge--agressive and relentless. 'lie to me' and 'if you want' drip in ambiguous sexuality. of course there's 'master and servant' and it's fairly blatant s&m references and 'blasphemous rumors' in which martin (?) questions God's role in every day life.
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Format: Audio CD
This is one of my favorite DM albums. The other reviewers cover it pretty well, but I have to put my 2¢ in about one thing. "If You Want" is not a filler song. In fact, it is my favorite off this album. The vocals, the lyrics, the captured me from the first time i listened to it. Granted that was 15 years ago, but I still love it. The band remixed just about every other song they ever made, why they passed this one by is a mystery to me. I'd be curious to see if other DM fans feel the same way. I have all their albums and 99% of everything else, including their 3 boxed sets of singles so i think I know what I'm talking about.
If you are new to Depeche Mode, start of with the single collections or greatest hits CD. If you are a fan and don't own this album, get it. It is one of their best.
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Format: Audio CD
Beth Bessmer completely misses the Blasphemous Rumours message by focussing on the anger instead of the question/message in the song. It is not anti-religious, but the age-old search for meaning. A girl spends time wasting her life away and tries to commit suicide, then finds the "right" path, becomes a devout Christian, and is promptly killed in a car accident. Martin throws out the question in anger as to why life happens this way, and feels he has the right to be pssd off.
The album is brittle and dark during the majesty of Stories of Old and Lie to Me, but gets loud and in-your face in People are People and Master and Servant. Blasphemous Rumours conveys anger and confusion; It Doesn't Matter and If You Want depict a sense of hope within hopelessness, while Somebody finds DM in the throngs of a powerful, self-effacing ballad
Overall the album winds it's way through it's self-titled theme, "The world we live in and life in general", and it does so very well and completely apart from anything else out there. In 1984, nobody was doing this stuff the way DM did, if at all, and Some Great Reward personifies their iconoclastic character.
Lie to Me and Stories of Old spearhead DM's direction forward from this album. This is a must have for any DM fan, or anyone looking for something different and pioneering.
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