"Never Let Me Down Again" is Depeche Mode's nineteenth UK single, released on 24 August 1987, and the second single for the then upcoming album Music for the Masses. A relatively moderate hit in the UK at number 22, it was a smash in West Germany where it hit number 2, and a Top 10 success in several other European countries (SwedenSwitzerland, etc.). The cover art features fragments of a Soviet map of Russia and Europe, with different fragments used for the different editions of the single.


 [hide*1 Live performances

Live performances[edit]Edit

The song became a favourite among fans, especially live. Shows during Depeche Mode's 1988 tour were often closed with this song. Notable in the 101 video is when Dave Gahan waves his arms in the air toward the end of the song, and the sold out crowd of 60,000 mimicked Gahan's movements. It is now a tradition at Depeche Mode shows for fans to wave their arms in the air during the end of "Never Let Me Down Again."

On 8 November 2001, shortly after their final Exciter Tour concert in MannheimGermany, the band played "Never Let Me Down Again" during the MTV Europe Music Awards in Frankfurt, which aired in the US on MTV2.


The main 12" remix of "Never Let Me Down Again" is the "Split Mix", a nine-minute track which features the regular song, an added intro plus a techno arrangement appended at the end. The arrangement was expanded to the "Aggro Mix" on the 12" B-side, also available as a bonus track on the CD/Cassette version of Music for the Masses. The "Split Mix" appears on Remixes 81 - 04.

Another remix of the track, by German group Digitalism was released in 2006 as one of the Digital Deluxe Bonus Tracks of The Best Of, Volume 1 (also released as a limited double vinyl 12") and appears also on band's remix compilation Remixes 2: 81–11Eric Prydz remixed the song also for this album.

Music videos[edit]Edit

There are two music videos for "Never Let Me Down Again". The original version, from Strange uses the "Split Mix", minus the intro and outro, and during the EBM portion, Gahan's pair of dancing shoes are shown walking without anyone wearing them, before someone puts them on and wears them to dance. There is also a shortened one with just the Single version of the song, without the dancing shoes. It appears on The Videos 86>98. They are directed by Anton Corbijn.


There are two b-sides. "Pleasure, Little Treasure" is a short dance track. An extended version called the "Glitter Mix" ends with fragments of vocal recordings that have been reversed and treated with delay effects. Notably, some of these sounds can be heard in the track "Mothers Talk" from the 1985 Tears for Fears album Songs from the Big Chair, which was engineered by Dave Bascombe. The "Glitter Mix" showed up as a bonus track on the CD/Cassette versions ofMusic for the Masses and in remastered form on the 2006 CD/DVD release.

The rarer b-side is "To Have and To Hold (Spanish Taster)". Martin Gore's original plan for the song sounded a lot like upbeat electropop, but Alan Wilder turned it into the dark wave track it eventually became. While Alan's version was always set to be the final version, Martin wanted his version to be recorded as well. However, not all of the lyrics are sung in the song. It shows up as one of the bonus tracks on the CD/Cassette version of Music for the Masses and is on the CD versions of "Never Let Me Down Again". The regular version of "To Have and To Hold" is one of the main tracks on the Music for the Masses LP.

Track listings[edit]Edit

All songs written by Martin L. Gore.

7": Mute / Bong14 (UK)[edit]Edit

  1. "Never Let Me Down Again" – 4:20
  2. "Pleasure, Little Treasure" – 2:52

12": Mute / 12Bong14 (UK)[edit]Edit

  1. "Never Let Me Down Again (Split Mix)" – 9:34
  2. "Pleasure, Little Treasure (Glitter Mix)" – 5:34
  3. "Never Let Me Down Again (Aggro Mix)" – 4:53

12": Mute / L12Bong14 (UK)[edit]Edit

  1. "Never Let Me Down Again (Tsangarides Mix)" – 4:22 (Remixed by Chris Tsangarides)
  2. "Pleasure, Little Treasure (Join Mix)" – 4:53 (Remixed by John Fryer & Paul Kendall)
  3. "To Have and to Hold (Spanish Taster)" – 2:33

CD: Mute / CDBong14 (UK)[edit]Edit

  1. "Never Let Me Down Again (Split Mix)" – 9:34
  2. "Pleasure, Little Treasure (Join Mix)" – 4:53
  3. "To Have and to Hold (Spanish Taster)" – 2:33
  4. "Never Let Me Down Again (Aggro Mix)" – 4:53
  • Originally released in Cardsleeve [1987]
  • Rereleased as 4track CD Single in Slim Jewel Case in 1991.

CD: Mute / CDBong14 (UK)[edit]Edit

  1. "Never Let Me Down Again" – 4:20
  2. "Pleasure, Little Treasure" – 2:52
  3. "Never Let Me Down Again (Split Mix)" – 9:34
  4. "Pleasure, Little Treasure (Glitter Mix)" – 5:34
  5. "Never Let Me Down Again (Aggro Mix)" – 4:53
  6. "Never Let Me Down Again (Tsangarides Mix)" – 4:22
  7. "Pleasure, Little Treasure (Join Mix)" – 4:53
  8. "To Have and To Hold (Spanish Taster)" – 2:33
  • The second CD is the 1992 re-release.

Notable covers[edit]Edit

  • The Smashing Pumpkins recorded a cover of the song and released it as a b-side on their 1994 CD single "Rocket". Frontman Billy Corgan was introduced to the band by bassist D'arcy Wretzky, who is a longtime fan of Depeche Mode and requested the band cover the song. During their 1998 concert in Los Angeles, Depeche Mode invited Corgan, their opening act, onstage to perform the song together. This version of the song is also featured on the soundtrack for Not Another Teen Movie (in the soundtrack of the movie, another cover of a Depeche Mode song appears: "But Not Tonight", this one covered by Stone Temple Pilots's Scott Weiland). When discussing the tribute album For the Masses, which the Smashing Pumpkins cover appears on, Martin Gore said he'd "always liked" the Pumpkins cover, while Dave Gahan said he "particularly liked it", and even thought it was "a lot better" than the Depeche Mode original.[1]
  • Farmer boys, featuring Anneke van Giersbergen (Ex-The Gathering) (Countrified, 1996)
  • Berlin (4Play, 2005)
  • And One (Live, 2008)
  • Tre Lux (A Strange Gathering, 2006)
  • The Mission have recorded a cover version of this song which is available on a compilation album Aural Delight.
  • Sylvain Chauveau covered the song for 'Down to the Bone - An Acoustic Tribute to Depeche Mode' with Ensemble Nocturne.
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