Depeche Mode "Never Let Me Down Again"
Single Released on 24 August 1987 in the UK
The cover art features fragments of a Soviet map of Russia and Europe, with different fragments used for the different editions of the single. Studio impresario Alan Wilder and the other members of the band considered the track an "obvious single" with much potential. They developed it throughout so that dramatic-type elements such as the Led Zeppelin-influenced drum patterns and Martin Gore's distinctive guitar riffs sound in the forefront. The lyrics of the song, starting with the strident vocals of "I'm taking a ride with my best friend", are generally regarded as reflecting drug use, with the track being labeled by NME music journalist Jane Solanas as a "masterpiece" that well conveys the feeling of "drug euphoria".
The main remix version of the track, known as the "Split Mix", came about with direct involvement from the band. The 12" maxi release stretched to exactly nine and a half minutes long. Oddly enough, despite the pleasing results from the point of view of the band, that proved to be the last time in decades that a remix came out with their direct involvement. The main 12" remix of "Never Let Me Down Again" is known as the "Split Mix", as stated above, and the nine-and-a-half-minute track featured direct involvement from the band during its creation. In detail, the remix features the regular song, an added intro piece, and a techno-like musical arrangement appended at the end. The arrangement was expanded to the "Aggro Mix" on the 12" B-side, a piece additionally available as a bonus track on the CD and cassette tape versions of Music for the Masses.
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 Wilder version was always set to be the final version, Martin Gore 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.