The unexpected American success of "People Are People," which remained the band's biggest U.S. hit until the start of the '90s, prompted this stateside-only compilation, very much a dog's breakfast of new and old songs alike. Earlier album cuts such as "Pipeline" and "Told You So" appear here, but the four new tracks understandably received the biggest attention. The title track itself, though the bandmembers have long since expressed embarrassment over it, still sounds like what it became, an engaging, instantly memorable pop hit -- if the lyrical sentiments are among Martin Gore
's most naïvely sociopolitical before or since, David Gahan
delivers them strongly, with Gore
providing a fine counterpoint vocal. Musically, the explicit use of sampled metallic crashes and detailed production throughout makes the song one of the strongest incorporations of industrial music techniques in a more listener-friendly manner. Of the three other new tracks, "Get the Balance Right" is the strongest, a wickedly barbed but beautifully sung lyric on political/lifestyle posturing with a killer synth line melody. "Work Hard" veers towards the monotonous, while "Now This Is Fun" has a nice moody intro to recommend it. Given that both "People Are People" and "Get the Balance Right" ended up on the band's first proper singles compilation, this collection is now rendered one solely for the hardcore fans.