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11. No More (This Is The Last Time)
12. Fail
List of Spirit songs


Song Fail
By Depeche Mode
Songwriter Martin L. Gore
Produced by James Ford
Recorded at Sound Design (Santa Barbara)
Jungle City (New York)
Length (mm:ss) 5:07
Tempo 152 BPM
Time signature 4
Key C Major
Programmed by Matrixxman
Kurt Uenala
Engineered by Jimmy Robertson
Mixing assistance Brendan Morawski
Mastered by Brian Lucey
Studio assistance Connor Long
Óscar Muñoz
David Schaeman
Brendan Morawski
Drums James Ford
Art direction Anton Corbijn
Design SMEL
Recorded April - August, 2016
Originally released 17 March 2017
Live performances as Depeche Mode 1 times *
Total live performances 1 times *

"Fail" is a song from the 2017 album Spirit by Depeche Mode.


Martin Gore told Myśliwiecka 3/5/7:

"I think that if you ask each of the members of the band why we named the album 'Spirit', they would give you a different reason. But for me, it was kind of like that, because there's a line in the song 'Fail' that says "our spirit is gone". And I'm hoping that by pointing out that humanity is kind of gone astray, lost its way, that it helps us to find that path again. That it helps us find out spirit again."

Martin also told Intro magazine (translated from German):

"It is indeed the first case that we use the f-word. I find it appropriate, because in the last song it once again underlines the dark mood on 'Spirit'. When I began writing songs at the end of 2015 and early 2016, it felt to me as if the world was slowly getting doomed. I just had to make it a theme. And even though I did not think that Trump would become president, you could see how the Trump train was slowly taking up speed and was dragging the whole election campaign into the dirt. At the same time, you saw and see these horrible images from Syria every day, that no one seems to care about anymore. No wonder I got a gloomy look at the world and concluded: "We're fucked"? A little side-note: A young artist from Australia is working on a piece of art, in which she is drawing the words "we", "are", and "fucked" in sign language. It's a Christmas gift from my wife. I have yet to ask her, but I also think it would make a great design for a T-shirt."

Martin also told Classic Pop Magazine:

"[The line 'oh, we're fucked'] sums up the album in a way. The good thing about it is the lyrics might be depressing but the music is so pretty. Once the lyrics stop it ends on this nice lilting gentle piece of music. That’s the little bit of hope."

Dave Gahan echoes this to Paradiso:

"That song [Fail] is quite pessimistic, but there's also one phrase which it ends on where it kind of says 'Yes, we're fucked, but at the same time it also gives us - at the end - this hope'. And I also think 'Fail' is an interesting song because for me, the heart of it is actually in the melody. It's quite an uplifting melody. When you get to the end of the song, I always felt like, melodically, it was a complete contrast to the lyrical content."




Do we call this trying

We're hopeless

Forget the denying

Our souls are corrupt

Our minds are messed up

Our consciences bankrupt

Oh, we're fucked


What are we thinking

It's shameful

Our standards are sinking

We're barely hanging on

Our spirit has gone

And once, where it shone

I hear a lonesome song


How are we coping

It's futile

To even start hoping

That justice will prevail

That truth will tip the scales

Our dignity has sailed

Oh, we've failed

Songwriter: Martin L. Gore
Publishing Information: ©2015 Sony ATV Music Corp. and Grabbing Hands Music Ltd. All rights on behalf of itself and Grabbing Hands Music Ltd. admin. by Sony ATV Music Corp. (BMI). (USA). Published by Sony ATV Music Publishing Ltd Licensed by Grabbing Hands Music Ltd. (Rest Of The World)


  • 'Fail' is the first song penned by Martin L. Gore and by extension the first Depeche Mode album song known to feature a curse word ("fuck"). Other Depeche Mode songs which feature an arguably less severe profanity ("piss") include 2009's 'Wrong' and 2017's 'Where's The Revolution'.

Live performances

Main article: Available recordings of "Fail"
Main article: List of dates where "Fail" was played