From DM Live - the Depeche Mode live encyclopedia for the masses
Jump to navigationJump to search
2. Hole To Feed
3. Wrong
List of Sounds Of The Universe songs
4. Fragile Tension
Song Wrong
By Depeche Mode
Songwriter Martin L. Gore
Produced by Ben Hillier
Recorded at Sound Design (Santa Barbara)
Chung King (New York)
Length (mm:ss) 3:13
Tempo 82 BPM
Time signature 4
Key B Minor
Programmed by Luke Smith
Engineered by Ferg Peterkin
Engineering assistance Josh Garcia
Jesse Gladstone
Anthony Palazzole
Pre-production assistance Sie Medway-Smith
Mastered by Stephen Marcussen
Art direction Anton Corbijn
Design ShaughnessyWorks
Tea Design
Recorded May - December, 2008
Originally released 6 April 2009
Live performances as Depeche Mode 228 times *
Total live performances 228 times *

"Wrong" is a song from the 2009 album Sounds Of The Universe by Depeche Mode. It was released as a lead single on 6 April 2009.


When journalist Brandon Voss told Martin Gore that "Wrong" "sounds like it was written by someone who just had a really bad day", Martin Gore replied:

"I think it was probably more than a day. [Laughs] I hope people don’t take it in a really depressing way, because I like to think that I’ve somehow made it into a bit of a comedy moment. There’s a bit of black humor in there. It makes me laugh when I say that “there’s something wrong with me chemically, something wrong with me inherently.”"

Dave Gahan and Martin Gore told the April 2009 issue of Rolling Stone Germany (translated from German):

Dave: "It's good that the people are surprised [with 'Wrong' as a single]. The rhythm was surprising for us as well in the beginning. It's very R&B, not rap, it's a rant. Very amusing. It is as if a thirteen year old boy is stomping with his feet on the floor trying to revolt against his parents. At that age everything seems to be wrong, that's what parents usually say. [...]"

Martin: "We decided to go with 'Wrong' because it's quite different from what we've done in the past. I heard the description 'future retro sound' which I liked a lot. A lot of the new songs have a Sixties-Space-Age-Pop-Sound. Not like Martin Denny or [Juan Garcia] Esquivel but close to it. I always say I'm a traditional songwriter, in the way that I use melodies, chords and lyrics. Only the instrumental part is a unanimous Depeche Mode decision. But for me, electro and emotions work together, there is no contradiction."

Both of them also said in the 'Sounds Of The Universe' EPK:

Martin: "We unanimously - without even really talking about it I think - chose 'Wrong' as the first single just because we felt it was more of a statement, it was very different for us. [...] We always like to do something different as a first single, just to announce that we're back."

Dave: "It's sort of an unconventional pop song if you like. It's almost more of a rap or rant or something and its groove is a little different too in that way. And I think we chose it because, we didn't choose it because we felt it was the best song, we chose it because we felt that it was striking and that it was a good song to choose for the next chapter of what it is we're doing."

Producer Ben Hillier told Keyboard magazine:

"The arpeggio that runs throughout 'Wrong' was taken from Martin's soft synth demo, then reprogrammed on my modular synth, using a sine wave from a Cynthia Zeroscillator. We also ran a version using a vintage EMS VCS3 and Tension in Ableton Live — which we recorded through a vintage Gretsch guitar amp in the studio's clanky basement! Different treatments of the sine wave used waveshapers in the modular, Max/MSP, vintage spring reverbs, and guitar pedals. The bass line was originally played live — me on keys, Martin working the filter — on a Roland SH-09. We then doubled it on an Elektron SidStation and Roland Jupiter-6. The drums were from an Akai MPC1000, played in free-run and treated through various bits of modular and EMS synths. We did just a few takes until the timing felt good with the backing track."

At the end of 'Sounds Of The Universe', an untitled instrumental track[1] that's 41 seconds long and has the melody of Wrong can be heard. Martin Gore told the band Röyksopp in the April 2009 issue of Filter magazine about this little track:

"I like little surprises. What you may not have noticed is that it comes three minutes and 17 seconds after the last track. Because of 'Sounds Of The Universe', I actually wanted it to be five minutes after the last track because of [astronomer Marke Whittle and artist Jonathan Keats'] collaboration that condensed the first million years of the universe into five seconds. But I guess it isn't much of a surprise anymore."



I was born with the wrong sign

In the wrong house

With the wrong ascendancy

I took the wrong road

That led to

The wrong tendencies

I was in the wrong place

At the wrong time

For the wrong reason

And the wrong rhyme

On the wrong day

Of the wrong week

Used the wrong method

With the wrong technique



There's something wrong with me chemically

Something wrong with me inherently

The wrong mix

In the wrong genes

I reached the wrong ends

By the wrong means

It was the wrong plan

In the wrong hands

The wrong theory

For the wrong man

The wrong eyes

On the wrong prize

The wrong questions

With the wrong replies



I was marching to the wrong drum

With the wrong scum

Pissing out the wrong energy

Using all the wrong lines

And the wrong signs

With the wrong intensity

I was on the wrong page

Of the wrong book

With the wrong rendition

Of the wrong look

With the wrong moon

Every wrong night

With the wrong tune playing

Till it sounded right, yeah



Too long

Songwriter: Martin L. Gore
Publishing Information: ©2009 EMI Music Publishing Ltd licensed by Grabbing Hands Music Ltd All rights reserved.

Music video


  1. On the quasi-official instrumental version of "Sounds Of The Universe" offered by the website ilikemusic.com, this track is titled "Outroduction". "BRAT", depechemode.com webmaster and band archivist, says he has never seen the track referred to by this title.

Live performances

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

1981-1985: Dreaming Of MeNew LifeJust Can't Get EnoughSee YouThe Meaning Of Love
Leave In SilenceGet The Balance RightEverything CountsLove In ItselfPeople Are PeopleMaster And ServantBlasphemous Rumours / SomebodyShake The DiseaseIt's Called A Heart
1986-1989: StrippedBut Not TonightA Question Of LustA Question Of TimeStrangelove
Never Let Me Down AgainBehind The WheelLittle 15Personal Jesus
1990-1998: Enjoy The SilencePolicy Of TruthWorld In My EyesI Feel YouWalking In My ShoesCondemnationIn Your RoomBarrel Of A GunIt's No GoodHomeUseless
Only When I Lose Myself
2001-2009: Dream OnI Feel LovedFreeloveGoodnight LoversPreciousA Pain That I'm Used To
Suffer WellJohn The Revelator / LilianMartyrWrongPeaceFragile Tension / Hole To Feed
2013-2017: HeavenSoothe My SoulShould Be HigherWhere's The RevolutionGoing Backwards
Cover Me
2023: Ghosts Again
1992-1998: Faith HealerDriftingStalker / Missing Piece
2000-2008: Strange HoursJezebelPreyAllelujah
2003-2008: Dirty Sticky FloorsI Need YouBottle Living / Hold OnA Little PieceKingdomSaw Something / Deeper And Deeper
2012-2015: Longest DayTake Me Back HomeAll Of This And NothingShine
1989-2003: CompulsionStardustLoverman
2012-2015: SpockSingle BlipAftermathsEuropa Hymn • "Pinking" (Christoffer Berg Remix)
Official releases