Keyboardist Andy Fletcher referred to this song in an interview with Billboard magazine as, "an antidote to bubble-gum pop inappropriate for where we are in society at this moment."
This song was officially debuted on February 21, 2009, when Depeche Mode performed it at the Echo Awards in Germany.
According to the band's record label website, this song lyrically is about "comic reflections on a lifetime of mistakes, misdeeds and bad decisions."
Martin Gore explained that this was chosen to be the lead single for Sounds of the Universe as, "it's quite different to anything we've released before. I don't know quite what category to put it in musically, but it's got a kind of rap feel to it. It's probably as close to R&B as we're ever going to sound."
The B-side "Oh Well" is the first Depeche Mode track ever to be co-written by both Martin Gore and Dave Gahan. Gore told The Quietus about their collaboration: "It wasn't a real co-write because I had originally written the song as an instrumental but Dave heard it and liked it and he took it back to his hotel room and wrote some words and a melody over the top. It wasn't like we sat in a room and wrote it together. But I guess it is interesting in as much as it is the first time we've co-written a song."
Gore explained the album title in publicity materials: "We've used a lot of old analogue synthesizers and drum machines, which conjure up image of the universe and space travel somehow. We've gone back to a lot of old vintage gear, without making the album sound too retro. It's like yesterday's future. That's why for me it's a perfect album title."
This was Depeche Mode's eighth #1 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart. As a consequence the English band drew level with the Pet Shop Boys for the most #1s by a group on that listing.
The video for this song was directed by Patrick Daughters, who also directed the innovative video for Feist's "1234." In the clip, a man is trapped in a car that is rolling out of control down a city street.