Black Celebration

When Depeche Mode released the first single off their upcoming next album for 1986, the American market decided to go with the B-side of the record instead. A song that Depeche Mode had basically written off as fluff. This song, “But Not Tonight”, was featured on a cheesy 80’s movie and made into a video. It was the first video I ever saw of them.

They looked bizarre and gothic and cool playing their synths (yeah, mock me now).

I loved that song and still do. Yet the first single, “Stripped”, is a classic in the DM canon.

The album that followed was Black Celebration.

It was dark, anxious, mysterious, and different. And when I first listened to it, I thought it was fabulous.

“Lets have a black celebration, black celebration, tonight. To celebrate the fact, that we’ve seen the back, of another black day.”

Not quite lyrics like “Just Can’t Get Enough”, huh?

Martin Gore, the songwriter, sang four songs on the album, more than usual. More songs were subdued. And they focused more on relationships than ever before. 

This was the album that really propelled DM into a new direction. Some fans still rank this as their favorite album.

It was also the first time famed photographer/director worked with them. Anton Corbijn, a Dutch photographer, made a video for DM. He was a big reason the band went from looking poppy and gay to looking artsy and cool.

Everything I initially liked on Some Great Reward was confirmed. And I wasn’t the only teen in America that felt like this (though I felt like the only kid in NC who did).