Depeche Mode Black Celebration
“With a title like Black Celebration we were certainly trying to make a dark album. We could say it’s the first time that the image and the sound actually merged as a package - that really made sense.
We really had no idea at the time if we’d made anything of any value. The album was a very honest and realistic statement of what we were trying to do at the time. I’m very proud of my work on Black Celebration.”
Gareth Jones, Producer
Q Magazine called them ‘The most popular electronic band the world has ever known’ and with sales of more than one hundred million records, Depeche Mode have proven themselves to be one of the most successful and influential UK bands of all time. But, back in 1986 they were widely perceived as just another mediocore 80’s synth-pop group, still suffering from the loss of founding member Vince Clarke. However, the group had been consistently growing in confidence, and by the mid-1980s the band was moving away from its industrial pop origins, using samplers to create dark and atmospheric sounds.
In March, 1986, Depeche Mode released their 5th studio album, Black Celebration, which made it to number 3 in the UK charts. Although its 3 singles; Stripped, A Question of Lust, and A Question of Time weren’t particularly big hits, Black Celebration is now regarded as one of their most innovative releases. Dark and brooding, intense and powerful, it provided a bridge from the disco-esque work of such previous albums as Construction Time Again and the stadium-friendly rock of subsequent recordings. Brutally honest, unashamedly subversive and obsessively gloomy, it was an album for the dispossessed.
Jonathan Miller, author of the biography Strip Depeche Mode / Daniel Miller, producer and founder of Mute Records / Oliver Carter, Lecturer in Media and Cultural Theory, Birmingham School of Media / Gareth Jones, engineer and co-producer / Brian Griffin, album cover photographer / Presenter; Ian Camfield / Assistant Producer; Oliver Carter / Exec. Producers; Andy Ashton, Mike Walsh
This clip features an extended interview with Depeche Mode Photographer Brian Griffin. Black Celebration turned out to be his last collaboration with the group.