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Black Celebration

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Black Celebration + Songs of Faith & Devotion + Violator
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Sept. 4 1986)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sire-Wbr
  • ASIN: B000002L9M
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,824 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Black Celebration
2. Fly On The Windscreen-Final
3. A Question Of Lust
4. Sometimes
5. It Doesn't Matter Two
6. A Question Of Time
7. Stripped
8. Here Is The House
9. World Full Of Nothing
10. Dressed In Black
11. New Dress
12. But Not Tonight

Product Description

Product Description


Depeche Mode's most foreboding album, leaning toward the gothic, is DM at their most bleak, black-armband, and nihilistic--no doubt played over and over by countless self-loathing teens as they dyed their hair black behind locked bedroom doors. The tracks are tastefully minimalist, yet the few sounds that dominate each song have a consuming, even overwhelming feel--like a big, heavy black cloud that descends upon and surrounds listeners until their knees buckle from the weight. Rhythmically, songs like "A Question of Time" are driven with moderately paced 16th notes pounded out on synths filling out the low end. Other tracks follow the path of "Stripped," an all-out lamentfest powered by David Gahan's overproduced baritone. --Beth Bessmer

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tim Brough on March 17 2004
Format: Audio CD
The Amazon review that postulates that "Black Celebration" was the album thousands of dyed hair and make-up kids in the late 80's poured their alienated hearts out over hits it square on the head. "Black Celebration" is almost unmatched in its relentless gloom-mongering and only on the closing "But not Tonight" does the tone turn even vaguely optimistic. (Oddly enough, it's the one song to which the lyrics are omitted.) Not that the music wasn't outstanding. That was the main attraction about the richer sounding "Black Celebration." The state of the synthesizer had risen considerably since "Some Great Reward," and the breakthrough of Compact Discs had just begun. It brought a fuller sound out of Depeche Mode and gave them more room to deepen -- or maybe darken -- their sound. They had also stumbled into areas when less meant more, as the haunting "Stripped" exemplifies.
Just because the mood was dark also did not mean "Black Celebration" stayed mired in dirges. The frantic tempo of "A Question of Time" continued DM's ongoing string of modern rock dance singles, keeping them astride the likes of New Order and positioning them as the anti-Duran Duran. (Even though all three of these bands were at their creative peaks in this period.) The DM videos were getting better and it was just one more album before all three bands were world wide massive stars at the same time!!! (Duran Duran with "Big Thing," New Order with "Substance" and Depeche Mode with "Violator.") It was certainly heady times for lovers of synth-rock, and "Black Celebration" remains one of my favorite CDs from that period.
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Format: Audio CD
Remember the year 1986 in the music industry and if you have some memory you will notice that not much happened over that years. Well, with this album was for Depeche Mode the beginning of a series of fantastic recordings. Martin Gore always says that he pretty much like everything DM put out since Black Celebration. The song itself and the whole album represents a lot to the dark community. I could split the album in two pieces:
1- The ballads (all sang by Mr. Gore)
- A question of lust: Great song, I did not like much the video for this song, but Martin's lyrics are amazing.
-Sometimes: I would not be fair if I say this was another song in the album, it's a very simple song, with no additional production because the song was good as it was, there's anything else to say about it.
-It doesn't matter II: It was great to listened to Martin performing this song again on the Exciter tour, this time an acoustic version with Peter Gordeno in keyboards.
-World full of nothing: Another song Martin performed in the Excited tour (I think it was in Germany). My favourite ballad from Black celebration.
2-The "dark songs": The opening song is a classic nowadays. If you say Black Celebration you say Depeche Mode. What can I say? The song was inspired by that time and the Germany of the eighties (Martin lived in Berlin in the mid eighties), but it's a song with no time or place.
-Fly on the windscreen:"Death is everywhere": I remember the version from the Devotional tour of this song, what a performance! In these kind of songs you see the touch of Gareth Jones, Daniel Miller and of course Alan Wilder.
-Stripped: the first single, another classic. "Let me see you stripped down to the bones". Say no more.
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Format: Audio CD
Black Celebration represents many things for Depeche Mode. Sonically, we're looking at an evolution of their synthesized, sampled, semi-industrial pop sound -- a little less tinny than Some Great Reward. Lyrically and thematically, what we have is a full realization of the bleakness DM had been flirting with on songs like "Blasphemous Rumours," "Love, in Itself," and "Shake the Disease." This is important because it is the final, complete break with the cheerier sound associated with early Depeche Mode albums, and a transformation into the greatest band to emerge from the 1980s.
The title track sets the tone for the album very effectively, using a thick layer of menacing bass under twinkling melodic keynotes. "Black Celebration" is not quite as dark as most of the other songs on this album; but maybe it's really just that it is a declaration of the need to hang onto whatever happiness we can in the face of all-encompassing misery. A perfect opening to a near-perfect album.
The eerie underlying synth of the first track evolves into the backdrop for the second: "Fly on the Windscreen." This is DM at their gloomiest; a pummeling bass underpins the need for human contact as a reminder that there is such a thing as life.
"A Question of Lust" begins a hat trick of delicate songs sung by Martin Gore. It's an earnest, airy tale of the needless suspicion of jealousy in a relationship that probably won't last. A shimmering, sad ballad in an album of despair, yet a nice bounce-back from "Windscreen."
"Sometimes," the next song, is I believe very underrated -- I've seen someone deride it as an ersatz "Somebody," which is really not at all accurate. It employs only Martin's voice, echoed in a strange fashion, over a lazy, very pretty piano piece.
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