Thursday, December 22, 2016

Depeche Mode - Black Celebration Remixes - 1986

The first Depeche Mode album I ever bought was Music For the Masses.  Then I bought Martin Gore's first Counterfeit EP.  Then it was A Broken Frame, then Some Great Reward, THEN Black Celebration... followed a very short time later by the Personal Jesus single right before Violator came out.  So, that's the order I heard their music.  When you do it that way, you start to compare their progression as a band, and it's easier to see where they were then, and where they are now.  A Black Celebration was a unique one for me, and it's one I really think was a turning point for their sound. Was it Martin's turmoiled relationship that affected it?  Who knows.  But I feel that starting with this album, their music took a dramatic turn darker than their previous albums.

It's unfortunate that the two "unreleased tracks" Violence and I Feel No Guilt weren't actually DM songs, as the b-sides for the actual album were minimal.  The best of the additional material for this album was the remixes, which is what I've compiled here.  I know that I've left a couple mixes out (didn't I say that with INXS yesterday?) but I think the ones I've put on here are the best.  With the exception of the exceptional Dreamtime Mix of But Not Tonight, these are all official remixes.  Flood's mixes are obviously the best, but all of them really hit the mark.  This is a wonderful companion disc to the original album...  Good stuff!


  1. Awesome - thank you! :D

  2. BC is my favorite Mode album; there's just something seductive about it that drew me in from the first listen. I was already into the band; I'd gotten "Speak & Spell" when it came out, after I heard "Just Can't Get Enough" on the radio and loved the happy, bouncy beat of it. But this album was the one that cemented my love for all things Mode.

    I think you're right about this album definitely taking a darker turn, but that's why I love it so much. With the exception of a few songs here and there, they hadn't really explored darker lyrical themes a lot, but they're front and center on BC. For me, this album will always be their bright shining moment. And they'll always be one of my favorite bands ever.

  3. "and it's easier to see where they were then, and where they are now."

    Where they are now... "Come on, people. You're letting me down." Oh, the irony, the irony, eh? :D

    Your review hits all the key points. This is truly where DM entered into their best and most creative era, the time when they released all the hits everyone remembers. I think the only exception was "Everything Counts" but aside from that one track, this is where DM became Depeche Mode for all time.

    I know for a fact it's the album that suddenly turned DM the darlings of the goth club scene. One DJ I used to hang out with back then called "Black Celebration" his "bathroom break" album. He could go off, let me "mind the store" with no rush to get back to the booth, and everyone would stay out on the floor just soaking up Dave's deep dark voice and all that luscious nihilism in the lyrics.

    When my eyes have been so red
    I've been mistaken for dead...

    Stuff like that was pushing ALL the right buttons.

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