Today’s trip down memory lane takes us back 28 years (!!!) to 1986. In March of ’86, Reagan was President, the Chicago Bears were Super Bowl Champions and We Are The World by USA for Africa had just won both Record and Song of the Year at The Grammys. Meanwhile, Depeche Mode was about to put out their fifth album Black Celebration. This is my absolute all time favorite Depeche Mode album so I couldn’t let the anniversary of the album’s release go by unnoticed.
This album takes me back to my very first radio station internship. Most entry level interns do A LOT of grunt work and this one was no exception. Merriweather Post Pavillion used to put out their entire summer schedule at once and it was kind of a big deal back in the day. There was some flyer or mailer that the station was putting out and they needed TONS of copies. Guess whose job it was to copy them? Yup. Yours truly. I spent many an afternoon in the copy room and my only saving grace was my Sony Walkman so I could drown out the sounds of the copies being made. I would play Black Celebration over and over and over and over. (And to bring this all full circle, the Black Celebration Tour made a stop at Merriweather that summer and you know I was there!! )
One other notable thing is that Black Celebration is the Depeche Mode album that has the most songs with Martin Gore singing lead: “A Question of Lust”, “Sometimes”, “It Doesn’t Matter Two”, and “World Full of Nothing”.
My favorite song on the album is New Dress but to go along with this memory, I’ve decided to highlight the song “Stripped.” The mechanical train track like sound that starts the song and continues on through it was right in line with copier, basically mimicking it in my head as it went along. Any time I hear that song, I immediately am brought back to that copy room: Walkman in hand, headphones in ears and machines spitting out copy after copy. It’s also a great song so from 1986’s Black Celebration, this is “Stripped.”