Sunday, November 27, 2016

124. Depeche Mode - A Broken Frame

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My purpose for tweaking is always to convert a square album cover into a stretched screensaver or wallpaper.  On this work,  the original album cover art design is at

left.  The clouds and  horizon were stretched to the right  through a combination of mirroring and paste overs.  Four more  cut-outs of the lady cutter were added in 
progressively  smaller sizes to create an illusion of space and distance.

I might disagree  with some other  interpretations of the original art work,  but to me,  it simply looks  like what it is - a woman with a sickle  trying to fight off an
unseen or some imaginary demon - or making a symbolic stab at the heavens as an utterance of a curse.

The cover artwork is a photograph, but is intended to resemble a painting. It depicts a woman cutting grain in an East Anglian field, near Duxford in Cambridgeshire.
It was taken by Brian Griffin (who had previously done the cover photograph for Speak & Spell and press photos for the band) using a mixture of natural and artificial
lighting.  Griffin cited  as inspirations  Ukrainian and Russian art,  especially  the work of Kazimir Malevich,  and German  romantic art.  Griffin has  displayed on his
website a gallery of alternative images from the same shoot.

It was featured on the cover of Life Magazine's 1990 edition of "World's Best Photographs 1980 - 1990". wikipedia

Images from

The awards continued that year (1989) when The Guardian newspaper in the U.K.  named Griffin “The Photographer
of the Decade”  and his photo shot for the cover of  Depeche Mode’s  1982 album,  A Broken Frame, was featured on
the cover of  Life Magazine’s  special issue,  “The Greatest  Photographs  of the ‘80s”.  All along  the way,  Brian has
been the recipient of many other honors, winning numerous D&AD awards and his book Work was awarded the “Best
Photographic Book In The World” at the Primavera Fotográfica in Barcelona, Spain. Album Cover Hall of Fame

Photo by Brian Griffin, design by Martyn Atkins, calligraphy by Ching Ching Lee, clothes design by Jacqui Frye.
Album produced by Depeche Mode & Daniel Miller. Mute/Sire (US & Canada) 1982.

Martin Gore  has famously  noted that Depeche Mode  stopped worrying  about its future when the first  post-Vince Clarke-departure single,  "See You," placed even
higher on the English charts than anything else Clarke had done with them. Such confidence carries through all of A Broken Frame, a notably more ambitious effort
than the pure pop/disco of the band's debut.  With arranging genius  Alan Wilder still one album away from fully joining the band,  Frame became very much Gore's
record,  writing all the songs and exploring various styles never again touched upon in later years.  "Satellite" and "Monument" take distinct dub/reggae turns, while
"Shouldn't Have Done That"  delivers its slightly precious message about the dangers of adulthood with a spare arrangement and hollow,  weirdly sweet vocals. Much
of the album follows in a dark vein,  forsaking  earlier sprightliness,  aside from tracks like "A Photograph of You" and  "The Meaning of Love,"  for more melancholy
reflections about love gone wrong as "Leave in Silence" and "My Secret Garden."  More complex arrangements and juxtaposed sounds, such as the sparkle of breaking
glass in  "Leave in Silence,"  help give this underrated  album even  more of an intriguing,  unexpected edge.  Gore's lyrics  sometimes veer on the facile,  but David
Gahan's singing comes more clearly to the fore throughout -- things aren't all there yet, but they were definitely starting to get close. AllMusic Review by Ned Raggert

(A) Leave in Silence - My Secret Garden - Monument - Nothing to Fear - See You

(B) Satellite - The Meaning of Love - Further Excerpts from My Secret Garden - A Photograph of You - Shouldn't Have Done That - The Sun and the Rainfall

"See You" live from FedekDemod90 on YouTube.

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