The official illustrated history of Depeche Mode by Dutch artist Anton Corbijn
In 1981 Anton Corbijn first formally photographed synth teen idols Depeche Mode in London and Basildon, Essex, for an NME cover; in the foreground the blurred singer Dave Gahan, the rest of the band standing behind him smiling in sharp focus. According to Corbijn, the band was, at the time, “too poppy” for his taste. Fast-forward five years and Depeche Mode were transforming their sound and looking towards something more edgy and brooding. Corbijn came on board to do one video and became the band’s de facto creative director, and since 1986 he has crafted all their photography, most of the videos, album graphics, and set designs. This November, Depeche Mode by Anton Corbijn will be released, featuring a detailed illustrated history of how Corbijn’s timeless visuals and epic but honest aesthetic have helped cement Depeche Mode’s reputation as the biggest cult band in the world.
This Collector’s Edition features over 500 photographs from the Dutch photographer’s extensive archives, some never seen before, including formal and informal portraits from places such as Madrid, Hamburg, the California desert, Prague, and Marrakech (many taken during the making of iconic videos such as “Enjoy the Silence” and “Personal Jesus”); a multitude of off-the-cuff, candid images; and stunning live shots from all their tours since 1988. In addition to the photographs, there are sketches and designs for stage sets and album covers, Corbijn’s handwritten captions throughout the book, placing the reader right in the middle of the shoot, and an extended interview with the Dutch master.
Created with the full collaboration of the band, who also share some insights on working with Corbijn, Depeche Mode by Anton Corbijn trumpets how one man’s original and unforgettable visuals helped shape the band’s enduring popularity. Reflecting on his expanded role in Depeche, Corbijn recalls in the book’s introduction: “A lot of it came down to me, and I wanted it to be right for them. I wanted to think for them. To be great for them.” This book is a testament to the depth and breadth of that greatness, a celebration of one of the most creative and enduring collaborations in rock history.
The book is also available as two Art Editions of 100 copies each, with alternative photographic prints signed by Anton Corbijn. Pricing starts at $900 and will be available through Taschen. The book is presented in a clamshell box and runs 512 pages.