Depeche ModeBlack Celebration

Label:Mute – STUMM 26
Vinyl, LP, Album, Embossed Cover, Lyntone
Style:Synth-pop, Darkwave


A1Black Celebration4:55
A2Fly On The Windscreen - Final
Recorded ByDave Allen*
Recorded By [Assistant]Phil Tennant
A3A Question Of Lust4:20
A5It Doesn't Matter Two2:50
B1A Question Of Time4:10
B3Here Is The House4:15
B4World Full Of Nothing2:50
B5Dressed In Black2:32
B6New Dress3:42

Companies, etc.



℗+© 1986 Mute Records Limited.
Distributed by Spartan and The Cartel
Published by Grabbing Hands/Sonet

Programmed at Worldwide International.
Recorded & mixed at Westside, London & Hansa, Berlin except "Fly On The Windscreen" recorded at Genetic, re-mixed at Hansa, Berlin.

Covergestaltung at T+CP London.

"Life in the so-called Space Age"

Track durations not listed on the release.

There are currently 7 UK vinyl versions:
Version 1: Embossed cover, printed inner sleeve - Lyntone pressing. This one.
Version 2: Embossed cover, printed inner sleeve - MPO pressing.
Version 3: Embossed cover, printed inner sleeve - Musitech pressing.
Version 4: Embossed cover, printed inner sleeve - Musitech mastering (Side A), Lyntone pressing (Side B).
Version 5: Plain mat cover and printed inner sleeve with die-cut opening.
Version 6: Plain mat cover with glossy photo, no printed inner sleeve.
Version 7: Plain mat cover with glossy photo & "MID" sticker, printed inner sleeve with die-cut opening, MPO pressing with small inner ring on the center labels.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side A (var. 1)): LYN-17252-6C ZZ.* 11 STUMM-26-A A CLASSIC CASE OF OVER FOCUSING
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side B (var. 1)): LYN-17253-2C .Z. STUMM-26-B SO MUCH FOR THE MINIMAL ALBUM
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side A (var. 2)): LYN-17252-6C ZZ.*.....11 STUMM-26-A A CLASSIC CASE OF OVER FOCUSING
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side B (var. 2)): LYN-17253-2C .Z. STUMM-26-B NO-3 SO MUCH FOR THE MINIMAL ALBUM
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side A (var. 3)): LYN-17252-6C ZZ.*.....11 WOT NOT AGAIN! STUMM-26-A A CLASSIC CASE OF OVER FOCUSING
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side B (var. 3)): STUMM-26-B SO MUCH FOR THE MINIMAL ALBUM
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side A (var. 4)): A CLASSIC CASE OF OVER FOCUSING STUMM - 26 - A LYN - 17252 - 6C . ZZ . * ..... 11 WOT NOT AGAIN !
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side B (var. 4)): NO - 3 SO MUCH FOR THE MINIMAL ALBUM STUMM - 26 - B

Other Versions (5 of 353)

View All
Title (Format)LabelCat#CountryYear
Recently Edited
Black Celebration (CD, Album)MuteCD STUMM 26UK1986
Recently Edited
Black Celebration (LP, Album, Embossed)Sire, Mute, Sire9 25429-1, 1-25429US1986
Recently Edited
Black Celebration (Cassette, Album, Reissue, AR, Clear)Sire, Sire, Mute, Mute4-25429, 9 25429-4US1986
Black Celebration (CD, Album)Mute, MuteINT 846.818, CD STUMM 26Germany1986
Black Celebration (LP, Album, Misprint, Grey)Mute, MuteINT 146.818, Stumm 26Germany1986


  • Robotboo2000's avatar
    My copy has 'A classic case of over-focusing' written between the label and the grooves on side A and 'So much for the minimal album' in the same place on side B- anyone have an idea what this means?
    • anastaysi's avatar
      Which one is better, Lyntone or MPO pressing? Does anybody know? I have Lyntone pressing and I consider buying an MPO pressing. Will it be worth it?
      • olivgrau's avatar
        Happy anniversary Black Celebration! It's been 35 years today! I was 15 3/4 back then. After The Singles and Construction Time Again my first Mode album to discover its release as a fan! Although pretty dark, it contains four ballades all sung by Martin, including a premiere ... a single sung by Martin, A Question Of Lust. The accompanied five 12 inches contained a lot of bonus material including live tracks, instrumentals and alternative versions of some album tracks. In Germany the album was also released in grey vinyl and a year later the 12 inches were re-released in colored vinyl. The Stripped 12" even was released in two different colors, blue/white marbled and straight white, the later seems to be very rare! The first editions of the german 7" were released in red vinyl those days, very nice items for collectors. The album is in my TOP5 maybe TOP3 albums of all Mode albums. As I give it a listen today, I tape it, as it was 1986! I'll drink to that ... tonight!
        • alphagrade's avatar
          Some of the ratings on Discogs are nothing short of bizarre, just 4.35/5 for 'Black Celebration?? It's a 4.6 *at least* and the original UK pressing is the one to get.
          • PLAYINGTHEANGEL's avatar
            I bought the first Mute reissue 2007 Gatefold in 2015, great sounding. Hard to find the remasters now from 2007 on vinyl. Do not know how the MOV and Legacy vinyls sound?
            • bluedressed616's avatar
              Truly a masterpiece! And the Depeche Mode album with the most Martin Gore-sung songs on it - 5!

              Just got this vinyl and found yet another version on the matrix. It reads:

              side one: STUMM - 26 - A4 A CLASSIC CASE OF OVER FOCUSING
              side two: STUMM 26 B4 SO MUCH FOR THE MINIMAL ALBUM

              On side one there are dashes between STUMM and the numbers, on side two they are not there. Also, on side two there was a short word which has been scratched away. Might have been M P O, but not sure. Somebody an idea or am I in the wrong discographie? Thanks!
              • Crijevo's avatar
                One of those creative peaks by the group, when you find yourself in a dead end street, unable to choose which one you like best. 'Black Celebration' marks the somewhat more explicitly dark phase of the band - although that part was not as sensational for they already established their trademark with two previous albums... however, this is the boiling point at which Depeche Mode persisted on pushing forward with sonic experimentation against melodic balladry.

                And 'Black Celebration' is once more a fully established, mature album with pop elements included merely as a means of 'necessary evil'. As such, it remains one of their strongest efforts in terms of songs that perfectly blend and compliment one another - the opening title-track once again brings weird introduction into the mix; this is very probably the closest they ever got to Alistair Crowley's black mass...

                By 1986 the gothic-factor stretched itself out into the meainstream music scene and 'Black Celebration' immediately found itself ideal for practicing some naive 'black magic' ritual in that respect. The group now use found, spoken-word tapes ('Fly on the Windscreen') - the practice more evident with EBM practitioners, to which Depeche were always as close as they were actually a little away from. Lyrically on the other hand, the group started marking a slow path towards cliches, remaining a little too pathetic on occasion (phrases like 'my little one' or 'my weaknesses' should give a hint or two).

                'Stripped' which starts with menacing engine sounds, remains a standout track, inviting us to dive ourselves further into the everlasting, now fully-established 'black' of the very music (it definitely should have been the album's opening track). Dance grooves exist but they are not the priority - 'Question of Time' and 'New Dress' (which makes a sly political commentary) are undoubtedly dance floor killers, but more space is given to the haunting beauty of songs like 'World Full of Nothing', 'Question of Time', 'Sometimes' and especially 'Dressed In Black' - darker, slower pieces with ultimate emotional appeal - comforting in their cold, distant tone.

                No matter how annoying or irresistible, depending on individual likes or dislikes of the group, but Dave and Martin do sing with such unpretentious beauty, many others could never match this kind of duel.
                • LostBoyInSpace's avatar
                  This was my Favorite DM album for years, until their new one 'Sounds Of The Universe'. But this one is right up there. Classic. Listen to it all the way through.
                  • rafboy's avatar
                    THIS is the seminal Depeche Mode album. The apex din.

                    This is the sound that plays over a dark horizon, where hope and despair (and love and lust) crest and blur and, with an explosive CLAP(!), burst thick clouds that whet parched spirits. This is the soundtrack to the lump in your throat, the pang in your heart and the stir in your loins.

                    It is the perfect amalgam- where feeling and execution bear manna. From Martin Gore's beautifully mesmerizing melodies, counter-melodies and tenor, to Dave Gahan's seductively mellifluous baritone, to Alan Wilder's superior production and musicianship, to Andrew Fletcher's... er... loop triggering.

                    Every track on this release is great by itself, but the sum of all eclipses the parts. This album is meant to be heard from beginning to end, and then on repeat.

                    Stand out tracks are:
                    Black Celebration, Fly On the Windscreen (Final), A Question Of Lust, Sometimes, Stripped, New Dress, Here Is the House and Dressed In Black (the last two vacillating as my personal favorite).

                    Black Celebration is both a touchstone and watershed in Depeche Mode's career, as well as my life.
                    • Alain_Patrick's avatar
                      Edited 17 years ago
                      No matter what you think about Synthpop, "Black Celebration" is the evidence of a more mature perspective on Depeche Mode's career. It doesn't mean that their older albums weren't great, on the contrary, they were absolutely impressive and essential, but it's like their artistic perspective reached a level of sophistication never attained before.
                      Lucky of those that had the privilege to be present in the Black Celebration Tour made of so deep, intense and emotional tunes. I really wish I could be there. The vocals were explored to their full potential in this album (for example when Dave Gahan sings "Stripped" and "Fly In The Windscreen"), in a way that no other electronic band did at that time. Thanks to Dave, but also Martin Gore, the mainly composer and the more delicate & smoother voice of the band (he was the singer of "Here Is The House" and "World Full Of Nothing", two of the greatest tracks of this LP which, as long as I know, didn't come out on any single).
                      Every single tune had Depeche Mode's own signature in it, but it's impossible to deny that every new step was higher than the ones before. At least until 1990.



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