My last video breakdown was rather morbid and disturbing. I admit that. So, I'm going to do another breakdown to make up for it. This time my target is not a creepy A-bomb test straight out of The Nuclear Age. This time I'm going more recent, into the eighties, long after the Cold War was dead (although nuclear testing was still going strong). Now a different culture ruled, driven by consumerism and prosperity, and this climate gave birth to... the music video. (After all that build-up, that feels like a really disappointing conclusion.)
So which hapless eighties band is going to be going under the microscope today? Depeche Mode. I'm sure you'll be surprised to learn that I actually like them, and that today's target is my absolute favorite song of theirs. What can I say? I'm an equal opportunity mocker, and this video was just asking for it. Sadly, I can't embed it, so you'll have to watch it yourself.
I like the stuff at the beginning. It fits the song. The reflections are absolutely hypnotizing. (full disclosure: I got three hours of sleep last night.)
I don't think anyone believes they're actually playing those instruments. Part of the reason I love Depeche Mode so much is because they have synthesizers. I don't know if my adoration of synthesizers has ever come up here before, even though maybe people have guessed at it.
Oh, and here is Dave. His sole purpose in the band is to sing. His sole purpose in this video is to dance. He is far better at one than the other. Henceforth, I shall refer to him as Dancin' Dave. His dancing is part heart attack and part violent twitching and jerking, with a dash of Rick Astley.
Here are the rest of the band members! They play the synthesizers. Sometimes they sing too. I want to know what the director was on when he decided that this... this... hair chorus was ever a good idea. I swear they are arranged in descending order by the height of their hair.
Okay, Cameraman, you can stop zooming now. Uh, Cameraman? Hello? Cameraman? Please stop, I don't need to see this much of Martin Gore...
Woah! The good news is, we now have neon. The bad news is, we also have Double Dancin' Dave! Watch the awkward dancing in stereo.
They need to stop superimposing Dancin' Dave over everything. I actually like these scenes in the background, and they fit the song, but I have a hard time watching them because of Dave doing his best Never Gonna Give You Up dance in front of everything. Oh, no, wait, I take that back, he's back to jumping around again. And all this time there are lovely office buildings going by in the background. Do you see what I mean?
I really like that wall.
The hair chorus is back! Martin really looks like he doesn't want to be there. Alan Wilder (guy in the middle) is getting really into it, though. (Fun fact- he's the guy responsible for those amazing bloopy noises in the background of the choruses.)
Dancin' Dave and the Chorus are on the screen at the same time. I don't know if I can handle this.
This bit with the ladder screws with my head. I'm very happy Dave isn't dancin' away over this bit, too. My brain might explode.
I have seen this video many times. I have pondered very deeply over the possible significance of this piece. But I am still utterly befuddled by the people in robes jumping up and down.
Hooray, it's Martin's toy harmonica! I have seen it in action before.
I am less amazed by the random beach than I am by the notable absence of Dancin' Dave. What happened? Oh, no, wait, there they all are. Martin's gravity-defying hair was the first thing I noticed. How he escaped being first in the Hair Chorus, I have no idea.
So you want to do an epic spinning band shot around a statue. Said statue has a square base. The band has four members. What do you do? Put each member of the Hair Chorus on a side and awkwardly stick Dancin' Dave on a corner. Obviously. (Why do I notice this stuff?)
And now they're all sitting in mysterious chairs on the beach. What a nice ending. My brain hurts.
28 minutes ago