Violator, a sparse, brooding album, reflects on love and all it's incarnations - no matter how pure or dark. The first Depeche Mode album to sell over a million copies in the USA solidified the bands place in rock history.
Depeche Mode‘s minimalistic electronica music changed with the new decade. As the world moved into the 1990’s, DM followed suit. Picking up guitars and becoming more experimental in their writing and recording style, they created an album that sparked the public interest so much, that at one signing, the expected audience of a few thousand turned into 15,000. The band left the event, and a riot nearly ensued.
To me, Violator is pure and simply an album about the journey of love. But, it’s not about the sugary sweet love, or the relationship and breaking up found most in contemporary pop music. It’s about the dark side of love, about worship, about selfishness, about fear, and about pleasure in pain.
World In My Eyes: Sonically dark and misleading, at the heart of this song is the hope of newfound passion. Love is not there yet, it’s mistaken lust. This lomograph is passion incarnate.
Sweetest Perfection: This is a song about ownership, misconstrued love. I think the suggestion of violence indicates that the protagonist may be willing to do something desperate to get his way. This image, her eyes hidden, extracts the personality and leaves the obsession.
Personal Jesus: This is a cocky song, simply a man who behaves selfishly, without love and with no concern for his lovers.
Halo: This song feels desperate; the walls are falling in, lovers who are perhaps like Romeo and Juliet, destroying everything they hold dear to be together. This twisting spiral feels, in an abstract manner, like the walls are closing in to the sad conclusion.
Waiting for the Night: This song feels like a diversion from the theme and the journey. A simple moment of calm before the storm.
Enjoy the Silence: Here is the love song. Lust now tempered with a need for the lover. I couldn’t choose. The couple here looking into each others eyes no need to talk, no need to touch. Or the photo of her. Not as important as the feeling of the photographer, we’ve all been there and we know what he was experiencing.
Policy of Truth: The song speaks for itself and so does this image. Her mistakes laid out behind her for all to see and her decision perhaps to no longer follow her policy.
Blue Dress: The dress is a metaphor for something darker. This is simply a song about pleasure in pain. I’ve chosen something a little lighter here, with a touch of comedy.
Clean: The end of the journey. The protagonist is cleaning up their act, and feeling relief from admitting to their addiction…and lying through their teeth. I love the sense of calm in this image.
Next month’s installment will feature one of rock music’s highest selling albums at an estimated 50 million+—Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.
Don’t forget to private message me with your suggestions for photographs for the songs!
Photos by the community, words by Adam Griffiths. Originally from the United Kingdom, Adam now lives in Auckland New Zealand. Stay tuned for more Classic Albums in Lomographs!