In what Sony are calling the "first in a series of band approved retrospective projects," Depeche Mode's Video Singles Collection will be released on November 11, 2016. It's a 3 DVD set containing every single one of the band's videos, from the sublime (Enjoy The Silence, Walking In My Shoes, Personal Jesus and every other video from A Question Of Time to Home) to the ridiculous (It's Called A Heart, The Meaning Of Love) to Hole To Feed, an uncatregorisable video in every single sense. Let's have a look at what's on offer.
First up, the cover art is cool. The DM logo is a bit odd, but the use of the iconic icons is superb and has been wonderfully trailed by the band's official channels this week. 10 out of 10 for that. Content wise, you can guess what's there because, like I said above, it contains every video for every single the band have released. Over the three DVD's, that's 55 singles and many good, if not great videos. The landmark Anton Corbijn era ones stand out of course, but there's something enjoyably naive about some of the early ones, from the leather clad guys turn cocktail drinking trumpet players of Just Can't Get Enough to the clearly made on loads of drugs Julien Temple directed Leave In Silence. One of my favourite non Anton videos is Shake The Disease as that marks the precise moment the band became actual Gods.
There are bonuses too in the way of 4 additional videos:
People Are People (12" version)
But Not Tonight (Pool Version)
Soothe My Soul (Extended)
Stripped (Unreleased Alternate Cut)
I know I should have, but I've never seen that version of But Not Tonight and the Unreleased Alternate Cut of Stripped is intriguing. Soothe My Soul was not that enjoyable in its original format, so an Extended version fails to get my blood racing.
There is all new commentary from the band too, recorded this year. I usually forget to listen to commentary, but all new chat will be worth hearing. If it's like the commentaries they provided for the reissues, that'll be interesting.
One of the most intriguing things about this is Sony's assertion that it's the first of a number of band approved retrospectives. That certainly caught my eye and we can perhaps hope that more vintage Depeche stuff will hit our shelves one day. The next Singles boxset perhaps or maybe something more - who knows? It's worth keeping an eye on.
As for this release as a whole, it's going to know doubt cause the usual ructions among the fan base. The press release says that it's 55 "newly restored" videos on DVD, so I guess that means no Blu-Ray which won't go down well in some quarters.
An essential release then? Probably not, but it's one I'll buy anyway. A whole set of the videos in one place is fine by me and the new commentary should hopefully throw up a few interesting things. Next year seems to be when the Mode machine cranks up again, so it's nice to have a starter meantime. Ok, it's maybe more of a salad than a prawn cocktail in the starter world, but Video Singles Collection should hopefully be a tasty enough prelude to the main meal served up next year. A review will follow with, I promise, no tortured food analogies.
Depeche Mode Video Singles Collection is released on 11 November 2016 on 3 DVD set. It will be available from all usual outlets.