Depeche Mode is one of those bands with a huge, varied catalog that I genuinely enjoy more or less every phase they've gone through. There is, however, something about their first few records that I find particularly charming. There is no questioning the fact that their approach to electronic music not only revolutionized the way it was played, but brought its commercial potential from being a cult genre to a massive movement. They literally influenced nearly every pop act for the entire 1980's.
The artwork found on the cover of these early LPs is invariably striking, and A Broken Frame stands out as my favorite. The stark difference in colors between the stormy sky, the grain, and the woman's clothing combined with the variety of texture in each of those elements is slightly beyond my ability to describe analytically, but I know that it truly moves me. These aspects are augmented by the fact that the music found within the album was, at the time, the most technologically advanced possible while the artwork portrays an antiquated method of harvesting grain, and also the fact that the task the woman is undertaking seems insurmountable (all that grain by hand?), and yet she continues undeterred. This is truly a powerful image.