DVD Single Review: Depeche Mode – “Freelove”

“Freelove” was Depeche Mode’s first DVD single. It has a very simple menu; the motif is the front cover art, while the menu itself is small squares with your choices listed next to the squares. There are five menu choices: “Freelove [Live],” “Video Clips,” “Breathe [Live],” “Dead of Night [Live],” and “Credits.”

One has to wonder why a live video was released for “Freelove” instead of the original, since it is known that a video was made for the song. The video that does appear on this disc is not very strong, even for a live video. It’s obvious in the long shots that director Anton Corbijn was “cheating” by using clips from other songs that were performed at the concert; it’s especially obvious after seeing the live DVD One Night in Paris that was released in May 2002.

The video clips are thirty seconds in length: a soundcheck for “In Your Room” which barely shows the band (it’s primarily the camera panning around the stadium), the band meeting with fans and signing autographs (with “Dirt” playing in the background), a performance of “Black Celebration” where all you hear is the opening instrumental and the first line of vocal, and Dave Gahan talking about shooting the “Freelove” video in New Orleans along with some shots of the video shoot.

The two audio-only tracks are accompanied by a still image of the band from a photo shoot. Each song has a different shot, but both shots are from the same photo session. The credits section gives Mute Records’ “snail mail” address, Mute’s website address, copyright information, special thanks to Anton Corbijn, and an advertisement for the original issue of The Videos 86 > 98 DVD.

To say that is DVD single was a disappointment is an understatement. When the DVD single was being pushed as a potential new format, labels needed to make sure that the consumer got a “bang for their buck” in order to make the format desirable to music fans and collectors. Unfortunately, this DVD single was a wasted opportunity for the band and for the label.

Overall, this DVD single could have been a lot better, and it’s doubtful that a casual Depeche Mode fan would enjoy it. For the diehard Depeche Mode fans, this release is only worth it if they want to own every item or every track released by Depeche Mode. If you’re a Depeche Mode fan that doesn’t fall into one of those categories, then the “Freelove” DVD single is a release that you can skip.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of the “Freelove” DVD single that my husband and I purchased.


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