Depeche Mode – Behind the wheel
On December 28, 1987, Depeche Mode released the third single from their album “Music for the masses”. They had released “Strangelove” in April, and “Never let me down again“, in August. “Behind the wheel”, in Depeche Mode’s intentions, probably wanted to be some kind of sequel to “Never let me down again”, and this becomes quite evident by watching the video.
If you speak Italian, this video is probably familiar and strangely fascinating to you. Depeche Mode really surfed through the 80s, since Vince Clarke’s days, and when this song climbed the charts in early 1988, they had already shown incredible videos and fantastic songs. But this black-and-white video was really nice, and it’s particular.
The director Anton Corbijn in 1987 is still at the beginning of a very long career, but he knows how to create suggestive settings; moreover, he is also a great photographer and in his life he will portrait famous people, first of all Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. Corbijn loves black and white, and a couple of years earlier he had shot his first music video, U2’s “Pride (in the name of love)” in black and white.
Corbijn also shot the two previous videos of Depeche Mode, and he resumes his work exactly where he left off: Dave Gahan is dressed exactly as in the video for “Never let me down again”, and at the beginning of the video he abandons after an accident the same car that he drove in that video. He is in the middle of the countryside, left with a couple of coins looking like old italian liras, and continues holding on crutches, which he abandons when a girl arrives on a Vespa scooter and gives him a ride.
They end up in a small village, where they get into a café. The Café sign is in Italian: the video is shot in Italy, the scenes with the lake were shot in Arona, on Lake Maggiore, but looking at the landscapes it is likely that some country scenes were shot probably in lower Emilia, almost a tribute to the landscapes of great movie director Giovanni Guareschi and his characters Don Camillo and Peppone in the 50s. In addition to the steering wheel of the car and the wheels of the Vespa scooter, also the wheel of love spins for Gahan and the girl once they enter the cafe, and obviously comes out the number that is a symbol for love and sex.
All the lyrics of this beautiful, deep song tell how sometimes it’s appropriate to let yourself be driven, and as Gahan says, be the passenger while someone else is behind the wheel, and can decide where to take our lives.
Depeche Mode on Wikipedia