Gore stepped up to take the main writing duties and if, perhaps, it took him a couple of albums to truly find a groove, Black Celebration was the point that the Basildon quartet became very, very interesting.
Martin Gore was undergoing an intense period of personal change in 1985-86.
Five years earlier, Depeche Mode had lost their principal songwriter, Vince Clarke.
As one of Britain's most prolific hit-makers, Clarke's were big shoes to fill – he already had written the synth-pop classics 'New Life' and 'Just Can't Get Enough' for the Mode, and would go on to further success with Yazoo, The Assembly and Erasure.
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He provided lead vocals on (an unprecedented) four tracks, including the angst-infected 'World Full Of Nothing' and the fabulous dirge of 'A Question Of Lust'.
But more than that, Black Celebration was perhaps a turning point for the band in the UK.
Black Celebration elevated Depeche Mode to arena-tour status in the UK, while cementing their popularity in America (where they partied their way through a 29-date tour).
It also began the trio of career-defining albums including 1987's Music For The Masses and the crossover, stadium-filler Violator (1990).
While America seemed to already 'get' Depeche Mode (they succeeded as a new-wave pop band who could also fit snugly next to REM on a college radio playlist), they still possessed the whiff of 'guilty pleasure' in their home country.