A Broken Frame is the second studio album by the English electronic band Depeche Mode, released on 27 September 1982 by Mute Records. The album was written entirely by Martin Gore and recorded after the departure of Vince Clarke, who had left the band to form Yazoo with singer Alison Moyet. Alan Wilder was part of a second tour in the United Kingdom occurring prior to the release of this album, but he had not officially joined the band yet, and thus, does not appear on the album.
Melody Maker noted that "A Broken Frame – as its name suggests – marks the end of a beautiful dream". Reviewer Steve Sutherland considered that the songs of A Broken Frame "sound like puerile infatuations papering over anonymity" with "weary words". He found that "Shouldn't Have Done That" is the only "ambitious departure" from their previous work.
The cover artwork is a photograph, but is intended to resemble a painting. It depicts a woman cutting grain in an East Anglian field, near Duxford in Cambridgeshire. It was taken by Brian Griffin (who had previously done the cover photograph for Speak & Spell and press photos for the band) using a mixture of natural and artificial lighting. Griffin cited as inspirations Ukrainian and Russian art, especially the work of Kazimir Malevich, and German romantic art. Griffin has displayed on his website a gallery of alternative images from the same shoot.
It was featured on the cover of Life Magazine's 1990 edition of "World's Best Photographs 1980–1990".
Mute: DM CD 2 (CD/SACD + DVD) / CDX STUMM 9 (CD/SACD)
Disc 1 is a hybrid SACD/CD with a multi-channel SACD layer. The track listing is identical to the 1982 UK release, except "Satellite" which is 4:43 long and contains a slight edit, or error, at the beginning of the track.
Disc 2 is a DVD which includes A Broken Frame in DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1 and PCM Stereo plus bonus material.
Bonus Tracks (in DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1, PCM Stereo)
In 2015, the Greek synthpop duo Marsheaux released a complete cover version of A Broken Frame on Undo Records. While the reviewer for Release Magazine wrote that this version was not "anything essential" but well done, other reviews were more detailed.The Electricity Club found influences of And One in the cover of "The Sun & the Rainfall" and concluded that Marsheaux had "used unconventional sounds and vocals to make this record their own". Reviews from Germany noted that Marsheaux had elaborated on the assetts and downsides of the original release. According to Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, the kitschy sides of the early Depeche Mode album were deliberately uncovered in tracks like "The Meaning of Love" while the Sonic Seducer lauded Marsheaux's darker and slower interpretation of this song.