Enjoy The Silence (official music video)

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If you were looking for the article about the song 'Enjoy The Silence', see Enjoy The Silence.

The official music video for 'Enjoy The Silence' is a 1990 music video directed by Anton Corbijn featuring Dave Gahan dressed as a king carrying a folding deck chair roaming through remote vistas in search of a quiet place to sit.

Dave Gahan - Alvor, Portugal

Original version

The music video for 'Enjoy The Silence' features Dave Gahan dressed as a king carrying a folding deck chair. Through a series of landscape shots, Gahan is seen roaming solemnly through lush, remote vistas in humble search of a quiet place to sit, interspersed with quick cuts of black and white footage featuring the band and stylized photographs of the Violator rose. The video uses an officially unreleased (in audio form, unreleased as of November 2019) edit of the album version of 'Enjoy The Silence', featuring an alternate introduction comprised of the outro choir melody, harpsichord-like stabs, bass stabs, the primary choir stabs, a hi-hat pattern, and snare.

Filming began in a London studio, featuring black and white footage of the band posing against a black background. Andrew Fletcher recalled: "'Enjoy The Silence' was my personal favourite video to make, because it only took me an hour. We went into the studio, and Anton said, 'This will only take a while', and we said, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah, this is going to take all day.' And he said after an hour, 'Well, you can go home now', and we thought, 'Oh, great!' And poor old Dave, he had six days of filming in freezing conditions in the Alps, in everywhere, which was just freezing."[1]

The folding deck chair prop featured in the music video, won by fan ModeMan101 at a Depeche Mode convention.
Image courtesy of Instagram user ModeMan101.

Filming for the landscape beach and field footage began at the Queen's Balmoral Estate in Scotland before resuming in the Swiss Alps and Alvor, Portugal in mid-January 1990. Conditions during filming in Scotland were reported to be unbearably cold for both the crew and Gahan, who was required to stand on a windy hillside for more than eight hours dressed lightly in costume.[2]. By the end of filming the Scotland sequence, the crew's vehicle (a Range Rover) became trapped in the tundra.[2]. The Swiss Alps long shots seen in the final moments of the video are noteworthy as the king seen roaming through the tundra is video producer Richard Bell. Fed up with the freezing conditions onsite, Gahan handed the costume to Bell and left upon learning the next scene was to be a long shot:

We spent about a week filming that. It was quite hard work, but it was a lot of fun. And I got to dress up as king, with the crown and everything. We done it in Portugal, we went to Scotland, at Balmoral, we went up in the French Alps ... it was basically myself and Anton, and the producer Richard Bell travelling all over Europe. There's shots in that video that actually weren't me. Towards the end of filming there's this one shot and I'd really had it, I just wanted to go back to the hotel. We'd taken this helicopter which we had on standby at the top of this mountain, and Anton wanted me to do this shot where I was like way way away, and there was this beautiful scene, it was just all snow [...] And so I thought, 'You know what, Richard?' I took the crown off, I put it on his head, I took the robe off, I put it on him, I said, 'You fucking do it.' And I got in the helicopter, went down and had a cup of hot chocolate in the hotel.

— Dave Gahan - The Videos 86>98[3]

Edited versions

There are two edits of the 'Enjoy The Silence' music video. One version begins with Fletcher looking to his right, with various shots of Gahan mouthing the lyrics directly to the camera intercut with long shots of him roaming the Scottish Highlands, Praia Da Prainha beach, and the Swiss Alps. The video concludes with a shot of Gahan dressed in costume singing the line "Enjoy the silence", before putting a finger to his lips.

Handwritten note by Anton Corbijn explaining the concept for the 'Enjoy The Silence' music video.
Included in the 2005 DVD release Anton Corbijn ‎– The Work Of Director Anton Corbijn. Image retrieved via Facebook group “Depeche Mode Classic Photos And Videos”. Scanner unknown.

The second version features Martin L. Gore looking to his right in the opening moments. In this version, the shots of Gahan singing to the viewer are cut, leaving only two scenes in which he sings the lines "Words are very unnecessary - They can only do harm." The video concludes with a shot of Gahan unfolding and sitting on his deck chair in the snow while the final line "Enjoy the silence" brings the song to a close. Some minor differences in the black and white group footage exist between the two versions of the video.


A handwritten note by Corbijn describing the production and execution of the 'Enjoy The Silence' music video is featured in a booklet accompanying the 2005 documentary Anton Corbijn ‎– The Work Of Director Anton Corbijn. A transcript of the note can be read below.

DEPECHE MODE "Enjoy The Silence"

One of the most beautiful songs I have worked with and I kept coming back to the band with this one idea I had for the video, which was the image of a king walking around the world looking for peace, in silence, and bringing his deck chair with him. It took me a lot of persuasion to get a go-ahead, possibly because no-one had a better idea. We started in December 1989 in Scotland which was hard as it was really cold and then I took off for a beach and started again in mid-January on two locations in Portugal and one in Switzerland. We [traveled] as a team of 5, me + Dave included. It was all filmed with the Super 8 camera so we had minimal equipment to carry around bar the heavy pole + the deck chair. Back in London we shot (on 16mm) the band for a few hours in the studio and that was it. It was played a lot everywhere and is still. Love the idea of it. Peace.

Anton Corbijn



  1. Source: Andrew Fletcher, The Videos 86>98
  2. 2.0 2.1 Source: BONG magazine issue #8, January 1990
  3. Source: Dave Gahan about making the video for 'Enjoy The Silence'; The Videos 86>98.