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Acclaimed music photographer Brian Griffin has died at the age of 75

Griffin's acclaimed cover for Depeche Mode's A Broken Flame was hailed as one of the defining shots of the 1980s.

By Nick Reilly

Brian Griffin (Picture: Dogma85/YouTube)

Brian Griffin, the man who shot some of the most memorable album sleeves of the 1980s for artists including Depeche Mode and Echo & The Bunnymen, has died at the age of 75.

Griffin, who was hailed by The Guardian as their “photographer of the decade” in 1989, passed away in his sleep, as confirmed by his business partner Vaughn George.

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce that my dear friend and business partner Brian Griffin passed away peacefully in his sleep,” said George.

“I am heartbroken but I will cherish every conversation, the time we spent together and all the wonderful experiences. Rest peacefully my friend.”

Griffin began work as a celebrated corporate photographer in the 1970s, before his work with Stiff Records saw him become established in the world of music. Throughout the eighties he shot many of the decade’s defining album covers, including Depeche Mode’s A Broken Frame – a distinctive photo of a woman cutting grain in a field inspired by the socialist photography of Soviet Russia.

It went on to be named Photograph Of The Decade by Time in 1990.

Other work included his iconic portraits of The Jam and Elvis Costello and album covers by the likes of Joe Jackson and Siouxsie & The Banshees.

He left photography behind in the 1990s to start a production company, but returned in the early 2000s when he spearheaded a campaign for his native Birmingham to be named the European Capital of Culture. He also shot a documentary for Paul McCartney in 2004.

Paying tribute, writer Bill Brewster said: “Sorry to hear about the death of Brian Griffin. When I interviewed fellow snapper Peter Ashworth, he said he was a source of inspiration: He’s a stunning photographer I learned how to light by seeing Brian’s pictures and thinking, ‘These excite me’.

A Depeche Mode fan account added: “Brian’s photographic and creative genius was responsible for some of Depeche Mode’s (and many other artists) most iconic album covers & photoshoots.”