- Depeche Mode - Live At Crocs Night Club June 27, 1981 (CROCS - 1906) Black Vinyl
Now this is cool!
who’s followed this blog within the past week. Somehow there are suddenly 40 of you! :o
If you continue to like the content, please spread the word, if you’d like. <3
Hoping to get another review of sorts up tonight with any luck.
Depeche Mode - “Photographic” (Some Bizarre Album, 1981)
Oh yes. I much prefer this one.
This version was released on Some Bizarre Records by Stevo Pearce prior to Speak & Spell. He was a friend of Daniel Miller (Mute Records) and still owns the label today. #TheMoreYouKnow
Just moving this over from my personal blog for chronological purposes.
So this was the single release deal that was struck the night of the Depeche Mode/Fad Gadget gig at Ronnie Scott’s in London (11 November 1980). The Some Bizarre version was recorded in late November 1980 for its release on 30 January 1981.
Of the demo, Some Bizarre single, and Speak & Spell album versions, this one is still pretty much my favorite. It retains the urgency of the demo and their earliest live performances, but still holds that clearer studio sound. I like a little retro-beat pop and crackle, and Dave’s vocals on the S&S version feel a bit too ‘pretty’.
You can hear Daniel Miller talk a bit about his experiences with Stevo Pearce and DM’s early days on his Domino Radio show from 2011. The commentary begins at 53 min, 55 sec in:
This is another Composition of Sound/Early DM post.
I figured I needed a place to dump all the finds I couldn’t fit into my last ‘Ice Machine’ demo review. Because, let’s face it. These guys pumped out some great stuff even in their earliest days.
We’ll work our way backwards…
Soundboard Recording of DM’s Southend On Sea Technical College show. November 14th 1980. They would have been going by ‘Depeche Mode’ for about two weeks by then.
Show is uploaded in 7 parts:
Audio from their Canning Bridgehouse, London gig on October 30th, 1980. Depeche Mode (going by the name for a solid twenty-four hours at this point). Make note of the apathetic clapping from the audience… hilarious. Twelve days later, DM would open for Fad Gadget at the Bridgehouse, meet Daniel Miller, and make a deal to record a single forStevo Pearce’s Some Bizarre Records. They would sign with Miller/Mute Records just weeks later:
Demos (Spring/Summer 1980). Earliest stuff I’ve yet been able to find… Of what has been fortunately shared online at least:
If interested, it’s worth looking up the audios from The French Look that have popped up online as well now. That’d be Gore’s band that he formed alongside Robert Marlow and Paul Redmond before (and during) his early COS days.
Disregard any “Mode demos” you find online that claim to be from 1979 or earlier. COS didn’t actually form until mid-1980. Those people who claim otherwise are pulling your leg…
Oh god. A kind soul uploaded half a soundboard bootleg of DM’s 1982 Glasgow show at Tiffany’s to YouTube recently. Would have been their first appearance in the city as a band.
Will definitely be sharing when I get to that point in the timeline of this project.
Depeche Mode - ‘The Meaning of Love’
UK pressing. 7 MUTE 022.
7” 45 RPM single. Released: 26 April 1982.
Matrix / Runout (Side A, var.2): MUTE-22-A-2. LYN11551. BUNDA TAPE.
Matrix / Runout (Side B, var.2): MUTE-22-B-2. LYN11552.
Ahhh you have such a great record collection Nicole. I would love to listen to just spend a saturday listening to all your vinyls, discussing the music lyrically and theoretically. Especially some old school DM
Thank you, Sean! But I have such a baby collection really- I’m just getting started! (Bought another single today that I’m going to share in a few minutes…) Theoretical discussion sounds like a lovely idea though any day. Especially about these guys, you could go on forever. Feel free to jump in about what I talk about here if you ever want to! :)
Look what I picked up today:
Depeche Mode - ‘New Life’
UK vinyl. First/only press. 7 MUTE 014.
7” 45 RPM single. Released: 13 June 1981
Matrix / Runout (Side A): MUSICAL MOMENTS. DAMONT. A PORKY PRIME CUT. MUTE 014 A1. BG.
Matrix / Runout (Side B): DAMONT. SINGALONGAMODE. MUTE 014 B1. A PORKY PRIME CUT. EG.
Composition of Sound/Depeche Mode - ‘Iceman (Original Demo, Spring/Summer 1980)’
I’ve spent the last half day racking my brain about what would be an appropriate starting point for this project. Obviously, the masochist in me wants to dig deep down to the dirty beginnings, when Dépêche mode was still a magazine in a shop window, before Vince Clarke demanded the shift to synth, and Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher were alternating respective bands outwith college life at St Nicholas School in Southend Basildon, Essex. Dave Gahan, well, he was still a fashion-forward lad rumoured to be frequenting the Blitz and glam. Barely on the radar.
The initial problem with trying to review the Depeche Mode catalogue in chronological order (down in the dregs and bottoms up) is deciphering the band’s actual incarnation. What actually constitutes the first ever Depeche Mode song? Is it the array of covers they began playing after their formation as Composition of Sound in early May of 1980? How about the few originals Clarke would inevitably pen for COS? ‘Reason Man’. ‘Addiction (Ghost of Modern Time)’. ‘Tomorrow’s Dance’. ‘Ice Machine’, or Gore’s instrumental ‘Big Muff’. Or even the elusive but oddly popular ‘Television Set’? A bug of a synth riff that Martin would transform from the lyrics of an acoustic song written by his hippie bandmates during his Norman & the Worms years (1978-79).
We haven’t even considered the exact moment Dave Gahan stepped onto the scene. Composition of Sound had played two official gigs in Basildon before he’d ever pick up a mic. (June 14, 1980, if you were wondering.) And Depeche Mode wouldn’t play a show as Depeche Mode until October 29, 1980. So what IS the first ever legitimate Depeche Mode tune?
…ARGH, HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO CHOOSE?!
After a few good cross-references and an overview of what I’ve found, I think we’ve got a candidate. We’ll stick to the earliest days of COS:
‘Ice Machine (Original Demo, Spring/Summer 1980)’.
I pick this one because it’s a pure example of very early COS/DM collaborative effort, a distinct developing style, and a homemade attempt at music production. For one, in this demo, Fletcher can still be heard playing a driving bass line. That means the band hadn’t completely made the switch to the ‘synth train’ just yet. Additionally, it’s a Clarke track… with a touch of Mart’s musicianship and only a sliver of Gahan vocals. ‘Ice Machine’ would be released as a b-side to the band’s first ever Speak & Spell album single release ‘Dreaming of Me’ on February 20, 1981. (The single itself was recorded in December of 1980.)
Ice Machine. A Mode track under the COS name, penned before Gahan, but spruced by his vocals as a treasured b-side to Speak & Spell.
The tape hisses into a single vibrating note, the click of the drum machine. Its rolling melody kicks in within moments to reveal a synonymy of vocals that, in their single-channel beauty, almost sound harmonic. It’s catchy, electric, surprising, somber at its bridge, but soaring and promising. This is the earliest Depeche Mode we’ll ever know.
Live bootlegs exist of the song from a Canning Bridgehouse gig as early as October 30, 1980. And none sooner. (In fact, the Bridgehouse gig is the earliest live DM bootleg you’ll probably be able to find online to date. Remarkably, uploaders of these early gigs have only started sharing parts of them on YouTube within these last few months to two years.)
Anywho… don’t forget to check out the accompanying video still-image that marks the tape as property of a certain ‘Mr. V J Martin’…
So begins our chronological journey into the past! I hope you enjoy it. But most of all, enjoy this tune.
Jonathan Miller. Stripped: The True Story of Depeche Mode. Google EBooks, 2004.
This is not official yet, but we have gotten confirmation from various sources that Depeche Mode has signed a record deal with Sony Music. Sony Music Entertainment is the second largest music corporation in the world and is owned and controlled by Sony Corporation of America, the United States subsidiary of Japan’s Sony Corporation.
Note that EMI Music, who had signed an exclusive worldwide deal with Depeche Mode for its 2009 album “Sounds of the Universe”, didn’t want to renew the deal for the band’s new album expected for 2013. We were told the sales figures were not what EMI had expected them to be.
We hope that the official press release on this record deal will bring some more details especially as to what will be the role of Mute chairman Daniel Miller in this new Depeche Mode chapter.
So I’ve decided that I’d like to embark on a massive Mode project. It’s been a long time brewing in my brain.
Those of you that have been following this blog for a few months know that it’s been a bit dead until recently. I had (and continue to have) high hopes for the kind of content I want to make/post on here. And that is, strictly: review, interview/viewing-based style commentary blurbs.
When I turned from casual fan to accidental Devotee in March of this year, I had no idea how sonically and aesthetically this band would define and influence my tastes in the months that followed. So, I’d like to continue to document that journey.
What I propose is this. A project in which I go through DM’s entire back catalogue and review the thing from start to finish, from behind twenty-first century eyes. (Yes, because I am insane, just finished my masters dissertation, and am only partially employed… why do you ask?) I hope to make even more new discoveries along the way, pulling from accurate sources and citing where appropriate. It’s something that will also keep my writing skills fresh.
If at any point, my readers would like to contribute to the discussion, please feel free. Stjaerna is an open forum for musical love… to be interspersed with the random awesome bout of photos, of course.
It may be a daily project. And sometimes, it may be a weekly project. In any case, a great thanks in advance for those who wish to hop along on the ride.
Let’s do this.
The first 1 minute and 50 seconds of the Barrel of a Gun video is something genius. Then I’m convinced Anton Corbijn decided it all wasn’t ‘Anton Corbijn enough’ and pulled the usual. Still striking, just expected.
by John Freeman. Published October 25th, 2012.
I love The Quietus. Their articles are a personal and well-written array of proper music commentary and reflection. What a music journal should be.
They published this article last week. Twenty-five years on from the release of MFTM. So I thought I’d share. (Bonus: Check out the related articles on the side for more Mode and Recoil banter. Good stuff.)
As a follow-up to that last reblog, I need to put this here.
Fanmade music video for The Dead of Night. Uploaded some five years ago. Genius stuff, despite age and pixelation.
Why couldn’t I find this four days ago when it would have been cool and awesome on the one perfect day of the year for it to exist?