A Tale of Two Demos

Depeche Mode demo tape, cir. 1980
Depeche Mode demo tape, cir. 1980

Updated 03/06/11 @ 8:25AM

Some amazing clips from an old Depeche Mode demo tape hit SoundCloud yesterday afternoon. The snippets of “Ice Machine,” “Photographic,” and “Radio News” bare all the hallmarks and influences of early Depeche Mode/Composition of Sound, from the Numan-esque vocals on “Radio News” to Fletch’s Joy Division-inspired bass playing on “Ice Machine.” The accidental increased speed/pitch of the original clips, combined with Dave’s 17-year-old voice have thrown off a few fans, calling into question the authenticity of the tapes. With a history of lame covers labeled as demos on file share sites over the last decade, it’s no surprise. Even Vince Clarke seems confused. On Twitter, @SideLineMag asked, “That means they are fake demos?” and @thecabinstudio (Vince) replied “erm… yup.” It’s unconfirmed whether Vince has listened to the clips and seen the photos, or if he’s too embarrassed to admit to them! 😉 The clips have now been updated with the speed problems fixed, and they couldn’t sound better for raw rips from a 31-year-old tape.

However, what many people are still missing is the source of the information. Pete, one of the admins over at Home has been posting the links as they go up (there are a total of six clips from three songs), and the story so far is this: There are two tapes with the exact same running time. One is labeled “Dépèche” Mode and has Vince’s given name, phone number and address on the label (see above), and the other is labeled Composition of Sound. One was sold to the guys from hardcore collector site DepMod.com for £2000 by a man named Dennis, and is in transit from the UK to Germany now. The other is in the UK until further notice, and is owned by an anonymous source. This is the source that bore the clips we’re enjoying now. Pete has repeatedly vouched for the source providing the clips, someone he knows personally, and has seen the photos proving its authenticity. For anyone questioning the tapes, riddle me this: as a friend of the band, an admin of the biggest DM fansite second to DM.com, and one of Depeche Mode’s official tour bloggers, why on earth would Pete risk posting and vouching for fake clips? He’d look like a total tool (which he isn’t). Additionally, a member of the band has now confirmed the authenticity of the tapes.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy one of the coolest and most exciting things to leak to the fanbase in a long time!

(Sources: Pete, and Homies in this this thread.)

Amanda

Amanda is an enthusiastic, globe-trotting Mode fan who discovered the band in late 1998. Although she often feels like she got a late start in the Depeche Mode's career, she's survived nearly 20 years of the fandom, five new albums and multiple meetings with her love for the band intact (and stronger than ever). Amanda is a life-long creative, a classically trained graphic designer, working professionally as a User Experience Designer for one of the world's largest technology companies. When not at work or traveling for Depeche, she enjoys character illustration, comics, movies and Japanese Culture. And cats. Lots of Cats.

  • Nlmda

    Vince did state in an earlier reply on twitter: we were not that good, suggesting he has heard the clips.
    Why Peter is going through this i dont know ( to early for april-fools day).

  • nlmda

    have to say that by now, reading Pete comments on HOME, i think this is the real thing. (sorry for the typo in my first comment; should have been ” too” )

  • MissionMode

    Could it just be that he just wants to stay out of it? Could it be he heard a different clip a few weeks ago which does appear to be fake? Could it be he doesn’t waste time answering rumours from Side-Line after all these years? I did wonder whether Fletch could have been that good at the bass. The one thing I do know: If Pete or PeterToo say that a member of the band has verified it, you can trust that they are not lying about that.