Demos & Studio Pre-Mixes
This page contains samples of every demo or studio pre-mix which is circulating and that has not been commercially released. Tracks are presented in chronological order by the album they are related to, then ordered according to their original source, if known, and otherwise ordered according to the album's track listing. All demo tracks are provided in their entirety (if available), but studio pre-mixes are limited to a length of 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
For a listing of demos and tracks which are known to be fake, please see Fake tracks. Also note that the 5-track 1980 demo tape that Robin Neale supposedly unearthed is most likely a fake. Read more information about his fake tapes here: Robin Neale's early tapes.
Please note that this page does not include the demos which appear on the third disc of the "Sounds Of The Universe" box set as they are officially released.
There are more demos which are not currently circulating. Such demos that are known to exist are on demo tapes for the albums "Black Celebration" and "Violator" (referred to as its working title "Perversion"). Martin sings lead vocals for all of these demo tracks. More information about each of those demo tapes can be found here and here, respectively.
On Shunt Q&A, Alan Wilder provided his thoughts about demos and rough mixes that end up on bootlegs and the Internet:
- From: Alan Woody
- E-mail: AlanWoody@email.msn.comI've been seeing demo versions of DM songs turn up on bootleg recordings and on the internet lately. Do you have any idea how these recordings got into the hands of the public? I would imagine that Martin would be reluctant to pass around tapes to just anyone. Were these stolen copies? Did he give them to his girlfriend? Were they copied by someone in the studio looking to make an extra buck?
Copies of demos and rough mixes are made up for all sorts of people (from band members to record company people, video directors, collaborators etc.) and invariably end up in the hands of fans and bootleggers. There's not much you can do about it. I have never given away any of my copies of Martin's demos and yet I don't now possess all of them - where did they go?
- 1 1980 / 1981 Speak & Spell Era
- 1.1 Composition Of Sound Demo Tape
- 1.2 Let's Get Together (Demo)
- 1.3 Summer 1980 Demo Tape
- 1.4 I Sometimes Wish I Was Dead (Flexipop Version)
- 2 1983 Construction Time Again Era
- 3 1984 Some Great Reward Era
- 4 1985 - 1986 Black Celebration Era
- 4.1 Martin Gore 1985 Home Demos
- 4.2 It's Called A Heart (Studio Pre-Mix)
- 4.3 Fly On The Windscreen (Studio Pre-Mix)
- 4.4 World Full Of Nothing (Alternate Version)
- 4.5 Dressed In Black (Pre-Release Version)
- 4.6 Christmas Island (Emulator II Sequence)
- 4.7 "Black Celebration" Demo Tape
- 5 1987 Music For The Masses Era
- 6 1989 Martin's Counterfeit e.p. Era
- 7 1989 - 1990 Violator Era
- 8 1995-1997 Ultra Era
- 9 2001 Exciter Era
- 10 2009 Sounds Of The Universe Era
- 11 Technical info
- 12 References
1980 / 1981 Speak & Spell Era
Composition Of Sound Demo Tape
- Four tracks appeared on Composition Of Sound's first demo tape. Vince Clarke sings lead vocals, as Dave Gahan had not joined the band yet. The entire demo tape has not yet surfaced; only the four snippets found below are available. These snippets are the original files shared in this thread on depmod (registration required to view), courtesy of Recoil19.
On July 13, 2006, tobo27 on depmod.com's forums posted the following topic:
im currently reading a biography of depeche mode and it talks about the 1st composition of sound demo that was recorded at the lower wapping conker company in barking. It says that only a few tapes were made and none of the bandmembers now have it. Has this recording ever got out? The reason i ask is - i've got it. I recorded at the same studio a little while later(after it had moved to romford) and mentioned to the engineer, (a guy called Jerry Chapman i think) that i was into depeche mode. He told me that he had done their first demo before they changed name and did me a cassette copy (charged me a fiver for it!). Just wondered what the rarity value is. I know that photographic and television set are on it plus one or two other tracks. Any info would be appreciated.
The audio snippets below were posted after several posts of discussion, and tobo27 also said:
i can vouch for the authenticity of this 100%. I have had this tape from before DM hit the bigtime - there would have been no need to do a fake at that time.
its just a bog-standard old agfa c90. When the guy at the studio asked if i wanted a copy, i gave him a tape out of my car and he copied it on to that. I had to pick it up a couple of days later. Still charged me a fiver for it though!!
Interesting fact is that the lower wapping studio burnt down after it moved to romford so the original master tape probably got destroyed then.
im not sure [when the tape was recorded] but can find out as it was the same time that my band did a demo there. Ill ask a couple of the guys who were in the band then if they can remember. Would have been 1980-81
tobo27's final post in the thread was on October 2, 2006 and is quoted below. He has not visited the depmod.com forums since. I have not been able to track him down anywhere else on the Internet either.
I have had loads of messages asking to buy copies of the demo but surely there must be an issue with copyright etc? Im not happy about it hitting ebay and someone making a fortune out of it which is what would happen if I put the full versions of the tracks online somewhere. Seems the best option is to just give you guys a taster and leave it at that. Sorry.
As an aside, i have now passed it on to Andy Fletcher and as soon as i get comments i will let you all know - i know there are some of you who doubt its authenticity!!
Television Set (Demo)
- Television Set was a very popular song during Depeche Mode's 1981 tour. The track was written by Basildon musician Jason Knott, which explains why the song doesn't appear on any commercial Depeche Mode release. More information regarding the background of this song can be found on the song's page.
Unknown Instrumental (Demo)
- Nothing is known of this track.
Unknown Track (Demo)
- This song is sometimes said to be Sunday Morning, a track reportedly played during very early dates of the 1980 Tour. That has not been confirmed to date.
Transcribed lyrics of this demo snippet are below:
Let's Get Together (Demo)
- Unreleased track written by Vince Clarke long before he formed Composition of Sound. Vince is singing vocals here. Depeche Mode rehearsed this track, as can be heard in the ITV television program 20th Century Box filmed in late June 1981 (see here on YouTube), but the song was never performed live and a full recording of the rehearsal performance from that video is not available. The group Girl Authority covered the song as a single in 2007; watch on YouTube. More information regarding the background of the track can be found on this song's wiki page.
Ice Machine (Demo)
- Andrew Fletcher plays bass guitar on this demo. Dave sings "The ice machine, the ice machine" at the end of the song. He also does this at 1980-10-30 Bridge House, London, England, UK, but not at the next available concert with a recording at 1980-11-14 Technical College, Southend-On-Sea, Essex, England, UK or at any concert in the future.
Radio News (Demo)
- This track was performed live during early dates of the 1980 Tour; currently, the only known performance was at 1980-09-20 Crocs, Rayleigh, Essex, England, UK. Lyrics are available on the Radio News page.
- The demo for this song sounds like a mix between the final album version and versions played live, and by extension the "Some Bizzare" version of the track.
I Sometimes Wish I Was Dead (Flexipop Version)
- This version of I Sometimes Wish I Was Dead is found on a flexidisc that was bundled with Flexipop Magazine, issue #11. The track is referred to as "Sometimes Wish I Was Dead" (missing the first "I"). The track has several differences from the album version, most notably the beginning and the middle sections. You can listen to the entire track below.
1983 Construction Time Again Era
Martin Gore 1983 Home Demos
Martin Gore's home demos for the 1983 "Construction Time Again" album. Tracks are ordered as they appear on the second-generation tape these tracks are sourced from instead of the album's track order.
Love In Itself (Demo)
Told You So (Demo)
- The second verse has a different lyric compared to the album version. It sounds like Martin sings "I've gone to shoot the eyelet in the tall church spire" (it is very hard to understand that line, accuracy not guaranteed); the album version says "sights set higher than the tall church spire".
And Then... (Demo)
All By Themselves (Demo)
- This demo is a very gloomy, depressing sounding song with subdued vocals which are difficult to comprehend. Lyrics are available on this song's page.
1984 Some Great Reward Era
Lie To Me (Demo)
- Martin's home demo for the song bears a strong resemblance to the album version.
Stories Of Old (Studio Pre-Mix)
- A more basic sounding mix of the album version, lacking reverb and with different samples for percussion and some other sounds, but otherwise quite similar to the final album version. It seems to be a different vocal take as well. The speed seems a bit fast too, I'll correct that in the future.
Master And Servant (Studio Pre-Mix)
- This pre-mix has some female backing vocals which are not present in the final album version. The vocals were contributed by Inga & Annette Humpe, aka Humpe Humpe. They were recording their debut album at Hansa Studios at the same time Depeche Mode were recording "Some Great Reward".
- Alan Wilder provided at least four demo tracks for "Some Great Reward". Find more information and a lossless download here. You can click on any song title below to find lyrics.
If You Want (Demo)
- The demo for If You Want has a very minor word transposition; in the final line of the song, the demo says "even though you still may not want to", while the album and live versions say "even though you may still not want to".
Alan has confirmed on Shunt Q&A that it is him singing on this demo:
- From: Jam
- E-mail: Jam007DM@aol.comIs that you singing the 'If You Want' demo?
Alan: Yes. I sang on the original demo.
I Feel No Guilt (Demo)
Until You've Sown The Seed (Demo)
On another handwritten information sheet, a total of seven Alan demo tracks are mentioned, but my contact does not have a copy of this tape. I am unaware of any other genuine Alan Wilder demo tracks at this time. A photo of this info sheet is provided below.
1985 - 1986 Black Celebration Era
Martin Gore 1985 Home Demos
The first three tracks below are sourced from a second-generation tape labeled "Martin Gore 1985 Home Demos". The first two are the same demos that appear on the "Black Celebration" demo tape, detailed further below.
Shake The Disease (Demo)
Martin's demo version of Shake The Disease closely resembles the album version in terms of structure and overall sound. The second verse has some differing lyrics compared to the album version. The differences are italicized below:
Some people want to be
To each other forever
That's not what I mean
That's not for us
We want a different scene
But when I'm not there
In spirit I'll be there
There are a couple faithfully performed instrumental covers of this demo version. See the entry on the fake and misattributed tracks subpage.
Here Is The House (Demo)
- Martin's demo has a different chorus vocal. Instead of "body and soul come together, as we come closer together" as on the album version, the line in the demo is "colors and shapes merge together, as we come closer together". Furthermore, the line "With or without words I'll confide everything" is instead "Without words I'll confide everything" on the demo.
I Love You Love Me Love
- This song appeared on the same tape as the above two tracks (and possibly the "Black Celebration" demo tape). I have read it to be rumored to have been recorded for Fletch as a birthday gift, but that rumor has yet to be confirmed. A more likely and credible explanation was given to me by an anonymous ex-label employee: he was told by a tour promoter that the track was Martin's catalyst for a solo cover album, essentially the inspiration for the first "Counterfeit e.p.", and was the first track set aside for the project. As this was told to my source a long time ago, I asked that he try and verify this information.
It's Called A Heart (Studio Pre-Mix)
- Other than the different intro and lack of reverb, this pre-mix is nearly identical to the single version.
Fly On The Windscreen (Studio Pre-Mix)
- This pre-mix lacks the reverb found in the It's Called A Heart single's B-side version, and also has different percussion samples.
World Full Of Nothing (Alternate Version)
- This version was uploaded to Soundcloud (file private/removed) as an "alternate" version with an additional background melody and some different samples. Audio clip is from Svenner's demo page.
Dressed In Black (Pre-Release Version)
- This pre-release version of Dressed In Black appears on the 7" vinyl Record Mirror RM1 which was bundled with the February 8th, 1986 issue of the UK magazine "Record Mirror". The most easily noticed difference is the castanets in the background during certain parts of the song (the excerpt below depicts this). There are some other slight differences, but they are not too noteworthy.
Christmas Island (Emulator II Sequence)
- A sequence of Christmas Island sourced from one of Alan Wilder's Emulator II floppy disks can be heard below. More information is on the page detailing the Emax samples from Alan's 2011 auction. This isn't strictly a demo or studio pre-mix, but perhaps it could be considered a rough studio mix.
If you listen closely below towards the end of Alan Wilder's Emulator II demonstration from early September 1987 in Brussels, it seems that this sequence was the one he played over.
"Black Celebration" Demo Tape
According to the handwritten info sheet to the right, the "Black Celebration" demo tape reportedly contains the following tracks:
- Shake The Disease
- Here Is The House
- It Doesn't Matter Two
- It's Called A Heart
- But Not Tonight
- Black Celebration
The demos for Shake The Disease and Here Is The House that are available to listen to at the top of this section are the same as what appears on this demo tape. The songs are described on the info sheet to have been recorded in January 1985 and 4-6-'85 (probably June 4, 1985, or possibly the range of April through June 1985), but I am quite uncertain about those dates overall.
I am told that the demo for It's Called A Heart is "like a fast synth, organ, just Martin singing; ... has Martin periodically singing the backing vocal "let me tell you" ".
1987 Music For The Masses Era
Guillaume Tell Studios 1987
All of the following excerpts are sourced from a low-generation (though poorly recorded) tape labeled "Guillaume Tell Studios 1987", transferred by the webmaster in October 2015. Quality is much improved compared to the previously bootleg-sourced copies which had insanely destructive noise reduction applied, though this tape has its own flaws such as strange volume fluctuations and brief distortion at the starts of some of the songs, probably the result of poor automatic gain control on a cassette deck sometime in the generation. Tracks are ordered as they appear on the tape itself.
Sacred (Studio Pre-Mix)
- There is an additional synth line not present in the album version, as well as other small differences.
Behind The Wheel (Studio Pre-Mix)
I Want You Now (Studio Pre-Mix)
- The pre-mix is significantly different from the album version; due to this fact, this version is sometimes thought to be a demo, but it is definitely a pre-mix.
Agent Orange (Studio Pre-Mix)
- The pre-mix is nearly identical to the final version. The "SOS" Morse code at the end of the song is not present on the pre-mix.
Strangelove (Studio Pre-Mix)
Martin's backing vocal "it's important" before the line "pain, will you return it / I won't say it again" is present on this pre-mix. It is not present on any mix of Strangelove until the Strangelove '88 single releases, where it is present on the "Hijack Mix" (aka "Tim Simenon / Mark Saunders Remix") and possibly others. The excerpt below depicts this.
1989 Martin's Counterfeit e.p. Era
Down In The Boondocks
- Martin covered this song for his first Counterfeit e.p. but it did not make the album. As Rico Conning (the co-producer of Counterfeit e.p.) recalls on his blog regarding the song:
Martin’s nifty guitar playing was a major revelation. He’d often turn away from the cranky computer, pick up his acoustic and launch into an Everly Brothers song, or even John Denver, and I’d happily join in on harmony. I managed to record one of these jams (without my harmonies), the old Billy Joe Royal classic Down In The Boondocks (written by Joe South). We thought this was great until Fletch came down for a visit and opined “sounds like bleedin’ Dave Edmunds”, so that killed that one. Somehow though it has found its way onto YouTube.
Michael Lyons, Andy Fletcher's brother-in-law, stated on the Home forum:
"This track was fully completed as part of the project but Martin was unable to obtain the relevant permission for releasing it as part of counterfeit." "[This track was] originally recorded and included on the very early Mute studio tapes."
The version below is sourced from a second generation tape (see right photo), and is likely the best you will hear.
Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth (Flexidisc Version)
- A flexidisc attributed to Depeche Mode containing a cover of the Ron Mael track "Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth" was sent to members of the official fan club around Christmas 1987, aptly named "Happy Christmas 87 From Depeche Mode". It differs somewhat from the version later released on Counterfeit e.p., but it sounds very similar to how the track was performed live during the final two legs of the 1987-1988 Music For The Masses Tour. The backing sequence of this track, used during the MFTM tour, is available to listen to at 1987 - 1988 Music For The Masses Tour Backing Tapes.
Alan Wilder was asked about this version and posted on Shunt Q&A:
- From: Thomas Koeckeis
- E-mail: Thomas_Koeckeis@management-data.com
In 1987 Depeche recorded the Sparks' track, 'Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth' for a special Christmas fan club flexi disc. This track has a rather minimalistic arrangement and anyone who listens to it may get the impression that the recording of this song was a 'one afternoon affair'. Could you please give me some details about it?
I'm very vague about this one - can't recall anything about the recording. I suspect you to be right - we must have recorded it in the afternoon while I was thinking about the match in the evening :-)
1989 - 1990 Violator Era
"Perversion" Demo Tape
According to the handwritten info sheet to the right, the "Perversion" demo tape reportedly contains the following tracks:
- Mother Me
- Enjoy The Silence
- Waiting For The Night To Fall [sic]
- World In My Eyes
- Happiest Girl
- Sea Of Sin
- Blue Dress
- Personal Jesus
The demos of Enjoy The Silence, Memphisto, Sibeling, and Interlude No. 3 from "Perversion" circulate and are available to listen to in their entirety below. The studio pre-mix of Halo found below this section is confirmed to be different than the version on the demo tape, but that is obvious because Dave is singing vocals on the pre-mix. The demo version has only Martin's vocals throughout.
An anonymous ex-label employee has the following track listing on his CD and DAT copies of the demo tape; the same tracks that are written on the info sheet are represented, only in a different running order, with the possible exception of Interlude No. 3 as it is not specifically mentioned on the info sheet.
- Enjoy The Silence
- World In My Eyes
- Personal Jesus
- Mother Me
- Happiest Girl
- Sea Of Sin
- Waiting For The Night To Fall [sic]
- Blue Dress
- Interlude No. 3 (begins after the end of Sibeling)
Several of the songs have different lyrics compared to the album versions. Read detailed information about these changes at Lyric differences / "Perversion" demo tape differences.
The demos below are in circulation because they were apparently sold separately from the rest of the "Perversion" demo tape; see the hand-written info sheet to the right. While I borrowed the cassette containing Down In The Boondocks, the tape did not have any of the four tracks below written to be on that tape, and was labeled as only containing Down In The Boondocks. Perhaps my contact received the four tracks below on a different tape, or simply did not opt to purchase those tracks at the time.
Enjoy The Silence (Demo)
- The "Harmonium" mix of Enjoy The Silence closely resembles this original demo version. That version of the track is basically a re-recorded version of this demo.
Interlude No. 3 (Demo)
Halo (Studio Pre-Mix)
This studio pre-mix uses a different vocal take compared to the album version.
1995-1997 Ultra Era
Barrel Of A Gun (Demo / Rough Mix)
- This version of Barrel Of A Gun is strikingly similar to the final album version, but has Martin singing lead vocals. This version was probably created as a vocal guide. There is also an instrumental break in the middle of the song not found in the album version. Martin sings "everything I've done" instead of "when everything that I've done" as on the album version.
2001 Exciter Era
Freelove (Studio Pre-Mix)
- No guitar; from Svenner's demo page.
2009 Sounds Of The Universe Era
Hole To Feed (Early Studio Version)
- This version was leaked on March 2, 2009. This is an early, strongly synth-driven, studio version of the track. The last verse does not have vocals; Dave instead hums the melody of what the vocals would sound like (sorry, the clip below ends before this). Perhaps the track's lyrics were not yet finalized at the time of this production. Transcribed lyrics of this version are below; there are some differences compared to the album version.
Fragile Tension (Studio Pre-Mix)
- This version was leaked on February 11, 2009. This pre-mix / rough mix is seemingly identical to the album version, although the penultimate verse ("There's a dizzying feeling ...") lacks Martin's backing vocals; the excerpt below illustrates this. Dave Gahan commented on this leaked mix (translated from Greek) to Lifo magazine: "[T]his version of 'Fragile Tension' was a demo and leaked from MGMT, when we sent it to them to remix it. It was proven eventually. We send songs to many people to create remixes. We never send multi-tracks, but first versions of a song. Somebody from MGMT began to send the song here and there."
Come Back (Early Studio Version)
- This version was leaked on March 2, 2009. This is an early studio version of the track, quite different than the "demo" found on the third CD of the "Sounds Of The Universe" box set. Like Hole To Feed above, it is primarily synth-driven. This is personally my favorite version of the track. Transcribed lyrics of this version are below; there are some differences compared to the album version.
All tracks are encoded from lossless sources to 96kbps HE-AAC, or in the case of MP3 tracks, cut losslessly using mp3directcut. Only two WMA files from Svenner's demo page were re-encoded in order to be able to stream them on this page.
- Source: Shunt Q&A - TRIBUTES - tribute albums / covers / bootlegs, third question from the top
- Source: Shunt Q&A, circa February 18, 2003, two questions down from the top
- Depeche Mode official site archives, lyrics section: "Shake The Disease"
- Svenner's demo page, now defunct, contained further information about demos as well as some info about unreleased mixes, fake demos claimed to be Depeche Mode's, some backing track samples, etc. The site is still accessible on archive.org, but some audio files are not available.
- Source: Martin Gore "Counterfeit e.p." 1988 - Rico's Reel
- Source: Home: excitermode: "Re: Are These Demos Genuine?" (registration required to view)
- Discogs: Depeche Mode – Happy Christmas 87 From Depeche Mode
- Source: Shunt Q&A, circa February 27, 2003, top question
- The instrumental track "Monghi" by the band Vienna is often mislabeled and misattributed as Depeche Mode's demo for "Mother Me". See Fake tracks: Mother Me / Monghi for more info.
- According to Alan Wilder on Shunt Q&A ARCHIVES : DEPECHE MODE : VIOLATOR, about halfway down the page; the original title for the song was not "Waiting For The Night To Fall".
- "Interlude No. 3" is the title for the instrumental following Blue Dress on "Violator", according to the depechemode.com official archive section's lyrics page for "Interlude No. 3".
- Depeche Mode official site archives, lyrics section: "Barrel Of A Gun"
- Depeche Mode official site archives, lyrics section: "Hole To Feed"
- Depeche Mode official site archives, lyrics section: "Come Back"