Tuesday, 2 August 2016


The second Depeche Mode Museo artefact is a rare promo only CD that looks like a CD single, has a catalogue number like a CD single, yet isn't a CD single. For me, It's No Good is one of the great Depeche singles and really sums up what the band do best - melody, electronics, a typical Depeche bassline and lyrics so perfect they never fail to send a shiver done the spine. You can see why the band chose Barrel Of A Gun over this track for their return post Songs Of Faith And Devotion and post Wilder as they never do things by half measures. Releasing It's No Good as the comeback single would have been to perfect. As an aside, isn't it funny to think of a release less than three years after the end of the 1994 tour as a comeback? We're lucky if we get less than four years between end of tour and new release these days. Anyway, let's move on. 

It's No Good XLCDBONG26 - front

Prior to this release, the XLCDBONG title had been reserved for the apparently super rare CD single featuring The Quad: Final Mix of Enjoy The Silence (XLCDBONG18) and the third in the trilogy, crucifix pack completing XLCDBONG24 release for In Your Room which featured two good remixes of that track (The Jeep Rock Mix and Apex Mix) and the wholly forgettable Adrenaline Mix of the otherwise lovely Higher Love. Both these releases were commercially available however. XLCDBONG26 a.k.a. It's No Good Live somewhat perplexingly has a commercial catalogue number but wasn't commercially available. Odd and somewhat frustrating given that promo CD's had and thereafter had unique promo catalogue numbers that made it nice and straightforward for people like me to collect them. The good thing about typing that is that I know half of you are nodding your heads in agreement as you read that. Depeche Mode fans really are a strange bunch.

It's No Good XLCDBONG26 - Inner Sleeve

One of the odd things about this release is that it is a beautiful thing. Arguably, the sleeve is superior to the commercial release and the full sleeve, printed CD and, overall, the effort that has gone into this package, makes it a lovely thing to have. It's very rare, indeed, it's far rarer than any other promo CD from the Ultra singles and, at the time of writing, the cheapest version of the five available on Discogs will set you back around £82 (https://www.discogs.com/sell/release/156709?ev=rb). Why is it so rare though? Does it contain some magical, lost Depeche track that you MUST have?

No, no it doesn't. It only has one track and that's a live version of, yes you guessed it, It's No Good from the Ultra party at London's Adrenaline Village on 10 April 1997. Five tracks were played that night - the Ultra singles and Never Let Me Down Again and one of them is preserved here on this release. The odd thing is that the next single from Ultra was Home and the LCD release of that featured the same version of It's No Good live from the Ultra party albeit there was one crucial difference. The version on XLCDBONG26 clocks in at 4 minutes 7 seconds whereas the commercially released version on the Home single clocks in at 4 minutes 6 seconds. I asked earlier why this release was so rare and there's your answer - ONE EXTRA SECOND OF DEPECHE MODE LIVE! 

Alternatively, it may just be because there really aren't that many versions of XLCDBONG26 in existence. I'll leave you to make your mind up.

XLCDBONG26 - Spine
Anyway, as the picture above leaves you in no doubt, this was a promo only release despite the confusing catalogue number, All of the Ultra era promos were superb (see future blogs) but this is the one that stands out. The cover, the inlay, the gorgeous CD and the spine are all majestic and it's a delight to have in my collection, despite the fact it's in the box of CD's that I never play. A welcome and indeed necessary addition to the Depeche Mode Museo, I give you It's No Good Live, XLCDBONG26. The XLCDBONG that should have been an XLCDBONG.

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