Friday, 12 August 2016

DEPECHE MODE MUSEO PART 4 - PERSONAL JESUS BLUE VINYL 12" X14908 (12BONG17)


Welcome to part 2 of the DM Museo Personal Jesus special. The last post concerned GBONG17 and, as well as describing that at alarming length, I also mentioned in passing the various other formats of the single from BONG17 all the way to LCDBONG17. One of the perils of becoming a Depeche Mode fan is that, once you're bitten by the collecting bug, you find that it's very hard to stop. What begins as a simple purchase of the limited edition 12" of Enjoy The Silence turns into a 26 year worldwide hunt for ever increasingly obscure rarities. I say that from very personal experience. There are a number of ultra rare Depeche items that collectors clamour for and one of the rarest is a Personal Jesus item. Today, I give you the Australian only blue vinyl 12" of Personal Jesus. 

X14908 - Front

This version of Personal Jesus was released in 1990 on Australian label Liberation records, under licence from Mute. I recently emailed the label to ask if they knew how many copies were issued, given how scarce this record seems. Their reply was brief - "Not us, sorry." Now, I told them in response that it was them, but I've heard nothing back. If I do learn of the number released, I will let you all know, but for now it's a mystery. I think it's safe to say that there can't have been that many of them given the price this goes for on Ebay or Discogs. More of that later however.

(Since I typed this, Dave Curry, an Australian DM collector, got in touch on the blog's Facebook page to give me some more info. The single was originally released in Australia by BMG in 1989. The Liberation version was a re-release and with Depeche never selling huge quantities in Australia, Dave's guess is that this version of Personal Jesus was released in very limited quantities. Thanks Dave)

X14908 - sticker on front

As you can see, the sticker on this front of this record confirms what we all know by saying it's a collector's edition. I guess the phrase "Outrageously rare and hideously expensive edition for only the most deranged of collectors most of whom don't even live in Australia" would have looked a little odd on the sticker.

X14908 - rear

The rear of the sleeve shows the image we see on 12BONG17, the U.K. catalogue number that also appears on this record. 

X14908 - sticker on rear sleeve
I think that's more than enough chat about the sleeve. What's inside? Well, that's the beautiful thing. Inside, we find a 5 track 12" single pressed on glorious blue vinyl.

X14908 - Side A

Side A features three tracks in total:


X14908 - Side A label

As you can see it's the single version, Holier Than Thou Approach and Acoustic versions of Personal Jesus. One point I haven't managed to get to the bottom of is the word Rondor in brackets after (M L Gore) on the label. If anyone knows what that is or means, let me know.

(That was quick. Thanks to Michal Latajka who pointed out that Rondor is a publishing company. Problem solved)

X14908 - Side B

Side B features two further Personal Jesus remixes - the wonderful God like genius of Pump Mix and Telephone Stomp Mix

X14908 - Side B label

Again, the mysterious (Rondor) is present. A lovely feature on both labels is the Mute logo which tops off the release perfectly.

Usually, I'd show you how many of these are for sale on Discogs and what they'll cost you, but unsurprisingly given this is a rare beast, there are currently none on the market as you can see here https://www.discogs.com/Depeche-Mode-Personal-Jesus/release/1024295 It seems that the most someone has paid for this is £740.49 and the lowest £38.53. The latter person seems to have had the same luck as my friend Scott MacFarlane who managed to get a copy of this in mint condition for a similar if not lower price back in the early 90's. He got it from Ebay and it arrived direct from Australia in a worryingly thing package. Luckily for Scott, the record and sleeve were in perfect condition. He never tires of telling me that story. I mention here in an attempt to end that discussion for ever!

Is this the rarest commercial Depeche Mode release? It's up there with the coloured vinyl versions of Just Can't Get Enough (grey vinyl) and Stripped (white vinyl) at least in terms of price and is certainly as hard to track down as the Japanese CD singles for I Want You Now and Enjoy The Silence. I think it's fair to say that it's in the top 10, if not top 5 DM rarities. If you're a collector, it's one you want, but's it going to be hard to find and very expensive when you do find it.


1 comment:

  1. I have an un-played copy of this which I found in my cupboard the other day. I used to work in a record shop in Wellington NZ and remember we had a few copies of this in the shop.It didn't sell and I kept a copy for myself. Nice to know it is worth a bit of money!

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