Wednesday 24 August 2016


This Saturday, the brilliant Depeche Mode tribute Speak & Spell return to Scotland for an eagerly anticipated gig at Electric Circus, Edinburgh. The band have rightly gained a reputation for outstanding live shows, giving Depeche fans the chance to hear songs that the band themselves have long since forgotten or ignored. The gig this Saturday promises to be a really special one and such is demand for it, you'll need to move quickly to get tickets. You can find a link below.

I caught up with Keith Trigwell from the band to ask him a few questions:

APA: A Saturday night in Edinburgh is bound to mean a good, enthusiastic crowd. Are you looking forward to it?

KT: Oh yes. The Scots DM fans are extremely good fun all the time anyway and are always a great crowd. So many are mates of ours as well that it's just a riot.

APA: What can we expect from the show?

KT: We always try to deliver a show which is as close to how DM did things between 82-93 era. So for people who saw DM in those times, maybe a few little reminders of those gigs.

APA: Any surprises in store for us?

KT: Well hopefully yes, slight changes to artists and tracks, a very different gig to the one we did there last year.

APA: Finally, what's next for Speak & Spell?

KT: Last year had significant changes 'on' and 'off' stage. A LOT of work to get through bringing it together but a real team effort has paid off. We are now moving on with some new show ideas and new technical equipment is constantly being introduced so we fully expect better and more visual shows which are also easier to run. As well as that our new manager and her team has helped enormously. A few more tracks will be introduced soon which we are all looking forward to

Thanks very much to Keith for giving up his time for this piece. I know that his answers will have whet your appetite. Get yourself along to the Electric Circus on Saturday and get ready for two hours of premium Depeche Mode presented brilliantly by Speak & Spell.

Speak and Spell play Electric Circus in Edinburgh on 27 August and will be on stage from 8 until 10. Tickets are available at £10 each from here


Part 6 and we open the Museo to welcome in a lovely item, the Japanese cd single for I Want You Now/Behind The Wheel which was released on 25 March 1988. Japan was the only territory in which I Want You Now was released as a single and it's curious, but really quite lovely, that it takes the lead here, given that Behind The Wheel was the single released everywhere else. My feelings on the horror of Behind The Wheel (Remix) are well aired elsewhere on the blog. I'd like to think that the band's Japanese label Alfa felt the same, hence the inclusion of I Want You Now here. What a wonderful song I Want You Now is too - one of the great Depeche album tracks. I adore it and I hope you do too. The version here, by the way, is shorter than the version that appears on Music For The Masses - 3 minutes 31 seconds as opposed to 3 minutes 44 seconds. It's just a fade out of the album version though, avoiding the Russian language samples that fade in on the album as To Have And To Hold begins.

 Enough music however, let's get into the business of over analysing sleeves and catalogue numbers.

Alfa 10SP-3 - I Want You Now/Behind The Wheel

The single was released on 3" CD single in Japan in what is known as Snap Pack or, if you prefer the Japanese, tanzaku. The unspapped pack (my one above) measures 6 inches by 3 inches. It can be then snapped into a 3 inch squared pack neatly housing the CD, but that spoils it if you ask me. The longer ,unsnapped pack is a much more appealing item. Unsnapped packs are more valuable too, at least in the mysterious world of Depeche Mode rarity hunting.

Inner sleeve of Alfa 10SP-4

If you do fancy snapping your pack, so to speak, one half of the inner sleeve of the snap pack shows you how to do so with additional Japanese instructions. Don't do it though. Promise me you won't.

Rear of Alfa 10SP-3 

The rear art is a lovely thing as you can see above. The photos for this and for the band picture on the front were taken by John Stoddart in April 1987 (thanks as ever to Michael Rose and all at Depeche Mode Classic Photos And Videos for the info).  As you can see, the lyrics to both songs appear on the rear too, in English and Japanese.

Bottom half of front of Alfa 10SP-3

Here's a better view of the band picture on the front. For snapping purposes (remember - DON'T) you'd snap it between the megaphone icon and the Japanese text that appears above the red line. It's a delight to see that gorgeous Mute logo there too. For completeness sake, the top half of the unsnapped pack is below. It's not as nice as the bottom half as the pictures, taken by "Tan" J Ohe, are fairly pointless. The inclusion of the megaphone icon is a nice touch though. Also, while I can speak a little German, I'm sure there's never a need for an umlaut over a"T."

Top half of front of Alfa 10SP-3

Finally, there's the CD itself. I love 3" CD singles as they're the format I first started collecting singles on, kicking off with Arms Of Orion, a Prince track from the Batman soundtrack. There's no need for me to tell you how splendid the Violator era 3" singles were as you all know this already. This particular one is a beauty as you can see:

Alfa 10SP-3

Look at that! A small but perfectly formed black 3" CD that contains not only that wonderful Mute logo but also the Music For The Masses era megaphone image embracing both sides of the CD itself. It's a lovely thing and lovlier still when house in an unsnapped snap pack. Did I mention that you shouldn't snap it?

There is, of course, more than one way to collect a Depeche Mode rarity. This single actually appears in four variations. Mine is the commercial edition 1000 Yen, with another commercial edition, the 937/910 Yen one, being available. The 1000 Yen edition was the usual price Japanese 3" CD snap packs retailed for.  There are two promotional or sample versions available too. Again, they are either 937/910 or 1000 Yen versions. Finally, there is the super rare 7" promo which looks amazing but is exorbitantly priced whenever it appears on Discogs or Ebay. If you have a spare one that you want to send me please do so - I'll gladly pay the postage ;)

The 1000 Yen commercial version is currently available on Discogs starting at £75 or so ( and it can also be found on Ebay at a slightly OTT Buy It Now price of $199.99 ( 

In conclusion then, this is a nice rare Depeche item and one that brightens up any collection. I hope you've enjoyed that this and, having seen the CD, that you want it now. Always end on a poor joke...

Tuesday 16 August 2016


Part 5 of the Depeche Mode Museo and the third and final part of the Personal Jesus special is upon us. To be quite honest, I'm not sure how rare this record is. It's not one that DM collectors necessarily hunt down, unlike the two Personal Jesus entries on the previous two blogs and I only came across it during my daily E-bay hunt for Depeche records. It's an oddity really. but I thought it was worth sharing.

Personal Jesus - MUX730

What we have here then is a South African 12" of Personal Jesus. It's released on the David Gresham Record Company under licence from Mute and comes in a plain white sleeve. Given the sheer majesty of the usual artwork for this release, that is a shame. The labels partly save the day however, using a classic Mute logo to make them look all lovely.

Personal Jesus MUX 730 - A side label

On Side A, there are three tracks, in the same order as they appear on 12BONG17, namely the Holier Than Thou Approach and Acoustic mixes of Personal Jesus and the marvellous Sensual Mix of Dangerous, one of my favourite Depeche Mode remixes of all time.

Personal Jesus - MUX 730 Side B

Side B is the real oddball star of this release. Having had the three tracks comprising the standard UK 12" of Personal Jesus appear on the A side, you might think that you'll get the three tracks from L12BONG17 on the B-side. Logic would certainly dictate that and, let's face it, that would make this record a rather smashing thing to have. Things are never that simple though.

Personal Jesus MUX 730 - B side label

What we in fact get (apologies for the slightly useless picture above) are two odd picks for b-sides. Firstly, there is Route 66 (Beatmasters/Casualty Mix).  Now, as a responsible blogger, I should have listened to this to see what the hell's going on, but I'm not so, until I do listen, this is my guess. Route 66 does appear in its Beatmasters Mix guise on 12BONG15 as any fans of that wonderful remix know. L12BONG15 then features the Casualty Mix of that which is a remix by Dave Allen. Two different remixes then. The length of the track here, 10 minutes 35 seconds, is around the same length as the Casualty Mix that appears on L12BONG15 so I presume that track 1 of this B-Side should be thus named and not incorrectly labelled as Beatmastes/Casualty Mix. I will look into this though and will report back.

The second track on the B-side is the Behind The Wheel/Route 66 Megamix which is a U.S only remix that featured on the standard 12", cassette single and U.S promo cd when the track was originally released. 

Overall, a rather odd choice for a b-side as they don't even pick the best remixes of Behind The Wheel and Route 66. Interesting all the same however, and a nice oddity in the Depeche Mode catalogue. It can be picked up relatively cheaply on Discogs just now, starting at £23.26

And that's that for Personal Jesus. The Museo will reopen soon....

Friday 12 August 2016


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 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.

Thursday 11 August 2016


This week's entry into the Depeche Mode Museo is the first of a three part Personal Jesus special and we begin with the rather lovely limited edition 7" gatefold version which was a U.K. release. As ever, all pictures are of my version and all factual errors sadly mine too. 

GBONG17 - front cover

This release of Personal Jesus is unique among Depeche Mode releases in that it is the only 7" gatefold release in the band's U.K. catalogue. The addition of the letter G for gatefold to the catalogue number is a typically delicious touch and one you can't but help but love. The artwork on the front is the same as the artwork for L12BONG17 and LCDBONG17 and the rear picture is the same as you find on those releases too, with Martin hugging the naked lady whilst his bandmates stand around. Dave seems particularly perturbed by the whole thing.

GBONG17 - rear

The rest of the package is simple but very cool. The gatefold sleeve comes with a large D on the left inside flap and an equally large M on the right inside flap. They are of course the letters forming the iconic DM of the time which was later, most wonderfully seen on XL12BONG19 and XLCDBONG19, the Quad:Final Mix of Enjoy The Silence. The gatefold sleeve itself is a heavy gatefold made of much thicker material than a standard 7" as it houses a four page booklet that is stapled into the gatefold sleeve.

GBONG17 inner sleeve left

GBONG17 inner sleeve right

The booklet contains four pictures, two of which can be seen above, Page 1 is Dave with the mysterious woman as seen on the rear of 12BONG17. I also have that as a poster that I bought in my first week at University in 1992. It's still in decent condition too. The fourth page of the booklet shows Martin, as you've no doubt already worked out. It's the same picture you'll find on the standard 7", BONG17.

Andy and Alan aren't overlooked though. They appear in the middle two pages of the booklet. Andy goes first, in the same pose as on the cassette single CBONG17. It looks a bit like he's being lectured by the woman which is a bit unfair as everyone else seems to be getting on just fine with her. Finally, Alan makes an appearance, striking the same pose as you'll see on CDBONG17. I remember being told by what was clearly someone making things up and trying to confuse an impressionable then young Depeche fan that Martin was in fact the woman we see in the pictures, dressed up in a wig and nothing else. The fact that there's a picture of Martin apparently hugging himself and managing to appear to be slightly taller in one of his guises pretty much destroys that theory. Like it was ever anything other than rubbish in the first instance. 

GBONG17 - Side A

Enough art, what about the music? Well, until the boxset reissues in 2004, this was the only place you could find the Hazchemix Edit of Dangerous. The edit is, of course, an edited version of Dangerous (Hazchemix) which appears on L12BONG17 and LCDBONG17. It's a cool edit of a good remix of the track and certainly worth a listen. The A-side features the standard 7" version of Personal Jesus and the b-side gives us the aforementioned Dangerous (Hazchemix Edit) and Personal Jesus (Acoustic) which also appears on 12BONG17 and CDBONG17.

GBONG17 - Side B

As you can see on the photos of my version, the label features the catalogue number GBONG17 on both sides, For some reason, other variations show BONG17, which isn't correct and others have BONG17 on side A and GBONG17 on Side B which is just strange. This sort of fact may not be important to most of you, but it is of great import to many collectors. Why have one variation when you can have three? 

This is a great release to have for many reasons. It's Personal Jesus primarily, one of the greatest songs of any era. Also, it's from the Violator period and ALL releases from that time are worth having due to the sheer majesty of both the art and the music. Finally, it's a unique Depeche release and that makes it a must have. It was released in limited quantities but, as I type, you can pick it up on Discogs for around £15. ( I also know for a fact that it's available for $8.99 at Freakbeat Records in Sherman Oaks, CA as Depeche Mode webmaster and general all round top Depeche bloke Daniel Barassi tweeted a picture of it three days ago. If you're near there at all, go and snap it up.

Coming next in this Personal Jesus special, we've got entries from Australia and South Africa. See you soon...

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 ( 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.