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:
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 (https://www.discogs.com/sell/release/515237?ev=rb) and it can also be found on Ebay at a slightly OTT Buy It Now price of $199.99 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Depeche-Mode-I-Want-You-Now-Rare-Japan-3-CD-Release-Alfa-10SP-3-/122096287121).
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...