Sample sources

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In audio production, sampling refers to the use of a portion (or sample) from a sound recording within another recording. As pioneers of the electronic music genre in the early 1980's, Depeche Mode were among the first acts to make use of new sampling technology within a traditional pop music format.

Among the thousands of original samples recorded and utilized by Depeche Mode to enhance the atmosphere of their musical output are many that originated elsewhere, including brief passages of musical recordings by other artists, snippets of audio from television shows, radio broadcasts, films, environmental sounds, and more. Analysis of these sample sources and how they are manipulated is a popular topic of discussion amongst fans of the group.

Glossary
Terms used in this article

Information

Key
Official
The sample is confirmed to have been used in the specified song by a past/present member of Depeche Mode, an individual involved in its production, or band archivist Daniel "BRAT" Barassi.
Confirmed
The sample is independently confirmed to have been used in the specified song.
Likely
The sample is likely to have been used in the specified song but has not yet been confirmed.
Unconfirmed
The sample is not yet confirmed to have been used in the specified song.
Disproven
The sample is confirmed to not have been used in the specified song.
Unknown
It is unclear if the sample was used in the specified song.

Within reason, this page aims to document all verifiable sound sources for many of the musical parts used by Depeche Mode in the production of their studio albums, official remixes, and live performances, as well as the samples used in the production of former Depeche Mode member Alan Wilder's Recoil studio albums, official remixes, live performances, and other works.

Due to the passage of time, fading memories, and the manipulated nature of the samples described in this article, there is unavoidable potential for journalistic error or misattribution. To ensure accuracy, the content of this article is comprised of verified quotes from band members and recording personnel, verifiable sources with citations wherever possible, audio examples, and independent research voluntarily contributed by Depeche Mode and Recoil fans across the world. It exists to provide an interesting document on this topic in a tabular format that is organized, well-researched, and reasonably accurate.

This article differentiates samples by their origin: Self-made samples, which describes any material originally recorded by Depeche Mode or Recoil, and Sourced samples, which describe samples which were not originally recorded by either group. In addition to confirmed samples, this article also covers samples that are commonly misreported as being used but have been directly refuted by a member or associate of Depeche Mode or Recoil.

As ever, if you notice an error or wish to request the removal of a sample source in this article, please feel free to contact us.

Depeche Mode

Speak & Spell (1981)

Speak And Spell does not contain samples from any identifiable sources.

A Broken Frame (1982)

"Shouldn't Have Done That" - Depeche Mode
1982
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Ambient marching Daniel Miller described the origin of this sound in the sleeve notes for the 2006 A Broken Frame remaster CD: "I remember we got Blancmange in to do some on-the-spot marching for 'Shouldn't Have Done That' because they were in the studio next door, making their record, and they were mates with Depeche Mode."[1]

Construction Time Again (1983)

"Everything Counts" - Depeche Mode
1983
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Woodwind-like sample Two samples with a woodwind-esque timbre (presumably derived from a synthesizer and subsequently sampled), comprise the famous riff played by Alan Wilder during the outro as heard in performances of "Everything Counts" during the Music For The Masses and World Violation tours. Notably, one of the two samples is played monophonically with a smooth portamento layered with multiple other sampled and synthesized parts to form the main melody in the middle eight section of the studio recording of "Shake The Disease".
One-shot guitar chug Part of the "chugging" guitar rhythm most clearly heard during the opening bars and throughout "Mercy In You" is sampled, transposed up several notes, and filtered to produce a rhythmic element heard during the choruses and break section of "Everything Counts" as it was performed on the Devotional tour.
Resonant synth pad A resonant synth pad is used to play a series of chords during the outro of "Everything Counts" as it was performed on the Devotional and Exotic tours. Notably, this pad can also be heard during the choruses of the song as it was performed on the World Violation tour and throughout the "Walking In My Shoes" (Grungy Gonads Mix).

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Breathing sound Kraftwerk - "Tour de France" - 1983
Unknown
Intro sweep Kraftwerk - "Die Roboter" - 1978
Unknown

"The Landscape Is Changing" - Depeche Mode
1983

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Spoken word in German Einstürzende Neubauten - "Merle (Die Elektrik)" - 1983
Unknown

Some Great Reward (1984)

"Blasphemous Rumours" - Depeche Mode
1984
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Verse snare The snare heard during the verse sections of "Blasphemous Rumours" was produced by recording the sound of a hammer smashing against a concrete floor.[2] Alan Wilder states in the November 1984 issue of International Musician and Recording World:

We sampled some concrete being hit for what turned out to be the snare sound. All that entailed was us hitting a big lump of concrete with a sampling hammer. The engineer / producer we use, Gareth Jones, has got this brilliant little recorder called a Stellavox which we use with two stereo mikes and it's as good as any standard 30ips reel-to-reel but this is very small and therefore very portable. So we just took the Stellavox out into the middle of this big, ambient space and miked up the ground and hit it with a big metal hammer. The sound was... like concrete being hit. I can't really put it any other way.

"Master And Servant" (Slavery Whip Mix) - Depeche Mode
1984

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Drum elements Frankie Goes To Hollywood - "Relax" - 1983
Disproven
Magazine The Face reported in February 1985:

Alan Wilder: No, I don't mind admitting it. We nicked a beat off one of Frankie's records and stuck it on our 12-inch. But I mean the actual sound, not the idea. It's not a drum sound that sells a record anyway, it's the whole song and the musical ideas. [...]

Electronics & Music Maker magazine then reported in 1986:

In response to a complaint that Depeche Mode stole a Frankie Goes To Hollywood drum sound, Frankie's engineers replied that the Frankie drum sound was actually a Linn - itself a recording!

Wilder directly refutes this claim in response to a fan question during a Q&A on Shunt, the official Recoil project site:

Q: [Is there] any truth behind the section in Dave Thompson's book (Depeche Mode: Some Great Reward) that says (around the time of "Master And Servant") that DM sampled a Frankie Goes To Hollywood drum loop? If so, what track was it used on?

A: Surprisingly, no truth whatsoever."[2]

"People Are People" (Are People People? Mix) - Depeche Mode
1984

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Doo-wop vocal sample The Citadels - "When I Woke Up This Morning" - 1964
Official
Credit to Daniel Barassi for this discovery.[3]

Catching Up with Depeche Mode (1985)

"Shake The Disease" - Depeche Mode
1985
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Vibraphone-like percussive bell A filtered vibraphone-like percussive bell element is employed during the post-chorus sections layered with a variety of other parts, including a separate bell sample and synthesized parts. This distinctive sound would also see use in several other Depeche Mode songs recorded during this era, including "It Doesn't Matter Two" and "But Not Tonight".
Metallic percussive element A textured, highly-resonant percussive element with a high frequency is used during the post-chorus sections layered with several other parts and processed with reverb. The sample is re-triggered to play in time with the bell melody, and is played in two ways: one where the sample is re-triggered in time with the bell melody and then allowed to play out (or allowed to play from beginning to end) on the seventh keypress, and one where the sample cuts away on the seventh keypress without playing in full. Notably, this sample is also used in several other songs recorded by Depeche Mode between 1984 and 1985, including "It Doesn't Matter".
Hi-hats (open and closed) A basic 4/4 hi-hat rhythm comprised of one closed and one open hi-hat is employed throughout the verses and chorus sections. These hi-hat parts would also be used in several other songs produced during that time, including "But Not Tonight" and "Here Is The House".

Black Celebration (1986)

"Fly On The Windscreen" - Depeche Mode
1986
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
"Over and done with" vocal sample Alan Wilder confirms the origin of this vocal sample in a Q&A on Shunt, the official Recoil website: "'Over and done with' courtesy of Daniel Miller if memory serves correct."[4]

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
"Their living hell" vocal sample Peter Jennings, ABC News (television news report, unknown date)
Unknown
Jennings was an active news anchor from 1 February 1965 to 1 April 2005. The exact date of the report this sample derived from is likely to have occurred sometime before or between November 1985 and December 1985.
Sampled scratch N.W.A. - "Fuck tha Police" - 1988
Confirmed
The scratch effect in the intro of "Fuck tha Police" by N.W.A. is sampled and played several notes down from its root key throughout the Devotional tour arrangement of "Fly On The Windscreen". Notably, this scratch sample is also used throughout the Devotional tour version of "I Want You Now".

"Sometimes" - Depeche Mode
1986

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
"Sometimes" vocal sample Louis Armstrong - "Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child" - 1958
Confirmed
A choir vocal singing the word "sometimes" is sampled from the one minute nineteen second mark of Louis Armstrong's "Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child" and processed with reverb for use in the intro of "Sometimes".[5]

"It Doesn't Matter Two" - Depeche Mode
1986
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Vibraphone-like percussive bell A vibraphone-like percussive bell element is employed to mysterious and dramatic effect respectively during the later verses and on the final note of the song. This distinctive sound would also see use in several other Depeche Mode songs of the time period, including "Shake The Disease" and "But Not Tonight".

"A Question Of Time" - Depeche Mode
1986
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Guitar-like pluck A brief "plucked" guitar-like sound reminiscent of a guitar or processed piano sample is used in chorus with a bass part to form the bassline. Notably, this sample is also used to play a four note sequence as a fill sporadically throughout "But Not Tonight".

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Moan-like vocal sample The Chanters - "She Wants To Mambo" - 1954
Official
A feminine "moan" vocal following the second chorus of "She Wants To Mambo" is sampled and played in a descending two note passage with EQ for added top-end during the chorus sections of "A Question Of Time". Martin Gore confirmed the use of the sample in the August 1986 issue of Electronics & Music Maker:

It's not that audible, though. It's a sample from a record called "She Wants to Mambo", an old doo-wop disc. At the end of each verse, the woman who sings sort of moans. We sampled this moan and played it up a few notes, which made it sound like a girl moaning. We used it on the chorus section of "A Question of Time".[6]

In addition to its use in the chorus sections, the sample is also used as a unique "Wha-, wha-, wha-" vocal-like hit that is played repetitively on every step and half step following the percussion fill during the intro and throughout the song's outro. Rather than playing out from start to finish as it does during the chorus sections, the sample is played with a fast Decay five notes down from its root key and detuned slightly to form the unique rhythmic hit.

"Stripped" - Depeche Mode
1986
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Bass drone The textured bass drone sound used throughout "Stripped" is achieved by running a bass sound through a Leslie cabinet.[7]
Exploding firework An exploding firework sound recorded on 5 November 1985 by Gareth Jones in the Westside studio car park[7] is used as a unique drum fill alternative throughout "Stripped". Daniel Miller describes the recording process of this sound in the 2006 Black Celebration remaster documentary:

It was rockets that we were doing, so we thought, if we angled them at a fairly low angle, we could set up a series of microphones and we would still be able to pick up the sound as it traveled along. If we straight up, we would have got just one sound, it would just have sort of disappeared, so we did that. We set up a sort of bottle at a very narrow angle and had, like, 5 microphones maybe, at, I don't know, 15 feet apart, something like that.

Other notable uses of this sample include "Breathing In Fumes", the final moments of "Pimpf" (where it is layered with a large choir stab and played several notes down from its root key) and various live performances of "Never Let Me Down Again".

Tom drums A series of tom drums with a unique "roomy" sound occur throughout "Stripped". Alan Wilder describes the recording of this sound in a 1998 editorial on Shunt, the official Recoil project website: "[...] A hired drum kit was also set up in the large reception area of Westside and used to sample individual sounds, most notably the distinctive toms with their special ambience."[7]

Notably, these tom drum sounds are also used as fills throughout "Never Let Me Down Again" and "Breathing In Fumes".

Car ignition sound The ingnition of Dave Gahan's Porsche 911 was recorded and sampled for use in the opening moments of "Stripped", playing in time with the first bass note.[7]

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Motorbike idling sound Emulator I sample library disk #81: Motor Cycle Idling (08-001-117M1)
Official
A loop of a motorbike engine idling played half an octave down from its original pitch is used as a primary rhythm element throughout the song.[8] In addition to the album version, the loop is also present on Martin Gore's demo recording. Wilder confirms the origin of the sample in a first-hand summary of the Emulator sample range on the Emulator II lot listing on The Alan Wilder / Depeche Mode Collection auction site:

I remember when we first inserted the huge floppy disc into the [Emulator I] and listened to the ‘Motorbike Idling’ sound (which later became the mainstay rhythm behind the song "Stripped"), I was hooked.[9]

Notably, this sample is also used in "Breathing In Fumes" and the Music For The Masses tour arrangement of "Pipeline".

"Here Is The House" - Depeche Mode
1986
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Mandolin-like sampled guitar Martin Gore told Electronics and Music Magazine in 1986:

[...] Then there’s the mandolin-like part on "Here is the House". That was an acoustic guitar sampled twice — once on a down-stroke and once on an upstroke. We used them on alternate notes, so every other note was a downstroke and all the in-between notes were up-strokes. It sounded very funny — almost like a real player.[10]

"But Not Tonight" - Depeche Mode
1986
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Mandolin-like sampled guitar Sampled upstroke and downstroke guitar elements originally sampled for use in "Here Is The House" are layered with another sampled part to produce the lead riff. Martin Gore told Electronics and Music Magazine in 1986:

[...] Then there’s the mandolin-like part on "Here is the House". That was an acoustic guitar sampled twice — once on a down-stroke and once on an upstroke. We used them on alternate notes, so every other note was a downstroke and all the in-between notes were upstrokes. It sounded very funny — almost like a real player.[10]

Vibraphone-like percussive bell A vibraphone-like percussive bell element is employed during the latter half of each verse section, utilising a 1/4 delay to achieve a hypnotic "bouncing" effect. This distinctive sound would also see use in several other Depeche Mode songs produced at or around the same time, including "Shake The Disease" and "It Doesn't Matter Two".
Resonant bell sample A rich, resonant bell sample is layered with a choral-esque part to create a highly-textured counter melody as heard in its chorus sections. This bell sample would later be used in the introduction of "Strangelove", "Nothing", and the Recoil instrumental "Grain".
Guitar-like pluck A brief "plucked" guitar-like sound plays a tight four note sequence with a fast release as a fill sporadically throughout "But Not Tonight". Notable uses of this sample in other songs include the bassline of "A Question Of Time".
Hi-hats (open and closed) A sequenced 4/4 hi-hat rhythm comprised of one closed and one open hi-hat is employed throughout the song. These hi-hat parts are also used in several other songs produced at or around the same time, including "Here Is The House" and "Shake The Disease".

"Fly On The Windscreen" (Death Mix) - Depeche Mode
1986

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
"I don't care how you feel!" vocal sample Richard Pryor - Unidentified film
Unknown
"Help the dying" vocal sample Steve Kroft, CBS News (television news report, unknown date)
Unknown
Kroft was an active television news anchor with CBS News starting in 1980. It is likely the exact date of the report sampled by Depeche Mode occurred sometime before or between November 1985 and December 1985 at the latest.

Music For The Masses (1987)

"Never Let Me Down Again" - Depeche Mode
1987
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Guitar riff In a 4 July 2019 interview with Super Deluxe Edition, Dave Bascombe recalled the recording process for the guitar riff:

"[...] I remember Martin had his guitar, and it’s used quite a bit... the beginning of "Never Let Me Down [Again]" for example... What a wonderful, happy accident that was. It was supposed to start with the snare drum and then go straight in, but because of the nature of technology at the time, the guitar [riff] was played, then we sampled it into the Synclavier and it just kicked off as soon as it got code at the beginning of the track and we all went ‘Wow, that's great’, so that was an accident."[11]

Lead melody The lead melody is comprised of a guitar-like pluck sample combined with a solo vocal-like pad with a short loop (itself derived from a non-looped sample that is used in conjunction with yet another vocal-like sound to intensify the final four bars of each verse section in 'I Want You Now'). The resulting voice is mixed with reverb to produce the textured, roomy effect heard on the album version of "Never Let Me Down Again". For live use, the part is played back comparatively dry.

Other notable appearances of the guitar-like sample include a two-note fill during the verses of "Strangelove" and the lead melody heard throughout the Spanish Taster mix of "To Have And To Hold". In addition to its use in "Never Let Me Down Again" and "I Want You Now", the aforementioned solo vocal-like pad is also heard during the chorus sections of "Nothing".

Exploding firework An exploding firework sound originally sampled for use with "Stripped" is occasionally played on the final note during live performances of "Never Let Me Down Again". Other notable uses of this sample include the final moments of "Pimpf", where it is layered with a large female-esque choir stab and played several notes down from its root key.
Synth bass A synth bass drone originally recorded for use with "Policy Of Truth" is layered in with the original "Never Let Me Down Again" bass pad for live performances on the 1993-1994 Devotional and Exotic tours.
Tom drums In an April 2020 interview with Piano & Keyboard Artist producer Vaughn George, Bascombe confirmed that the tom drum fills heard throughout "Never Let Me Down Again" are comprised of the tom drum sounds originally recorded for use in "Stripped":

Vaughn George: So you actually used some of the sounds from previous albums?

Dave Bascombe: A few, yeah [...] For instance, I think on "Never Let Me Down Again", the tom-toms are a combination of the toms from "Stripped" mixed with some other samples.[12]

Alan Wilder describes the recording of this sound in a 1998 editorial on Shunt, the official Recoil project website: "A hired drum kit was also set up in the large reception area of Westside and used to sample individual sounds, most notably the distinctive toms with their special ambience."[13]

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Classic John Bonham drum one-shots Beastie Boys - "Rhymin' And Stealin" - 1982
Official
The "When The Levee Breaks" drum loop sampled on the Beastie Boys song "Rhymin And Stealin" was subsequently sampled by Bascombe for use with "Never Let Me Down Again". Wilder confirmed in a Q&A on the official Recoil website: "From memory, the drums [for "Never Let Me Down Again") were sampled from Led Zeppelin's "When The Levee Breaks" (but secondhand from a rap record). It is one of the most commonly used drum samples – for obvious reasons as it has that very special "Bonham" sound."

In a 4 July 2019 interview with Super Deluxe Edition, Dave Bascombe recalled how the sampled percussion came to be used in "Never Let Me Down Again":

"["Never Let Me Down Again" is the one] that hit me when I first heard that demo, I thought that’s just fantastic [...] [We] were round at Alan’s house – and I said 'Right, I want to use "When The Levee Breaks" [Led Zeppelin] drums on this.’ [...] I suggested using them for the main kick and snare."[11]

Classic John Bonham drum one-shots Led Zeppelin - "When The Levee Breaks" - 1971
Official
Wilder confirmed in a Q&A on the official Recoil project site that 'Never Let Me Down Again' employs some drum elements originally from Led Zeppelin's "When The Levee Breaks", which were sampled second-hand from a rap record. (Beastie Boys - "Rhymin And Stealin").
Orchestral strings and choir pads Carl Orff - Carmina Burana - "O Fortuna" (unspecified recording)
Official
In an April 2020 interview with Piano & Keyboard Artist producer Vaughn George, Bascombe confirms the origin of the cinematic orchestral samples used in the outro of 'Never Let Me Down Again':

Vaughn George: These days you [can] just buy a sample library. Now, if you take out the samples at the end of "Never Let Me Down Again", you did have this big cinematic sound. Where did those samples come from?

Dave Bascombe: I think it was Carmina Burana [...] It took ages getting it all in time and in tune. [Nowadays] that's a piece of piss.[12]

The sampled parts are derived from the final moments of a stereo recording of 'O Fortuna', the opening and closing movement of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana cantata, which features a powerful sustained note comprised of choir vocals, orchestral strings, brass, and timpani. The resulting stereo pad is then split into separate monophonic samples, so that one sample prominently features the orchestral strings and the other prominently features the choir. The results are subsequently tuned, separately looped, and layered with orchestral brass elements. The samples are then played back in a call and response phrase in which the sample featuring the orchestral strings plays for the entirety of each bar, and the sample featuring the choir is played starting on every second beat until the end of the measure.

Guitar riff and drum elements 3rd Bass - "Wordz Of Wisdom, Pt. 2" - 1989
Official
American hip-hop group 3rd Bass employed an uncredited sample of the opening guitar riff from Depeche Mode's "Never Let Me Down Again" for their 1989 track "Wordz Of Wisdom, Pt. 2". Depeche Mode were fond of their use of the sample, and would in turn sample it back from "Wordz Of Wisdom, Pt. 2" and employ it during the live interlude of "Never Let Me Down Again" as performed on the World Violation tour. Wilder would later use this sample and other elements from "Wordz Of Wisdom, Pt. 2" in the live production of "In Your Room" as part of Recoil's 2010-2011 Selected Events tour.

"Strangelove" - Depeche Mode
1987
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Resonant bell sample "Strangelove" employs a rich bell sample layered with other samples to form the counter melody sound heard during its intro, chorus sections and outro. Other notable uses of this bell sample include the choruses of "But Not Tonight", "Behind The Wheel", and the Recoil instrumental "Grain".

"I Want You Now" - Depeche Mode
1987
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Female "ahh" vocal samples / Sample of multiple laughing girls 'I Want You Now' makes creative use of studio quality female vocals (in conjunction with a similar vocal provided by Martin Gore) as an experimental substitute for traditional bass drums or snares. These sounds include two distinct "ahh" vocalizations used throughout the verse and chorus sections as well as a sample of two women laughing heard at the end of each verse. The women who provided the vocals were described by Wilder in a Q&A on Shunt, the official Recoil website: "...I think it was a couple of girls who were hanging around the studio - thought we'd make use of them ;-)"[14] Album producer Dave Bascombe recalls: "It was Fashion Week when we were in Paris which, terrible, you know, [laughs] so models turned up at the studio and we got them to do the samples, just to get it a bit more hi-fi!"[11]

Notably, the female "ahh" vocalization heard during the verses would be repurposed to similar effect in "Clean" starting from the second verse.

'Breathing' accordion loop The "breathing" effect heard throughout "I Want You Now" is produced by an accordion being inflated and deflated without depressing a key.[14]
Tambourine loop A tambourine loop is utilised in the Exotic tour arrangement of "I Want You Now" starting from the middle eight section onwards. Notably, this loop is also used throughout Recoil's "Last Call for Liquid Courage".

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Female orgasm vocal samples (x2) Unidentified pornographic film
Confirmed
The pornographic film sampled by Depeche Mode for use in the production of "I Want You Now" is likely to have enjoyed an official release on VHS or Betamax cassette and would have been in widespread circulation by July 1987.
Sampled scratch N.W.A. - "Fuck tha Police" - 1988
Confirmed
The scratch effect heard in the opening moments of "Fuck tha Police" by N.W.A. is sampled and played sporadically throughout the 1994 Exotic tour arrangement of "I Want You Now" layered with the scratch sample from "Get Right With Me".

Notably, it is also used to similar effect in the hip hop-esque interpretation of "Fly On The Windscreen", which was performed on the 1993 Devotional tour.

"To Have And To Hold" - Depeche Mode
1987
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Russian radio news broadcast A sample of a radio news broadcast featuring a male voice speaking in Russian can be heard during the intro and outro of the album version of "To Have And To Hold". The vocal is played several notes below its root key and is layered with numerous delayed cuts to produce a dense, alarming texture. Fitting with the dark atmosphere of the song, the broadcaster states: "В докладах рассматривается эволюция ядерных арсеналов и социально-психологические проблемы гонки вооружений," which translates to "The report examines the evolution of nuclear arsenals and socio-psychological problems of the arms race".

Notably, this sample would later be sampled by composer Mark Morgan for use in the ambient song 'The Vault of the Future' in the 1997 post-apocalyptic adventure video game Fallout, 1998's Fallout 2 and 2010's acclaimed Fallout: New Vegas.

"Nothing" - Depeche Mode
1987
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Hi-hat derived from the sound of a pneumatic coach door shutting In a 4 July 2019 interview with Super Deluxe Edition, Dave Bascombe recalls the unique production of an alternative hi-hat sound used in "Nothing":

We dug out a few of their old samples and I brought a lot of mine as well, which were more in the vein of just regular snare drums and kicks, although I did use, there’s one interesting sound which is used as a high hat on, I think "Nothing", or maybe a few things, which is a pneumatic coach door shutting. Anyway, we did swap a few things around like that. I had an Emulator II [sampler/keyboard], we’d swap discs and so on.[11]

Solo vocal-like pad with short loop A solo vocal-like pad with a short loop (derived from a non-looped sample that is used in conjunction with yet another vocal-like sound to intensify the final four bars of each verse section in "I Want You Now") is used to play a melody during the chorus sections of 'Nothing'.

Other notable appearances of this sample include the lead melody as heard in live performances of "Never Let Me Down Again" and as a vocal stab layered with yet another vocal-like sound during the final four bars of each verse section in "I Want You Now".

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Classic John Bonham drum one-shots Beastie Boys - "Rhymin' And Stealin" - 1982
Confirmed
Wilder confirmed in a Q&A on the official Recoil project site that "Never Let Me Down Again" employs some drum elements originally from Led Zeppelin's "When The Levee Breaks" which were sampled second-hand from a rap record. (Beastie Boys - "Rhymin And Stealin"). The "Bonham" snare drum sample is processed and re-purposed for the snare sequence of "Nothing". The primary fill sequence features the snare playing a descending "melody" of 3-3-2, where each number corresponds to the number of snare hits and the key of the snare descends by one note from its root key every three hits.
Classic John Bonham drum one-shots Led Zeppelin - "When The Levee Breaks" - 1971
Confirmed
Wilder confirmed in a Q&A on Shunt, the official Recoil project site that "Never Let Me Down Again" employs some drum elements originally from Led Zeppelin's "When The Levee Breaks" which were sampled second-hand from a rap record. (Beastie Boys - "Rhymin And Stealin").

"Pimpf" - Depeche Mode
1987
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Exploding firework An exploding firework sound originally recorded for use with "Stripped" is layered in with a large choir stab in the outro of "Pimpf". The sample is played in time with the choir several notes below its root key.

Notably, this sample is also occasionally played on the final note during live performances of "Never Let Me Down Again".

"To Have And To Hold" (Spanish Taster) - Depeche Mode
1987
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Guitar-like pluck A guitar-like pluck sample is layered with a harpsichord, played back with a medium decay, and processed with reverb to produce the lead melody heard throughout the Spanish Taster mix.

Other uses of this sample include the lead melody of "Never Let Me Down Again" and a fill heard during the verse sections of "Strangelove".

"Pleasure, Little Treasure" (Glitter Mix) - Depeche Mode
1987
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
"The grabbing hands grab all they can - Everything counts in large amounts" chorus vocal The vocal section of "Everything Counts" (Reprise) is re-purposed to form the "ghostly" vocal outro of the "Pleasure, Little Treasure" (Glitter Mix). The part is pitch shifted up by two keys, timestretched to match the approximate 132 BPM tempo of "Pleasure, Little Treasure", reversed, and subsequently sliced to allow for more precise sequencing control over each section of audio. The part is then processed using a gate effect programmed to allow the audio signal to pass through for the first two steps of the first and third beats per bar. The resulting "stuttering" vocal rhythm is then processed with reverb and delay.
Organ sample A distinct organ sample is used to play a two note phrase during the chorus sections of all versions of "Pleasure, Little Treasure". Notably, this sample is also used during the choruses of "World In My Eyes" and the outro of "Behind The Wheel" as it was performed on the World Violation, Devotional and Exotic tours.

"Route 66" (Beatmasters Mix) - Depeche Mode
1987

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
"They come from everywhere to take the challenge", "If they can name it they can claim it", "It's big money, high hopes, near misses, and love and kisses", "So, join host Tom Kennedy, tonight at 7:30, and 'Name That Tune!'" vocal samples Unspecified television advertisement for Name That Tune (game show)
Confirmed

"Strangelove" (The Fresh Ground Mix) - Depeche Mode
1987

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
"Super DJ!" vocal sample Cameo - "Word Up" - 1986
Official
A vocal sample of Cameo's Larry Blackmon shouting "super DJ!" is repeated throughout this obscure promotional remix. Officially confirmed on depechemode.com[15].

Violator (1990)

"World In My Eyes" - Depeche Mode
1990
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Main snare The origin of the main snare sound used throughout 'World In My Eyes' (and, relatedly, its similar-but-different counterpart best heard during the electronic interlude in the outro of the album version of 'Personal Jesus') is unclear. Alan Wilder states in a Q&A on Shunt, the official Recoil project site: "[I can't] remember exactly. I think we made it from scratch or it could be a combination of analogue and a sample."[16]
Minimoog/ARP 2600 bass The origin of the bass is a combination of a series of unique synthesized parts, including a "dark" synth bass, a velocity-sensitive synthesized bass part with a high resonance and slight filter cutoff settings, and a velocity-sensitive synthesized bass part with a subtle filtered white noise setting. According to Wilder, the bass parts are likely to have originated from the Minimoog and Flood's ARP 2600.[16]
Vocal "ahh" samples A series of quietly-mixed solo vocal "ahh" samples perform a melody during the outro of "World In My Eyes". Other notable uses of these vocal elements include the vocal melody heard during the outro of "Enjoy The Silence", the solo vocal used throughout "Memphisto", and the sustained choir chords heard during the second verse of "In Your Room" as it was performed on the Devotional, Exotic, and Global Spirit tours.

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Bell tree sample Fleetwood Mac - "Black Magic Woman" - 1982
Confirmed
This sample is used for two distinct sounds in the production of "World In My Eyes":
  • One version of the sample features oscillating pitch with added reverb that is reversed and played in chorus with a separate sample, producing an exciting "whirl" effect that occurs during the verses and throughout the song.
  • A second version of the sample appears on the first bar following the end of the first chorus, with added reverb to create a distancing effect. This sample is used to dramatic effect during the outro to the Devotional tour version of "World In My Eyes".[17]

"Sweetest Perfection" - Depeche Mode
1990

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Bell tree sample Fleetwood Mac - "Black Magic Woman" - 1982
Confirmed
This sample is looped and manipulated to produce a ghostly pad with oscillating pitch and creative panning effects during the verses.

"Personal Jesus" - Depeche Mode
1989
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Foot stomp drum elements Wilder recalls in separate Q&A and Editorial features on Shunt, the official Recoil project site: "The main stomps... [were] a recording of 2 or 3 people jumping up and down on flight cases."[16][18]
Slide guitar fill Album producer Flood recalled the unique slide guitar sound recorded on the second day of production on "Personal Jesus" in his 2011 Mute Short Circuit presentation:

I'd said, well, I always thought that on the original demo [for Personal Jesus], [the slide guitar part] sounded like voices. Somebody going "Rahh!" And they all looked at me as though I was mad. I said [...] if we just combine the two sounds, it would be unique, it won't be just a slide guitar [...] And [Dave Gahan] finally turned around and goes "What, like this? Rahhh!" I went "Yes, exactly like that!" So Dave went, alright then, sample this then: "Rahhh!" I went "Yep, that's perfect!" They were all looking at me as though I was mad! But, that is half of the sound that you hear when you hear the finished article.

Breathing rhythm Album producer Flood describes the origin of the "Personal Jesus" breathing rhythm recorded on the third day of the song's production in his 2011 Mute Short Circuit presentation:

The next day, we [started] to do the famous breath. And the breath came about because we wanted to do, we were trying harmonica actually, to do the bass part and that type of sound. And the sound just wasn't right, but what we did like was the sound of someone going "Haah", and so we got a load of "Haah" from [Martin Gore], and I think [Alan Wilder] as well, and then chucked them all together. And that makes up the "ooh-ooh-ooh-ahh-ahh-ahh", it's all from trying to get the harmonica for a bass sound.

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
"I'm not crazy anymore!" vocal sample A Cry In The Wilderness (film) - 1974
Likely

"Halo" - Depeche Mode
1990
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Minimoog/ARP 2600 bass The origin of the bass is a combination of likely two or more unique synthesized parts, including a 'dark' velocity-sensitive synth bass layered with an additional bass part. According to Wilder, these bass parts are likely to have originated from the Minimoog and producer Flood's ARP 2600.[16]
Vocal "ahhs" The choir stabs heard during the first chorus are comprised of a series of solo vocal "ahh" samples. Other notable uses of these vocal elements include the vocal melody heard during the outro of "Enjoy The Silence", a choir melody in the outro of "World In My Eyes", the solo vocal used throughout "Memphisto", and the sustained choir chords heard during the second verse of "In Your Room" as it was performed on the Devotional, Exotic, and Global Spirit tours.
Snare A crisp snare can be heard on every odd bar starting from the third bar of each chorus section in "Halo". Notably, this sound As this sample was also used throughout Wilder's "Eurotech Version" remix of Toni Halliday's "Time Turns Around". As this sample is not audible in the original version or other remixed versions of "Time Turns Around", it is assumed to be a self-made sample.

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Classic John Bonham drum loop Beastie Boys - "Rhymin' And Stealin" - 1982
Official
Wilder confirmed in a Q&A on Shunt, the official Recoil website that "Never Let Me Down Again" employs some drum elements originally from Led Zeppelin's "When The Levee Breaks" which were sampled second-hand from a rap record. The sampled parts would later be re-purposed for "Halo":

From memory, the drums were sampled from Led Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks" (but secondhand from a rap record). It is one of the most commonly used drum samples – for obvious reasons as it has that very special "Bonham" sound. The same snare drum sound appears on DM's "Get Right With Me". I've also heard that snare on a Massive Attack record and many others. I think Violator was the first album that we used whole performance drum loops to create rhythm tracks, as opposed to programmed single drum sounds, and "Halo" was one of the first tracks we recorded for Violator in fact. Flood and I were listening to quite a lot of hip hop and rap records at the time – those artists were the forerunners when sampling larger sections of rhythms and grooves. And the unusual feels that were created on those albums really influenced Violator and Songs Of Faith And Devotion.

Classic John Bonham drum break Led Zeppelin - "When The Levee Breaks" - 1971
Official
Wilder confirmed that "Never Let Me Down Again" employs some drum elements originally from Led Zeppelin's "When The Levee Breaks" which were sampled second-hand from a rap record (Beastie Boys - "Rhymin And Stealin") in a Q&A on Shunt, the official Recoil website. These samples were later re-purposed for use in "Halo" and "Get Right With Me".
Looped orchestral strings (x2) Gustav Mahler - Symphony No.5 in C sharp minor - 4. Adagietto (Sehr langsam)
Confirmed
"Halo" employs two looped orchestral phrases sampled from the fourth movement of a pre-1989 performance of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 5 Adagietto (Sehr langsam). Both samples are looped on a sustained phrase to produce a dramatic orchestral part. Notably, each of these samples are re-used to dramatic effect in the respective outros of "My Joy" and "Clean".[19]
"Soaring" orchestral strings Edward Elgar - Unidentified composition
Confirmed
Wilder confirmed in a 27 July 2011 interview with electricityclub.co.uk that "Halo" employs orchestral string elements sampled from an as yet unidentified piece of music composed by celebrated English composer Edward Elgar:

For the end choruses, there are some string samples which I think were derived from Elgar. One of my techniques is to find sections of classical strings and transpose / stretch these, then add my own samples, in order to formulate new and unusual arrangements. This was a case in point. The DM track ‘Clean’ utilised classical strings in a similar way.[20]

The classical recording sampled would have been recorded and released during or prior to 1989.

"Waiting For The Night" - Depeche Mode
1990
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
ARP 2600 bass sequence Wilder describes the production of this bass part in a Q&A on Shunt, the official Recoil website:

Flood and I had been listening to Tangerine Dream and decided to try and create a similar atmosphere for this track. The main sequence was put together using his [ARP 2600] and the sequencer that accompanies the synth. Due to its many velocity and filtering possibilities, this unit has a unique quality which is difficult to replicate using a modern-day sequencer triggered by MIDI. Once it has been set-up, in order for the sequence to be transposed to follow the chord structure of the song, I needed to play in each chord change from an external keyboard. A similar principal was applied to achieve the bubbling bass part which, together with the main sequence, forms the backbone of the track. The charm of the ARP sequencer stems from the slight tuning and timing variations that occur each time the part is played. This gives a sense of fluidity and continual change which seems to suit the song. [21]

Bass sequence Musician and remixer Ehron VonAllen confirmed in a YouTube analysis of his remix collaboration with Alan Wilder that Wilder employed a bass sequence originally recorded for use with "Waiting For The Night" in "Electro Blues For Bukka White".[22]

"Enjoy The Silence" - Depeche Mode
1990
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Vocal "ahh" samples The choir stabs heard during the first chorus are comprised of a series of solo vocal "ahh" samples. Other notable uses of these vocal elements include the solo vocal used throughout "Memphisto", a melody in the outro of "World In My Eyes", the sustained choir chords heard during the second verse of "In Your Room" as it was performed on the Devotional, Exotic, and Global Spirit tours, and the choir stabs audible during the first chorus of "Halo". For live performances of "Enjoy The Silence", these choir elements were employed from its live debut through 2009, when it was replaced with new choir parts for use on the Tour Of The Universe and later tours with one exception where it returned for a live performance as part of a television promotion.

"Policy Of Truth" - Depeche Mode
1990
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Main guitar rhythm The guitar rhythm prominently used during the first two verses is produced by a single note played from a guitar, which is processed and looped to provide a built-in vibrato effect. The sample is then allocated across the keyboard for playback. Though not officially confirmed, a second sample is likely used to produce the faux guitar 'lick' present in the rhythm part in every other bar. Wilder recalled in a Q&A on Shunt, the official Recoil website: "It's a single note sampled from a guitar and then looped and played from a keyboard. The loop is what gives it the vibrato effect."[16]
Hi-hat loops "Policy Of Truth" employs sampled hi-hat rhythms sequenced in an alternating pattern to form dynamic loops. Wilder explains the benefits of using loops over one-shot samples in a Q&A on Shunt, the official Recoil website:

[...] No two snare beats sound the same when played by a drummer - I like that. That's why I prefer to use lots of drum loops with all the feel (and flaws) of the original performance. Most of the drum sounds on Violator were sampled (apart from obvious electro sounds) but the rhythms were still programmed. Some hi-hat patterns ("[Policy Of Truth]" for example) were played and sampled as loops and in the case of "Halo" and "Clean" it's all loops. Again, I prefer the looped parts because of the performance element.[16]

Piano stab A sampled piano stab processed with reverb is audible during the chorus sections of "Policy Of Truth". Notably, this sample was also used in Wilder's "Eurotech Version" remix of Toni Halliday's "Time Turns Around". As this sample is not audible in the original version or other remixed versions of "Time Turns Around", it is assumed to be a self-made sample.

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Main riff Unknown Asian instrument sample library CD
Official
In a 2016 podcast with author and former pastor Rob Bell, Martin Gore was asked about the origin of this sound:

Rob Bell: There's a song on there called "Policy of Truth": what in the world are those sounds? Do you know what I mean? Like, if someone came from a different planet, and I was just playing any music, I'd be like, 'This is a guitar, this is drums, this is harpsichord, this is a flute...' But on that song, if I played them that song, I'd be like, '... That's like a... I don't...'

Martin Gore: You mean the main riff kind of sound?

Bell: The riff, there's like three or four parts that are like sort of stacked in very tightly in the mix. I assume there's some really subjective aesthetic thing going on where you're just like, 'It should sound like striking the edge of a glass bottle mixed with a...' Do you know what I mean? In the studio, are you just, 'I'll know it when I hear it?'

Gore: I think it's more organic than that. I think part of the sounds that you're talking about are samples that we... even during Violator we were doing quite a bit of sampling, so it probably came from some weird Asian instrument sample CD or a classical Asian music CD, with a [pitch] bend in it.[23]

The sample library or classical release in question that was sampled for the main riff components would have been in circulation by 1989. The riff is comprised of two looped samples, one with a natural built-in pitch bend and a short loop, and one without a pitch bend with an equally short loop.

Looped guitar rhythm Tony Halliday - "Time Turns Around" - 1989
Confirmed
A looped guitar rhythm used during the verses of Toni Halliday's "Time Turns Around" is re-purposed for use during the chorus sections of "Policy Of Truth".[24] The parts were likely derived from the stems utilised by Wilder in the production of the "Eurotech Version" remix he produced for the March 1989 Time Turns Around - Very Special Version promotional release.
Guitar solo Tony Halliday - "Time Turns Around" - 1989
Confirmed
Various cuts of the guitar solo from Toni Halliday's "Time Turns Around" are sampled and subsequently looped to form the sustained guitar pads heard during the outro of "Policy Of Truth". The parts were likely derived from the stems utilised by Wilder in the production of the "Eurotech Version" remix he produced for the March 1989 Time Turns Around - Very Special Version promotional release.

"Clean" - Depeche Mode
1990
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Female "ah" vocal sample 'Clean' employs a female "ah" vocal part originally recorded for use throughout 1987's "I Want You Now". The part is performed in time with the snare starting from the second verse. Wilder recalled the performers responsible for this vocal part in a Q&A on Shunt, the official Recoil website: "...I think it was a couple of girls who were hanging around the studio - thought we'd make use of them ;-)"[14]

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Bass guitar Pink Floyd - "One Of These Days" - 1971
Disproven
Wilder confirmed in a Q&A on the official Recoil project site that "Clean" does not employ a sample from Pink Floyd: "I recognise the similarity but It's not a Floyd sample. It was programmed using a combination of analogue synth and sampled bass [guitar]."[25]
Looped orchestral strings Gustav Mahler - Symphony No.5 in C sharp minor - 4. Adagietto (Sehr langsam)
Confirmed
"Clean" employs a looped orchestral phrase sampled from the fourth movement of a performance of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 5 Adagietto (Sehr langsam). It is looped on a sustained phrase to produce a dramatic orchestral part. In "Clean", the sample is first heard playing one note below its root key in the outro of the song, alternating with another as-yet unidentified sampled orchestral phrase, and is the last sound to be heard at the tail end of the song's fade out (and is therefore the final sound to be heard on the Violator album). Notably, this sample is also used to dramatic effect in "Memphisto", the chorus sections of "Halo", and the outro of "My Joy". Additionally, a separate sample from this same piece of music is also used to equally dramatic effect in both "Halo" and "My Joy".[19]
Orchestral string elements Unidentified classical music recording, possibly Edward Elgar
Confirmed
"Clean" utilises two looped sections of orchestral strings during its outro, one of which is derived from a performance of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 5. The other loop is presumably derived from an as yet unidentified piece of classical music written by British composer Edward Elgar. Notably, both sampled string loops as heard in the outro of "Clean" are re-purposed for use throughout the verse and chorus sections of "Halo".

"Memphisto" - Depeche Mode
1990
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Vocal "ahh" samples Unlooped versions of the samples comprising the solo vocal "ahh" melody heard in the outro of "Enjoy The Silence" are re-used to dramatic effect as a vocal element in "Memphisto". Other notable uses of these vocal elements include the choir stabs audible during the first chorus of "Halo", a quietly-mixed melody in the outro of "World In My Eyes", and the sustained choir chords heard during the second verse of "In Your Room" as it was performed on the Devotional, Exotic, and Global Spirit tours.
Resonant bass stabs Reverberated resonant bass stabs heard throughout "Clean" are layered in as a bass element in "Memphisto".

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Looped orchestral strings Gustav Mahler - Symphony No.5 in C sharp minor - 4. Adagietto (Sehr langsam)
Confirmed
'Memphisto' employs a looped orchestral phrase sampled from the fourth movement of a performance of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 5 Adagietto (Sehr langsam). It is looped on a sustained phrase to produce a dramatic orchestral part. Notably, this sample is also used to dramatic effect in "Clean", the chorus sections of "Halo", and the outro of "My Joy". Additionally, a separate sample from the same piece of music is used to equally dramatic effect in "Halo" and "My Joy".[19]
Looped orchestral strings Unidentified classical music recording, possibly Edward Elgar
Confirmed
Both sampled string loops best heard in the outro of "Clean" are also used throughout "Memphisto", notably during the second chorus section onward. One of the two is derived from a performance of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 5.

"Kaleid" - Depeche Mode
1990

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Tremolo guitar Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel - "What Ruthy Said" - 1973
Confirmed
A rhythmic tremolo guitar element heard in the opening moments of Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel's "What Ruthy Said" is sampled and used throughout "Kaleid".
Distorted wah guitar fill Borghesia - "Message" - 1990
Confirmed
A "slurry" guitar sound processed with wah and distortion heard during the opening moments of Borghesia's "Message" is sampled, pitched down 100 cents, time-stretched, processed with a chorus or flanger effect to widen the stereo image and EQ'd for use as a fill throughout "Kaleid".[26]

"Happiest Girl" (Pulsating Orbital Mix) - Depeche Mode
1990

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Engine idling/orchestral hit sample The Tornadoes - "Telstar" - 1962
Official
Credit to Daniel Barassi for this discovery.[27]

"Policy Of Truth" (Trancentral Mix) - Depeche Mode
1990

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
"I'm not a politician, I'm a businessman" Robert Hoskins vocal (spoken) The Long Good Friday (film) - 1980
Confirmed
Richard Nixon vocal (spoken) The "Checkers" Speech, Richard M. Nixon speech broadcast, 1952
Confirmed

"Policy Of Truth" (Pavlov's Dub) - Depeche Mode
1990

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
"I must not conceal from you tonight...the truth as I see it" Winston Churchill vocal (spoken) MIT Mid-Century Convocation - Winston Churchill speech at Mass. Institute of Technology, Thursday, March 31, 1949
Confirmed

"World In My Eyes" (Oil Tank Mix) - Depeche Mode
1990

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
N/A Kraftwerk - "Musique Non-Stop" - 1986
Unconfirmed

"Sea Of Sin" (Sensoria Mix) - Depeche Mode
1990

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
N/A Madonna - "Vogue" - 1990
Unconfirmed

Until The End Of The World (soundtrack) (1991)

"Death's Door" - Depeche Mode
1991
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Guitar chords with tremolo "Death's Door" re-purposes guitar chords originally recorded for "Blue Dress" for its chorus and middle eight sections.[28] This guitar part is also notably used to dramatic effect in Recoil's "Missing Piece".
Slide guitar A slide guitar part used in the final moments of "Clean" is re-purposed as an atmospheric effect throughout "Death's Door", particularly in the outro section. Notably, this sample is also used to rhythmic effect throughout Recoil's "Missing Piece".

Songs Of Faith And Devotion (1993)

"I Feel You" - Depeche Mode
1993
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Distorted noise pad A shot of distorted noise is utilised as a riser during the intro and just before the break sections of "I Feel You". Alan Wilder confirms this particular part originated from a non-descript synthesizer in a Q&A on Shunt, the official Recoil website: "[...] The noise actually comes from a synth."[29]

Part of the initial transient of the distorted noise loop present in the album version of "I Feel You" is removed so that the part begins on a brief moment of elevated pitch. This subtle edit would see use in all live performances of the song from the Devotional tour onward.

"Walking In My Shoes" - Depeche Mode
1993
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Processed piano/harpsichord riff The main riff is a combination of piano and harpsichord processed with copious amounts of compression and tremolo. Wilder confirms the composition of this sound in a Q&A on Shunt, the official Recoil website: "[...] Flood and I began to construct the various drum loops, the string arrangements, the main riff (which combined a piano and harpsichord through a distorted guitar amp) and all the other bits and pieces [of the song]."[29]

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Drum loop Fancy - "Feel Good" - 1974
Confirmed
The classic "Feel Good" drum break is used during the chorus, middle eight, and outro sections of 'Walking In My Shoes'. The loop is resampled to match the approximate 94 BPM tempo of "Walking In My Shoes", with the drum break sliced to start from the first beat on a bass drum hit, with an open hi-hat on the fourth step of the second beat. The resulting rhythm is then looped to repeat every two beats.
Orchestral strings Elmer Bernstein - Cape Fear (film soundtrack) - "Rape And Hospital" - 1991
Confirmed
An orchestral string phrase from the opening moments of "Rape And Hospital", an ambient orchestral song conducted by Elmer Bernstein for the 1991 remake of the 1962 psychological thriller film Cape Fear, is layered with other string elements to form evolving string pads during the second and third verse sections of "Walking In My Shoes". Two copies of the sample are produced, with the first copy timestretched and re-pitched to play fourteen keys above its original key for two bars. The process is repeated for the second copy, with the second copy of the sample re-pitched to play eleven keys above its original key for the next two bars. The resulting four bar orchestral phrase is layered with other orchestral strings to form the sweeping orchestral phrase that bridges the second and third verse sections with the chorus of "Walking In My Shoes".
Orchestral strings Elmer Bernstein - Cape Fear (film soundtrack) - "Frightened Sam" - 1991
Confirmed
A brief orchestral string and woodwind phrase from the introduction of "Frightened Sam", an orchestral song from the 1991 remake of Cape Fear is layered with other orchestral elements to form a melodic descending string phrase starting from the third verse section of "Walking In My Shoes". Multiple copies of the sample are produced, with each copy timestretched to play slightly slower than the sample's original tempo. Once timestretched, the resulting series of samples are sequenced to play a descending three note melody beginning five keys below the sample's original key, with the slower copies of the sample assigned to play the higher notes and the faster copies assigned to play the lower notes. In practice, this allows the built-in transients of the original sample to play in time with the tempo of "Walking In My Shoes".
Drum loop Funkadelic - "Nappy Dugout" - 1973
Unconfirmed

"Condemnation" - Depeche Mode
1993
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Improvised flight case bass drum Wilder describes the recording of various elementary elements of "Condemnation" in an editorial on Shunt, the official Recoil website:

With experimentation still prevalent, the elementary sounds for the 3rd single, "Condemnation" were recorded in the basement of the Madrid villa with one person banging a flight case, another clapping and a third scraping the wall with a tambourine.

The vocals - which were to have a 'barbershop choir meets gospel Elvis Presley' flavour - proved that Depeche Mode had not abandoned their desire to find different and exciting ways of producing music. Built up track by track, individual takes were sung by (mainly) Martin and (sometimes) Alan and then manipulated using vari-speed to produce very low and very high pitches. Once added to Dave's lead vocal, the resulting close harmonies provided the barbershop body of the track."[30]

Tambourine The tambourine fill present at the end of each bar repeating throughout the piece is produced by scraping the tambourine against a wall.

"Mercy In You" - Depeche Mode
1993

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Drum loop The Headhunters - "God Make Me Funky" - 1975
Confirmed
Multiple sections of the classic "God Make Me Funky" drum break are sliced and looped to form a funky percussive rhythm that plays throughout "Mercy In You". The bulk of the loop is comprised of a bar of the "God Make Me Funky" break, featuring an open hi-hat on the third step of every third beat. The sample is then sliced and sequenced to match the approximate 96 BPM tempo of "Mercy In You". A second part of the break, featuring a double bass drum hit, is sliced and sequenced in with the main loop, with the softer bass drum hit on the third step of every second beat and the harder hit sequenced in time with the open hi-hat. The result is then looped throughout the introduction and verse sections of "Mercy In You".
Drum loop Five Stairsteps - "Don't Change Your Love" - 1968
Confirmed
The live version of "Mercy In You" as it was performed on the Devotional tour features a sample of the classic Five Stairsteps' "Don't Change Your Love" drum break. Due to the composition of the loop as it is used on this live arrangement of "Mercy In You", which features a reflection of a tambourine hit on the second beat of every bar and possesses distinct characteristics that differ somewhat from the original break, it is assumed the loop was taken secondhand from another song that sampled the original drum break (likely a rap record). Candidates for possible secondhand sample sources include the "JMJ Telephone Tap Groove" remix of Public Enemy's "Louder Than A Bomb" (the loop is exposed in the instrumental version of the remix, which was commercially available on the 1992 12" release) and the 1992 rap track "Taste of the Bass" by Hustlers Of Culture featuring EQ (2), which exposes the drum break in the intro.
Variphone pad Talk Talk - "The Rainbow" - 1988
Confirmed
"Mercy In You" employs a Variophon[29] pad with a unique distorted texture derived from Talk Talk's "The Rainbow" (approximately 0:55). The pad is EQ'd to slightly reduce high frequencies above approximately 4000Hz and slightly boost the lower mid-range. The sample is then looped, tuned approximately thirty cents above its root key, and played with a long release time. Notably, a differently-processed version of this sample is used during the first verse and outro of "In Your Room".[17]

"Judas" - Depeche Mode
1993
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
"If you want my love" choir This vocal performance is comprised of a large number of individual vocal recordings of individuals employed during the recording of "Judas", the final album track to be recorded at Chateau du Pape Studio, with each individual's vocal performance multitracked six times each for a total of ninety individual voices, with additional delay, reverb, and EQ to introduce an intimate southern church-like quality to the vocals. Wilder describes the recording of this particular part in a Q&A on Shunt, the official Recoil website: "15 people (tape op's, studio secretaries, the cook etc...) multitracked 6 times making a total of 90 voices + delays and reverbs. Then we eq'ed the sound to make it seem like it was sung in a deep southern church hall in the 1960's, rather than Wembley stadium."[29]
Brass "Judas" and "Higher Love" each employ similar sample-based brass parts during their respective bridge sections.

"In Your Room" - Depeche Mode
1993
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Double-tracked "splang" guitar chord A series of four unique guitar chords are utilised as stabs at the start of each bar during the chorus sections of "In Your Room". Wilder describes the composition of this sound in a Q&A on Shunt, the official Recoil website:

"Affectionately known (to me anyway) as 'Splang' rather than 'twoo, twaa and twee', the sound is derived from a guitar. Each chord was sampled individually and then double-tracked with a second but different guitar sound. There is also a string/choir pad (another backwards sound) playing the same chords in the background."[29]

Orchestral tremolo strings A series of sustained orchestral tremolo string parts are employed throughout the track. The strings play in alternating chords during the choruses and throughout the third verse.
Processed choir pads (reversed)
Textured ambient noise pad (looped) A textured loop used sporadically during the intro and first verse of "In Your Room" is a brief sample of ambient noise with audible wind chimes in the background, which produces a "grainy" textured pad when reversed. The sample is reversed and subsequently looped, then transposed down several notes from its root key for the final result.
Vocal "ahhs" samples Solo vocal "ahh" samples are layered with other processed solo vocal samples to produce a lush choir used during the second verse of "In Your Room" as it was performed on the Devotional and Global Spirit tours. Notably, these vocal parts are also utilised for the outro choir melody of "Enjoy The Silence", a quietly-mixed melody in the outro of "World In My Eyes", choir stabs during the first chorus of "Halo", and the solo vocal melody used throughout "Memphisto".

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Drum loop Rusty Bryant - "Fire Eater" - 1971
Confirmed
A classic drum break consisting of a funky bass drum, snare, and hi-hat is lifted from "Fire Eater" for use with "In Your Room" starting from the second verse. The loop is sequenced in an "evolving" way, so that more of the loop is heard as the song progresses:
  1. Bar one: The loop repeats on every beat for three beats, and is then allowed to play uninterrupted for the last two beats
  2. Bar two: The loop repeats on every beat for two beats, and is then allowed to play uninterrupted for the last three beats
  3. Bar three: The loop is allowed to play uninterrupted for the entirety of bar three
  4. Bar four: The loop repeats on every beat for two beats, and is then allowed to play uninterrupted for the last three beats

The resulting sequence is looped to repeat every four bars throughout the verses and chorus sections. As the verse sections of the album version of "In Your Room" include an additional bar following the fourth line to accommodate Martin Gore's ethereal vocal "ahs", the timing of the loop relative to the music changes naturally as the verse progresses, adding a rhythmic "live performance" quality to the track.

Exotic percussion loop Unknown
Unconfirmed
"In Your Room" utilises an "exotic" percussive loop comprised of a percussive instrument with a high pitch timbre, best heard in the "Apex" remix starting from 1:45. Notably, this loop is also used throughout Nitzer Ebb's "I Give To You" (also produced by Wilder), and is best heard around the three minute mark of its "Elemental" remix.
Drum loop Simtec & Wylie - "Bootleggin" - 1971
Unconfirmed
Drum loop Melvin Bliss - "Synthetic Substitution" - 1973
Unconfirmed
Variphone pad Talk Talk - "The Rainbow" - 1988
Confirmed
'In Your Room' employs a Variophon[29] pad with a unique distorted texture derived from Talk Talk's "The Rainbow" (at approximately 0:55). The pad is equalised to lower frequencies above approximately 6700Hz and slightly boost the lower mid-range. The resulting pad is subsequently looped and played with a slow release during the first verse and outro of "In Your Room". Notably, a differently-processed version of this sample is used during the final verse of "Mercy In You".[17]

"Get Right With Me" - Depeche Mode
1993

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Classic John Bonham drum one-shots Beastie Boys - "Rhymin' And Stealin" - 1982
Official
Wilder confirmed in a Q&A on Shunt, the official Recoil website that "Never Let Me Down Again" employs some drum elements originally from Led Zeppelin's "When The Levee Breaks" which were sampled second-hand from a rap record (Beastie Boys - "Rhymin And Stealin"). These samples were later re-purposed for use in "Halo" and "Get Right With Me". Massive Attack would use the sampled drum elements from "Get Right With Me" on the song "Man Next Door" from their 1998 album Mezzanine, bringing the number of times this famous drum sound had been directly sampled by an artist only to then be sampled from their record by another artist to a total of three.
Classic John Bonham drum one-shots Led Zeppelin - "When The Levee Breaks" - 1971
Official
Wilder confirmed in a Q&A on Shunt, the official Recoil project site that "Never Let Me Down Again" employs some drum elements originally from Led Zeppelin's "When The Levee Breaks" which were sampled second-hand from a rap record (Beastie Boys - "Rhymin And Stealin"). These samples were later re-purposed for use in "Halo" and "Get Right With Me".
N/A N.W.A. - Unspecified song
Unconfirmed

"Higher Love" - Depeche Mode
1993
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Brass "Judas" and "Higher Love" employ similar sample-based brass parts during their respective bridge sections.

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Drum loop U2 - "So Cruel" - 1991
Official
Wilder indirectly confirmed in a response to a question regarding the sonic similarity between the drums of Depeche Mode's "Higher Love" and U2's "So Cruel" in a Q&A on Shunt (the official Recoil website_ that a drum loop from U2's "So Cruel" was sampled for use in "Higher Love" by reiterating that album producer Flood assisted in the production of both records. Depeche Mode would later cover this song, see 'So Cruel'): "Didn't Flood work on both LP's?....."[29]

The loop is produced by sampling various parts from the introduction of the original recording, where the piano and vocals are not present and the drum rhythm is most exposed. The sample is stretched to match the approximate 98 BPM tempo of "Higher Love" and is subsequently sliced into separate parts for the bass drum and snares, which are then sequenced in a different way from how they were originally performed. The piano remains partially audible in the final result. A separate slicing process and treatment of this loop is performed for drum fills, where the loop is reversed and repeated every two beats.

"My Joy" - Depeche Mode
1993
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Distorted bass hit A distorted bass hit with built-in descending pitch originally recorded as part of the bassline of "I Feel You" is re-purposed for use as a hit in "My Joy". The sample occurs on the beat at bar forty-seven (1:48) at the start of the break, and plays one note above its root key.

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Snare drum fill Beastie Boys - "Funky Boss" - 1992
Confirmed
The "rolling" snare drum fill audible in the intro of the Beastie Boys' "Funky Boss" is sampled and stretched via resampling to match the approximate 102 BPM tempo of "My Joy", with light distortion/saturation added to introduce a "dirty" quality to the part. As it was in the Beastie Boys original, this sample is used as a drum fill.
Heavy drum loop with built-in bass drum, snare, and programmed hi-hat sequence Beastie Boys - "Pass The Mic" - 1992
Confirmed
The heavy drum loop present in the brief instrumental break of the Beastie Boys' song "Pass The Mic" is sampled and stretched via resampling to match the approximate 102 BPM tempo of "My Joy". Once matched for tempo, the sample is sliced into two bars, placing the part that originally plays in the second bar (which features a "slurred" quality on the first snare hit) into the first bar, and the remaining content is placed into the second bar. The results are then looped with some light processing and additional drum parts added. For drum fills, the final beat of the first bar containing a snare hit is sliced and placed prior to the start of the loop. For bars containing reverse percussion fills, a brief snippet of the second bar including just the first bass drum hits and the snare drum is sampled, reversed, stretched, and played from the seventh step in the bar.

The drums were originally performed by Mike D (Michael Diamond) during the recording of Check Your Head at G-Son Studios, Atwater Village, California. According to the late MCA (Adam Yauch) in 1999:

One memorable thing about recording "Pass The Mic" was the drums. We had heard that [Led Zeppelin drummer] John Bonham had used a really long kick drum on something and thought it would be interesting to put his technique to the test. Taking full advantage of the size of the G-Son live room/basketball court, we wrapped a long piece of cardboard from a refrigerator box around the kick drum and then put a mic at the far end of it. Mike played the beat, and we looped it.[31]

Looped orchestral strings (x2) Gustav Mahler - Symphony No.5 in C sharp minor - 4. Adagietto (Sehr langsam)
Confirmed
"My Joy" employs two looped orchestral phrases sampled from the fourth movement of a performance of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 5 Adagietto (Sehr langsam). The two string elements are looped on a sustained phrase to produce dramatic orchestral pads. Notably, both string samples are also used throughout "Halo", "Memphisto", and "Clean".
"Soaring" orchestral strings Edward Elgar - Unidentified composition
Confirmed
Wilder confirmed in a 27 July 2011 interview with electricityclub.co.uk that "Halo" (and "My Joy" by extension) employs orchestral string elements sampled from an as yet unidentified piece of music composed by celebrated English composer Edward Elgar:

For the end choruses, there are some string samples which I think were derived from Elgar. One of my techniques is to find sections of classical strings and transpose / stretch these, then add my own samples, in order to formulate new and unusual arrangements. This was a case in point. The DM track "Clean" utilised classical strings in a similar way.[32]

The classical recording sampled would have been released by 1989.

"My Joy" (Slow Slide Mix) - Depeche Mode
1993

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Heavy drum loop with built-in bass drum, snare, and programmed hi-hat sequence Beastie Boys - "Pass The Mic" - 1992
Confirmed
The heavy drum loop present in the brief instrumental break of the Beastie Boys' song "Pass The Mic" is sampled and stretched via resampling to match the approximate 102 BPM tempo of "My Joy". Once matched for tempo, the sample is sliced into two bars, placing the part that originally plays in the second bar (which features a "slurred" quality on the first snare hit) into the first bar, and the remaining content is placed into the second bar. The results are then looped with some light processing added, creating the loop that plays for eight bars in chorus with a loop from Dexter Wansel's "Theme From The Planets". A reversed percussion effect created by sampling, reversing, and stretching a brief snippet from bar two of the "Pass The Mic" loop can be heard throughout the "Slow Slide" remix. The sampled percussive element plays from the seventh step on the first beat on every other bar throughout the remix, and is processed through a phaser effect to widen the sound and add character to the part.
Drum loop Fancy - "Feel Good" - 1974
Confirmed
The classic "Feel Good" drum break is used throughout the "Slow Slide" remix of "My Joy". The loop is sliced to begin on a bass drum, with an open hi-hat on the fourth step of the second beat. The resulting rhythm is then repeated for the remaining two beats of the bar, with the second open hi-hat hit removed on the fourth beat.
Drum loop James Brown - "Funky Drummer" - 1970
Confirmed
Drum loop Dexter Wansel - "Theme From The Planets" - 1976
Confirmed

"In Your Room" (Jeep Rock Mix) - Depeche Mode
1993

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Drum loop Skull Snaps - "It's A New Day" - 1973
Confirmed

"Walking In My Shoes" (Extended Twelve Inch Mix) - Depeche Mode
1993

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Drum loop with distinct bass drum, "roomy" snares, and ethnic percussion The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy - "Language Of Violence" - 1992
Confirmed

"Walking In My Shoes" (Grungy Gonads Mix) - Depeche Mode
1993

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Drum loop Mountain - "Long Red" - 1972
Confirmed
Orchestral string passage Ennio Morricone - "In Chiesa" - Ad Ogni Costo (film) soundtrack - 1967
Official
The string passage in the introduction to this orchestral piece was sampled by the late trip-hop pioneer Jonny Dollar and Portishead member Geoff Barrow.[33] for use in the 'Walking In My Shoes (Grungy Gonads Mix)'. The sample is stretched to match the tempo of "Walking In My Shoes", with sixteen manual scratches on the third bar producing an exciting scratch effect. The sample appears in multiple "Walking In My Shoes" remixes from the period, and has commonly been employed in many performances of this song since its live introduction on the Devotional tour.[17]

"Walking In My Shoes" (Random Carpet Mix) - Depeche Mode
1993

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Orchestral string samples Doctor Zhivago (film) - 1965
Unconfirmed

Ultra (1997)

"Painkiller" - Depeche Mode
1997

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
N/A Vanessa Paradis - "The Future Song" - 1992
Unconfirmed

"It's No Good" (Hardfloor Mix) - Depeche Mode
1997

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Drum elements Fat Larry's Band - "Down In The Avenue" - 1976
Confirmed
Credit to Christopher Baird for this discovery.[17]

"Useless" (The Kruder & Dorfmeister Session) - Depeche Mode
1997
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Slide guitar stab A slide guitar stab originally recorded for use in "Policy Of Truth" is utilised throughout the "Kruder & Dorfmeister Session" remix of "Useless".

"Useless" (Cosmic Blues Mix) - Depeche Mode
1997

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
"I want to hear you play some bass" vocal sample National Lampoon's That's Not Funny, That's Sick (Sketch comedy album) - 1977
Likely

Exciter (2001)

"Dream On" (Remix) - Depeche Mode
2001

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
N/A Kraftwerk - "The Robots" - 1978
Unknown

Playing The Angel (2005)

Playing The Angel does not contain samples from any identifiable sources.

Sounds Of The Universe (2009)

Sounds Of The Universe does not contain samples from any identifiable sources.

Delta Machine (2013)

Delta Machine does not contain samples from any identifiable sources.

Spirit (2017)

Spirit does not contain samples from any identifiable sources.

Recoil

Upon his departure from Depeche Mode in 1995, Alan Wilder would expand upon the creative sampling techniques he perfected through the years as a member of Depeche Mode for his Recoil music project, utilising samples from contemporary music, films, film soundtracks, and samples from his own past work with Depeche Mode.

1 + 2 (1986)

"1" & "2" - Recoil
1986

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
N/A Depeche Mode – "Any Second Now" (Altered) - 1981
Confirmed
N/A Depeche Mode – "If You Want" - 1984
Confirmed
N/A Depeche Mode – "The Sun & The Rainfall" - 1982
Confirmed
N/A Depeche Mode – "Oberkorn (It's A Small Town)" - 1982
Confirmed
N/A Depeche Mode – "The Great Outdoors" - 1983
Confirmed
N/A Depeche Mode – "Shouldn't Have Done That" - 1982
Confirmed
N/A Depeche Mode – "Tora! Tora! Tora!" - 1981
Confirmed
N/A Depeche Mode – "Shake The Disease" (Edit the Shake) - 1985
Confirmed
N/A Depeche Mode – "Pipeline" - 1983
Confirmed
N/A Depeche Mode – "Blasphemous Rumours" - 1984
Confirmed
N/A Kraftwerk – "Radioaktivität" - 1975
Unconfirmed
N/A Kraftwerk – "Uran" - 1975
Unconfirmed
N/A Kraftwerk – "Radioland" - 1975
Unconfirmed
N/A Duet Emmo – "Or So It Seems" - 1983
Unconfirmed
N/A Duet Emmo – "Heart of Hearts" - 1983
Unconfirmed
N/A The Hitmen – "Shade in, fade out" - 1981
Unconfirmed
N/A Hard Corps - "Je Suis Passée" - 1985
Unconfirmed

Hydrology (1988)

"Grain" - Recoil
1988
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Resonant bell sample "Grain" uses a re-purposed bell-like sample originally produced for use with a variety of Depeche Mode songs to atmospheric effect during its atonal outro. This bell sample is also used in the introduction and chorus sections of "Strangelove" and the chorus sections of "But Not Tonight".

"Stone" - Recoil
1988

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
French vocal sample French train announcer, unidentified source
Confirmed
Wilder confirmed in a Q&A on Shunt, the official Recoil website that "Stone" employs a vocal sample of a French train station announcer, but is unsure of its origin.[34] The announcer says: "Attention! Attention! Quai n°5, départ imminent du Nord-Express à destination de Moscou [...]"

"The Sermon" - Recoil
1988
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Polish vocal sample A vocal sample from a Polish radio broadcast reporting on Pope John Paul II's 9 June 1987 sermon in Warsaw can be heard at the start of "The Sermon". Wilder commented on the origin of this sample in a 2008 interview for komarnicki.pl:

I put the microphone on the shortwave radio, I tried to catch some climatic samples and that was the first thing that happened. I had no idea what they were saying! I liked the sound but it wasn't meant to be an integral part of the track, just atmosphere.[35]

The two fragments state the following:

[...] radcy nuncjatury w Lizbonie, którego Ojciec Święty mianował Pronuncjuszem Apostolskim w Tajla[-ndii...]

[...] wzgórze wypełniło się młodzieżą maturalną… oprócz indywidualnych [inaudible] grup kraj przebyły też dwie pielgrzymki diecezjalne. Pierwsza z Archidiecezji Warszawskiej w liczbie około 8 tysięcy młodzieży [...][36]

English Google translation:

[...] counselor of the nunciature in Lisbon, whom the Holy Father appointed as Apostolic Pronunciator in Tajla [Thailand]...

[...] the hill was filled with high school graduates ... in addition to individual freelance groups, two diocesan pilgrimages arrived in Prague. The first one, from the Archdiocese of Warsaw, was eight thousand young people strong, and they...

Ebbhead (Nitzer Ebb album)

Between the conclusion of the World Violation Tour and the recording of Songs Of Faith And Devotion, Alan Wilder would enter London's KONK Studios to record Recoil's Bloodline between January and March 1991. A month later, he would return to the studio to produce Depeche Mode support act Nitzer Ebb's Ebbhead record in collaboration with producer Flood and mix engineer Steve Lyon. As was characteristic of his work in Depeche Mode and Recoil, Wilder would employ samples from a wide variety of sources in the production of Ebbhead.

Nitzer Ebb's Bon Harris on Wilder's musical prowess in 1991: "Alan has a very musical ear. He's classically trained, so he knows what he's doing when it comes to melody, but has no tolerance for pop - that's quite a good combination."[37]

"I Give To You" - Nitzer Ebb
1991
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Harpsichord-like instrument "I Give To You" utilises a textured harpsichord-like stab originally produced for use in 'Enjoy The Silence'.

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Drum loop Fancy - "Feel Good" - 1974
Confirmed
The classic "Feel Good" drum break is used throughout "I Give To You". This loop is also notably used in the chorus sections of "Walking In My Shoes", "My Joy", and its "Slow Slide" remix.
Classic John Bonham drum one-shots Beastie Boys - "Rhymin' And Stealin" - 1982
Official
Wilder confirmed in a Q&A on Shunt, the official Recoil project site that "Never Let Me Down Again" employs some drum elements originally from Led Zeppelin's "When The Levee Breaks" which were sampled second-hand from a rap record (Beastie Boys - "Rhymin And Stealin"). These samples were later re-purposed for use in a variety of Depeche Mode songs. The snare is used throughout "I Give To You".
Classic John Bonham drum one-shots Led Zeppelin - "When The Levee Breaks" - 1971
Official
Wilder confirmed in a Q&A on the official Recoil project site that "Never Let Me Down Again" employs some drum elements originally from Led Zeppelin's "When The Levee Breaks" which were sampled second-hand from a rap record (Beastie Boys - "Rhymin And Stealin"). These samples were later re-purposed for use in Depeche Mode's "Halo", "Get Right With Me", and later Nitzer Ebb's "I Give To You".
Various one-shot orchestral strings Unknown, presumably an orchestral performance recorded and commercially released prior to 1991.
Unknown
"I Give To You" utilises a variety of one-shot orchestral string parts, including a solo violin string staccato with a root key of C5; a brief solo viola recording playing a descending A4 > A♭4 > G4 phrase; and a brief violin trill with a root key of G♯6.
Exotic percussion loop Unknown
Unknown
"I Give To You" utilises an "exotic" percussive loop comprised of a percussive instrument with a high pitch timbre, best heard around the three minute mark of the "Elemental" remix. This loop appears to also be used throughout "In Your Room", and is most clearly heard in the "Apex" remix starting from 1:45.

"Godhead" - Nitzer Ebb
1991

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Drum/synth loop Kraftwerk - "Home Computer (The Mix Version)" - 1991
Confirmed

Unidentified song - Nitzer Ebb
1991

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
N/A Prince - "Kiss" - 1990
Unknown
In 1991, a fan contest was held where the winner would have the chance to spend a day in the studio with the members of Nitzer Ebb and Wilder during the recording of Ebbhead. During their time in the studio, the contest winner was played back a variety of samples by the group to see if they were able to identify their origin. One sample played to the contest winner was from Prince's 1990 single "Kiss", which the fan had difficulty identifying. This sample may or may not have made it onto the completed album.

Bloodline (1992)

"Faith Healer" - Recoil
1992
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Piano-like one-shot sample A low octave, piano-like sampled synth part originally recorded for use with "Policy Of Truth" is used to atmospheric effect in "Faith Healer". The part is processed with a chorus effect. Notably, this sample is also used in Wilder's "Eurotech Version" remix of Toni Halliday's "Time Turns Around".
Snare The distinctive snare originally recorded for use in "World In My Eyes" is used throughout "Faith Healer".
Tom/drum fill The tom drum fill that bridges the chorus and verse sections of "Personal Jesus" bears a strong similarity to the equivalent part used during the chorus sections of "Faith Healer".
Xpander 'zap' and Pro One synth bass sweep[38] A layered Xpander/Pro One bass synth part originally recorded for use during the chorus sections of "Enjoy The Silence" are utilised during the chorus sections of "Faith Healer".
“Eyes" vocoder vocal A quick cut of a vocoded vocal performance originally recorded for use with the "Dub In My Eyes" remix of "World In My Eyes" is used as a rhythmic element throughout "Faith Healer".
Looped "ahh" solo male vocal/choir pad (one of two) A looped male solo vocal pad originally heard during the opening minutes of "Clean" is used sporadically throughout "Faith Healer".[17]

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Guitar riff and other elements The Sensational Alex Harvey Band - "The Faith Healer" - 1973
Confirmed
Bell tree sample Fleetwood Mac - "Black Magic Woman" - 1982
Confirmed
This sample was originally sampled for use in Depeche Mode's "World In My Eyes", and is re-used to atmospheric effect in "Faith Healer".

"Electro Blues For Bukka White" - Recoil
1992
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Bass sequence Musician Ehron VonAllen confirmed in a YouTube analysis of his remix collaboration with Alan Wilder that the latter employed a bass sequence originally recorded for use with "Waiting For The Night" in "Electro Blues For Bukka White".[22]

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Bukka White vocal performance Bukka White - "Shake 'Em On Down" - 1937
Confirmed
Filtered synth percussion The Human League - "Being Boiled" - 1980
Confirmed
A sample of filtered percussive noise derived from a synthesizer heard in the intro of The Human League's "Being Boiled" is utilised throughout "Electro Blues For Bukka White" starting from the fourteen second mark.
N/A David Bowie - "Aladdin Sane" - 1973
Unconfirmed

"The Defector" - Recoil
1992

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Anthony Hopkins "Closer...", "That is his nature", "No, no, no, no, no" vocal samples Silence Of The Lambs (film) - 1991
Likely
N/A LFO - "El Ef Oh" - 1991
Unknown

"Edge To Life" - Recoil
1992
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Italian female spoken vocal A female vocal spoken in Italian from the Strange video compilation can be heard throughout the song. Spoken by Ippolita "Poppy" Santorelli, the Italian actress prominently featured in the music video for "Behind The Wheel".

Italian:

Allora, io sono Ippolita, Ippolita Santarelli. I miei amici mi chiamano Poppi. Un giorno, stavo girando per la campagna con la mia Vespa quando vidi un ragazzo con le stampelle. Era la prima volta che vedevo Dave. Noi viaggiammo insieme e ci divertimmo molto. Lui È il mio piccolo Marlon, e mi piace molto ballare con lui. Mi persuase a diventare un pezzo da museo ed io non l'ho pi˘ visto. Mi piacerebbe uscire e ballare ancora con lui. Forse, un giorno, chissà!

English:

So, I am Ippolita, Ippolita Santarelli. My friends call me Poppi. One day, I was riding around the countryside with my Vespa when I saw a boy on crutches. It was the first time I saw Dave. We traveled together and had a lot of fun. He is my little Marlon[?] and I love dancing with him. He persuaded me to become a museum piece[?] and I haven't seen him since. I would love to go out and dance with him again. maybe... one day... who knows... ciao.

"Curse" - Recoil
1992
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
"Breathing" accordion loop The "breathing" effect originally recorded for use in "I Want You Now" is re-purposed for atmosphere throughout "Curse". The sound is produced by an accordion being inflated and deflated without depressing a key.[14]

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Diamanda Galás vocal sample Diamanda Galás - Unidentified source
Unconfirmed
Fat, punchy snare Digital Underground - 'The Humpty Dance' - 1990
Likely
High pitch "wailing" police siren-based scratch effect Super Cat - "Ghetto Red Hot (Hip Hop Mix)" - 1992
Likely
"Curse" employs a sampled scratch effect as a fill element throughout the song which bears some similarity to the initial transient of a wailing police siren loop that occurs throughout "Ghetto Red Hot (Hip Hop Mix)" by Jamaican DJ Super Cat. Beyond its sonic similarity, the likelihood of this source is furthered given it released on January 4, 1992, coincidentally 101 days prior to the 14 April 1992 release of Bloodline). Coupled with the supplemental nature of the scratch effect, which is not integral to the musical structure of "Curse", it is possible but difficult to conclusively state if this part was sampled from "Ghetto Red Hot" and included as a late addition on "Curse".
"You're blind, you're blind from the facts" vocal Public Enemy - "She Watch Channel Zero?!" - 1988
Confirmed

"Bloodline" - Recoil
1992
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
"Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf" nursery rhyme vocal A reversed vocal performance of the nursery rhyme "Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf" as sung by Douglas McCarthy's daughter can be heard mid-way through the song. Notably, this sample is also used in the Nitzer Ebb song "Sugar Sweet".

"Faith Healer" (Trance Mix) - Recoil
1992
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Piano-like one-shot A low octave, piano-like sampled synth part originally recorded for use with "Policy Of Truth" is used to atmospheric effect in 'Faith Healer'.

Tom/drum fill The tom drum fill that bridges the chorus and verse sections of "Personal Jesus" bears a strong similarity to the equivalent part used during the chorus sections of "Faith Healer".
Xpander 'zap' and Pro One synth bass sweep[38] A layered Xpander/Pro One bass synth part originally recorded for use during the chorus sections of "Enjoy The Silence" are re-used during the chorus sections of "Faith Healer".
Eyes" vocoder vocal A quick cut of a vocoded vocal performance originally recorded for use with the "Dub In My Eyes" remix of "World In My Eyes" is used as a rhythmic element throughout "Faith Healer".

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Guitar riff and other elements The Sensational Alex Harvey Band - "The Faith Healer" - 1973
Confirmed
N/A LFO - "Love Is The Message" - 1991
Unknown

Unsound Methods (1997)

"Incubus" - Recoil
1997
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Percussion elements A percussive loop originally recorded for use in Depeche Mode's "Clean" is re-used to create a rhythmic, tribal atmosphere in "Incubus".

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Shouting vocal Peter Gabriel - "Rhythm Of The Heat" - 1982
Likely

"Drifting" - Recoil
1997

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Marimba loop Peter Gabriel - "Slow Marimbas" - 1985
Confirmed

"Luscious Apparatus" - Recoil
1997

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Introductory guitar chord The Cure - "Club America" - 1996
Likely

"Stalker" - Recoil
1997

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
"Versus Christus, ave Satani!" vocal chant with orchestral string and trumpet ostinato Jerry Goldsmith - The Omen (film soundtrack) - "Killer's Storm" - 1976
Confirmed
A sample of an orchestral ostinato and Latin vocal chant from "Killer's Storm", a musical score from the 1976 horror film The Omen are used to enhance the rhythm of "Stalker" starting from the three minute sixteen second mark. The sample is sliced so that the orchestral ostinato, which consists of strings and trumpets playing a repeated one note phrase, is played on the first beat for several bars. Cuts of the sample containing the Latin choral chants "Versus Christus" and "Ave Satani" are then played in respective order once on the third beat for two bars. The score from which the sample is derived is notable for its use in the scene featuring disgraced priest Father Brennan (Patrick Troughton), who flees in horror to a nearby church to escape the Devil's punishment for Brennan having informed Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck), the unknowing adopted father of the Antichrist, of his son's unholy origin.
Ambient pads Peter Gabriel - Birdy (film soundtrack) - Unidentified source song - 1985
Unconfirmed
911 operator vocal The Last Seduction (film) - 1994
Likely

"Red River Cargo" - Recoil
1997

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
N/A Wild At Heart (film) - 1990
Unconfirmed

"Control Freak" - Recoil
1997

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
N/A Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell - "You're All I Need To Get By" - 1968
Unknown

"Missing Piece" - Recoil
1997
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Slide guitar A slide guitar part used prominently in the final moments of "Clean" is re-purposed as a rhythmic element throughout the choruses of "Missing Piece". Notably, this sample is also used to atmospheric effect in "Death's Door".
Looped pad, likely derived from a guitar A textured pad effect originally recorded for embellishment from the second chorus onwards of "Clean" is re-purposed for atmospherics in "Missing Piece". The part is audible at the two minute thirty second mark.
E-bow guitar A series of melodic e-bow guitar parts originally recorded for use during the middle eight and outro sections of "Walking In My Shoes" are re-used to ominous effect in chorus with orchestral strings at the three minute seven second mark.
Guitar chords with tremolo "Missing Piece" re-purposes a guitar chord processed through a tremolo effect originally recorded for "Blue Dress" to dramatic effect at the three minute thirty-two second mark. This guitar part is also notably used during the chorus sections of "Death's Door".

"Last Breath" - Recoil
1997
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
E-bow guitar A series of sustained e-bow guitar parts originally recorded for use during the middle eight and outro sections of "Walking In My Shoes" are re-used for the outro of "Last Breath".
Ambient "whale"-like atmosphere An undistorted cut of the whale-like noise prominently featured in the "Ambient Whale" remix of "Walking In My Shoes" is played several notes above its root key in the opening moments of "Last Breath".

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Drum loop The Incredible Bongo Band - "Last Bongo in Belgium" - 1973
Likely

"Shunt" - Recoil
1997

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Gated synth Piquet - "Caress" - 1996
Confirmed
Sub bass and bass drum Massive Attack - "Better Things" - 1994
Likely

Liquid (2000)

"Black Box (Pt. 1)" & "Black Box (Pt. 2)" - Recoil
2000
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
"Wind"-like pad A pad with a unique wind-like texture used throughout "I Feel You" can be heard playing approximately five notes down from its root key at the eighteen second mark of "Black Box (Pt. 2)".

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Orchestral strings Symphony No. 3 (Górecki) - 1992
Unconfirmed
N/A Plastikman - "Consumed" - 1998
Unknown

"Want" - Recoil
2000

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Drum loop PJ Harvey - "Is This Desire?" - 1998
Likely

"Jezebel" - Recoil
2000

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Vocals Golden Gate Quartet - "Jezebel" - 1976
Confirmed

"Last Call for Liquid Courage" - Recoil
2000
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Tambourine loop A tambourine loop is time-stretched to match the approximate 127 BPM tempo of "Last Call for Liquid Courage" and sliced to play in a different way from how it was originally performed. Notably, this tambourine loop is also used starting from the middle eight section of the Exotic tour version of "I Want You Now".

SubHuman (2007)

"Allelujah" - Recoil
2007
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Double-tracked "splang" guitar chords The double-tracked guitar chords originally recorded for use during the chorus sections of "In Your Room" are re-purposed for use throughout "Allelujah". Wilder describes the composition of this sound in a Q&A on Shunt, the official Recoil website: "Affectionately known (to me anyway) as 'Splang' rather than 'twoo, twaa and twee', the sound is derived from a guitar. Each chord was sampled individually and then double-tracked with a second but different guitar sound."[29]

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
N/A Tangerine Dream - "Rubycon" - 1975
Unknown
Drum loop Elbow - "Fugitive Motel" - 2003
Unknown

"The Killing Ground" - Recoil
2007

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Harmonica and drum elements Talk Talk - "The Rainbow" - 1988
Likely

"99 To Life" - Recoil
2007

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
N/A Digital Intervention - "La Louve" - 2003
Unconfirmed

Miscellaneous remixes

"Time Turns Around" (Eurotech Version) - Toni Halliday
1989
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Bass synth Alan Wilder's (Eurotech Version) remix of Toni Halliday's "Time Turns Around" utilises a four note bass synth sequence derived from a longer seven note sequence originally recorded for use throughout Depeche Mode's "Never Let Me Down Again". The part is time-stretched to match the approximate 125 BPM of "Time Turns Around" so that the sequence plays out over the course of the first beat of the first bar every four bars during the verse sections. The part is processed with a filtered 1/4 delay panned to the right stereo channel.
Piano stab A sampled piano stab processed with reverb is used throughout the remix as a bass sound. As this sample is not audible in the original version or other remixed versions of "Time Turns Around", it is assumed to be a self-made sample. The part would later be used during the chorus and break sections of "Policy Of Truth".
Snare A crisp snare is heard through the remix. As this sample is not audible in the original version or other remixed versions of "Time Turns Around", it is assumed to be a self-made sample. The snare would later be used during the chorus sections of "Halo".

"Come Alive" - Nitzer Ebb
1990

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Rhythmic synth Bassomatic - "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Bass" - 1990
Confirmed
A filtered rhythm element derived from a synthesizer heard in the intro of the 1990 Bassomatic song "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Bass" for the album of the same name is time-stretched and re-pitched for use in "Come Alive" starting from the four minute ten second mark. Notably, Set the Controls for the Heart of the Bass album producer William Orbit would later provide the Random Carpet Mix of "Walking In My Shoes" for its 1993 single release.[26]

"In Chains (Alan Wilder Remix)" - Depeche Mode
2011

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Ambient pads Depeche Mode - "I Want It All" - 2005
Confirmed
Orchestral string arrangement Depeche Mode - "I Am You" - 2001
Confirmed
Drum loop UNKLE - "Keys to the Kingdom" - 2007
Confirmed

"I Am Undone (Alan Wilder Remix)" - Nitzer Ebb
2011

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Percussion elements Scott Walker - "Manhattan" - 1995
Unknown

"Inheritance" - Recoil
2012

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Percussion elements Depeche Mode - "Nothing's Impossible" - 2005
Unconfirmed

"Dum Dum Girl" feat. Shara Worden - Recoil
2012

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Percussion elements Depeche Mode - "Nothing's Impossible" - 2005
Confirmed

References

  1. Source: A Broken Frame 2006 remaster CD sleeve notes.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Source: SHUNT : ARCHIVES : DEPECHE MODE : SOME GREAT REWARD
  3. Source: Depeche Mode archivist and webmaster Daniel Barassi ('fishureprice') Instagram post
  4. Source: SHUNT : ARCHIVES : DEPECHE MODE : BLACK CELEBRATION
  5. Credit to 'personal cheese' for this discovery.
  6. Source: Muzines.co.uk : Articles : Modes Of Operation (Electronics & Music Maker, August 1986)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Source: SHUNT : ARCHIVES : EDITORIAL : 1998 Archives : DM Singles 86-98
  8. Source: Modes of Operation - Electronics & Music Maker - August 1986.
  9. Source: Emulator I - The Alan Wilder / Depeche Mode Collection.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Source: Electronics and Music Magazine
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Source: Super Deluxe Edition July 4, 2019 Producer Dave Bascombe on Depeche Mode's 'Music For The Masses'
  12. 12.0 12.1 Source: Depeche Mode - Interview with Music For The Masses Producer Dave Bascombe - Piano & Keyboard Artist - 22 April, 2020
  13. Source: SHUNT : ARCHIVES : EDITORIAL : 1998 Archives : DM Singles 86-98
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Source: Shunt Q&A: ARCHIVES : DEPECHE MODE : MUSIC FOR THE MASSES
  15. Source: archives.depechemode.com - DM Archives / audio / releases / Strangelove
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 Source: Shunt Q&A: ARCHIVES : DEPECHE MODE : VIOLATOR
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 Credit to Christopher Baird for this discovery.
  18. Source: SHUNT : ARCHIVES : REPORT : EDITORIAL : VIOLATOR
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Credit to Discord for the Masses user 'Udeilu' for this discovery.
  20. Source: ALAN WILDER Interview - July 27, 2011
  21. Source: SHUNT : ARCHIVES : DEPECHE MODE : VIOLATOR : PAGE TWO
  22. 22.0 22.1 Source: Recoil - Jezebel (Seductress Mix) by Ehron VonAllen with collaboration details 1080p HD - Ehron VonAllen
  23. Source: 2016-01-25 The RobCast 2016-01-25 Martin Gore interview
  24. Credit to Home user 'Alex' for this discovery.
  25. Source: Shunt Q&A: ARCHIVES : DEPECHE MODE : VIOLATOR
  26. 26.0 26.1 Credit to 'Fatherless Child' for this discovery.
  27. Source: Home user 'BRATMix' forum post
  28. Source: Violator engineer Steve Lyon Facebook post.
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.3 29.4 29.5 29.6 29.7 Source: Shunt Q&A: ARCHIVES : DEPECHE MODE : SONGS OF FAITH AND DEVOTION
  30. Source: Shunt Q&A: ARCHIVES : EDITORIAL : DM Singles 86-98
  31. Source: Beastiemania Song Spotlight : Pass The Mic
  32. Source: ALAN WILDER Interview - July 27, 2011
  33. Source: Alan Wilder Facebook comment
  34. Source: Shunt Q&A: ARCHIVES : Recoil : 1 + 2 / HYDROLOGY
  35. Sources: Interview with Alan Wilder for Wyborcza Poland, 2010-04-19 + Interview with Alan Wilder for devotees.pl, 2008-02-21
  36. Transcribed by Aleksandra Lech for DMLiveWiki on 2019-07-30
  37. Source: American Radio History : Archive: 1991-07-05
  38. 38.0 38.1 Credit to remixer Anton Floriano ('dubnspace') for this discovery. - GearSlutz : Forum : Electronic Music Instruments and Electronic Music Production : Depeche Mode Enjoy The Silence synth sweep sound