1980-1x-xx / 1981-02-xx Unknown Venue, England, UK

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This audience recording sounds pretty bad, but it is still listenable. There is significant distortion throughout and a lot of hiss. The date and venue of this recording are unknown, and only an approximate date range can be inferred based on the performance.

This concert has several unique things to note:

  • Television Set has a microphone failure, and the song is performed almost completely instrumentally. Dave's microphone fails after half of the first verse, and the only vocals heard afterwards are Vince's chorus backing vocals of "television set". Martin's backing vocals, which occur during the second and third verses, are apparently unsung or are too quiet to be heard on this recording over all of the noise. This song is performed for a second time as the final song to make-up for the botched performance at the beginning of the concert. Additionally, the song's synth bass line is different from later versions and matches the one heard on the 1980-10-30 Bridge House recording.
  • Vince's backing vocals during the chorus of Tora! Tora! Tora!, which consist of him singing "Tora Tora Tora" with Dave, are heard well, unlike most other live versions of the song.
  • Dreaming Of Me has a unique backing track arrangement, which starts identically to "Tora! Tora! Tora!" from this concert, and there is a drum break after each measure, and not just before each chorus as on later live performances. Otherwise, the backing track resembles later live versions of the song. Furthermore, Vince seems to improvise the lead melody played during the instrumental break in the middle of the song, similar to what's heard on the 1980-10-30 Bridge House recording. Finally, Dave does not sing the "dreaming of me / just dreaming of me / and only me / just me" at the end of the song, nor does Martin sing the "ooh la la la" backing vocals.
  • Amusingly, after Big Muff, an audience member shouts "you want another shilling?", and audience members laugh.
  • Ice Machine has a different bass synth line, previously heard only on the 1980-10-30 Bridge House recording.
  • I Sometimes Wish I Was Dead has a completely different arrangement and totally different, previously unheard lyrics! This version's lyrics were very challenging to transcribe due to the heavy distortion of the recording, but our best effort is available below. These lyrics help the song's strange title finally make a lot more sense, 44 years later. Presumably, these are the original lyrics to the song, and despite the lyrics changing later on for future versions, the original song title remained. The lyrics are also surprisingly macabre for a Vince Clarke-penned composition.

Thanks to this version, there are now four distinct versions of this song. Ordered chronologically, they are:

  • This concert's version.
  • The Spring 1981 live version, which has the final lyrics but a different arrangement, and can be heard here: 1981-04-06 Bridge House, London, England, UK/Source 1
  • The "Flexi-Pop Mix", which also has the slightly different song title of "Sometimes I Wish I Was Dead", and largely resembles the album version in both music and lyrics. The intro, middle 8, and pre-outro are the major differences compared to the album version. It was originally released with the September 11, 1981 issue of Flexipop magazine. The song became more widely available in 2018 as part of the Singles Box Set release for "Speak & Spell", sourced from the master tape for significantly improved sound quality. It can be heard on the official Depeche Mode YouTube account here.
  • The album version as released on "Speak & Spell". Live versions from Autumn 1981 and later closely resemble the album version.

Here are the unique lyrics for this recording's version of "I Sometimes Wish I Was Dead", transcribed to the best of our ability:


I Sometimes Wish I Was Dead

There's a new sound and it's all around and I think that you can hear it too

The sound won't stop and I like it a lot cause it makes me feel so new

There's a new sound and it's all around and I think that you can hear it too

The sound won't stop and I like it a lot cause it makes me fondly think of you

It's getting stronger all the time and I like to hear it in my mind

I'm smiling big because I'm thinking of you and of all the times you smile

And I know we're together in love forever

And I'll love that til we die

The lovely feeling in my head and I might be happy forever dead

I know you don't want me going away and you broke my heart in two

I cried and I cried cause I wanted to die I wanted just to be with you

Things are spinning in my head and I sometimes wish that I was dead

Songwriter: Vince Clarke
Publishing Information: No publishing information available for this particular version of the song.

This concert's date is likely between November 1980 and early February 1981, based on the unique arrangement of the backing track for Dreaming Of Me and the unique early version of I Sometimes Wish I Was Dead. The 1980-10-30 concert at the Bridge House, London uses vastly different backing tracks, making it highly unlikely that this recording could be from a date earlier than that concert. Therefore, the possible date range starts in November 1980.

Since Dreaming Of Me was released as a single on February 20, 1981, it is reasonable to assume that the live backing track for the song, as well as the backing track for its B-side, Ice Machine, would have been updated sometime in February to match the single version. Hence, the possible date range ends in February 1981.

Furthermore, by the 1981-04-06 London concert, which currently has the next earliest available live recording of Depeche Mode, the arrangements of both Dreaming Of Me and I Sometimes Wish I Was Dead have changed to reflect the former's single version, and the latter is performed much more similarly to the album version in both arrangement and lyrics.

The tape inlay's outer spine is labeled as 1980-10-16 Bridge House, and the tape inlay's inner spine is labeled 1981-04-11 Crocs. The former date of 1980-10-16 is unlikely to be correct because the recording of 1980-10-30 Bridge House two weeks later has vastly different and more basic sounding backing tracks compared to this tape's recording, as previously mentioned. Similarly, the latter date of 1981-04-11 is too late of a concert to be feasible; as evidenced by the 1981-04-06 recording, different backing tracks Dreaming Of Me and I Sometimes Wish I Was Dead were in use by April 1981.

Additionally, the recording labeled as 1980-11-14 Technical College, Southend-On-Sea, Essex, England, UK has the Spring 1981 arrangement of I Sometimes Wish I Was Dead, which suggests that the 1980-11-14 date is likely a mislabel, and the recording is actually from 1981-04-02 Essex. This is particularly reasonable since this primordial version of I Sometimes Wish I Was Dead has been located. That recording also has a different backing track for Dreaming Of Me, which sounds much closer to the single version of the song compared to this unknown recording. However, some questions remain with that hypothesis: was the early live-only song "Addiction" performed that late, and has the Ice Machine backing track changed by that point to resemble the B-side version? It is also possible that the recording is even from a different venue altogether than the Technical College in Essex.

In regards to the venue for this unknown recording, due to a lack of information, there is no way to determine whether this concert took place at the Bridge House, where Depeche Mode performed no less than 7 times between November 1980 and February 1981, or whether the concert took place at some other venue entirely. Newspaper reviews, as well as Jonathan Miller's biography Stripped, were examined for hints, but none mentioned anything that could be tied to this particular concert.

Many thanks to Andrew J. for reaching out to the Depeche Mode Live Wiki about this tape that he's had in his possession since the early 2000s and for mailing it out to us for an improved transfer. Thanks also to DMRobo for helping with QC. If anybody knows anything more about this recording or has a copy of the audio on tape, please don't hesitate to reach out, as any information will be valuable.


You can listen to this entire recording below.

This recording is also available on YouTube, which may be more easily consumable for some:

Track list

Cassette and outer inlay.
  1. [3:49] Play Television Set
  2. [3:26] Play New Life
  3. [3:13] Play Tora! Tora! Tora!
  4. [3:53] Play Dreaming Of Me
  5. [4:07] Play Big Muff
  6. [4:20] Play Ice Machine
  7. [3:21] Play Photographic
  8. [3:04] Play I Sometimes Wish I Was Dead
  9. [3:14] Play Television Set
  • Total time: 32:30


  • unknown taper and equipment -> unknown generation TDK FE 90 normal position cassette -> Nakamichi MR-1 professional discrete head cassette deck (pitch adjusted and playback azimuth optimized) -> "Worlds Best Cables" 6-foot Mogami 2534 cables with Neutrik XLR and TRS plugs -> Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd gen USB audio interface -> recorded at 32-bit 88.2kHz in Audacity 3.4.2 using WASAPI input -> in Reaper: align stereo channels, correct any DC offset, EQ, limiter -> in Audacity 3.4.2: trim gaps between tracks, track splits, normalize to -0.1dB -> WAV (24/88.2) files -> downsampled to FLAC level 8 (16/44) using foobar2000 v2.1.3, FLAC 1.4.3 64-bit, and foobar2000's Resampler (SoX) component at "Best" quality, dithering enabled
  • Transfer: DMLiveWiki on March 5, 2024
  • Cassette photo, inlay scans, and auCDtectTaskManager log included