1984-11-02 Hammersmith Odeon, London, England, UK/Source 2
A very good soundboard recording sourced from a second generation cassette tape. Rage Mail Order originally sold and distributed copies of this cassette in the early 90s and this is their source tape, so this transfer is likely the lowest generation version that will probably ever be available. This transfer has much less wow & flutter, distortion, and many fewer drop-outs than any other version currently circulating. The clicks which were present for the last third of the recording on some previously circulating versions are also non-existent on this tape. I have confirmed that this tape is second generation via the person who holds the first generation tape; he actually created this second generation tape copy and is a very reliable source.
REVISION A Note: The date of this recording has been corrected to November 2, 1984, based on the BBC Radio International catalog search page. See right. No change to the audio has been made.
Many tracks have a strong reverb effect on Dave's voice panned to the right channel. Martin's vocals are usually centered, with Alan's always panned to the left channel; Dave's are sometimes centered, sometimes panned to the left channel. The concert intro is missing around 20 seconds from the beginning (a patched version is included), and I have no idea what the short sound before the intro is from (most of it was cut out as it is not relevant). Shame is no longer missing a few seconds from the beginning, but is still missing a few from the very end, presumably due to tape flip. Somebody misses most of the intro ambiance due to the same tape flip; patched versions of both tracks are included. Somebody also drops several dB in the left channel after about 1 minute for the remainder of the track, and a gain envelope was applied to help preserve the channel balance at the cost of temporarily louder tape hiss in that channel; the volume returns to normal for the rest of the recording once the track is over. Ice Machine and forward has slightly better frequency response than the previous half of the recording for some reason, perhaps because that half plays closer to the correct speed on the tape. This tape also has about one third of See You present (only about 20 seconds was available on previous versions), which is otherwise available in its entirety on the pre-FM vinyl and FM broadcast recordings; a patched version of the track is included. "Shout" and "Just Can't Get Enough" are missing entirely from all existing versions, unfortunately. To date, no audience recording from this concert is circulating; in fact, no audience recording from any of the concerts from the four-night stint at Hammersmith is available (if you happen to have one on tape, please contact me!). Some incorrect samples are played during Master And Servant after the last verse. Amusingly, this has been corrected on the BBC pre-FM vinyl. "Live Here Now", anybody? The A-side of the tape cuts abruptly halfway through Shame - about 35 minutes in - with the rest of that side being white noise. This may have been done intentionally, because the additional ten minutes could have been used to provide a complete copy of the recording if the audience breaks were cut short during the encore.
Thanks to Vince DOME, we have included several patched tracks to swap in at your personal preference:
- Completed concert intro, including Richard Skinner's introduction, from the "A Quick One" CD bootleg of the BBC pre-FM vinyl (probably a bootleg pressing)
- Completed concert intro from the "A Quick One" CD bootleg, without the Richard Skinner intro
- Audience noise from the end of Leave In Silence from the "A Quick One" CD bootleg placed at the end of Shame, including the intro ambience of Somebody (which is added to the beginning of that track); the audience noise on the pre-FM is likely from the end of Shame and was used by the BBC in order to best preserve the intro ambience of Somebody on the pre-FM vinyl. The audience noise after Leave In Silence on the pre-FM is different than what is audible on this soundboard tape. If you decide to use these patched versions, use both Shame and Somebody for best results.
- See You completed using the "A Quick One" CD bootleg
The main folder of this recording is the unpatched version of the audio, speed-corrected and normalized to have the most consistent listening experience. No hiss reduction has been applied. Around thirty small cuts on both the left and right channels were carefully patched using the available undamaged channel, resulting in a short mono segment; most patches are not noticeable.
To answer the question of "why does this recording exist?", the answer is that somebody in the band, most likely Alan, requested a copy for reference purposes and it has sat in the band's vaults since. This reference tape was then borrowed in the early '90s, copies were made, and ... well, here we are again, 20-something years later after copies were being sold! Part of this concert was broadcast over FM by the BBC, so perhaps the band was provided a copy to "pick and choose" tracks they think would be most suitable to broadcast? Maybe Alan asked the sound engineer to record the gig so he could gauge the performance of the band, as he mentioned was done for rehearsals and the first few gigs of a tour (info from Shunt Q&A - see below)? However, this gig was not particularly early as it was the 27th gig of the "Some Great Reward" tour. The most plausible explanation is that Alan wanted to check for mistakes, such as the incorrect samples during Master And Servant I mentioned earlier, and offer his suggestions and comments so that they could be corrected or mitigated during the mastering and mixing process.
"Did DM record all their live shows and then listen to them afterwards for improvement matters?"
"I used to get our sound engineer to record tapes (directly from the mixing board) of rehearsals and the first few shows of a tour. These don't always give you an accurate balance but are good for checking performance etc. Apart from that, we only recorded certain shows (using a mobile) if we were intending a live LP or something."
Relevant bits from Shunt Q&A:
"I have a soundboard recording from the USA '94 show in San Francisco. I always thought this was done without the bands knowledge/approval but when samples from the recording turned up in that god-awful new remix of 'World In My Eyes' (found on the XLCD of 'Only When I Lose Myself'), I realised that the band must have known about it. Did/do Depeche Mode record several shows of each tour in this manner, and if so, for what purpose?"
Alan's answer: "Sound recordings direct from the front of house mixing desk were only ever made for personal reference reasons."
Please note that the specific recording of the 1994-05-14 San Francisco is likely taken from a video recording of the giant screen multicam video feed, and such recordings are known to exist for Depeche Mode and many other bands; although in this case, this video doesn't circulate. It is certain that local sound crews would occasionally record these video feeds along with the soundboard audio for personal use, selling copies, or sharing with friends and family. For instance, the soundboard recording of 1994-03-26 Honolulu was surfaced by a local sound crew member who was known for doing the same for many other bands that performed in Hawaii.
Another method of obtaining soundboard-quality recordings is by capturing Assistive Listening Device feeds, and there are five such recordings of DM. These recordings include very good captures of both consecutive nights at the Inglewood Forum in 1998 (here and here), a very flawed recording of 2005-11-16 Seattle, and excellent quality captures of their 2017 performances in New York City (here and here).
Another modern method for obtaining high quality recordings involves capturing the in-ear monitor feeds, which can yield soundboard-quality recordings. The U2 taping community frequently employs this method with remarkable success, using multiple recorders to capture the required feeds and create well-balanced recordings. There are several dozen such recordings available for Depeche Mode, and you can find a complete list here.
Other recordings from this concert
Other great recordings from this concert exist:
- CD bootleg "A Quick One", a stellar rip of the BBC pre-FM vinyl containing 12 tracks, which is most likely sourced from a bootleg copy as the original pressing seems to be extremely rare; however, given the bootleg's very good sound quality with very few pops & clicks, it may very well be taken from the original pressing vinyl: 1984-11-02 Hammersmith Odeon, London, England, UK/Source 1
- Also note that an individual's vinyl rip has also been made available in the past, but it is unfortunately worse sounding than "A Quick One", with more sibilance and pops & crackles than the very good "A Quick One" rip.
- BBC Radio 1 FM broadcast master tape of superb quality, has Blasphemous Rumours not found on pre-FM vinyl, but misses Something To Do and Puppets found on the BBC pre-FM vinyl. Another radio broadcast which included Puppets has been mentioned in the past, but neither proof of that broadcast occurring nor an actual recording of that broadcast has surfaced yet. It isn't too much of an issue since Puppets is present on the pre-FM vinyl and this soundboard tape. You can find the FM broadcast here: 1984-11-02 Hammersmith Odeon, London, England, UK/Source 3
- Source 4 is another FM broadcast recording broadcast by WXRT in Chicago
Many, many thanks to a kind collector for generously lending me his tape to transfer (twice, in fact - can't thank you enough!) and share.
You can listen to this entire recording below.
- [0:43] Play Intro
- [4:02] Play Something To Do
- [4:37] Play Two Minute Warning
- [3:56] Play Puppets
- [5:16] Play If You Want
- [4:15] Play People Are People
- [5:06] Play Leave In Silence
- [4:16] Play New Life
- [4:11] Play Shame
- [5:18] Play Somebody (*)
- [3:46] Play Ice Machine
- [5:28] Play Lie To Me
- [5:24] Play Blasphemous Rumours
- [4:45] Play Told You So
- [5:15] Play Master And Servant
- [4:25] Play Photographic
- [6:09] Play Everything Counts
- [1:27] Play See You
- Total time: 1:18:18
- 01. [1:36] Play Intro (with "Richard Skinner Intro" + completed from the "A Quick One" pre-FM bootleg source)
- 01. [0:57] Play Intro (completed from the "A Quick One" pre-FM bootleg source, no "Richard Skinner Intro")
- 09. [4:21] Play Shame (added audience noise at end using the "A Quick One" pre-FM bootleg)
- 10. [5:28] Play Somebody (*) (restored intro ambience & beginning audience noise using the "A Quick One" pre-FM bootleg)
- 18. [4:12] Play See You (completed from the "A Quick One" pre-FM bootleg source)
- Incomplete soundboard recording
- Soundboard feed -> master cassette of personal reference recording made for the band -> first generation cassette -> second generation TDK D90 normal position cassette, 1990 - 1995 stock -> Nakamichi Dragon cassette deck, serviced and upgraded (details) -> Blue Jeans Cable LC-1 8-foot RCA cable -> Creative Sound Blaster ZxR (RCA Line In) -> Adobe Audition CC 2015 (32-bit / 88.2 khz) -> right and left channels swapped to match BBC pre-FM vinyl release, first three tracks sped up 3.0%, rest of the recording sped up 2.0% using "Audition" method ("High" precision), normalized to -0.1dB and any DC bias removed -> WAV (32/88.2) -> tracked using Audacity 2.1.1 -> WAV (32/88.2) tracks -> FLAC 16-bit 44.1khz using FLAC 1.3.1 64-bit (level 8 compression) and foobar2000 v1.3.8 with its Resampler (SoX) component v0.8.3 (best quality), dithering enabled -> further normalization, rework, and optional patches provided by Vince DOME -> FLAC level 8
- Generation: second
- Transfer: DMLiveWiki
- Cassette tape photos, tape inlay scans, and auCDtectTaskManager logs included
Scans and photos
- Download ZIP - FLAC 16-bit 44.1khz - 620MB