List of Depeche Mode sample sources by album/Black Celebration

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Glossary
Terms used in this article

In audio production, sampling refers to the use of a portion (or sample) from a sound within another recording. As pioneers of the electronic music genre, Depeche Mode were among the most prolific acts to make use of sampling technology within a traditional pop music format. Among the many 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.

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.

Information

This page aims to document all verifiable sound sources for many of the musical parts used by Depeche Mode in the production of their 1986 album Black Celebration.

Due to the manipulated nature of the samples described in this article, there is unavoidable potential for error or sample misattribution. To ensure accuracy, this article strives to use verified quotes from band members and recording personnel with citations wherever possible, audio examples, and independent research voluntarily contributed by Depeche Mode and Recoil fans worldwide. This article provides an interesting document on this topic in a tabular format that is organized, well-researched, and reasonably accurate. Please bear in mind that due to the limited number of relevant quotes for each sample from band members or associates involved in producing the music described on this page, audio samples that lack official confirmation are not guaranteed to be accurate.

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

If you notice an error or wish to contribute or request the removal of information contained within this article, please feel free to contact us.

Black Celebration (1986)

"Black Celebration" - Depeche Mode
1986

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Verse melody Emulator II factory library disk #24: Clarinet & Bass Clarinet - Preset #1: "Clarinets
Confirmed
A sample derived from Emulator II factory library disk #24 "Clarinet & Bass Clarinet" is utilised for a melody during the third verse of "Black Celebration".

"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."[1]

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
"[...] Their living hell [...]" vocal sample Peter Jennings, ABC World News Tonight (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".
Verse piano layer Korg 01/W Bank A, voice #01: 16' Piano - SAMPLE "127 C1", SAMPLE "127 C2", SAMPLE "100 C3" and Bank B, voice #01: 8' Piano - SAMPLE "100 C3", SAMPLE "127 F#3", SAMPLE "127 C4"
Confirmed
The Devotional tour arrangement of "Fly On The Windscreen" employs a series of piano samples derived from the "16' Piano" and "8' Piano" voices of the Korg 01/W workstation synthesizer. Varying combinations of these piano samples are also performed live in the Devotional arrangements for "Walking In My Shoes", "Mercy In You", and "Something To Do".

Notably, the Korg 01/W "16' Piano" voice is famously heard in the video game soundtracks to 1998's critically-acclaimed The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time and 2000's The Legend Of Zelda: Majora's Mask.

Chorus synth choir layer Korg 01/W Bank A, voice #87: Air Vox - SAMPLE "127 C4"
Confirmed
The Devotional tour arrangement of "Fly On The Windscreen" employs an "airy" choir vocal sample derived from the "Air Vox" voice of the Korg 01/W workstation synthesizer. The choir is layered with a series of sampled synth parts to form the synth melody performed throughout the chorus section.
Chorus synth strings Korg 01/W Bank B, voice #27: String Pad - SAMPLE "60 C2", SAMPLE "60 C3", SAMPLE "60 C4"
Confirmed
The Devotional tour arrangement of "Fly On The Windscreen" employs a series of three synth string pads derived from the "String Pad" voice of the Korg 01/W workstation synthesizer performed during the chorus section. The bass pad is comprised of sample "60 C2" playing an octave comprised of G3 and G4. The remaining two non-octave pads are derived from samples "60 C3" and "60 C4" respectively, the latter of which is resampled with a root key of E6.
French horns Korg 01/W Bank A, voice #02: OrchBrass - SAMPLE "127 F#4", SAMPLE "127 C5"
Confirmed
The Devotional arrangement of "Fly On The Windscreen" utiises a series of french horn samples derived from the "OrchBrass" voice of the Korg 01/W workstation synthesizer. The samples are layered with a separate brass sample derived from the studio recording of "Fly On The Windscreen" to form the brass instrument performed during the chorus sections.
Chorus brass melody Emulator II factory library disk #46: Assorted Brass - SAMPLE 7
Confirmed
A sample derived from Emulator II factory library disk #46 "Assorted Brass" is layered with one or more similar parts to form an ascending brass melody heard during the choruses of "Fly On The Windscreen".
Drum elements Original Concept - "Can You Feel It" - 1986
Confirmed
A section of audio featuring a Roland TR-808 drum pattern is utilised for the Devotional tour arrangement of "Fly On The Windscreen".

"A Question Of Lust" - Depeche Mode
1986
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Reverberated percussive rhythm "A Question Of Lust" utilises a sampled percussive element throughout its verse sections. Notably, this sound is also used throughout "Christmas Island".

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Outro synth melody Korg 01/W Bank A, voice #10: GhostRyder - SAMPLE "127 C5" and Bank B, voice #61: Gospel Organ - SAMPLE "127 C5"
Confirmed
The Devotional tour arrangement of "A Question Of Lust" employs an edited "ghostly" vocal-esque sample and a gospel organ sample respectively derived from the "GhostRyder" and "Gospel Organ" voices of the Korg 01/W workstation synthesizer. The samples layer together to form the outro synth melody.
Vibraphone Korg 01/W Bank B, voice #65: Vibraphone - SAMPLE "127 F#2", SAMPLE "127 F#3", SAMPLE "100 C4", SAMPLE "100 F#4"
Confirmed
The Devotional tour arrangement of "A Question Of Lust" employs a series of edited vibraphone samples derived from the "Vibraphone" voice of the Korg 01/W workstation synthesizer. The samples are processed with tremolo and subtle filtering, then subsequently layered with a separate sample to produce the textured vibraphone fills performed by Alan Wilder during the verse and chorus sections.
Verse strings Korg 01/W Bank A, voice #07: TheStrings - SAMPLE "127 C5"
Confirmed
The Devotional tour arrangement of "A Question Of Lust" employs an orchestral string sample derived from the "TheStrings" voice of the Korg 01/W workstation synthesizer. The sample is layered with a separate sample to form a resonant string instrument performed during the verse and chorus sections.

"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".[2]

"It Doesn't Matter Two" - Depeche Mode
1986
Self-made samples
Sample Notes Audio
Celeste-like bell A celeste-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".

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes Audio
Middle eight melody Synclavier II Timbre Directory Diskette #2 - 2263 Oboe Source
Confirmed
The dramatic melody heard during the middle eight section of "It Doesn't Matter Two" is partly comprised of an edit of the "Oboe Source" timbre of Synclavier II timbre directory diskette #2. Notably, this timbre is also featured throughout "Lie To Me" and "Blasphemous Rumours".

Click to display/hide audio example

Choir stabs Emulator II factory library disk #12: Voices - Preset #1: "Voices #1" - SAMPLE 1, SAMPLE 3, SAMPLE 4, SAMPLE 5, SAMPLE 6
Confirmed
Emulator II factory library disk #12 "Voices" is utilised for a repeating choral pattern audible throughout "It Doesn't Matter Two".
Marimba rhythm Emulator II factory library disk #34: Vibraphones & Marimba - Preset #7: "Marimbas"
Confirmed
Emulator II factory library disk #34 "Vibraphones & Marimba" is utilised for a rhythmic marimba pattern audible throughout the chorus, third verse, and outro sections of "It Doesn't Matter Two".
Flute arpeggio Emulator II factory library disk #16: Bassoon & Flute - SAMPLE 11
Confirmed
A flute sample derived from Emulator II factory library disk #16 "Bassoon & Flute" is utilised for a hand-played arpeggio heard sporadically throughout "It Doesn't Matter Two".

"A Question Of Time" - Depeche Mode
1986
Self-made samples
Sample Notes Audio
Guitar-like pluck A brief "plucked" guitar-like sound reminiscent of a guitar or processed piano sample is layered 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 Audio
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 processed 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".[3]

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.

Click to display/hide audio example

Note: In this example, a section of audio from The Chanters' "She Wants To Mambo" featuring a feminine moan is sampled, trimmed, and allocated across the keys of a keyboard to be played back as a melodic part, and is then compared to the center channel of the 2006 5.1 reissue of "A Question Of Time" containing the relevant part. Next, the sample is played back once per beat at a reduced pitch with a short decay time, creating a repeated "wha-, wha-" rhythm that can be heard during the opening and closing bars of the song.
Brass chorus counter melody Emulator II factory library disk #60: Velocity Sax - Preset #5: "HrdRd Tenor
Confirmed
A sample derived from Emulator II factory library disk #60 "Velocity Sax" is utilised for a counter melody during the choruses of "A Question Of Time" as it was performed on the 1987-1988 Music For The Masses tour.

"Stripped" - Depeche Mode
1986
Self-made samples
Sample Notes Audio
Bass drone The textured bass drone sound used throughout "Stripped" is achieved by running a bass sound through a Leslie cabinet.[4]
Exploding firework An exploding firework sound recorded on 5 November 1985 by Gareth Jones in the Westside studio car park[4] 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" quality 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."[4]

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

Car ignition sound The ignition 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.[4]

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes Audio
Motorbike idling sound Emulator I factory library disk #81: Motor Cycle Rev - Motor Cycle Idling (08-001-117M1)
Official
"Stripped" employs a sample of a motorbike engine idling played one octave down from its original pitch.[5] The sample is looped to form a "chunky" repeating rhythm that occurs throughout the song. The loop is also present on Martin Gore's demo recording. Wilder confirms the origin of the sample in a summary of 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.[6]

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

Click to display/hide audio example

Operatic vocal Hildegard of Bingen, Gothic Voices, Emma Kirkby, Christopher Page - A Feather on the Breath of God - "Columba aspexit" - April 1985 (recorded 14 September 1981)
Confirmed
An operatic vocal derived from a September 1981 performance of "Columba aspexit", a piece of sacred vocal music written in the 12th century by German abbess Hildegard of Bingen, is utilised as a layer to form a synth string part audible throughout the outro of "Stripped". Featuring the British vocal ensemble Gothic Voices with soprano Emma Kirkby, the sampled performance is notably used throughout "Christmas Island". An edited copy of this sound would later see use as a re-purposed synth string part heard during the chorus sections of "Policy Of Truth".
Piano verse melody Emulator II factory library disk #04: Grand Piano - Preset #1: "Piano #1", SAMPLE 2
Confirmed
The repeating melody heard throughout the verse sections is partly comprised of a manipulated piano sample derived from Emulator II factory library disk #04 "Grand Piano".

Click to display/hide audio example

Snare drum New Order - "Love Vigilantes" - 1985
Confirmed
The first of four snare drum hits audible in the opening moments of "Love Vigilantes" by New Order is utilised throughout "Stripped". Similarly, this snare sound is used throughout "Breathing In Fumes", "Christmas Island", "Never Let Me Down Again", and "Nothing".

"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.[7]

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Hi-hats Yamaha RX-11 - Digital Rhythm Programmer - 1984
Confirmed
A series of hi-hat samples derived from the Yamaha RX-11 programmable drum machine are utilised throughout "Here Is The House".

"New Dress" - Depeche Mode
1986

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Looping electronic drum sequence Kraftwerk - "Home Computer" ("Heimcomputer") - 1981
Confirmed
A brief section of an electronic drum sequence looping throughout the verse sections of "New Dress" is derived from Kraftwerk's "Home Computer". Notably, a separate selection of audio from "Home Computer" would later be used as a minor percussion element throughout "World In My Eyes".

B-sides, bonus tracks and remixes

"But Not Tonight" - Depeche Mode
1986
Self-made samples
Sample Notes Audio
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.[7]

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 other Depeche Mode productions, including "Shake The Disease" and "It Doesn't Matter Two".
Guitar-like pluck A brief "plucked" guitar-like sound plays a tight four note sequence with a fast release time as a fill sporadically throughout "But Not Tonight". Notable uses of this sample in other songs include the bassline of "A Question Of Time".

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes Audio
Choir stab Emulator II factory library disk #12: Voices - Preset #1: "Voices 1", SAMPLE 3
Confirmed
The reverberated choir sample utilised throughout "But Not Tonight" is derived from Emulator II factory library disk #12 "Voices".

Click to display/hide audio example

Hi-hats (open and closed), snare drum Yamaha RX-11 - Digital Rhythm Programmer - 1984
Confirmed
A series of hi-hat and snare drum samples derived from the Yamaha RX-11 programmable drum machine are utilised throughout "But Not Tonight".[8]

"Christmas Island" - Depeche Mode
1986

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes Audio
Operatic vocal Hildegard of Bingen, Gothic Voices, Emma Kirkby, Christopher Page - A Feather on the Breath of God - "Columba aspexit" - April 1985 (recorded 14 September 1981)
Confirmed
An operatic vocal derived from a September 1981 performance of "Columba aspexit", a piece of sacred vocal music written in the 12th century by German abbess Hildegard of Bingen, is featured throughout "Christmas Island". Featuring the British vocal ensemble Gothic Voices with soprano Emma Kirkby, the sampled performance is layered with a sample derived from Depeche Mode's "Master And Servant" to form a vocal stab audible throughout "Christmas Island". Notably, this sound is used as a layer for the synth strings in the outro of "Stripped", which is re-purposed as a synth string part heard during the chorus sections of "Policy Of Truth".

Click to display/hide audio example

Snare drum New Order - "Love Vigilantes" - 1985
Confirmed
The first of four snare drum hits audible in the opening moments of "Love Vigilantes" by New Order is utilised throughout "Christmas Island". Similarly, this snare sound is used throughout "Stripped", "Breathing In Fumes", "Never Let Me Down Again", and "Nothing".

"Breathing In Fumes" - Depeche Mode
1986

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Snare drum New Order - "Love Vigilantes" - 1985
Confirmed
The first of four snare drum hits audible in the opening moments of "Love Vigilantes" by New Order is utilised throughout "Breathing In Fumes". Similarly, this snare sound is used throughout "Stripped", "Christmas Island", "Never Let Me Down Again", and "Nothing".

"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.


Notes


References