List of Depeche Mode sample sources by album/Music For The Masses

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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 1987 album Music For The Masses.

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.

Music For The Masses (1987)

1. "Never Let Me Down Again"

"Never Let Me Down Again" - Depeche Mode
1987
Self-made samples
Sample Notes Audio
Guitar riff In a 4 July 2019 interview with Super Deluxe Edition, Music For The Masses co-producer 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.[1]

Lead melody The lead melody is comprised of a plucked guitar-like sample combined with a vocal-like pad with a short loop (itself derived from a non-looped sample that is layered with 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", the lead melody heard throughout the "Spanish Taster" mix of "To Have And To Hold", and a verse melody in "Blue Dress". 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 original key.
Synth bass A synthesized bass layer audible throughout "Never Let Me Down Again" is likely derived from the PPG Wave 2.3 wavetable "031 Piano/Sax". Notably, A similar synthesizer bass drone originally recorded for use with "Policy Of Truth" is layered with this sound as it was performed during live performances on the 1993-1994 Devotional and Exotic tours.
Tom drums In an April 2020 interview, 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" layered with other drum samples.[2] 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."[3]
Wine glass arpeggio In May 2020, fan "DMK" kindly provided DM Live Wiki with documentation for a series of Emulator II floppy disks that accompanied a collection of restored studio equipment used by Music For The Masses producer Dave Bascombe during the production of music albums for artists other than Depeche Mode in the mid to late eighties. One floppy disk, labeled "Wineglass (106)", features an untitled preset ("NULL PRESET"), which contains a bell-like sample, presumably the sound of a wine glass being tapped. This sample is used to produce the textured arpeggio that occurs throughout the chorus sections of "Never Let Me Down Again". Notably, this sound is also used in "Behind The Wheel", "Route 66", "Strangelove", and the Recoil instrumental "Grain".

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes Audio
"When The Levee Breaks" drum samples Led Zeppelin - "When The Levee Breaks" - 1971
Official
In a 4 July 2019 interview with Super Deluxe Edition, Bascombe recalled how the sampled percussion came to be used in "Never Let Me Down Again": "We were round at [Alan Wilder’s] house – and I said 'Right, I want to use "When The Levee Breaks" [Led Zeppelin] drums on [Never Let Me Down Again].' [...] I suggested using them for the main kick and snare."[1]

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Orchestral strings and choir pads Carl Orff - Carmina Burana - I. Primo vere (In Springtime) - Ecce gratum - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Southend Boys' Choir, Brighton Festival Chorus - 1 February, 1976
Official
"Never Let Me Down Again" utilizes two edited choral samples derived from a Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Southend Boys' Choir/Brighton Festival Chorus performance of the Primo vere movement of Primo vere, the first section of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. The performance, conducted by Antal Doráti on 1 February 1976, featured soprano vocals by Norma Burrowes, tenor vocals by Louis Devos, and baritone vocals by John Shirley-Quirk. The Latin words being sung within the samples include the final moments of the lyric "Hyemis sevitia. Ah!" ("The rigors of winter. Ah!").

In an April 2020 interview, Dave Bascombe described the technical challenge of manipulating the sampled audio for use in "Never Let Me Down Again": "I think it was Carmina Burana [...] It took ages getting it all in time and in tune. [Nowadays] that's a piece of piss."[2]

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Brass layer Emulator II factory library disk #63: ARP 2600 - SAMPLE 3
Confirmed
An edited synthesizer sample derived from Emulator II factory library disk #63 "ARP 2600" is utilised as a synth brass layer throughout the chorus sections of "Never Let Me Down Again".

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Brass layer Emulator II factory library disk #21: Assorted Trombones - SAMPLE 13
Confirmed
A looping trombone sample derived from Emulator II factory library disk #21 "Assorted Trombones" is utilised throughout the chorus and outro sections of "Never Let Me Down Again".
Pizzicato/strings Emulator II factory library disk #08: Cello & Violin - SAMPLE 8, SAMPLE 16
Confirmed
Two cello and violin samples derived from Emulator II factory library disk #08 "Cello & Violin" are layered to form an octave with a sound previously recorded for use in 1986's "A Question Of Time" to form the pizzicato-like phrases audible during the second chorus section of "Never Let Me Down Again".

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

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Tom drum layer Emulator II OMI Universe of Sounds Volume 1 - Track Kit - "TRACK_KIT_SAMPLE 3"
Confirmed
An edited tom drum sound derived from the Emulator II OMI Universe of Sounds Volume 1 voice "Track Kit" is layered with a custom tom drum sound originally recorded for use with "Stripped" to form the tom drum fills heard throughout "Never Let Me Down Again".
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.

2. "The Things You Said"

"The Things You Said" - Depeche Mode
1987

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Choir layer Emulator I factory library disk #16: Male Voice - Female Voice - "Female Voice" (02-002-101M2)
Confirmed
"The Things You Said" utilises choir chords played using a "grainy" choir sample derived from the upper register of the Emulator I factory library disk #16: "Male Voice - Female Voice". Notably this choir sound is also used throughout "Strangelove".
Choir layer Emulator II factory library disk #12: Voices - Preset #1: "Voices 1", SAMPLE 8
Confirmed
The sustained choir utilised throughout the live arrangement of "The Things You Said" as it was performed on the Music For The Masses tour is comprised of three unique choir samples. One of the three samples is derived from Emulator II factory library disk #12 "Voices". Notably, a manipulated edit of this sample is also used to memorable effect as a pitch-bending choir stab throughout "Blue Dress".

3. "Strangelove"

"Strangelove" - Depeche Mode
1987
Self-made samples
Sample Notes Audio
Four note bell-like wine glass riff In May 2020, fan "DMK" kindly provided DM Live Wiki with documentation for a series of Emulator II floppy disks that accompanied a collection of restored studio equipment used by Music For The Masses producer Dave Bascombe during the production of music albums for artists other than Depeche Mode in the mid to late eighties. One floppy disk, labeled "Wineglass (106)", features an untitled preset ("NULL PRESET"), which contains a bell-like sample, presumably the sound of a wine glass being tapped. This sample is layered with a sitar sound derived from the "Sitar 2" preset of the Emulator II factory library disk #61 "Sitar" and other sounds to produce the four note riff heard throughout the intro, chorus, and outro sections of "Strangelove". Notably, this sound is also used in "Never Let Me Down Again", "Behind The Wheel", "Route 66", and the Recoil instrumental "Grain".
Bass piano In May 2020, fan "DMK" kindly provided DM Live Wiki with documentation for a series of Emulator II floppy disks that accompanied a collection of restored studio equipment used by Music For The Masses co-producer Dave Bascombe during the production of music albums for artists other than Depeche Mode in the mid to late eighties. One floppy disk, labeled "Depeche Bass Piano", features two similar untitled presets ("NULL PRESET"), which contain a sample of a one-shot two octave piano hit playing an E and a similar sample playing an A. The former sample is used throughout the middle eight of the album version of "Strangelove". Notably, this sound is also used throughout "Nothing".

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Synth bass In May 2020, fan "DMK" kindly provided DM Live Wiki with documentation for a series of Emulator II floppy disks that accompanied a collection of restored studio equipment used by Music For The Masses co-producer Dave Bascombe during the production of music albums for artists other than Depeche Mode in the mid to late 1980s. One floppy disk, labeled "Synth Bass (24)", features a preset titled "Wave Bass" that features two "squelchy" synth bass samples that are layered with other sounds to form the bass stabs heard during the middle eight of "Strangelove".
Bass guitar In May 2020, fan "DMK" kindly provided DM Live Wiki with documentation for a series of Emulator II floppy disks that accompanied a collection of restored studio equipment used by Music For The Masses co-producer Dave Bascombe during the production of music albums for artists other than Depeche Mode in the mid to late 1980s. One floppy disk, labeled "Bright Bass-GTR", features a preset titled "bright bass" that is comprised of two bass guitar samples which are used during the chorus sections of the album version and throughout the single version of "Strangelove". Notably, these bass guitar parts are also used throughout the Recoil instrumental "The Sermon".

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Note: In this example, the contents of the Emulator II voice are compared to the chorus section of "Strangelove" as heard on the SACD LFE channel of the 2006 Music For The Masses 5.1 reissue.

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes Audio
Main choir layer Emulator I factory library disk #16: Male Voice - Female Voice - "Female Voice" (02-002-101M2)
Confirmed
"Strangelove" utilises choir chords played using a "grainy" choir sample derived from the upper register of the Emulator I factory library disk #16: "Male Voice - Female Voice". Notably this choir sound is also used throughout "The Things You Said".

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Intro high pitch loop Emulator II factory library disk #72: Jungle Adventure - Preset #1: "MONKEY TALK", SAMPLE 5
Confirmed
The album version intro of "Strangelove" employs a truncated and looped sample of a hyrax screeching derived from the "MONKEY TALK" preset of Emulator II factory library disk #72 "Jungle Adventure".

The sample as featured on the Emulator II factory library disk was itself sampled from "Hyrax", a recording featured on the 1973 Nonesuch Explorer Series field recording LP Animals Of Africa (Sounds Of The Jungle, Plain & Bush).

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Note: In this example, a sample derived from the Emulator II factory library disk #72 "Jungle Adventure" is trimmed, looped, and played seven notes above its root key. The result is then compared to the equivalent sound as heard in the opening moments of "Strangelove" as heard in the front stereo channels of the 2006 Music For The Masses 5.1 reissue.
Electronic percussion Kraftwerk - Electric Café - "The Telephone Call" ("Der Telefon-Anruf" - 10 November 1986
Confirmed
An electronic percussion sound derived from Kraftwerk's "The Telephone Call" is used for a double snare fill periodically throughout "Strangelove".

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Metallic filtered synth sample Emulator II factory library disk #71: DAS Synth - Preset #3: "BASS BANG", SAMPLE 4
Confirmed
"Strangelove" employs a metallic synth stab derived from the "BASS BANG" preset of Emulator II factory library disk #71 "DAS Synth". The sample is used to play a six note melody accompanying the lyric "Yes, and I'll make it all worthwhile" during the first and second verses.

Notably, an edit of this sample is also used in "Master And Servant" as it was performed on the Music For The Masses tour.

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Sitar pluck Emulator II factory library disk #61: Sitar - Preset #3: "Sitar 2", SAMPLE 6
Confirmed
A plucked sitar sample derived from the "Sitar 2" preset of Emulator II factory library disk #61 "Sitar" is layered with a wine glass sample and other elements to form the four note riff audible during the choruses of "Strangelove". The full sample consists of a plucked sitar playing a G♯ with a slight pitch bend. The sample is looped with a tight loop lasting approximately four milliseconds starting just after the initial transient of the sample, producing a unique "buzzy" tone with the transient of a natural sitar pluck. The resulting sample is then played back with filtering and subtle vibrato.

Notably, this sample is also used in "Pleasure, Little Treasure", "Behind The Wheel" and "Master And Servant" as it was performed on the Music For The Masses and World Violation tours.

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4. "Sacred"

"Sacred" - Depeche Mode
1987

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes Audio
Reversed choir Carl Orff - Carmina Burana - III. Cour d'amours - Amor volat undique - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Southend Boys' Choir, Brighton Festival Chorus - 1 February, 1976
Confirmed
"Sacred" utilises an edited choral sample derived from a 1976 Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Southend Boys' Choir/Brighton Festival Chorus performance of the Amor volat undique movement of Cours d'amours, the third section of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. The performance, conducted by Antal Doráti on 1 February 1976, featured soprano vocals by Norma Burrowes, tenor vocals by Louis Devos, and baritone vocals by John Shirley-Quirk.

The sample contains the Latin lyric "Iuvenes, iuvencule - coniunguntur merito" ("Young men and women are rightly coupled"). The sample is played one key below its original key. The "Iuvenes, iuvencule - coniunguntur" lyric is reversed while the "merito" lyric remains playing forwards. The sample is then looped and layered with a loop derived from a vocal by Martin Gore to create the mysterious textured pad utilised throughout the intro and middle eight sections.

Notably, similar sampled elements also derived from Carmina Burana are used throughout "Little 15" and "Never Let Me Down Again".

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Chorus counter melody Synclavier II Timbre Directory Diskette #1 - 2164 Heavy Keyboard
Confirmed
The Music For The Masses tour arrangement of "Sacred" employs a sampled synthesized sound derived from an edit of the "Heavy Keyboard" timbre of Synclavier II timbre directory diskette #1 for use as a counter melody during the song's chorus sections.

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Shaker Emulator II factory library disk #42: Ethnic Percussion #1 - "EthnicPerc 1", SAMPLE 6
Confirmed
A shaker sample derived from Emulator II factory library disk #42 "Ethnic Percussion #1" is utilised throughout the verse sections of "Sacred".

5. "Little 15"

"Little 15" - Depeche Mode
1987

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Brass stab Carl Orff - Carmina Burana - I. Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi - O Fortuna, velut Luna - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Southend Boys' Choir, Brighton Festival Chorus - 1 February, 1976
Confirmed
"Little 15" utilises an edited brass sample derived from a 1976 Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Southend Boys' Choir/Brighton Festival Chorus performance of the O Fortuna, velut Luna movement of Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi, the first section of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. The performance, conducted by Antal Doráti on 1 February 1976, featured soprano vocals by Norma Burrowes, tenor vocals by Louis Devos, and baritone vocals by John Shirley-Quirk.

Notably, similar samples also derived from Carmina Burana are used throughout "Sacred" and "Never Let Me Down Again".

6. "Behind The Wheel"

"Behind The Wheel" - Depeche Mode
1987
Self-made samples
Sample Notes Audio
Bassline The bassline of "Behind The Wheel" is comprised of a series of sampled and synthesised parts which combine to form the driving bass rhythm audible throughout the song. These sounds include a sample of a hand striking the end of a hoover tube, a pitched-down sample of a guitar pluck, and a Minimoog bass for additional low end presence.[4] The sampled elements are utilised throughout the song, whereas the Minimoog section begins at the end of the second verse. Notably, the hoover tube sample is re-used as a bass layer in the Recoil instrumental "The Sermon".
Car door shutting snare In May 2020, fan "DMK" kindly provided DM Live Wiki with documentation for a series of Emulator II floppy disks that accompanied a collection of restored studio equipment used by Music For The Masses co-producer Dave Bascombe during the production of music albums for artists other than Depeche Mode in the mid to late eighties. One floppy disk, labeled "Driving Sound FX", features two presets comprised of various car-related sounds. The second of two presets, titled "DRIVING 12#", features the sound of a car door shutting, which is layered with other more traditional snare sounds throughout "Behind The Wheel". This sound is most clearly heard in the intro of the Devotional tour arrangement of "Behind The Wheel".

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Note: In this example, the raw sample from the Emulator II disk is played back and compared to the equivalent sound in a selection from the center channel audio of the 2006 5.1 reissue of "Behind The Wheel", as well as the opening bars of the live arrangement of "Behind The Wheel" as it was performed on the Devotional tour.
Wine glass arpeggio In May 2020, fan "DMK" kindly provided DM Live Wiki with documentation for a series of Emulator II floppy disks that accompanied a collection of restored studio equipment used by Music For The Masses co-producer Dave Bascombe during the production of music albums for artists other than Depeche Mode in the mid to late eighties. One floppy disk, labeled "Wineglass (106)", features an untitled preset ("NULL PRESET"), which contains a bell-like sample, presumably the sound of a wine glass being tapped. This sample is used to produce the textured arpeggio that occurs throughout "Behind The Wheel", most clearly heard during the instrumental break immediately after the first verse. Notably, this sound is also used in "Never Let Me Down Again", "Strangelove", "Route 66", and the Recoil instrumental "Grain".
"Submarine" verse stabs In May 2020, fan "DMK" kindly provided DM Live Wiki with documentation for a series of Emulator II floppy disks that accompanied a collection of restored studio equipment used by Music For The Masses co-producer Dave Bascombe during the production of music albums for artists other than Depeche Mode in the mid to late eighties. One floppy disk, labeled "Guns & Submarine (109)", features an untitled preset ("NULL PRESET"), which contains a series of relevant samples, the third of which is a submarine sonar navigation system sound. This sample is processed with reverb and played with a long decay to produce the "ghostly" monophonic melody performed during the verse sections of "Behind The Wheel".

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Note: In this example, the raw sample from the Emulator II disk is played back once, then played back once with a long release, once with generic software reverb in stereo, once with generic software reverb in mono, and is subsequently compared to the equivalent sound as can be heard in the front stereo channel audio of "Behind The Wheel" from the 2006 5.1 reissue of Music For The Masses.

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes Audio
Sitar pluck Emulator II factory library disk #61: Sitar - Preset #3: "Sitar 2", SAMPLE 6
Confirmed
A plucked sitar sample derived from the "Sitar 2" preset of Emulator II factory library disk #61 "Sitar" is layered with a similar plucked sound to form the counter melody audible throughout "Behind The Wheel". The full sample consists of a plucked sitar playing a G♯ with a slight pitch bend. The sample is looped with a tight loop lasting approximately four milliseconds starting just after the initial transient of the sample, producing a unique "buzzy" tone with the transient of a natural sitar pluck. The resulting sample is then played back with filtering and subtle vibrato.

Notably, this sample is also used in "Strangelove" and "Master And Servant" as it was performed on the Music For The Masses and World Violation tours.

Click to display/hide audio example

Note: In this example, the relevant raw sample from the factory Emulator II disk #61 "Sitar" is played back in full, then played back with the in-built loop enabled, and is finally played back at a higher pitch and compared to the front stereo channel audio of "Behind The Wheel" derived from the 2006 5.1 reissue of Music For The Masses.
Snare/tambourine Talk Talk - "I Don't Believe In You" - 1986
Confirmed
A snare and tambourine hit derived from Talk Talk's "I Don't Believe In You" is used throughout "Behind The Wheel".

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Verse marimba melody Emulator II factory library disk #34: Vibraphones & Marimbas - Preset #7: "Marimbas"
Confirmed
A marimba sample derived from Emulator II factory library disk #34 "Vibraphones & Marimbas" is utilised during the verse sections of "Behind The Wheel" as it was performed on the 1987-1988 Music For The Masses tour.

7. "I Want You Now"

"I Want You Now" - Depeche Mode
1987
Self-made samples
Sample Notes Audio
Feminine "ahh" vocal samples / Sample of multiple laughing girls "I Want You Now" employs a series of breathy female vocals (accompanied by a similar vocal provided by Martin Gore) as a 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 ;-)"[4] 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!"[1]

Notably, the feminine "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.[4]
Middle eight falsetto vocal melody In May 2020, fan "DMK" kindly provided DM Live Wiki with documentation for a series of Emulator II floppy disks that accompanied a collection of restored studio equipment used by Music For The Masses co-producer Dave Bascombe during the production of music albums for artists other than Depeche Mode in the mid to late 1980s. One floppy disk, labeled "Falsetto Voice (19)", features a preset titled "Falsetto Vox" containing a sample of a vocalist singing a high falsetto note that is used to play a monophonic melody during the middle eight of "I Want You Now".

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Note: In this example, a raw sample from the Emax II sound bank containing the parts performed by Alan Wilder for the Exotic tour arrangement of "I Want You Now" is compared to the equivalent unedited source part in Bascombe's Emulator II disk "Falsetto Voice (19)".
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 Audio
Reverberated chorus section vocal The Stick Shifts - "Automobile" - 1980 (?)
Confirmed
An edited sample derived from the opening moments of "Automobile" by The Stick Shifts is utilised during the chorus sections of "I Want You Now".

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Feminine orgasm vocal samples (x2) Unidentified pornographic film
Unknown
The pornographic film sampled by Depeche Mode for use in the production of "I Want You Now" is likely to have released on VHS or Betamax cassette and would have been in circulation by July 1987.
Accordion Emulator II factory library disk #23: Accordian & Banjo - Preset #1: "Accordian 1"
Confirmed
The middle eight and outro sections of "I Want You Now" feature accordion chords played using the "Accordian 1" preset of Emulator II factory library disk #23 "Accordian & Banjo".

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Note: In this example, Emulator II factory disk #23 "Accordian & Banjo" is used to perform a series of chords. The chords are first compared to the middle eight section of "I Want You Now" as heard in the front stereo channel of the 2006 Music For The Masses 5.1 reissue (played out of phase to further expose the accordion part). Lastly, two bass notes are performed on the Emulator II disk, which are then similarly compared to the second verse section.
Drum loop Neil Conti's Funky Drums From Hell (AMG) - Partition #2: Mellow Antique - "AMG Warm Poetry 3" - March 1993
Confirmed
The Exotic tour arrangement of "I Want You Now" features an edit of a "roomy" drum loop derived from the "AMG Warm Poetry 3" loop of Neil Conti's Funky Drums From Hell. The loop features a funky snare rhythm with intricate ghost notes and a hypnotic triple bass drum pattern.

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Note: In this example, sample "AMG Warm Poetry 3" from Neil Conti's Funky Drums From Hell is compared to a selection of soundboard audio of a March 1994 performance of "I Want You Now".
Re-pitched snare drum Neil Conti's Funky Drums From Hell (AMG) - Partition #1: Hard Funk - "AMG Snowball 3"
Confirmed
The Exotic tour arrangement of "I Want You Now" features a manipulated series of two snare and hi-hat samples taken from the "AMG Snowball 3" loop of Neil Conti's Funky Drums From Hell. The snare is sampled from the second snare hit audible in the "AMG Snowball 3" loop, and features both the snare and two following hi-hat hits. The resulting sample is duplicated twice, with each copy sequenced to play in alternating fashion on beat three of each bar starting from bar five of the arrangement. Each copy of the snare is then individually timestretched via resampling to produce a trip hop-esque snare sequence with alternating pitches.

A separate sample featuring two hi-hat hits and a double bass drum fill derived from the same loop is timestretched in a similar fashion and sequenced to play slightly off-time on the half beat of the fourth beat of every odd bar starting from bar five, resulting in a pitched-down hi-hat sequence.

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Note: In this example, two sections of audio from sample "AMG Snowball 3" of Neil Conti's Funky Drums From Hell are chopped into sections of audio and subsequently resampled to manipulate the length and pitch of each section, which are then compared to a selection of soundboard audio of a March 1994 performance of "I Want You Now".
Orchestral strings Korg 01/W Bank A, voice #07: TheStrings - SAMPLE "127 F#1", SAMPLE "127 F#3", SAMPLE "127 F#4", SAMPLE "127 C5" and Bank B, voice #77: ArcoAttack - SAMPLE "F#5"
Confirmed
The Exotic tour arrangement of "I Want You Now" employs a series of orchestral string samples derived from the "TheStrings" and "ArcoAttack" voices of the Korg 01/W workstation synthesizer. Notably, varying combinations of these samples are also utilised for use in the Devotional arrangement of "Everything Counts" as well as the unplayed Devotional arrangement for "Leave In Silence".

Click to display/hide audio example

Note: In this example, six samples from the Emax II sound bank containing the orchestral string parts performed by Alan Wilder for the Exotic tour arrangement of "I Want You Now" are compared to the equivalent source samples from the Korg 01/W bank A and bank B programs "TheStrings" and "ArcoAttack". In this audio example, each note is held for one bar. In order, the samples heard are:
  • Bar one: "TheStrings 127 F#1"
  • Bar two: "TheStrings 127 F#1"
  • Bar three: "TheStrings 127 F#3"
  • Bar four: "TheStrings 127 F#4"
  • Bar five: "TheStrings 127 C5"
  • Bar six: "ArcoAttack 127 F#5"
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 Exotic tour arrangement of "I Want You Now".

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

Click to display/hide audio example

Note: In this example, the scratch heard in the opening bars of "Fuck tha Police" are compared to a selection of soundboard audio from a March 1994 performance of "I Want You Now".
Sampled scratch N.W.A - "8 Ball (Remix)" - 1988
Confirmed
The Exotic tour arrangement of "I Want You Now" utilises a sampled scratch derived from the outro of N.W.A's "8 Ball (Remix)".

Click to display/hide audio example

Note: In this example, the scratch heard in the closing bars of "8 Ball (Remix)" are compared to a selection of soundboard audio from a March 1994 performance of "I Want You Now".

8. "To Have And To Hold"

"To Have And To Hold" - Depeche Mode
1987
Self-made samples
Sample Notes Audio
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 original 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.

Metallic snare layer A metallic drum-like sample layered with the snare throughout "To Have And To Hold" is a sampled sound of a pneumatic coach door shutting recorded by Dave Bascombe. Notably, this sample is also used as a percussive part during the post-chorus sections of "Nothing".

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes Audio
Sampled scratch Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band - Keynsham - "Noises for the Leg" - November 1969
Confirmed
A manipulated sample of a singer impersonating a wolf howl derived from the opening moments of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band's 1969 album track "Noises for the Leg" is utilised throughout "To Have And To Hold".

Click to display/hide audio example

Kalimba Emulator II factory library disk #17: Kalimba & Shaku-Hachi - SAMPLE 2
Confirmed
A kalimba sample derived from Emulator II factory library disk #17 "Kalimba & Shaku-Hachi" performing an ascending arpeggio is quietly layered with one or more sounds to form the tense four note phrase repeating throughout "To Have and to Hold".

9. "Nothing"

"Nothing" - Depeche Mode
1987
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Post-chorus metallic percussive triplet 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 [hi-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.[1]

Solo vocal-like pad with short loop A solo vocal-like pad with a short loop (derived from a non-looped sample that is layered 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 another vocal-like sound during the final four bars of each verse section in "I Want You Now".

Bass piano In May 2020, fan "DMK" kindly provided DM Live Wiki with documentation for a series of Emulator II floppy disks that accompanied a collection of restored studio equipment used by Music For The Masses co-producer Dave Bascombe during the production of music albums for artists other than Depeche Mode in the mid to late eighties. One floppy disk, labeled "Depeche Bass Piano", features two similar untitled presets ("NULL PRESET"), which contain a sample of a one-shot two octave piano hit playing an E and a similar sample playing an A. The former sample is layered with another piano part for use throughout "Nothing".

Notably, this sound is also used during the middle eight of "Strangelove".

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
"When The Levee Breaks" drum samples Led Zeppelin - "When The Levee Breaks" - 1971
Confirmed
Wilder confirmed in a Q&A on Shunt, the official Recoil website that "Never Let Me Down Again" employs drum elements derived from Led Zeppelin's "When The Levee Breaks", which are repurposed for "Nothing".
Snare drum New Order - "Love Vigilantes" - 1985
Confirmed
The second of four snare drum hits audible in the opening moments of "Love Vigilantes" by New Order is utilised throughout "Nothing". Similarly, this snare sound is used throughout "Stripped", "Breathing In Fumes", "Christmas Island", and "Never Let Me Down Again".
High octave choir melody Emulator II factory library disk #12: Voices - Preset #1: "Voices 1", SAMPLE 8
Confirmed
"Nothing" utilises a choir sample derived from Emulator II factory library disk #12 "Voices". The sample is layered with a similar choir sample to form a textured high octave choir-like instrument used to add tension to the lead melody starting from the first post-chorus section onwards.
Slap bass guitar Emulator II factory library disk #30: Funk Rock Bass - Preset #2: "Slap Bass 1"
Confirmed
A slap bass guitar sample derived from Emulator II factory library disk #30 "Funk Rock Bass" is utilised throughout "Nothing".[5]

10. "Pimpf"

"Pimpf" - Depeche Mode
1987
Self-made samples
Sample Notes Audio
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 original key. Notably, this sample is also occasionally played on the final note during live performances of "Never Let Me Down Again".

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes Audio
Tubular bells Emulator II factory library disk #67: Tubular Bells - Preset #1: "Tubular Bell"
Confirmed
The tubular bells utilised in the final moments of "Pimpf" are derived from Emulator II factory disk #67 "Tubular Bells".

Click to display/hide audio example

Sitar pluck Emulator II factory library disk #61: Sitar - Preset #3: "Sitar 2", SAMPLE 6
Confirmed
A plucked sitar sample derived from the "Sitar 2" preset of Emulator II factory library disk #61 "Sitar" is layered with other sounds to form the four note "Strangelove" riff played throughout "Interlude No. 1 - Mission Impossible", the instrumental interlude that follows "Pimpf". The full sample consists of a plucked sitar playing a G♯ with a slight pitch bend. The sample is looped with a tight loop lasting approximately four milliseconds starting just after the initial transient of the sample, producing a unique "buzzy" tone with the transient of a natural sitar pluck. The resulting sample is then played back with filtering and subtle vibrato. Notably, this sample is also used in "Behind The Wheel" and "Master And Servant" as it was performed on the Music For The Masses and World Violation tours.

B-sides, bonus tracks and remixes

"Agent Orange"

"Agent Orange" is not yet known to contain samples from any identifiable sources.

"Pleasure, Little Treasure"

"Pleasure, Little Treasure" - Depeche Mode
1987

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Brass Emulator II factory library disk #60: Velocity Sax - Preset #1: "Sax Beast", SAMPLE 15
Confirmed
The portamento brass section utilised throughout the live arrangement of "Pleasure, Little Treasure" as it was performed on the Music For The Masses tour is comprised of two samples, one of which is derived from the "Sax Beast" preset of the Emulator II factory library disk "Velocity Sax".
Sitar pluck Emulator II factory library disk #61: Sitar - Preset #3: "Sitar 2", SAMPLE 6
Confirmed
A plucked sitar sample derived from the "Sitar 2" preset of Emulator II factory library disk #61 "Sitar" is layered with other sounds to form the five note riff used throughout "Pleasure, Little Treasure". The full sample consists of a plucked sitar playing a G♯ with a slight pitch bend. The sample is looped with a tight loop lasting approximately four milliseconds starting just after the initial transient of the sample, producing a unique "buzzy" tone with the transient of a natural sitar pluck. The resulting sample is then played back with filtering and subtle vibrato. Notably, this sample is also used in "Behind The Wheel" and "Master And Servant" as it was performed on the Music For The Masses and World Violation tours.

"Route 66"

"Route 66" is not yet known to contain samples from any identifiable sources.

"Stjärna"

"Stjärna" is not yet known to contain samples from any identifiable sources.

"Sonata No.14 in C#m (Moonlight Sonata)"

"Sonata No.14 in C#m (Moonlight Sonata)" is not known to contain samples from any identifiable sources.

"Never Let Me Down Again (Aggro Mix)"

"Never Let Me Down Again" - Depeche Mode
1987
Self-made samples
Sample Notes Audio
Guitar riff In a 4 July 2019 interview with Super Deluxe Edition, Music For The Masses co-producer 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.[1]

Lead melody The lead melody is comprised of a plucked guitar-like sample combined with a vocal-like pad with a short loop (itself derived from a non-looped sample that is layered with 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", the lead melody heard throughout the "Spanish Taster" mix of "To Have And To Hold", and a verse melody in "Blue Dress". 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".

Synth bass A synthesized bass layer audible throughout "Never Let Me Down Again" is likely derived from the PPG Wave 2.3 wavetable "031 Piano/Sax". Notably, A similar synthesizer bass drone originally recorded for use with "Policy Of Truth" is layered with this sound as it was performed during live performances on the 1993-1994 Devotional and Exotic tours.
Tom drums In an April 2020 interview, 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" layered with other drum samples.[2] 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."[6]
Wine glass arpeggio In May 2020, fan "DMK" kindly provided DM Live Wiki with documentation for a series of Emulator II floppy disks that accompanied a collection of restored studio equipment used by Music For The Masses producer Dave Bascombe during the production of music albums for artists other than Depeche Mode in the mid to late eighties. One floppy disk, labeled "Wineglass (106)", features an untitled preset ("NULL PRESET"), which contains a bell-like sample, presumably the sound of a wine glass being tapped. This sample is used to produce the textured arpeggio that occurs throughout the chorus sections of "Never Let Me Down Again". Notably, this sound is also used in "Behind The Wheel", "Route 66", "Strangelove", and the Recoil instrumental "Grain".

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes Audio
Percussion elements Led Zeppelin - "When The Levee Breaks" - 1971
Official
In a 4 July 2019 interview with Super Deluxe Edition, Bascombe recalled how the sampled percussion came to be used in "Never Let Me Down Again": "We were round at [Alan Wilder’s] house – and I said 'Right, I want to use "When The Levee Breaks" [Led Zeppelin] drums on [Never Let Me Down Again].' [...] I suggested using them for the main kick and snare."[1]
Orchestral, choral elements Carl Orff - Carmina Burana - I. Primo vere (In Springtime) - Ecce gratum - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Southend Boys' Choir, Brighton Festival Chorus - 1 February, 1976
Official
"Never Let Me Down Again" utilizes two edited choral samples derived from a Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Southend Boys' Choir/Brighton Festival Chorus performance of the Primo vere movement of Primo vere, the first section of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. The performance, conducted by Antal Doráti on 1 February 1976, featured soprano vocals by Norma Burrowes, tenor vocals by Louis Devos, and baritone vocals by John Shirley-Quirk. The Latin words being sung within the samples include the final moments of the lyric "Hyemis sevitia. Ah!" ("The rigors of winter. Ah!").

In an April 2020 interview, Dave Bascombe described the technical challenge of manipulating the sampled audio for use in "Never Let Me Down Again": "I think it was Carmina Burana [...] It took ages getting it all in time and in tune. [Nowadays] that's a piece of piss."[2]

Bass drum Kraftwerk - Electric Café - "Boing Boom Tschak" - 10 November 1986
Confirmed
A bass drum derived from Kraftwerk's "Boing Boom Tschak" is utilised throughout "Never Let Me Down Again" (Aggro Mix).

"To Have And To Hold (Spanish Taster)"

"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 two-note fill heard during the verse sections of "Strangelove".

"Pleasure, Little Treasure (Glitter Mix)"

"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 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.

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Brass Emulator II factory library disk #60: Velocity Sax - Preset #1: "Sax Beast", SAMPLE 15
Confirmed
The portamento brass section utilised throughout the live arrangement of "Pleasure, Little Treasure" as it was performed on the Music For The Masses tour is comprised of two samples, one of which is derived from the "Sax Beast" preset of the Emulator II factory library disk "Velocity Sax".
Sitar pluck Emulator II factory library disk #61: Sitar - Preset #3: "Sitar 2", SAMPLE 6
Confirmed
A plucked sitar sample derived from the "Sitar 2" preset of Emulator II factory library disk #61 "Sitar" is layered with other sounds to form the five note riff used throughout "Pleasure, Little Treasure". The full sample consists of a plucked sitar playing a G♯ with a slight pitch bend. The sample is looped with a tight loop lasting approximately four milliseconds starting just after the initial transient of the sample, producing a unique "buzzy" tone with the transient of a natural sitar pluck. The resulting sample is then played back with filtering and subtle vibrato. Notably, this sample is also used in "Behind The Wheel" and "Master And Servant" as it was performed on the Music For The Masses and World Violation tours.

"Route 66 (Beatmasters Mix)"

"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)"

"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!" originally recorded for use in Cameo's 1986 single "Word Up!" is repeated throughout this obscure promotional remix. Officially confirmed on depechemode.com[7].


Notes


References