Sample sources

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

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

Glossary
Terms used in this article

Information

Key
The confirmation status of each sample is measured by the following standard:
Disproven - This sample is not used in the specified song.
Unconfirmed - This sample may or may not be used in the specified song.
Likely - This sample is likely to be used in the specified song but is not yet confirmed.
Confirmed - This sample has been independently confirmed to be used in the specified song and an audio demonstration is available.
Officially confirmed - This sample has been confirmed by either a past or present member of Depeche Mode or an individual involved in the production of the specified song.

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

Due to the passage of time, fading memories, and the inherent nature of the samples described in this article (which were often transposed, reversed, tweaked, processed, layered, and otherwise manipulated nearly beyond recognition), there is unavoidable potential for journalistic error or misattribution. To combat this, the content of this article is comprised of verified quotes from band members and recording personnel, verifiable sources with citations wherever possible, audio examples, and independent research voluntarily contributed by Depeche Mode and Recoil fans across the world. It is written with the humble goal of providing an interesting document on this topic in a tabular format that is organized, well-researched, and reasonably accurate.

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

As ever, if you notice an error on this page, please feel free to contact us.

Depeche Mode

Speak & Spell (1981)

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

A Broken Frame (1982)

A Broken Frame does not contain samples from any identifiable sources.

Construction Time Again (1983)

Everything Counts (various live versions) - Depeche Mode
1983
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Woodwind-like sample Two samples with a woodwind-esque timbre (presumably derived from a synthesizer and subsequently sampled), comprise the famous riff played by Alan Wilder during the outro as heard in performances of 'Everything Counts' during the 1987-1988 Music For The Masses and 1990 World Violation tours. Notably, one of the two samples is played monophonically with a smooth portamento layered with multiple other sampled and synthesized parts to form the main melody in the middle eight section of the studio recording of 'Shake The Disease'.
One-shot guitar chug Part of the "chugging" guitar rhythm heard most obviously during the opening bars and throughout 'Mercy In You' is sampled, transposed up several notes, and filtered to produce a rhythmic element best heard during the choruses and break section of 'Everything Counts' as it was performed on the 1993 Devotional Tour.
Resonant synth pad A resonant synth pad is used to play a series of chords during the outro of 'Everything Counts' as it was performed on the 1993 Devotional and 1994 Exotic tours. This resonant pad can also be heard during the choruses of the song as it was performed on the World Violation tour and throughout the 'Walking In My Shoes (Grungy Gonads Mix)'.

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

The Landscape Is Changing - Depeche Mode
1983

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Spoken word in German Einstürzende Neubauten - 'Merle (Die Elektrik)' Unconfirmed

Some Great Reward (1984)

Blasphemous Rumours - Depeche Mode
1984
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Metallic snare The heavy snare used throughout the song is produced by recording the sound of a hammer smashing against a concrete floor. Alan says in the November 1984 issue of International Musician And Recording World:

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

Wilder later recalled in a Q&A on the official Recoil project site:

"It was a hammer on a concrete floor if I recall correctly."[1]

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

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

[...] One of the most popular drum sounds on the Fairlight computer, for instance - the machine used by Trevor Horn to create many of Frankie's sounds - is that of Led Zeppelin...

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

Electronics & Music Maker magazine then reported in 1986:

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

Wilder directly refutes this claim in a Q&A on the official Recoil project site in response to a fan question regarding the authenticity of the story as reported in an unofficial 1986 biography Depeche Mode: Some Great Reward by Dave Thompson:

"Surprisingly, no truth whatsoever."[1]

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

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Doo-wop vocal sample The Citadels - 'When I Woke Up This Morning' - 1964 Confirmed Credit to Daniel Barassi for this discovery.[2]

Catching Up with Depeche Mode (1985)

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

Black Celebration (1986)

Fly On The Windscreen (studio version and various live versions) - Depeche Mode
1986
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
"Over and done with" Daniel Miller vocal sample Alan Wilder confirms the origin of this vocal sample in a Q&A on the official Recoil project site:

"'Over and done with' courtesy of Daniel Miller if memory serves correct."[3]

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
"Their living hell" vocal sample Peter Jennings, ABC News (Television News Report, unidentified date) Likely Jennings was an active news anchor from 2/1/1965 to 4/1/2005. 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.
Sampled scratches N.W.A. - 'Fuck tha Police' - 1988 Confirmed The famous 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 version of 'Fly On The Windscreen'.

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

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

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Moan-like vocal sample The Chanters - 'She Wants To Mambo' - 1954
(Re-release by Jazzman Records in 2014)
Officially confirmed The second feminine moan in 'She Wants To Mambo' is sampled and played in a descending two note passage with EQ for added top-end during the chorus sections of 'A Question Of Time'. Martin Gore confirmed the use of the sample in the August 1986 issue of Electronics & Music Maker:

"It's not that audible, though. It's a sample from a record called 'She Wants to Mambo', an old doo-wop disc. At the end of each verse, the woman who sings sort of moans. We sampled this moan and played it up a few notes, which made it sound like a girl moaning. We used it on the chorus section of 'A Question of Time'."[4]

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.

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."[5]

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

"[...] Then there’s the mandolin-like part on 'Here is the House'. That was an acoustic guitar sampled twice — once on a down-stroke and once on an upstroke. We used them on alternate notes, so every other note was a downstroke and all the in-between notes were upstrokes. It sounded very funny — almost like a real player."[5]

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

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

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
"I don't care how you feel!" vocal sample Richard Pryor - Unidentified film Unconfirmed
"Help the dying" vocal sample Steve Kroft, CBS News (Television News Report, unidentified date) Likely 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 approx. November 1985 and December 1985 at the latest.

Sometimes - Depeche Mode
1986

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
"Sometimes" vocal sample Louis Armstrong - 'Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child' - 1958 Likely Credit to Home user 'personal cheese' for this discovery.[6]

Music For The Masses (1987)

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

"[...] I remember Martin had his guitar, and it’s used quite a bit… the beginning of ‘Never Let Me Down’ 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 rift[sic] was played, then we sampled it into the Synclavier [early digital synthesizer/digital sampling system] 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."[7]

Lead melody - one "guitar-like" pluck, one solo vocal-like pad with short loop The lead melody of 'Never Let Me Down Again' as it has been performed live since its debut is comprised of a guitar-like pluck sample combined with a solo vocal-like pad with a short loop (itself derived from a non-looped sample that is used in conjunction with yet another vocal-like sound to intensify the final four bars of each verse section in 'I Want You Now').

Other notable appearances of the the guitar-like sample include a two-note fill during the verses of 'Strangelove'. In addition to its use in 'Never Let Me Down Again' and 'I Want You Now', the aforementioned solo vocal-like pad is also used to play a melody during the chorus sections of 'Nothing'.

Exploding firework An exploding firework sound originally sampled for use with 'Stripped' is occasionally played on the final note during live performances of 'Never Let Me Down Again'. Other notable uses of this sample include the final moments of 'Pimpf', where it is layered with a large female-esque choir stab and played several notes down from its root key.

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Classic John Bonham drum one-shots Beastie Boys - 'Rhymin' And Stealin' - 1982 Officially confirmed The heavy drums of Led Zeppelin's 'When The Levee Breaks' sampled on the Beastie Boys song 'Rhymin And Stealin' were subsequently sampled by Depeche Mode. One-shot samples of the bass drum and snare drum are sampled and sequenced to form the primary drum pattern of 'Never Let Me Down Again'. Wilder confirmed in a Q&A on the official Recoil project site that 'Never Let Me Down Again' employs some drum elements originally from Led Zeppelin's 'When The Levee Breaks' which were sampled second-hand from a rap record. The sampled parts would later be re-purposed for 'Halo' and 'Get Right With Me'.

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

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

"['Never Let Me Down Again' is the one] that hit me when I first heard that demo, I thought that’s just fantastic. My sole contribution, well not my sole contribution – this is before we got to Paris, we were round at Alan’s house – and I said ‘right, I want to use ‘When The Levee Breaks’ [Led Zeppelin] drums on this.’ I know that it’s been used 10 billion times now, but they were still quite new then and I’d always loved those drum sounds and as I say they weren’t a cliched thing then, so I suggested using them for the main kick and snare. But I actually loved that track, still do."[7]

Classic John Bonham drum one-shots Led Zeppelin - 'When The Levee Breaks' - 1971 Officially confirmed Wilder confirmed in a Q&A on the official Recoil project site that 'Never Let Me Down Again' employs some drum elements originally from Led Zeppelin's 'When The Levee Breaks', which were sampled second-hand from a rap record. (Beastie Boys - 'Rhymin And Stealin').
N/A Gary Wright - 'Love Is Alive' - 1976 Unconfirmed
Guitar riff and drum elements 3rd Bass - 'Wordz Of Wisdom, Pt. 2' - 1989 Officially confirmed 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 1990 World Violation Tour. Wilder would later use this sample and other elements from 'Wordz Of Wisdom, Pt. 2' in the live production of 'In Your Room' as part of Recoil's 2010-2011 Selected Events tour.

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

I Want You Now - Depeche Mode
1987
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Female 'ah' vocal samples / Sample of multiple laughing girls Two girls described by Wilder as "hanging around" the studio during the recording of Music For The Masses were utilized during the production of 'I Want You Now'. The women were recorded performing distinct 'ah' vocal "utterances" that act in place of snares alongside comparable vocals provided by Gore throughout the song. Wilder recalled in a Q&A on the official Recoil project site:

"...I think it was a couple of girls who were hanging around the studio - thought we'd make use of them ;-)"[8]

In a July 4, 2019 interview with Super Deluxe Edition, Dave Bascombe recalls the vocals were recorded at Guillaume Tell studio by models in the area during Paris Fashion Week:

"...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!"[7]

'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.[8]

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Female orgasm vocal samples (x2) Unidentified pornographic film' Confirmed The pornographic film sampled by Depeche Mode for use in the production of 'I Want You Now' is likely to have enjoyed an official release on VHS or Betamax cassette and would have been in widespread circulation by July 1987.

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

"We dug out a few of their old samples and I brought a lot of mine as well, which were more in the vein of just regular snare drums and kicks, although I did use, there’s one interesting sound which is used as a high hat on, I think ‘Nothing’, or maybe a few things, which is a pneumatic coach door shutting. Anyway, we did swap a few things around like that. I had an Emulator II [sampler/keyboard], we’d swap discs and so on."[7]

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

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

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

Pimpf - Depeche Mode
1987
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Exploding firework An exploding firework sound originally recorded for use with 'Stripped' is layered in with a large female-esque choir stab in the outro of 'Pimpf'. The sample is played in time with the choir several notes down from its root key. Notably, this sample is also occasionally played on the final note during live performances of 'Never Let Me Down Again'.

Route 66 (Beatmasters Mix) - Depeche Mode
1987

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

Strangelove (The Fresh Ground Mix) - Depeche Mode
1987

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
N/A Cameo - 'Word Up' - 1986 Unconfirmed

Violator (1990)

World In My Eyes - Depeche Mode
1990
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Main snare The origin of the primary snare sound used throughout the production of 'World In My Eyes' (and, relatedly, its similar-but-different counterpart audible during the electronic interlude during the album version outro of 'Personal Jesus') is unclear. Wilder posits in a Q&A on the official Recoil project site:

"Can't remember exactly. I think we made it from scratch or it could be a combination of analogue and a sample."[9]

Minimoog/ARP 2600 bass The origin of the bass is a combination of a series of unique synthesized parts, including a frequentially 'dark' synth bass with a heavy low frequency Moog-like quality, a velocity-sensitive synthesized bass part with a high resonance and slight filter cutoff settings, and a potentially ring-modulated velocity-sensitive synthesized bass part with a subtle filtered white noise setting (likely produced by the ARP 2600, though this is not confirmed). Wilder summarizes its production in a Q&A on the official Recoil project site:

"Again, can't remember exactly -most likely a combination of Moog and Flood's Arp."[9]

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Bell tree sample Fleetwood Mac - 'Black Magic Woman' - 1982 Confirmed This sample is used for two distinct sounds in the production of 'World In My Eyes':
  • One version of the sample features oscillating pitch with added reverb that is reversed and played in chorus with a separate sample, producing an exciting "whirl" effect that occurs during the verses and throughout the song.
  • A second version of the sample appears on the first bar following the end of the first chorus, with added reverb to create a distancing effect. This sample is used to dramatic effect during the outro to the 1993 Devotional Tour version of 'World In My Eyes'.

Credit to Christopher Baird for this discovery.

Sweetest Perfection - Depeche Mode
1990

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

Personal Jesus - Depeche Mode
1989
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Foot stomp drum elements Wilder recalls in separate Q&A and Editorial features on the official Recoil project site:

"The main stomps... [were] a recording of 2 or 3 people jumping up and down on flight cases." [9][10]

Slide guitar fill Producer Flood recalled the production of the unique slide guitar element in his 2011 Mute Short Circuit presentation:

"If I had the slide guitar part here, I could show it, but I always heard that as screaming voices, and there was one evening when they're all looking at me going 'What are you talking about? It's a slide guitar.' And Dave going 'What, just screaming to something" I go "Yeah, just scream to anything!" He goes "What, like this? Rahhh!" I went "Great!" So they sampled it and put it with the guitar that slides up, and that's why it sounds — it sounds like a slide guitar, but it's not quite a slide guitar, and that's something that they'd obviously learned from Daniel, and I had learned from Daniel, this thing of meticulously crafting something and building it."

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Vocal huffing rhythm Kate Bush - 'The Dreaming' - 1982 Unconfirmed
"I'm not crazy anymore!" vocal sample A Cry In The Wilderness (film) - 1974 Likely

Halo - Depeche Mode
1990
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Minimoog/ARP 2600 bass The origin of the bass is a combination of likely two or more unique synthesized parts, including a frequentially 'dark' synth bass with a heavy low frequency Moog-like quality performed with a sensitive velocity setting for dynamic sonic changes per note, with an additional velocity-sensitive bass part produced with an identifiable square oscillator modulated in the synthesizer pipeline (likely produced by the ARP 2600, though this is not confirmed). Wilder summarizes its production in a Q&A on the official Recoil project site:

"I think [it was] created using a combination of the Minimoog and Flood's Arp."[9]

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

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

Classic John Bonham drum break Led Zeppelin - 'When The Levee Breaks' - 1971 Officially confirmed Wilder confirmed in a Q&A on the official Recoil project site that 'Never Let Me Down Again' employs some drum elements originally from Led Zeppelin's 'When The Levee Breaks' which were sampled second-hand from a rap record (Beastie Boys - 'Rhymin And Stealin'). These samples were later re-purposed for use in 'Halo' and 'Get Right With Me'.
One shot and looped orchestral string samples Edward Elgar - Unidentified composition Confirmed Wilder confirmed in a July 27, 2011 interview with electricityclub.co.uk that 'Halo' employs orchestral string elements sampled from an unidentified recording(s) of music composed by celebrated English composer Edward Elgar. The sampled recording would have been released prior to May 1989. The nature of the samples vary, including two one-shot string staccato parts and sampled chords stretched and mixed with additional strings:

"For the end choruses, there are some string samples which I think were derived from Elgar. One of my techniques is to find sections of classical strings and transpose / stretch these, then add my own samples, in order to formulate new and unusual arrangements. This was a case in point. The DM track ‘Clean’ utilised classical strings in a similar way."[11]

Notably, one of two sampled string loops as heard in the ending of 'Clean' are re-purposed for use as orchestral stabs employed for the verse and chorus sections of 'Halo'.

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

"Flood and I had been listening to Tangerine Dream and decided to try and create a similar atmosphere for this track. The main sequence was put together using his ARP and the sequencer that accompanies the synth. Due to its many velocity and filtering possibilities, this unit has a unique quality which is difficult to replicate using a modern-day sequencer triggered by MIDI. Once it has been set-up, in order for the sequence to be transposed to follow the chord structure of the song, I needed to play in each chord change from an external keyboard. A similar principal was applied to achieve the bubbling bass part which, together with the main sequence, forms the backbone of the track. The charm of the ARP sequencer stems from the slight tuning and timing variations that occur each time the part is played. This gives a sense of fluidity and continual change which seems to suit the song." [12]

Enjoy The Silence - Depeche Mode
1990
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Vocal 'ahs' The outro choir melody is comprised of a series of looped vocal 'ah' samples. Notably, these vocal elements are re-used to dramatic effect as a solo vocal element in 'Memphisto', and are also layered with other processed vocals for use as a choir during the second verse of 'In Your Room' as it was performed on the 1993 Devotional Tour. These vocal 'ah' samples were retired from live use with 'Enjoy The Silence' by Depeche Mode and replaced with a different sample-based choir element as of the 2009-2010 Tour Of The Universe with one exception, where they were included on playback for a live television promotion.

Policy Of Truth - Depeche Mode
1990
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Main guitar rhythm The guitar rhythm prominently used during the first two verses is produced by a single note played from a guitar, which is processed and looped to provide a built-in vibrato effect. The sample is then allocated across the keyboard for playback. Though not confirmed, a second sample is likely used to produce the faux guitar 'lick' present in the rhythm part in every other bar. Wilder recalled in a Q&A on the official Recoil project site:

"It's a single note sampled from a guitar and then looped and played from a keyboard. The loop is what gives it the vibrato effect."[9]

Hi-hat loops 'Policy Of Truth' employs sampled hi-hat rhythms sequenced as dynamic alternating loops, introducing an evolving rhythm to the song. Wilder explains the benefits of using loops over one-shot samples in a Q&A on the official Recoil project site:

"...No two snare beats sound the same when played by a drummer - I like that. That's why I prefer to use lots of drum loops with all the feel (and flaws) of the original performance. Most of the drum sounds on 'Violator' were sampled (apart from obvious electro sounds) but the rhythms were still programmed. Some hi-hat patterns ('Policy' for example) were played and sampled as loops and in the case of 'Halo' and 'Clean' it's all loops. Again, I prefer the looped parts because of the performance element."[9]

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Main riff Unknown Asian instrument sample library CD Officially confirmed In a 2016 podcast, Martin Gore was asked by interviewer Rob Bell about the origin of this sound:

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

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

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

Martin Gore: I think it's more organic than that. I think part of the sounds that you're talking about are samples that we... even during Violator we were doing quite a bit of sampling, so it probably came from some weird Asian instrument sample CD or a classical Asian music CD, with a [pitch] bend in it.[13]

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

Delayed, sampled, and looped guitar/synth Tony Halliday - 'Time Turns Around' - March 1989 Likely The looped part appears sporadically throughout Toni Halliday's 'Time Turns Around', and is re-purposed for use during the bridge sections of 'Policy Of Truth'. The song enjoyed a remix by Wilder in the form of the Euro-Tech Mix, therefore it is likely he would have had access to the stem at the time of Violator's production. Credit to Home user 'Alex' for this discovery.[14]

Clean - Depeche Mode
1990
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Female 'ah' vocal sample 'Clean' employs a re-purposed female 'ah' vocal part originally recorded for use throughout 1987's 'I Want You Now'. The part is performed in time with the snare starting from the second verse. Wilder recalled the recording of this vocal part in a Q&A on the official Recoil project site:

"...I think it was a couple of girls who were hanging around the studio - thought we'd make use of them ;-)"[8]

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Bass guitar Pink Floyd - 'One Of These Days' - 1971 Disproven Wilder confirmed in a Q&A on the official Recoil project site that 'Clean' does not employ a sample from Pink Floyd:

"I recognise the similarity but It's not a Floyd sample. It was programmed using a combination of analogue synth and sampled bass [guitar]."[15]

Orchestral string elements Unidentified classical music recording, possibly Edward Elgar Confirmed 'Clean' utilises two looped sections of orchestral strings during its outro. Notably, one of two sampled string loops as heard in the ending of 'Clean' are re-purposed for use as orchestral stabs employed for the verse and chorus sections of 'Halo'.

Memphisto - Depeche Mode
1990
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Vocal 'ahs' Unlooped versions of the samples comprising the vocal 'ah' melody heard in the outro of 'Enjoy The Silence' are re-used to dramatic effect as a solo vocal element in 'Memphisto'. Notably, this vocal element is also layered in with other processed vocals for use as a choir during the second verse of In Your Room as it was performed on the 1993 Devotional Tour.
Resonant bass stabs Reverberated resonant bass stabs heard throughout 'Clean' are layered in as a bass element in 'Memphisto'.

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Orchestral string elements Unidentified classical music recording, possibly Edward Elgar Confirmed Similar to their use in 'Halo', both sampled string loops best heard in the outro of 'Clean' are also used throughout 'Memphisto', notably during the second chorus section onward.

Happiest Girl (Pulsating Orbital Mix) - Depeche Mode
1990

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Engine idling/orchestral hit sample The Tornadoes- 'Telstar' - 1962 Officially confirmed Credit to Daniel Barassi for this discovery.[16]

Policy Of Truth (Trancentral Mix) - Depeche Mode
1990

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

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

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

Sea Of Sin (Sensoria Mix) - Depeche Mode
1990

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

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

Death's Door - Depeche Mode
1991

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Guitar chords with tremolo Depeche Mode - 'Blue Dress' - 1990 Officially confirmed 'Death's Door' re-purposes guitar chords originally recorded for 'Blue Dress' for its chorus and middle eight sections.[17]

Songs Of Faith And Devotion (1993)

I Feel You - Depeche Mode
1993
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Distorted noise pad Alan Wilder confirms this particular part is a processed sound that originated from a non-described synthesizer in a Q&A on the official Recoil project site:

"You'd better be prepared to part with some cash - the noise actually comes from a synth."[18]

Part of the initial transient of the distorted noise loop present in the album version of 'I Feel You' is removed so that the part begins on a brief moment of elevated pitch. This subtle edit produces an exciting result that would see use in all live performances of 'I Feel You' from the 1993 Devotional Tour onward.

Walking In My Shoes - Depeche Mode
1993
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Processed piano/harpsichord main riff The main riff is a combination of piano and harpsichord processed with liberal amounts of compression and guitar amplifier tremolo. Wilder confirms the composition of this sound in a Q&A on the official Recoil project site:

"From that point onwards, Flood and I began to construct the various drum loops, the string arrangements, the main riff (which combined a piano and harpsichord through a distorted guitar amp) and all the other bits and pieces."[18]

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Drum loop Fancy - 'Feel Good' - 1974 Confirmed The classic 'Feel Good' drum break is used during the chorus, middle eight, and outro sections of 'Walking In My Shoes'. The loop is resampled to match 'Walking In My Shoes' approximately 94 BPM tempo and is sliced to begin on a bass drum, with an open hi-hat on the fourth step of the second beat. The resulting rhythm is then looped to repeat every two beats.
Drum loop Funkadelic - 'Nappy Dugout' - 1973 Unconfirmed

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

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

The vocals - which were to have a 'barbershop choir meets gospel Elvis Presley' flavour - proved that Depeche Mode had not abandoned their desire to find different and exciting ways of producing music. Built up track by track, individual takes were sung by (mainly) Martin and (sometimes) Alan and then manipulated using vari-speed to produce very low and very high pitches. Once added to Dave's lead vocal, the resulting close harmonies provided the barbershop body of the track."[19]

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

Mercy In You (album version, live Devotional tour version) - Depeche Mode
1993

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Drum loop The Headhunters - 'God Make Me Funky' - 1975 Confirmed Multiple parts of the classic 'God Make Me Funky' drum break are sliced and looped to form a funky percussive rhythm that plays throughout 'Mercy In You'. The bulk of the loop is comprised of a full bar of the 'God Make Me Funky' break, featuring an open hi-hat on the third step of every third beat. The sample is then sliced and sequenced to match Mercy In You's approximately 96 BPM tempo. A second part of the break, featuring a double bass drum hit, is sliced and sequenced in with the main loop, with the softer bass drum hit on the third step of every second beat and the harder hit sequenced in time with the open hi-hat. The result is then looped throughout the introduction and verse sections of 'Mercy In You'.
Drum loop Five Stairsteps - 'Don't Change Your Love' - 1968 Confirmed The live version of 'Mercy In You' as it was performed on the 1993 Devotional tour features a sample of the classic Five Stairsteps' 'Don't Change Your Love' drum break. Due to the composition of the loop as it is used on the live version of 'Mercy In You', which features a reflection of a tambourine hit on the second beat of every bar and possesses distinct EQ and dynamic characteristics that differ somewhat from the original break, it is unclear whether the sample is a direct lift from the 1968 song or if the loop was taken secondhand from a rap record. Candidates for possible secondhand sample sources include the 'JMJ Telephone Tap Groove' remix of Public Enemy's 'Louder Than A Bomb' (the loop is exposed in the instrumental version of the remix, which was commercially available on the 1992 12" release) and the 1992 rap track 'Taste of the Bass' by Hustlers Of Culture featuring EQ (2), which exposes the drum break in the intro.

Judas - Depeche Mode
1993
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
"If you want my love" choir This vocal performance is comprised of a large number of individual vocal recordings of individuals employed during the recording of 'Judas', the final album track to be recorded at Chateau du Pape Studio, with each individual's vocal performance multitracked six times each for a total of ninety indiidual voices, with additional delay, reverb, and EQ to introduce an intimate southern church-like quality to the vocals. Wilder describes the recording of this particular part in a Q&A on the official Recoil project site:

"15 people (tape op's, studio secretaries, the cook etc...) multitracked 6 times making a total of 90 voices + delays and reverbs. Then we eq'ed the sound to make it seem like it was sung in a deep southern church hall in the 1960's, rather than Wembley stadium."[18]

Brass 'Judas' and 'Higher Love' each employ similar sample-based brass parts during their respective bridge sections.

In Your Room - Depeche Mode
1993
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Textured variphone pad 'In Your Room' employs a textured pad derived from the variphone during the first verse and sporadically throughout the outro. A "fuller" variation of this pad is used during the build-up to the outro of 'Mercy In You'.[18]
Processed and double-tracked guitar "splang" chord samples Wilder describes the recording of 'In Your Room's chorus chord stabs in a Q&A on the official Recoil project site:

"Affectionately known (to me anyway) as 'Splang' rather than 'twoo, twaa and twee', the sound is derived from a guitar. Each chord was sampled individually and then double-tracked with a second but different guitar sound. There is also a string/choir pad (another backwards sound) playing the same chords in the background."[18]

Orchestral tremolo strings A series of sustained orchestral tremolo string parts are employed throughout the track. The strings play in alternating chords to enhance the atmosphere of the choruses and build tension during the third verse's crescendo.
Processed choir pads (reversed)
Texture ambient noise pad (looped) A textured loop used sporadically during the introduction of 'In Your Room' is a brief sample of ambient noise with audible wind chimes in the background introducing a "grainy" texture to the sound. The sample is reversed and subsequently looped, then transposed down several notes from its root key for the final result.
Vocal 'ahs' Vocal ah samples are layered with other wavery, processed solo vocal samples to produce a lush choir used during the second verse of 'In Your Room' as it was performed on the 1993 Devotional Tour. Notably, these vocal ah parts also comprise the vocal 'ah' melody heard during the outro of 'Enjoy The Silence' and the solo vocal melody used throughout 'Memphisto'.

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

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

Drum loop Simtec & Wylie - 'Bootleggin' - 1971 Unconfirmed
Drum loop Melvin Bliss - 'Synthetic Substitution' - 1973 Unconfirmed

Get Right With Me - Depeche Mode
1993

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

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

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Drum loop U2 - 'So Cruel' - 1991 Officially confirmed Wilder indirectly confirmed in a response to a question regarding the sonic similarity between the drums of Depeche Mode's 'Higher Love' and U2's 'So Cruel' in a Q&A on the official Recoil project site that a drum loop from U2's 'So Cruel' was utilised by affirming producer Flood assisted in the production of both records. Depeche Mode would later cover this song, see 'So Cruel'):

"Didn't Flood work on both LP's?....."[18]

The loop is produced by sampling various parts from the introduction of the U2 original, where the piano and vocals are not present and the drum rhythm is most exposed. The sample is stretched to match 'Higher Love's tempo of approximately 98 BPM and subsequently sliced into separate parts for the bass drum and snares, which are sequenced accordingly. The piano remains audible in the final result, adding tone to the loop. A separate slicing process and treatment of this loop is performed for drum fills, where the loop is reversed and repeated every two beats.

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

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

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

"One memorable thing about recording 'Pass The Mic' was the drums. We had heard that [Led Zeppelin drummer] John Bonham had used a really long kick drum on something and thought it would be interesting to put his technique to the test. Taking full advantage of the size of the G-Son live room/basketball court, we wrapped a long piece of cardboard from a refrigerator box around the kick drum and then put a mic at the far end of it. Mike played the beat, and we looped it."[20]

Orchestral string samples: two looped samples, one one-shot Edward Elgar - Unidentified composition Confirmed Orchestral string elements originally used throughout 'Halo' and during the outro of 'Clean' are re-purposed for 'My Joy's outro. The looped orchestral sample most obviously heard during the fifth bar of the first verse of 'Halo' is reversed, looped, and played from its root key to two notes above its root key to form the melodic two bar orchestral phrase heard during the line "I'm not a mountain, no, you move me". Next, the first of the two looped orchestral samples heard during the outro of 'Clean' plays three notes down from its root key on the third bar. Finally, the "soaring" one-shot orchestral phrase heard on the final bar of all choruses in 'Halo' besides the first chorus is looped with a short loop point towards the end of the sample and played three notes above its root key with a slow attack and a medium to long release time, forming the orchestral phrase heard on the fourth bar. The resulting four bar sequence then repeats for the remainder of the song.

Wilder confirmed in a July 27, 2011 interview with electricityclub.co.uk that 'Halo' (and 'My Joy' by extension) employs orchestral string elements sampled from an unidentified recording(s) of music composed by celebrated English composer Edward Elgar. The sampled recording would have been released prior to May 1989. The nature of the samples vary, including two one-shot string staccato parts and sampled chords stretched and mixed with additional strings:

"For the end choruses, there are some string samples which I think were derived from Elgar. One of my techniques is to find sections of classical strings and transpose / stretch these, then add my own samples, in order to formulate new and unusual arrangements. This was a case in point. The DM track ‘Clean’ utilised classical strings in a similar way."[21]

My Joy (Slow Slide Mix) - Depeche Mode
1993

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Drum loop James Brown - 'Funky Drummer' - 1970 Confirmed
Drum loop Dexter Wansel - 'Theme From The Planets' - 1976 Confirmed

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

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

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

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

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

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Drum loop Mountain - 'Long Red' - 1972 Confirmed
Orchestral string passage Ennio Morricone - 'In Chiesa' - Ad Ogni Costo (film) soundtrack - 1967 Officially confirmed The string passage in the introduction to this orchestral piece was sampled by the late trip-hop pioneer Jonny Dollar and Portishead member Geoff Barrow.[22] for use in the 'Walking In My Shoes (Grungy Gonads Mix)'. The sample is stretched to match the tempo of 'Walking In My Shoes', with sixteen manual scratches on the third bar producing an exciting scratch effect. The sample appears in multiple 'Walking In My Shoes' remixes from the period, and has commonly been employed in many performances of this song since its live introduction on the 1993 Devotional Tour. Credit to Christopher Baird for this discovery.[23]

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

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

Ultra (1997)

Useless (The Kruder & Dorfmeister Session) - Depeche Mode
1997

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Slide guitar stab Depeche Mode - 'Policy Of Truth' - 1990 Confirmed The 'Useless' (Kruder & Dortmeister Session) includes a sample of a slide guitar stab from Depeche Mode's 'Policy Of Truth'.

Painkiller - Depeche Mode
1997

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

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

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Drum elements Fat Larry's Band - 'Down In The Avenue' - 1976 Confirmed Credit to Christopher Baird for this discovery.[24]

Useless (Cosmic Blues Mix) - Depeche Mode
1997

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

Exciter (2001)

Dream On (Remix) - Depeche Mode
2001

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
N/A Kraftwerk - 'The Robots' - 1978 Unconfirmed

The Sweetest Condition - Depeche Mode
2001

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
N/A Kraftwerk - 'Musique Non-Stop' - 1986 Unlikely

Playing The Angel (2005)

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

Sounds Of The Universe (2009)

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

Delta Machine (2013)

Delta Machine does not contain samples from any identifiable sources.

Spirit (2017)

Spirit does not contain samples from any identifiable sources.

Recoil

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

1 + 2 (1986)

1 & 2 - Recoil
1986

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

Hydrology (1988)

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

Stone - Recoil
1988

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
French vocal sample French train announcer, unidentified source Confirmed Wilder confirmed in a Q&A on the official Recoil project site that Stone employs a vocal sample of a French train station announcer, but is unsure of its origin.[25] The announcer says in French:

"Attention! Attention! Quai n°5, départ imminent du Nord-Express à destination de Moscou (...)"

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

"I put the microphone on the shortwave radio, I tried to catch some climatic samples and that was the first thing that happened. I had no idea what they were saying! I liked the sound but it wasn't meant to be an integral part of the track, just atmosphere."[26]

The two fragments state the following:

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

"[...] wzgórze wypełniło się młodzieżą maturalną… oprócz indywidualnych [inaudible] grup kraj przebyły też dwie pielgrzymki diecezjalne. Pierwsza z Archidiecezji Warszawskiej w liczbie około 8 tysięcy młodzieży [...]"[27]

English Google translation:

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

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

Ebbhead (Nitzer Ebb album)

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

Nitzer Ebb's Bon Harris on Wilder's musical prowess in 1991:

"Alan has a very musical ear. He's classically trained, so he knows what he's doing when it comes to melody, but has no tolerance for pop - that's quite a good combination."[28]

Godhead - Nitzer Ebb
1991

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

Unidentified song - Nitzer Ebb
1991

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

Bloodline (1992)

Faith Healer - Recoil
1992
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Piano-like one-shot A low octave, piano-like sampled synth part originally recorded for use with 'Policy Of Truth' is used to atmospheric effect in 'Faith Healer'.
Snare The distinctive snare originally recorded for use in 'World In My Eyes' is used throughout 'Faith Healer'.
Tom/drum fill The tom drum fill that bridges the chorus and verse sections of 'Personal Jesus' bears a strong similarity to the equivalent part used during the chorus sections of 'Faith Healer'.
Xpander 'zap' and Pro One synth bass sweep[29] A layered Xpander/Pro One bass synth part originally recorded for use during the chorus sections of 'Enjoy The Silence' are re-used during the chorus sections of 'Faith Healer'.
Eyes" vocoder vocal A quick cut of a vocoded vocal performance originally recorded for use with the 'Dub In My Eyes' remix of 'World In My Eyes' is used as a rhythmic element throughout 'Faith Healer'.
Looped 'ahh' solo male vocal/choir pad (one of two) A looped male solo vocal pad originally heard during the opening minutes of 'Clean' is used sporadically throughout 'Faith Healer'. Credit to Christopher Baird for this discovery.[30]

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

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

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Bukka White vocal performance Bukka White - 'Shake 'Em On Down' - 1937 Confirmed
N/A David Bowie - 'Aladdin Sane' - 1973 Likely

The Defector - Recoil
1992

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

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

Italian:

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

English:

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

Curse - Recoil
1992
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
'Breathing' accordion loop The "breathing" effect originally recorded for use in 'I Want You Now' is re-purposed for atmosphere throughout 'Curse'. The sound is produced by an accordion being inflated and deflated without depressing a key.[8]

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

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

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

Tom/drum fill The tom drum fill that bridges the chorus and verse sections of 'Personal Jesus' bears a strong similarity to the equivalent part used during the chorus sections of 'Faith Healer'.
Xpander 'zap' and Pro One synth bass sweep[31] A layered Xpander/Pro One bass synth part originally recorded for use during the chorus sections of 'Enjoy The Silence' are re-used during the chorus sections of 'Faith Healer'.
Eyes" vocoder vocal A quick cut of a vocoded vocal performance originally recorded for use with the 'Dub In My Eyes' remix of 'World In My Eyes' is used as a rhythmic element throughout 'Faith Healer'.

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

Unsound Methods

Incubus - Recoil
1997

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Percussion elements Depeche Mode - 'Clean' - 1990 Confirmed A percussive loop originally recorded for use in Depeche Mode's 'Clean' is re-used to create a rhythmic, tribal atmosphere in 'Incubus'.
Shouting vocal sample Peter Gabriel - 'Rhythm Of The Heat' - 1982 Likely

Drifting - Recoil
1997

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

Luscious Apparatus - Recoil
1997

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

Stalker - Recoil
1997

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Ambient pads Peter Gabriel - Birdy (film soundtrack) - Unidentified source song - 1985 Unconfirmed
911 operator vocal The Last Seduction (film) - 1994 Likely

Red River Cargo - Recoil
1997

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

Control Freak - Recoil
1997

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

Last Breath - Recoil
1997

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
E-bow guitar sample Depeche Mode - 'Walking In My Shoes' - 1993 Unconfirmed
Drum loop The Incredible Bongo Band - 'Last Bongo in Belgium' - 1973 Likely
N/A Ernest Gold and Pat Boone - 'The Exodus Song (This Land Is Mine)' - 1960 Unconfirmed

Shunt - Recoil
1997

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

Liquid

Black Box (Pt. 1) & Black Box (Pt. 2) - Recoil
2000

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

Want - Recoil
2000

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

Jezebel - Recoil
2000

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

SubHuman

Allelujah - Recoil
2007

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Processed and double-tracked guitar "splang" chords Depeche Mode - 'In Your Room' - 1993 Confirmed Wilder describes the recording of this particular part in a Q&A on the official Recoil project site:

Affectionately known (to me anyway) as 'Splang' rather than 'twoo, twaa and twee', the sound is derived from a guitar. Each chord was sampled individually and then double-tracked with a second but different guitar sound. [18]

N/A Tangerine Dream - 'Rubycon' - 1975 Unconfirmed
Drum loop Elbow - 'Fugitive Motel' - 2003 Unconfirmed

The Killing Ground - Recoil
2007

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

99 To Life - Recoil
2007

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

Miscellaneous remixes

In Chains (Alan Wilder Remix) - Depeche Mode
2011

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

Inheritance - Recoil
2012

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

Dum Dum Girl feat. Shara Worden - Recoil
2012

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

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

Sourced samples
Sample Source Status Notes
Percussion elements Scott Walker - 'Manhattan' - 1995 Unconfirmed

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Source: SHUNT : ARCHIVES : DEPECHE MODE : SOME GREAT REWARD
  2. Source: User 'fishureprice' (Brat/Daniel Barassi) Instagram post
  3. Source: SHUNT : ARCHIVES : DEPECHE MODE : BLACK CELEBRATION
  4. Source: Muzines.co.uk : Articles : Modes Of Operation (Electronics & Music Maker, August 1986)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Source: Electronics and Music Magazine
  6. Source: Home user 'personal cheese' forum post
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Source: Super Deluxe Edition July 4, 2019 Producer Dave Bascombe on Depeche Mode's 'Music For The Masses'
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Source: Shunt Q&A: ARCHIVES : DEPECHE MODE : MUSIC FOR THE MASSES
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 Source: Shunt Q&A: ARCHIVES : DEPECHE MODE : VIOLATOR
  10. Source: SHUNT : ARCHIVES : REPORT : EDITORIAL : VIOLATOR
  11. Source: ALAN WILDER Interview - July 27, 2011
  12. Source: SHUNT : ARCHIVES : DEPECHE MODE : VIOLATOR : PAGE TWO
  13. Source: 2016-01-25 The RobCast 2016-01-25 Martin Gore interview
  14. Source: Home user 'Alex' forum post
  15. Source: Shunt Q&A: ARCHIVES : DEPECHE MODE : VIOLATOR
  16. Source: Home user 'BRATMix' forum post
  17. Source: Violator engineer Steve Lyon Facebook post.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 18.6 Source: Shunt Q&A: ARCHIVES : DEPECHE MODE : SONGS OF FAITH AND DEVOTION
  19. Source: Shunt Q&A: ARCHIVES : EDITORIAL : DM Singles 86-98
  20. Source: Beastiemania Song Spotlight : Pass The Mic
  21. Source: ALAN WILDER Interview - July 27, 2011
  22. Source: Alan Wilder Facebook comment
  23. Source: HOME user 'Bairdicus' comment HOME : Depeche Mode : In General : Simple Questions. Quick Answers
  24. Source: HOME user Bairdicus comment HOME : Depeche Mode : In General : Sampled by Depeche Mode
  25. Source: Shunt Q&A: ARCHIVES : Recoil : 1 + 2 / HYDROLOGY
  26. Sources: Interview with Alan Wilder for Wyborcza Poland, 2010-04-19 + Interview with Alan Wilder for Devotees.pl, 2008-02-21
  27. Transcribed by Aleksandra Lech for DMLiveWiki on 2019-07-30
  28. Source: American Radio History : Archive: 1991-07-05
  29. Source: Depeche Mode remixer Black Light Odyssey (GearSlutz user 'dubnspace') GearSlutz : Forum : Electronic Music Instruments and Electronic Music Production : Depeche Mode Enjoy The Silence synth sweep sound
  30. Source: HOME user 'Bairdicus' comment HOME : Depeche Mode : In General : Sampled by Depeche Mode
  31. Source: Depeche Mode remixer Black Light Odyssey (GearSlutz user 'dubnspace') GearSlutz : Forum : Electronic Music Instruments and Electronic Music Production : Depeche Mode Enjoy The Silence synth sweep sound