Kill Mother Fucking Depeche Mode

It’s tough to be a “good fan” these days.

By “good fan” I mean someone who ignores the pre-release leak blogs, the torrent sites and the file-sharing services and actually pays their hard-earned cash to buy the album legit when it comes out. Someone who coughs up the extra dough for a physical version, not because they think it sounds better, but because they think music still holds some value, not something that’s as disposable as any other downloaded file on a hard drive.

I consider me one of those people. I try so hard to respect and value the bands I love, even when it seems like they are going out of their way to make it as hard as possible for me to do so.

I’ve expressed my disdain before for “exclusive” tracks. Simply put, I think they are bullshit, nothing more than a cheap way for a band to make a quick cash grab when music sales alone aren’t enough. Things have gotten a little better in recent years. It used to be that “exclusive” tracks on iTunes or on like services were only available if you bought the whole album. At least nowadays they’re usually available individually. So if a group wants to stick a B-side up as an “exclusive” track for iTunes or Amazon, I’m willing to live with it.

But sometimes it just goes too far. And if there’s any band who’s “good” at taking the whole “exclusive” thing too far, it’s fucking Depeche Mode.

When they released Sounds Of The Universe in 2008, they put out several versions. One of them was an awesome Deluxe Box Set Edition that cost around $100. That version came with not only the complete album and a ton of nifty booklets, postcards and neat bonus goodies, but two additional CDs of remixes and demos as well. Sure, it was pricey and a bit excessive, but when you got that version you felt like really got your money’s worth.

Well, not really. You see, there was also another deluxe version that was only available through iTunes on their now-defunct iTunes Pass service. This edition of the album included 18 or so additional remixes, most of which were not made available on the Deluxe Box Set Edition. It cost a bit more than the standard version, but it sure as hell cost less than the $100 that the deluxe box did.

Basically, Depeche Mode was saying that if you really wanted all the content associated with Sounds Of The Universe, then spending $100 for the Deluxe Edition wasn’t good enough. You were going to have to buy the album twice.

Now, I’m sorry, but I feel that if I spend $100 on an album, on the physical deluxe edition of the record, the one that I had to pre-order on import to get, then I feel like I should be getting the best version of that album. I should get the most bang for the my buck.

Well, apparently Depeche Mode doesn’t feel the same way, because they’re at it again. Two weeks ago Remixes 2: 81-11, their latest remix compilation, came out. When this was announced, I knew I had to get it on vinyl, if for no other reason than to match my vinyl copy of their first remix collection. So I went ahead and pre-ordered the insanely expensive 6LP edition.

Since I live in US, I had to pay import price for this box set, so it cost me over $100. I finally got it in the mail last Friday. I clawed my way into the packaging, eagerly anticipating to discover what my $100 got me.

Did it get me a download card with access to digital versions of all the tracks? Nope.

Did it get me any exclusive tracks? Nope.

Does nearly every other (far less expensive) version of the album come with exclusive tracks? Yup.

Did I go ahead and find all the exclusive tracks online with plans of hosting them here? You bet your ass.

Depeche Mode
Master And Servant (RSS Remix)
In Chains (Myer vs Wilder Deconstruction)
Sister Of Night (Ida Engberg’s Giving Voice To The Flame Remix)
Sister Of Night (Ida Engberg’s Walking Through The Light Dub)
Sweetest Perfection (Phil Kieran Vocal Miix)
Sweetest Perfection (Phil Kieran Remix Dub)
Personal Jesus (Alex Metric Dub)
I Want It All (Roland M. Dill Lunar Dub Remix)
The Sinner In Me (SixToes Remix)
The Sun And The Rainfall (Black Light Odyssey’s Further Excerpts)
The thing that really irks me about most of these exclusive cuts is that they aren’t really exclusive. For example, as Depeche Mode’s official site (which I am not linking to for obvious reasons) points out, “The Sun And The Rainfall (Black Light Odyssey’s Further Excerpts)” is an “exclusive” track for not only HMV in England, but also for Nokia in Finland; Napster in Germany; both FNAC and Virgin Media in France;  Net Music in Italy, and for Aspiro in other parts of Europe.

“Regional exclusive” and “exclusive” are not the same thing. Of course, all those stores want you to think that their version is special for some reason, so they won’t mention that.

And in some cases, like with the iTunes or Amazon exclusive tracks, if you don’t live in America or England, you’re just fucked and you cannot buy them. For some reason, if you live in the “wrong” country you aren’t able to buy digital music from other counties. Apparently MP3s can’t be imported and exported. I’m sure there’s a reason for that, and I’m sure it’s for the benefit of billion-dollar record companies and not the consumer.

What’s really fucked is that these aren’t even all the exclusive remixes! The online music store Beatport actually has an exclusive version of the album, but I don’t know if I consider that to be the same thing. Beatport is for DJs primarily, and the versions they have are almost all dub and instrumental cuts for DJs, so I’m not going to share those. But the fact that there’s a whole other version of this album that’s only available digitally and not to people who shelled out $100 for a deluxe vinyl set is kind of fucked up.

And even if you think “exclusive” tracks are just great and not fucking over hardcore fans, the fact that I was still able to find all of these tracks online in just 30 minutes of searching shows that, at the end of the day, they’re a pretty fucking useless way of encouraging MP3 sales.

31 Responses to “Kill Mother Fucking Depeche Mode”

  1. SteveA says:

    I was kinda tired about all of the exclusives on their latest remix album – for one, it was confusing and second I agree – why have all those exclusives? Is it something that the various music providers are requesting or os the band promoting these for gain!

    Unfortunately, I can’t think of much bands who care about their fans the way they used to – with iTunes and the advent of other music sources for digital downloads, it seems that music fans are suffering with this whole exclusive thing – it’s just dumb!

  2. Musicologist says:

    I totally agree, It’s a damn shame that people who really care about the music today and buy vinyl don’t get the full package. Especially because the risk of being put on the web is far lesser than with any digital exclusive (as long as they don’t come into your hands ;-) ).
    Not only with the totally overpriced deuxe-vinyl-sets, also the regular vinyl should have all bonuses with them. For example the new Brandon Flowers had some decent bonus tracks on the CD-Deluxe-Version, so they should not be surprised that some people would get the missing songs through the web.
    Couldn’t there be some kind of petition to send to the record labels to show them how many of us are out there (I hope there are enough)?

  3. Nick says:

    Too fucking right too ! I can’t agree more with you on this, the old school style of collector who buys physical product either on vinyl cd or whatever is being continually fucked over by record companies eager to make money. I’m really disappointed with Mute for this, but they have been gradually doing this more and more knowing that die-hard fans will buy everything, no matter how expensive it is. The Personal Jesus vinyl here i can’t find for less than £6.99 and i refuse to pay that no matter what colour it comes on ! No wonder people are looking elsewhere to get these for free.

  4. Andy says:

    Again a wonderful post. I totally agree with you. Also I have spent many bucks for “special”, “deluxe” and “limited” versions of many artists. By the time, started again to buy the “normal” CD releases and I burn the second CD myself with the best I can get from the www.

    I’m going to do the same with Depeche Mode, thanks to you!

    Love your blog!

  5. Petr says:

    For the sake of fairness to the talent I need to point out the obvious that it’s not really the band that invents these über-lame marketing ploys but rather their publishing house. After Mute was swallowed by Virgin Depeche Mode has become a far too convenient cash-cow for the airline operator or whatever it is Virgin indulges in primarily. Until the merger Mute had been treating Depeche Mode fans quite decently. It think it’s just that Martin Gore and the band can’t really be bothered to deal with this stuff.
    Keeping that in mind I completely agree with you, the lengths publishing houses go to to make an extra buck are just repulsive.

  6. Nigel says:

    Once again, a post that highlights why illegal downloading is so prevalent…people are PISSED at being ripped off. When will the fat-cat company bosses learn?? It’s hard to blame the band (maybe they don’t know/have no control over what goes where) but if I were a DM member and I knew about the differing versions around I’d be saying “why so many different versions??”

  7. Lost Turntable says:

    Depeche Mode may not be the music powerhouse they used to be, but they can be bothered to give a shit about their fans still and do something about it.

  8. Tim says:

    99% of Depeche Mode mixes have been foul since Violator. They came, they peaked, they overstayed their welcome. The used to be a staple of my collection that I bought every new release by, the ended after ‘Songs of Passive Aggression and Accusation.’ I’m not saying d/l away with any feelings of guilt or anything, just that their capacity to disappoint has far exceeded their ability to excite for years now.

  9. Lost Turntable says:

    Gonna have to disagree with you there, I still find a good majority of their remixes must haves.

  10. Colin Davis says:

    I thought this was a brilliant post – I hadn’t even realized the extent of tracks on this latest release that were out there that I didn’t have (like the beatport tracks – I did a quick comparison and the names are _almost_ the same, so just skipped it). I have been burned badly like this with UNKLE too…

    A secondary pet peeve on this compilation is how little of it is actually new. I think well over 50% of the remixes were released prior to this so it frustrates me, as an avid fan, to re-buy the same track twice, or even three times because of how it gets re-packed with some new tracks.

    Thanks again for the great service and great writing.

    Colin

  11. Lost Turntable says:

    I don’t really mind that most of it is old material, it is a compilation after all. I mean, I own most Depeche Mode remixes several times over. No one makes me buy these box sets and such, I could just buy the new ones on iTunes, so that’s on me.

  12. Brad says:

    an excellent topic on an amzing band, whom are one of the biggest purveyors of the whole cd single of remixes over their entire 30 year career! What I really have learned to hate about their releases (example the Peace single from 2009) is that only Europe (maybe S. America) got a release of it, and anyone who wanted a Jonsi (Sigur Ros) remix (of Come Back), etc, HAD to buy vinyl, etc AS AN IMPORT! AND they release 10 versions of each remixers songs now (ie the Ralphi Rosario dub/ instrumental/ club remix/ club dub sham-a-lamma-ding-dong edit etc. As a longtime fan of DM (going on 25 yrs!) I get sick when I meet younger fans on forums who are brought up in an all-digital generation of collecting music…and to find out they download most of their collection without ever owning a physical album!! BUYING the cd/record/tape WAS WHAT IT WAS ALL ABOUT…and for only a select few artists, it still is, for me. I still buy all of DM’s physical format releases, but I see it as a waste of time & money for me now since the remixes are too much…i don’t need 6 remixes by UNKLE or Ralphi Roasario!! I DO NEED/ WANT THE ELUSIVE MGMT Remix of Fragile Tension…which may never see light(?). Having to shell out a lot of cash to get remixes which are only released elsewhere, purely based on sales/ lack of airplay/ etc is dumber than me masterbating with a cheese grater. Therefore, when it comes to getting those elusive remixes, I will gladly take any routes towards getting them today, as opposed to 2 years ago when I was anti-copying digital formats of hard-to-find releases! :) Ps- did you hear Lost Turntable, Erasure announced their US Fall Tour today!! :) 3am…time to sleep this off

  13. Homer J from UK says:

    I agree that there’s 2 many remixes,as when i first started this record collection i still have in 92,there was 2 many. I bought nearly all those box sets of the CD singles & some loose,as i didn’t like much after Violator. But there’s loads of mixes on 12″s still not on them,& downloads. My On U Sound numbered mix of ‘People Are People’ for one. If the group disagreed with all this they have some input!
    Can anyone help me about a mix of ‘Flys On The Windscreen’,it has loads of random people saying random things,some on walkie talkie,i had it on a bootleg tape which had a photo of them in Asia somewhere. My hard drives have mysteriously lost it!

  14. Colin Davis says:

    Wow, MGMT and Jonsi remixes? Bummer those aren’t available. I’d gladly pay for them. (But I’d prefer digital – I have no turntable live my life as a nomad, so I prefer carrying my music with me.)

  15. your old pal says:

    @Homer J: Perhaps you are thinking of the “Death Mix”.

    @TLT: DM started to lose the plot as soon as they lost Alan. “Ultra” was not bad at all, but it has been steadily downhill since then. “Universe” was, for them (and in my opinion), abysmal.

  16. Lost Turntable says:

    I loved SOTU and while Playing The Angel had problems, “Pain That I’m Used To” is an epic track that is, as my editor at the time said, “louder than God.” I think he was using that as a dis, but I love that fact.

  17. Petr says:

    @Brad: Is this http://rapidshare.com/files/414105577/WEEK1033_10.rar the MGMT mix you speak of? More to find here: http://www.dmremix.be/FragileTension.htm
    @Homer J from UK: I’m pretty sure you mean the Death Mix which is available inter alia on the Remixes 2 compilation along with other formerly rarer mixes.
    @your old pal: Amen to that.
    @Lost Turntable: CD version of PtA suffers from extremely bad mastering so yeah, your editor is totally right, the whole album is loud as hell and it’s not a good thing.

  18. Homer J from UK says:

    Thank’s ‘your old pal’,i’ll search 4 it on a free site somewhere(not mentioned!) !!!

  19. Homer J from UK says:

    your old pal-actually it wasn’t the ‘Death Mix’.

  20. Brad says:

    @ Petr: Thanks! Looking at the info, it is the same mix…i just found it this morning on a site & to be honest, NOW i have it, im disappointed. its very close to the original…no wonder it wasnt released….those unoriginal dickheads lol

    this is where i like to find loads of new/ hidden mixes, live stuff for DM, now that its hard to buy actual bootleg cds :) ..something about the DM fans in south america..truly devoted fans
    [Link removed - Never post links to blogs that post complete albums]

    lastly, since we’re giving props to albums, i can agree with the decline since ’97..i wont even mutter anything about “Exciter” lol, but Playing the Angel was a great album…i think it was a great LIVE album, songs that are meant to be played live, in the same sense as when you see 2000 other people surrounding you at the Peral Theatre in Vegas shaking a fist and head banging to I Feel You.
    @ Mr. Lost Turntable :) Now I was expecting some KMFDM posts after the “Kill Mutha Fuckin D M” thread lol

  21. Music Archives says:

    I have worked at labels (Warner/Reprise) and yes depeche mode and there management have a say so on everything that is put out commercially.

    For example
    Remixes/Remixers
    Formats (8 Track/Cass/MCD/3”CD/5”CD/DVDS/LP/CD/LD/ (WTF Ever Format in the future)
    Promotional (Flats/Posters/Videos/EPKs/CD-R’s/Trinkets/Gimmicks) (All
    Media (Print/Tv/Radio/Billboards/Bus stops/Call box adverts)

    Which they have total control over the whole lot

    The reason why they put it on different services is because Digital downloads are still not producing the desired Profit Margins

    It is the new Distribution method of music now

    Which i dont understand the region thing that is total BULLSHIT!!!!

    As i have said before there charging the same amount for music that that they dont even make psychical copies for anymore

    1) its all digital which puts the tech teams who make the cds out of work
    2) there is no cd cases which puts plastics manufacturers out of work
    3) there is no booklets which puts printers crews out of work
    4) no psychical product which put stores out of business

    So you pay for the blank cds 100 count cost about 30.00.
    Printer Cartridges cost about 60.00 and up depending on your printer.
    Paper cost depening on the stock you use some paper cost 25.00 and up a sheet for the top of the line paper

    you have to go out buy cd cases which like 8.99 and up depending on the count

    than there cd labels which is pretty fucking expensive now do the math see if it cheaper to buy a physical copy from a store which in the long run it is cost effective cuzz i have known people to buy 1200.00 worth of music
    on cds

    now how much time would it take you to download print burn cds

    sorry for getting off the beaten path but the music industry sucks a big left nut and cradles the right one cuzzz its bored

  22. Music Archives says:

    Yes fly One The Windscreen (Deathmix)

    Has the samples
    Death
    We Estimate It At One Thousand Feet
    The Holy Room
    The Blood of Caesar

  23. Homer J from UK says:

    Music Archives-it’s not the ‘Death Mix’,it’s better. It keeps saying ‘open…'(something),like it’s over a walkie talkie & it’s panning left 2 right,& i think it has more of a clap drum 4 the snare. Well at least noone said ‘it’s on the Stripped 12′ !

  24. Homer J from UK says:

    I’ve found the mix of ‘Fly…’,but b4 i admit 2 being stupid,i have an excuse. It was the Final version from ‘Black Celebration’. I only have CD singles of ‘Depeche Mode’,2 albums on CD,a few 12″s & mp3’s of my past tapes,records,etc. I think now i must have had a asian bootleg of ‘Black Celebration’ the album! Doh !

  25. Music Archives says:

    @Homer J — oh yeah i keep forgetting about that version since there are 7 different versions of it heheh

    well don’t call your self stupid some times the tracklistings for instance that one is merged right form black celebration so they might count it as one song

    but at least the final mix of it is not as bad as its called a heart (slowmix) now that version is so lame im surprised it even got a release

  26. Matt says:

    Hey, totally with you on this one – I buy vinyl when possible (and largely support our local indie record store here in Bristol UK) but I feel screwed over again and again….. And that’s without having to pay import prices!

  27. Jacques says:

    I think everyone above has said it all, I live in one of those countries where we can’t buy the exclusive remixes and it SUCKS! I buy the vynil as an import at double the price but the remixes/exclusives I download!

    Thanks for the great website!!!!

  28. Jason says:

    Beatport.com also has ten more exclusive tracks that are only available with their version of the album…which sells for a measly $78.

  29. Lost Turntable says:

    I am aware, I kind of go into that in my post…

  30. djb says:

    The music industry is killing the music industry.

  31. Alexsse says:

    Kill Mother Fucking vladimir putin

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