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Title - ‘The Demo Collection’
Artist - Depeche Mode

A collection of their demos and studio outtakes, Depeche Mode’s “unofficial” The Demo Collection might not have been brought forth by their hands, but it certainly is great listening for all us DP fans. Including outtakes and demos from different stages of the band's career, The Demo Collection doesn’t provide anything that hasn’t been out before in some of their previous collections. But it does house them all together in one easy-to-listen-to package.

Now, before I start for my money - and to my ears - most all of these songs are not that much different from their final masters. That said, a fair few are “dulled down” in their roar, some are still classic sounding even today (like the two back-to-back versions of ‘Photographic’), and some were actually unknown to this DP fan!

The album kicks-off with the subdued and yet always-great-to-listen-to ‘Walking In My Shoes’ (Martin L. Gore Demo) before continuing on with such other Martin L. Gore Demo’s cuts as ‘Told You So,’ ‘Sweetest Pefection,’ ‘Surrender’ and both ‘Strangelove’ (Studio Pre-Mix) and ‘Stories Of Old’ (Studio Pre-Mix).

We move on with ‘Sibeling’ (Studio Pre-Mix) and that is backed by both a truly wonderful ‘Shake The Disease’ (Martin L. Gore Demo) and ‘Scared’ (Studio Pre-Mix). ‘Pipeline’ (Martin L. Gore Demo) is next with the two aforementioned versions of ‘Photographic’ (Vince Clarke Vocal Demo and just a Demo version), before one of the best tracks on the set is unveiled: ‘Peace’ (Martin L. Gore Demo), which showcases Gahan’s vocal distinction like you’ve never heard it quite before.

The jazzy nightclub sway of ‘Only When I Lose Myself’ (Martin L. Gore Demo) is rather a lovely version to behold, and is backed by the slow-paced ’Nothing’s Impossible’ (Demo). The haunting instrumentals ’Memphisto’ (Studio Pre-Mix) is next for our musical pleasure, and that is backed by a pulsating, albeit tinny ’Master and Servant’ (Studio Pre-Mix). A quieter, peaceful version of ‘Love In Itself’ (Martin L. Gore Demo) is next and is backed by one of my favorite DP songs, ‘Little 15’ (Martin L. Gore Demo).

Next up are three non-descriptive DP songs, to be quite honest: the Martin L. Gore Demo’s of ‘Lie To Me,’ ‘Judas’ and ‘Jezebel.’ The short instrumental track ‘Introlude #3’ (Studio Pre-Mix) brings back a littler earthy Gothic mystery to this DP collection, before the ‘In Chains’ (Demo) finally takes us back to the classic DP appeal we all know and love. Things slow down again with ‘If You Want’ (Alan Wilder Demo), but ‘Ice Machine’ (Demo) takes us flying back to the very early days of DP in fine style.

The breathing exercise aspect (listen to it and you’ll understand) of ‘I Want You Now’ (Martin L. Gore Demo) is next and is backed by the terrific ‘I Feel You’ (Martin L. Gore Demo) and then a low brow ‘Here Is The House’ (Martin L. Gore Demo). The run-of-the-mill ‘Halo’ (Stuio Pre-Mix) is next, but is followed by the poppier-than-usual ‘Fly On The Windscreen’ (Studio Pre-Mix). The quietly-sinister ‘Enjoy The Silence’ (Martin L. Gore Demo) is another treat here as it is more like a spoken word venture, and that is backed by the terrific ‘Corrupt’ (Martin L. Gore Demo) and then ‘Come Back’ (Demo).

The sobre ‘Clean’ (Martin L. Gore Demo) is next and is backed by the 80’s now-strained synth pop of ’Behind The Wheel’ (Studio Pre-Mix). A haunting ’And Then …’ (Martin L. Gore Demo) is next with the whole synthpop collection being brought to an end with an incredible ‘Agent Orange’ (Studio Pre-Mix) instrumental cut.

Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk