Four tracks appeared on Composition Of Sound's first demo tape. Vince Clarke sings lead vocals, as Dave Gahan had not joined the band yet. A short snippet of each song can be found below. These snippets are the original files shared in this thread on depmod (registration required to view), courtesy of Recoil19.
On July 13, 2006, tobo27 on depmod.com's forums posted (edited for clarity):
"[I'm] currently reading a biography of[sic] Depeche Mode and it talks about the [first] Composition Of Sound demo that was recorded at the lower Wapping Conker company in Barking. It says that only a few tapes were made and none of the bandmembers[sic] now have it. Has this recording ever got out? The reason ask is - [I've] got it. I recorded at the same studio a little while later (after it had moved to Romford) and mentioned to the engineer (a guy [named] Jerry Chapman think) that was into Depeche Mode. He told me that he had done their first demo before they changed [their] name and did me a cassette copy (charged me a fiver for it!). Just wondered what the rarity value is. I know that 'Photographic' and 'Television Set' are on it plus one or two other tracks. Any info would be appreciated."
The audio snippets below were posted after several posts of discussion, and tobo27 also said:
i can vouch for the authenticity of this 100%. I have had this tape from before DM hit the bigtime - there would have been no need to do a fake at that time.
its just a bog-standard old agfa c90 [90 minute cassette tape]. When the guy at the studio asked if i wanted a copy, i gave him a tape out of my car and he copied it on to that. I had to pick it up a couple of days later. Still charged me a fiver for it though!!
Interesting fact is that the lower wapping studio burnt down after it moved to romford so the original master tape probably got destroyed then.
im not sure [when the tape was recorded] but can find out as it was the same time that my band did a demo there. Ill ask a couple of the guys who were in the band then if they can remember. Would have been 1980-81
tobo27's final post in the thread was on October 2, 2006 and is quoted below. He has not visited the depmod.com forums since. I have not been able to track him down anywhere else on the Internet either.
I have had loads of messages asking to buy copies of the demo but surely there must be an issue with copyright etc? Im not happy about it hitting ebay and someone making a fortune out of it which is what would happen if I put the full versions of the tracks online somewhere. Seems the best option is to just give you guys a taster and leave it at that. Sorry.
As an aside, i have now passed it on to Andy Fletcher and as soon as i get comments i will let you all know - i know there are some of you who doubt its authenticity!!
DM Live Wiki was able to contact tobo27 in late November 2018. tobo27 provided the digitized audio to Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher, and Andy confirmed this demo tape as legitimate. Because the audio is in the band's hands at this point, tobo27 understandably does not wish to share or sell the audio. The full lyrics to the unknown vocal song were also graciously provided to DM Live Wiki, seen below.
In this 'Making Music' magazine article from June 1986 which lists 16 facts about Depeche Mode, one "fact" is listed as follows: "The first demo was recorded after 3 months - 3 songs, including one which later became the theme music for 'Other Side Of The Tracks'." However, the two unknown tracks available below bear no resemblance to this theme song.
Tracks: 1. Photographic (Demo)
2. Television Set (Demo). Television Set was a very popular song during Depeche Mode's 1981 tour. The track was written by Basildon musician Jason Knott, which explains why the song doesn't appear on any commercial Depeche Mode release. More information regarding the background of this song can be found on the song's page.
3. Unknown Instrumental (Demo). Nothing is known of this track.
4. Unknown Track (Demo). This song is believed to be titled 'Sunday Morning', a song claimed by some to have been played during the very early dates of the 1980 Tour. The authenticity of this song as an early live-only track has yet to be confirmed by a member or associate of Depeche Mode.