This cassette is a demo tape from very early January 1982. It's titled 'Vince & Alison (Demo's)' because the duo didn't yet have a name. The cassette contains 5 tracks, 3 by Yazoo and 2 Vince Clarke solo. There has been much conjecture about where Vince Clarke's Depeche Mode songwritting ended and Yazoo's began. As historians of Depeche Mode / Vince Clarke will be aware there was in fact an overlap. The Speak & Spell tour ended on Monday November 16 1981 at the London Lyceum and Vince Clarke performed for the final time with Depeche Mode on Thursday 3 December for a television show in Chichester. All the songs on this tape were written in 1981 during Vinces time with Depeche Mode, apart from 'Lets get together' which was written even earlier. To my best estimation and inside information the tracks on this cassette were recorded between mid-November 1981 and the new year of 1982 and were programmed by Vince on his recently acquired 'Roland MC-4' microcomposer.
Track 1) Lets get together - Vince Clarke (vocals & synths) - solo demo (3.05)
Vince wrote the song long before Depeche Mode and is essentially an ovation of Christianity. The ITV '20th Century Box' documentary on Depeche Mode filmed in late June 1981 features a clip of the band rehearsing 'Lets get together' although they never played it live and there are no recordings of the track. There are a number of 2nd/3rd generation audio copies of Vince's demo on Utube with various homemade still picture videos. One claims it to be by 'Composition of Sound' while another claims it as a Depeche Mode demo. One even asserts that Dave Gahan is singing backing vocals!
The song actually came to wider public prominence when US manufactured band 'Girl Authority' released a cover version a couple of years ago. Rather than Vince's very methodical electronic 1981 treatment, Girl Authority's version is quite sickly sweet with an equally nauseating video.
At the time I was told that the purpose of this recording of 'Lets get together' was that Vince's music publishers 'Sonet' would basically hawk the song around for other artists to record and the possibility of offering it as a possible eurovision contender was specifically mentioned at the time.
Track 2) 'Only You' - Demo version #1 - Yazoo (3.16)
This is the first track recorded by Yazoo. Its very different from Vince's recordings with Depeche Mode, this track using the brand new Roland MC-4 Sequencer.This automatically gives the track a different feel from what had come before. It's perhaps a paradox that at the momment whan synthesizer music became truely 'machine like' that this track should be accompanied by the soulful voice of Alison Moyet with her Blues / Punk music background.
This version was recorded in Vince's flat on a portastudio with Alison singing the vocals in the kitchen.The demo version has a sparse and spacious feel. Vince's synth programing has a light feel and combined with Alisons Voice delivers the most emotional version of this song.
Track 3) Only You - Demo version #2 - Yazoo (3.21)
This is the second demo version of Yazoo's 'Only You'. This version was recorded in 'Blackwing Studio's and is far heavier & weighty in production. It may be cleaner and more perfected in recording terms but had lost something of the simple purity of the first version. A final version was to follow. All the versions are a differrent length.
The final version of 'Only You' (3 minutes 11 seconds) was released as a 7" single on Mute Records on March 15 1982. The single reached No.2 in the UK Charts at the time and has since sold millions of copies around the world.
'Only You' has been covered by many acts since then and in recent years often appears in the top 10 of favourite songs in music journal poll's.
Track 4) Don't Go - Demo version - Yazoo (2.33)
This is the first recorded version of 'Don't Go'. As with the first version of 'Only You', it differs to some extent from the final version released as a single later in 1982 and another top 5 hit.
Both synthesiser sounds and vocals are less compressed than the eventual single. It has a far more buzzy (saw-tooth like) metallic sound than the single.
Alison's vocals are very pure, direct and ear splitingly powerful. This track is a triumph of early multi-layered complex sequencing.
This demo is a short version of the song and dosen't gradually fade out but builds to a cacophony of echo overload on Alison's prominent vocals and then just cuts dead.
Track 5) Chinese Detective - Vince Clarke instrumental - solo demo (3.15)
Chinese Detective was an instrumental written by Vince Clarke in 1981. It was certainly named after the UK BBC drama series called 'The Chinese Detective' broadcast in the Spring of that year. However it was not the theme tune to that series as many YouTube and Mode forums suggest.
Yazoo subsequently used the song as an instrumental break in the middle of their set during the 'Guided Tour' in the Autumn of 1982 while Alison took a break from the stage.
The later live tour version of this track can be found on YouTube. That version is shorter at (2.45) while the stage version also differs considerably to this comparatively less effected sparse portastudio version made by Vince in late 1981.
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