Sunday, 28 October 2012

Depeche Mode - Photographic (Live Something Else)

I do love  Depeche Mode's work with Alan Wilder naturally (who appeared on Construction Time Again through to Songs of Faith & Devotion). In spite of this though,  I'm actually a really big fan of their debut album, Speak & Spell, I think its prone to some unfair criticism really, and Photographic just so happens to be one of my favorite songs from the album. Having said that, I think this particular live version of the song is even better than the version that is on the album! It's a lot faster than the album version and there's much more synths in this which makes it a much more exciting track to listen to I think. The synths in this live arrangement give the track a slightly more dark flavor which is a great counterbalance to the more fluffy synthpop found on their first album. This particular performance is from the BBC show Something Else, which ran from 1978-1982 and was very much aimed at young people and featured more alternative artists (the show is perhaps best remembered for featuring Joy Division in their last TV appearance in 1979). I don't think Depeche Mode performed any other songs on Something Else although I could be wrong there. It's also one of the last Depeche Mode performances that feature founding member Vince Clarke before his departure as far as I know. The arrangement here is very similar (more or less identical really) to the original version of Photographic that appeared on the Some Bizarre album, which was actually the first ever recording of Depeche Mode to be released. You can find the original version on the very well known Some Bizarre compilation album (originally released in 1981 but reissued on CD in 2008). The compilation also contains early recordings by other groups that would become very well known such as The The, Blancmange and Soft Cell. If that doesn't sound like your cup of tea though you can also find it on the Depeche Mode compilation Singles 81-85. Sadly, this particular live performance of Photographic hasn't been released officially I think. It's a pity because it's a great performance!

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