Vintage Audio — February 16, 2015 at 9:01 am

Vintage Audio: DJs at San Diego’s 91X premiere Depeche Mode’s ‘Violator’ in 1990

Depeche Mode circa 1990

With the 25th anniversary of the release of Depeche Mode’s smash album Violator quickly approaching next month, we figured it was a great time to dust off this old tape from the Slicing Up Eyeballs archives that features a pair of DJs on San Diego’s 91X FM excitedly premiering the album a few days before its release on March 20, 1990.

In an era of illicit leaks and sanctioned pre-release album streams, it’s easy to forget that, outside of a single or two, it was rare to hear anything off a new album ahead of its release — which is why this is such a great glimpse at the monstrous excitement that accompanied the release of Violator back in 1990.

On this 5-minute segment of airtime, you’ll hear 91x DJs Oz and Mike Halloran discussing the Violator CD that Halloran literally had to drive to Los Angeles to retrieve in the days ahead of its release. They discuss the tracklist, the album artwork and the liner notes, then play, for the first time on San Diego radio, future singles “World In My Eyes” and “Policy of Truth,” plus “Halo.”

(The actual songs have been cut from this tape to avoid the whole thing being taken down by Soundcloud’s copyright-protection robots.)

After playing the songs, Halloran chats with a record label rep on the phone, who announces the soon-to-be-infamous Wherehouse in-store appearance coming up on the album’s release date, March 20, which leaves Halloran accurately predicting, “We’re expecting total melee outside” the record store.

Listen to the whole thing:







  1. Wow, talk about a throwback, I remember listening to this in real time! I was a huge DM fan, stationed in SD when this release came out. It was mind altering. So many good memories attached to this album.

  2. They’re holding it together pretty well considering they’re hearing the best album of all time before anyone else.

  3. My absolute favorite album of all time. It was a present to me from my cousin back in ’97, just as i was discovering them. The feeling i had when i first listened to Violator is hard to describe, i was just so in awe of its complex beauty, it basically turned what i knew about music completely on its head. For me, no other album will ever come close to this.

  4. I refuse to believe it’s been this long since it came out. I thought their quantum shift began with Music for the Masses, but this one cranked it to 11.

    Good old Warehouse Records! Sad they’ve all been whittled down to just about Amoeba now.

  5. 91X in 1990 was so superior to KROQ. Just compare the playlists -

  6. This was the last DM album I bought. It was the end of and era for me. Still LOVE DM.

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