Thursday 29 April 2021



The lot of the fourth and final single from an album is generally an unhappy one. Everyone's bought the album so everyone has heard the song, so are casual fans really that interested? It's been released because there's a tour still to promote or some remixes to use up.

That wasn't the case with World In My Eyes however as it was one of Depeche Mode's most exciting single packages. Two new B-sides! A fancy limited edition!! A video that showed live footage from World Violation!!!

Let me take you on a tr....oh, never mind.


The Single

BONG 10 announced that World In My Eyes would be the band's next single in fairly understated style saying "The final single release from Violator, World In My Eyes, will be released as a mini EP in late September to tie in with Depeche Mode's European dates. It will also feature two new songs." As we will see, and as you know, it did feature two new songs. I'm old fashioned and an EP is four songs. A single with three tracks is a three track single surely and not a mini EP. I'm sure nobody cares however I'm not doing my job (job?) if I don't pick up on the smallest of details.

The three track single/three quarter ep was released on 17th September.  There weren't too many reviews but there was of course one in Smash Hits.

The guest reviewer that week was MC Tunes, a man very few of you will remember. He was from Manchester so that was almost enough on its own in 1990. That said, I did buy the cassette single of the song he released with 808 State called The Only Rhyme That Bites, but I was young. Anyway, Mr Tunes us highly complimentary called World In My Eyes "a bloody good dance tune" before going on to say that Dave sounds like Pavarotti compared to Shaun Ryder which isn't hard to argue against. 

Picture courtesy of Michael Rose

The NME was its typically sniffy self. It's hard to work out what the reviewer is on about on first read. . It seems to praise them but can't help but mention Just Can't Get Enough. Some of the language used is a little off colour too, even by the standards of 1990.

The single didn't perform that well in the UK, again doubtless hindered by a lack of an in-studio Top Of The Pops appearance. The video was shown a couple of times but that was that. It entered the charts at number 28 on the 29th of September and climbed to 21 the following week. It then went up further to a high of 17, before falling to 22, 46 and finally 66 before that was all there was and it disappeared for good.

The song itself is of course as Kraftwerk like as Depeche Mode have ever and, lyrically, it is firmly rooted in the bedroom. Not quite Prince but getting there. It opened every gig on the World Violation tour and did so in spectacular style and has been played 623 times to date. The only recent tours where it hasn't really featured are the Delta Machine tour (6 times) and the Exciter tour where it wasn't played at all. It's amazing how many times I say that. Was anything actually played on that tour? Oh yes, The Dead Of Night was. Never mind. For years I thought the Devotional version of World In My Eyes was the definitive version of the song but the Global Spirit Tour version was astonishing. When I heard it at the Barrowlands gig (have I mentioned I was there? I have? Ok), it blew my mind. It was a real standout on the last tour; a classic given a new lease of life (see also Everything Counts).

The two B-Sides have never been played live, not even as a random Martin choice during a solo spot. The first one that appeared on the 33 1/3 rpm b-side of the 7" was Happiest Girl (Jack Mix). It's a great B-side but very much a track suited to that role than the role of album track. That's not to say I don't like it - far from it - I just don't think that it would have fitted on Violator. It's yet another song about sex featuring thighs, eyes, lips, hips, skin and...err...deep within, all of which clearly make the focus of the song happy. The bassline is a lovely thing and the middle "And I would have to pinch her" part a joy.

The next new track is Sea Of Sin (Tonal Mix), a real lost gem in the Depeche catalogue. Whereas Happiest Girl is a pervy pop song, Sea Of Sin is a darker track, all moody electronics and lyrics about diving into whatever a sea of sin is. Whatever it is, it certainly seems to get better as it gets wetter, although I presume that the person in the sea would get wetter, not the sea itself. Anyway, that ridiculous pedantry aside, it's a bloody great track.

The Violator era was Depeche Mode's finest B-Side era. Outstanding all round.

The Video

This was a thrilling video at the time and, to be honest, still is. The glimpses of the World Violation tour footage were incredible, especially for those of us who were unable to go to a gig on that tour. The drive-in cinema part of the video was filmed on 26th July 1990 at the Motor Vu Theatre in Tooele, Utah which you can still visit today. At the time, the drive-in was owned by the parents of Mistie Bradshaw Fowks who first spoke about this to Depeche Mode Classic Photos And Videos Facebook Group. Kevin May and I have interviewed her for Halo too and you can read all about her experiences of the filming in the book. Suffice to say, she had a great time, met the band AND got free gig tickets, so not a bad experience at all. The live footage was taken from the band's two shows at the World Music Theater in Chicago on 2nd and 3rd July 1990. The standard single version of the video is shorter than the version that appears on the video compilation Strange Too.

The video opens with Dave lying on a bed. Last time we saw him, he was leaning on the roof of a car having got fed up with the Policy Of Truth girls and their Depeche double crossing ways. By this point, he's turned his back on women. It's just Dave and Dave only from now on.

Oh wait. Here he is, back in a snazzy old fashioned car, and he has a date. Being an old romantic, he takes her to see a Drive-In film. Imagine that. You go on a date with the lead singer of a band famous for singing with live chickens - your head must be spinning. "What will we do tonight I wonder," you think, "what romantic film will he take me to see?"

Well Dave keeps his date guessing as, by the time we see them again, it's dark. Suddenly, the music starts and it turns out that Dave's idea of a date is taking someone to see footage of him and his mates jumping about (well - spinning (Dave), nodding (Martin), having a lovely time (Fletch) and Alaning (Alan) anyway) on stage. Hardly the stuff of Casanova. Rumour has it that he put the roof down and then played the demo of Hole To Feed as a prelude to the film. Shocking.

The film starts and...wait a minute...Big DM curtains! A crowd! Dave on stage! Fletch waving! Grainy live footage is everywhere. What is this? Look - there's Martin in some inappropriate shorts! Big screens! Alan! And he's not wearing leather. What on earth is this?

Dave then whispers to the woman at the "Let me show you the world in my eyes" line at the end of verse two before we cut back to the screens to see Martin's head on screen as the "woo-ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo-oooh" noise kicks in at the end of the verse, like a fluffy haird, bondage gear clad Wizard Of Oz. By this point, I imagine Dave's date is thoroughly bored. 

Then -  more live things! Martin nodding about looking ace! Look at those films! There's Alan's head! Is that a sparkler? Why is there a sparkler? It's Alan's head on a screen again! There's a woman in a cowboy hat! There's Martin and a guitar! Fletch's head! Martin in the sunshine on the screen! A big rear view mirror and Dave clapping. WHAT IS GOING ON? THIS LOOKS LIKE THE BEST LIVE SHOW EVER AND I'M ONLY 16 AND HAVE EXAMS AND DON'T KNOW WHERE BIRMINGHAM IS WHY WON'T THEY COME TO SCOTLAND? Are they drums? DRUMS? Dave's dancing in front of Martin and Martin is wiggling his guitar at him.

The film of Dave and his friends ends and he and his date turn to each other. If you really look, you can see her mouth "Where were the chickens? You said ther would be chickens and a spacehopper. Hang on - are YOU the guy that wore sandals and socks in the Master & Servant video? Let me out of here." 

All of a sudden, the Dave from the bed at the start picks up the car. What? Hang on, there's footage of the band leaving the stage to distract us. Dave is now playing with the car. What? This is a deep concept.

Or perhaps it isn't. What it is however is a thrilling glimpse of the World Violation tour and that is fine by me.

The Formats

As I mentioned earlier, BONG20 is a three track release. Side A, pictured above, features the Single Version of World In My Eyes and plays at 45rpm. The four band members feature on the front of different versions of the single, all doing the World In My Eyes hand signal thing. On the 7", it's Fletch's turn.

Above is the 33 1/3 rpm B-side of this mini ep/three track single with Martin in silhouette action on the tour.

Time to head to promo corner. The 7" promo, BONG20R, is different from the 7" in one respect - the A-Side label as you can see.

The B-side, tracklisting and rear sleeve art is identical to BONG20.

There were two promo 12" singles. P12BONG20 features the Mayhem Mode mix of World In My Eyes and, on the B-side, Happiest Girl (The Pulsating Orbital Mix) by The Orb. This is in fact an instrumental of that remix and this 12" is the only place you can find it. The recreation of this 12" in the Violator The 12" Singles boxset was a lovely surprise.

The second promo 12" is, I understand, limited to 500 only. It's called 12BONG20 because it features the same three mixes as you find on that single - World In My Eyes (Oil Tank Mix), Happies Girl (Kiss-A-Mix) and Sea Of Sin (Sensoria).

Each copy is numbered and features a sticker on the front starring Dave - that's mine above.

The vinyl is a white label version of the standard 12". If you want this, it will cost you. There is only one on Discogs as at today's date and it's £350

The promo CD, CDBONG20R is a lovely orange thing and features the same three tracks as BONG20. It comes in a jewel case and has no artwork.

Back in the land of official formats, the cassette single, CBONG20, features Alan as its cover star.

It features the same three tracks as the 7" and has an orange label on the A-side and a white one on the B-side.

12BONG20 stars Martin on the cover. The A-side features World In My Eyes (Oil Tank Mix) which is a glorious track.

The B-side remixes are ok but not really as good as the standard 7" versions. The Kiss-A-Mix of Happiest Girl has a dreadful title, but an interesting breakdown from about 3 minutes 30 in. Sea Of Sin (Sensoria) goes for a more electronic version of the original but loses the original's sense of darkness. It's fine but a bit of a chance missed.

CDBONG20 features Dave on the cover, It is a 4 track, 5" CD with the Single Version of World In My Eyes accompanying the remixes from 12BONG20. Those remixes are in fact shorter than the ones you find on the 12" because the single was originally planned as a 3" CD single. So there you go.

There are of course limited editions too. L12BONG20 is an absolute masterpiece and that's before we get to the music. It is a 12" sealed inside a blue gel pack which you must cut open to access the record. It is sensational. The front has Alan and Andy doing the sign and the quite marvellous explanation of what this is i.e.

What more do you need to know? That is just brilliant. There is also a little white feature at the top showing you who is on the cover (if you're the type of moron who writes a 2000 word blog about it 30 years later, that is ideal)

Dave and Martin star on the rear sleeve:

How do you open a blue gel pack 12" anyway you ask. Well, you cut it open and the package even tells you how to do that:

"Violate here." If you're like me (and I'm afraid to tell you that you are), that will tickle you immensely. Obviously, as we have long since learned, I am an arse and I cut mine on the wrong place entirely but what are you going to do? I have two other sealed versions to keep me happy. I am like that. Once you open it, it gets even lovelier:

Just. Look. At. That.

Live shots, a luxury inner sleeve all glossy and gorgeous, a beautiful cover and a record that is stark and mesmerising in its sheer gloriousness.

There is a record too of course, The remix on the A-Side is World In My Eyes (Dub In My Eyes). It's a brilliant remix and features the robot voices that star on the Devotional version.

The rear of the inner sleeve and of the sleeve itself are wonderful.

The two tracks featured here are the rather nice Mode To Joy mix of World In My Eyes by Jon Marsh of The Beloved and it's accompanied by The Pulsating Orbital Mix of Happiest Girl by The Orb.

LCDBONG20 is equally beautiful. It features the live shots we see in the inner sleeve of L12BONG20 but in a different order which is nice.

There are six tracks here, four of which we already know - the Dub In My Eyes and Mode To Joy mixes of World In My Eyes, Happiest Girl (Jack Mix) and Sea Of Sin (Sensoria). The Mayhem Mode mix of World In My Eyes is the 5th track,  another Jon Marsh remix, more upbeat than Mode To Joy.  The 6th track is Happiest Girl (The Pulsating Orbital Vocal Mix) a longer and a bit more vocally version of the Pulsating Orbital Mix.

The 2004 CD reissue CDBONG20X brought together all the remixes from all the formats. The Oil Tank Mix is freed from its 3" shackles and in fact has a longer intro than you will find anywhere else.

In Germany, this 7" promo was a nice release.

It says it only features two tracks but don't worry Sea Of Sin (Tonal Mix) fans - it's there too

The German standard 12" is the same as 12BONG20 as is the German L12 version. It's not pictured as I don't have it (yet).  I can tell you that it doesn't come in a gel pack but it does have a nice shiny inner sleeve.

The German standard CD single features the same four tracks as CDBONG albeit the three remixes are full length and not 3" edits.

The LCDBONG20 equivalent is a shiny CD with the same shiny six tracks.

The French standard 12" is the same as the UK one as is the L12. Again, I don't have that so there is no picture. 

The stanard French CD single is the same as the German one in terms of track length

The French LCD is just what you'd expect.

In Spain, a three track promo 7" was released with a sticker on the front that either tells you of a phenomenal score in what must have been an astonishing El Clasico or the dates in November on whihc Depeche Mode played World Violation gigs in Madrid and Barcelona.

The Spanish standard 12" is what you've come to expect by now in terms of tracklisting.

The Spanish L12 doesn't have a gel pack outer sleeve, nor does it have a shiny inner. It is a paper sleeve albeit one that features the same photos as the UK inner sleeve.

In America, there was a four track promo CD featuring the Single Version, Oil Tank Mix, Dub In My Eyes and Mode To Joy mixes. There is also a promo 12" and a one track promo CD. They remain on my wantlist.

The US 12" features 5 tracks. On the A-Side we have the Oil Tank Mix, Dub In My Eyes and Sea Of Sin (Sensoria).

The rear sleeve is lovely. On the B-Side of the record, you will find Mode To Joy and Happiest Girl (Jack Mix).

The 7 track CD single features the 12" tracks with the exception of Dub In My Eyes and adds the Single Version of World In My Eyes, Sea Of Sin (Tonal Mix) and Happiest Girl (The Pulsating Orbital Mix).

We end in Japan with a 10 track CD single featurung all the mixes we've looked at above.

World In My Eyes brought the incredibly successful Violator era to an end and wonderfully so. Depeche Mode would finally take a year off and take a break from each other.

By the time they reconvened, it was clear things were never going to be the same. 

We'll get a Feel for that next time


  1. An enormous release but bitter sweet as it signified the end of the unsurpassable Violator.

  2. Lovely! What a song! No matter how many times I've listened to it, it still sounds fantastic. Agree regards the b sides from this era of The Mode, we were spoiled. Remember buying Violator on the day of release. I turned up at HMV in Glasgow just as they opened and this track was playing. So great! Said it before but I have to say it again...what a band! What a record! What a blog!

  3. My favorite DM song. Everytime I hear the intro, it bring me back to the first time I've listened to Violator. Ans if just one song must prove how important Alan was for DM, it surely is this one.
    Thanks from France.

  4. Missed opportunities with the remixes of WIME, such a strong track, only to be diluted in the remix. LCDBONG20 was pulled from the shelves after approximately 1 week, as part of the ongoing ‘format’ debarkle that was going down at the time.

  5. This one for me never gets old, what a single. The remixes aren't bad either and Happiest Girl and Sea of Sin, absolutely brilliant.

    "Hang on - are YOU the guy that wore sandals and socks in the Master & Servant video? Let me out of here." LMAO

  6. Great write up thx

  7. Embarrassed to say I only discovered this song during Covid lockdown. Somewhere in life I missed it. But my, I cannot get enough of it. Definitely a top 10 of any song in my loooong life. It's beautiful, sad and takes me back to forgotten times.