The fourth and final single from Songs Of Faith And Devotion, In Your Room is a curious beast. On the album, it's a titanic track, an absolute classic and a perfect example of just how powerful Depeche Mode can be. As a single, it was remixed and given an overhaul that stripped the song of its power.
The whole single is odd really. Hugely expensive 12" singles, the band's first and only "crucifix" pack CD single and a video that not so much hints as blatantly points out just how messy things were for Depeche Mode at that point,
It's also the band's last single as a four piece. Not many people know this, and certainly those that do keep it very quiet, but Alan Wilder left after this. I know, you had no idea right?
WILL I ALWAYS BE HERE - IN YOUR ROOM
In Your Room, BONG24, was released on 10th January 1994. The single was released on three CD singles and a cassette originally with the first CD and cassette on 10th January and the next two CD singles a week later.
The rear of the promotional postcard above explains all. The single was given a few enthusiastic reviews, though not by Dave Morrison in Select Magazine:
"There are three CDs' worth of mixes and live versions of stuff making up In Your Room by Depeche Mode. All this is released separately over a period of weeks. Why? To keep it in the charts? Shame on me for being so cynical. The Mode may have some Dorian Gray-style pact that means they improve with age, but unless you've more money than sense don't buy it all, go for the Butch Vig mix."
In Music Week, Alan Jones was much more complimentary, giving the song Single Of The Week and saying:
"Less obviously a rock record than some of their recent releases, the new Depeche Mode singles is a fairly dark but nevertheless quite commercial record in which some dense guitar work is punctuated by a pleasant chorus. The fact it is spread over three CDs will help it to acheive a chart placing above and beyond what could otherwise be expected so reaching the Top Ten is a real possibility.
He wasn't wrong. The song entered the UK charts at number 18 and then soared into the Top Ten at number 8 the following week. It didn't cling on long however and then fell to 28 and, much to the disappointment of fans of numbers with 8 in them, ended its chart run at 56. There was of course no Top of The Pops appearance here or in any other country on earth, and, even though it quite clearly only happened because of the three CD single trick, In Your Room became the third of the four Songs Of Faith And Devotion singles to chart in the UK Top Ten, the band's highest ever singles per album success rate.
(Maths note: Speak & Spell 50% success, A Broken Frame 33%, Construction Time Again 50%, Some Great Reward 66%, Black Celebration 0%, Music For The Masses 0%, Violator 25%, SOFAD 75%)
The A-Side of the single is a remixed version of the song called the Zephyr Mix. It's a remix by Butch Vig and it was summed up rather neatly by Alan:
"I was eventually outvoted in favour of a remix by Butch Vig. Unfortunately, as is often the case with outside remixers, Vig's interpretation did not relate to many aspects of the original, and the track lost much of its Depeche Mode character, falling short of its intended sensuality and intensity."
He's not wrong. Even though Alan lobbied for the original or at least an edit of that track, the band voted for this remix and, well, it's just not that good. The song has been a live staple since its release, featuring 603 times. The Devotional version is by far the best as far as I am concerned. It's difficult to imagine a more intense version of any song ever. Live performances were blighted by the Zephyr Mix version for years until the album version made a return for the Global Spirit Tour where it was paired with one of Anton's perplexing films.
The B-side, though not literally as the cassette plays both tracks and CDs don't have B-sides, is Higher Love (Adrenaline Mix). If you think the Zephyr Mix kills the original atmosphere of a track, then try this destruction of Higher Love out for size. Shoddy rubbish. Mercifully, this version of Higher Love has never been performed live. The original has of course, featuring 127 times in total, comprising 97 show opening Devotional versions and 30 Martin solo versions on the Delta Machine tour.
Well, this is a right laugh.
Anton thought that this was going to be the last Depeche Mode video he would work on as he wasn't sure what would become of the band once the 14 month piss up of Devotional/Exotic/USA94 came to an end. He gave us then a video Greatest Hits, showing off his work with the band against the background of both an ever present light bulb and what appears to be an electric chair type thing. This was no Leave In Silence.
We open on a monochrome road and then find Dave in a room, strapped to a chair. Last time we saw him he had been chained to a woman in Hungary by the Depeche Mode Monks, so he was really having no luck around this time. We see a tree and then Martin, chained to a chair too. It's only a few seconds in and it's quite clear that this is a very dark video.
Suddenly, Dave is up and about and we see him singing along behind the big light bulb looking absolutely miserable. The mood is further darkened by Alan and Andy's various chained up to a chair appearances and, in between of shots of the band playing instruments, we then see them struggling to break out of their manacles as the song progresses. Good lord it's really no fun at all.
As the second verse starts, we see a woman dressed up in the king gear from Enjoy The Silence, carrying a deckchair. Remember that video? It was all bright and had beaches and snow in it. The band were all together, all leathered up and looking cool. Happier times. She disappears and we're back to the Depeche Mode Dungeon Of Terrors again where we see Fletch struggling this time while Dave sings from behind a light bulb and Martin looks very cool in his silver gear,
Personal Jesus was a fun video too wasn't it? All cool monochrome and Dave looking ace - we even got to see Andy on a wee horse. Well, don't worry, because here's a nod to that video with a woman in a hat somewhat inexplicably taking her top off. We then see someone copying the Strangelove video, a video in which we saw the band laughing which seems a distant memory by this point before the chorus arrives and gives us a full band performance which includes Fletch playing a grand piano. Freed from their chains, the band set about doing what they do best and things seem to be on the up.
Ah. They are all back in the chairs again.
An I Feel You tribute lightens the mood somewhat and, as the final verse begins, alongside shots of a Walking In My Shoes demonic chicken head beast, we see Dave sitting unchained on a moustache shaped sofa. He's been freed and, to celebrate, the Walking In My Shoes demonic chicken hed beast flicks through a copy of the tour programme. They ultimately thrown it away, but if they'd kept it, it could be worth some good money now. A Halo tribute appears next, not Anton's take on the forthcoming Violator related blockbuster book, but one of the clowns from the video instead.
The band play on and take it in turns looking miserable in their respective chairs and that's that. "Will I always be here," sings Dave as the song ends.
"You might be Dave, but I know I won't be," thinks Alan. Possibly.
There was no 7" single again, not even an expensively priced promo, so we'll start with one of the two formats released on 10th January 1994 - CBONG24, the cassette single. It features the light bulb first used of course on the Devotional film and a nice label. It also features the A-Side and B-Side mentioned above, but we've no need to look at them again.
The first of the CD singles is CDBONG24. It comes in a tri-fold digipack, more of which in a minute. The cover can be seen above,
That's the back.
The CD itself looks like this. It features four tracks - the Zephyr Mix, the Extended Zephyr Mix which, sadly, does just what you'd think it does and then, thank God, two live tracks. We have Never Let Me Down Again and Death's Door from the 29th of July 1993 gig in Lievin, France. Both are great.
LCDBONG24 followed a week later and it gave us four more live tracks and a wonderful sleeve. From the same gig as the CDBONG24 tracks we got In Your Room, Policy Of Truth, the staggering Devotional version of World In My Eyes and a glorious Fly On The Windscreen. I listened to this CD single endlessly.
XLCDBONG24 arrived on the same day. This contains two remixes of In Your Room - the Jeep Rock Mix by Johnny Dollar and Portishead and the Apex Mix by Brian Eno. Both are great. It also contains the Adrenaline Mix of Higher Love which is not great.
And what do you get if you put them all together? Voila. The tri-fold, "crucifix" pack that features a drawing of either Dave or a mushroom with legs. Presuming it's Dave (it is), CDBONG 24 is his torso and shoulders, LCDBONG24 his right hand and XLCDBONG his left hand which is disconcertingly much bigger than his right. I imagine your Big CDBONG24 Box is just like mine - falling apart. Not exactly built to last but a novel thing and just about as mad as everything else in Depeche Mode world was at that point in time.
There may be no 7" promo, but there is always a 12" promo. P12BONG24 features three tracks. On side A, we have the dreadful Higher Love remix and the Jeep Rock Mix of In Your Room. On Side B, we get the Extended Zephyr Mix which manages simply to prolong the agony of the original.
There were 12" singles too but these had too many tracks on them to count for chart sales. 12BONG24 is a still insanely expensive piece of Depeche vinyl despite its appearance in the Songs Of Faith And Devotion 12" Singles boxset. Prices on Discogs just now start at £74. It is a lovely thing however. On Side A, we have three remixes of In Your Room - Zephyr, Jeep Rock and Apex.
Side B hates us however - it contains the Extended Zephyr Mix and that remix of Higher Love.
The initial run of the single came with a luxury inner sleeve. It's black and shiny basically.
For people who simply do not deserve luxury, it also can be found with a plain, boring, white paper sleeve.
L12BONG24 is a beautiful thing., It has a gorgeous matt sleeve and equally gorgeous labels on each side. It is also very expensive to pick up. What you get with this record is a mini live album as it takes the 6 live tracks from CDBONG24 and LCDBONG24 and sticks them on vinyl for your audio delight. Side A features In Your Room, Policy Of Truth and World In My Eyes.
Side B blesses us with Fly On The Windscree, Never Let Me Down Again and Death's Door.
If all that wasn't already enough, there is also another luxury inner sleeve. For those of you who can't handle the luxury lifestyle. the later editions had a white paper inner. Perplexingly, these are even more expensive and there are currently two for sale on Discogs in pretty poor condition for either £100 or £250. My word.
The 2004 CD single boxset reissue takes all 11 tracks from the various releases and adds Higher Love (Adrenaline Mix - Edit). This is a mercifully shorter version of the original mix and this was the first time the edit was released anywhere. It had featured on a the very first test pressing cassette where it was labelled 7" Mix but then Mute replaced it with Death's Door on their own test pressing cassette. On the rear sleeve of the German 12" equivalent of 12BONG24, the track is listed as appearing but doesn't in fact do so. The 12" tracklisting is incorrect.
Elsewhere in the world, the Germans gave us a 7" and that was very kind of them.
It contains the same two tracks as CBONG24. This is the only 7" version that was released. The German releases also featured the same three CD singles and two 12" singles as in the UK with the CDs coming in the tri-fold mushroom with arms and legs box too. The German 12BONG24 contains the erroneous tracklisting mentioned above.
As well as the same CD and 12" arrangement as Germany and the UK, the French also released this two track CD single in a card sleeve featuring the two CBONG24 tracks.
The US CD single comes in one of those eco pack boxes and has Dave's torso and shoulders on it. There are seven tracks in all - all the In Your Room remixes, that Higher Love mix and the live versions of In Your Room and Policy Of Truth. There was a promo CD scheduled that was to feature In Your Room (Zephyr Mix Edit) but that was never released.
The US 12" has four tracks. On Side A there is the Extended Zephyr Mix and Apex Mix.
Side B gives us the Jeep Rock Mix of In Your Room (hooray!) and the Adrenaline Mix of Higher Love (booooooo).
Elsewhere on earth, there are three CD trifold mushroom packs in Australia and Belgium, a Swedish CD single and a Spanish 12" among others.
Despite the single's January release, the Songs Of Faith And Devotion era was far from over with the tour rumbling on until July when everyone decided that they'd had too much fun and it finally ended.
Dave was a mess, Martin wasn't much better, Fletch had had to go home leaving Darryl to replace him and Alan...well, Alan wasn't that happy at all.
By the time we next saw Depeche Mode, Dave had talked at length about his problems, Martin hadn't and the band had released a blistering new single. Someone was no longer there however. The Wilder era, and indeed the wild era, was over.