Only When I Lose Myself is a song that I loved at the time and still do now. It's far mellower than Ultra and that's perhaps evidence of the fact that the band had to get the dark, clingy, stunning Ultra out of their system before moving on. It was the post Songs Of Faith And Devotion hangover and this was the new, fresher Depeche Mode. The song does have some wonderful noises throughout but it has a softer sheen than previous singles. It appeared on all 64 dates on The Singles 86-98 tour in a fairly clunky way and then reappeared 8 times on the Delta Machine tour when Martin took over vocals and did rather splendidly. Martin also played it 8 times on his solo tour.
Surrender, originally called Tempt fact fans, is a rather decent b-side, the band's first new vocal b-side since My Joy in fact. It's an odd song really but there is something lovable about it. The "blerrgh" noises that make themselves heard during the "We're living in a world full of illusion" part are quite unsettling. The song is one that Martin feels has got lost a bit but he's not really helped resurrect it, playing it live a mere 20 times in his acoustic set on the Exciter tour. He played it at all eight of his solo gigs however.
Headstar is an instrumental that sounds much like most Depeche instrumentals from 1997 onwards. Bouncy with some good noises but not particularly memorable. It's never been played live and, let's be quite honest here, never will unless something very odd indeed happens.
There was no Anton this time round. Photographer Brian Griffin, famous for his early Depeche album photography among other things, took over directorial duties.
We start with a fresh faced Dave sitting quietly while a picture of a woman burns. That's odd, but not as odd as two pairs of dancing twins we then see. They are performing an Axl Rose style worm dance beside a crashed car. Of course they are. It's art you see.
Fletch and Martin both appear as do images of more crashed cars and we end up at a man laughing his head off beside a smashed up car. Now, that's not very nice. Two women appear in a Corbijn-like scene where they stand looking non plussed in front of a caravan and then we see it - the first of them is teh one who was on fire in Dave's early scene. It turns out her caravan itself was on fire, the vehicle's cassette player having exploded when it played an early demo tape of Hole To Feed.
At last, we get some red hot Depeche action as we see Dave singing along to the song. He looks a bit annoyed, no doubt because of the demo tape fire. To emphasise the point, we then see more of the two women and they torched caravan.
All of a sudden, we are in a speeding car driven by one set of the Axl Rose dancing twins from earlier. Naturally, one of them decides to stop and suspend the car above the road by using magic. What the hell is this all about? Is it a Car Insurance advert for incredibly bad drivers or a music video?
Dave returns but not for long enough and then we are back in the world of dancing twins, joined by a woman in a red dress rubbing herself over a car. This video might have made a glimmer of sense if it was for Behind The Wheel but even that would be pushing it. The red dress woman rubs her scarf over the face of some young chap who has randomly popped up in her car before we go back to Dave. Quite rightly given the unfolding shambles around him, he has his eyes closed.
Fletch angrily looks on before there is more red dress car rubbing, an act which seems positively normal when we come across two men, one the laughing man from what feels an hour or so ago and the other twirling about beside him like an idiot. More Dave raises the spirits but then the video officially goes off the rails.
A man with some sort of scraggy dog puppet appears and he is sitting down as a tattooed guy stands over him. Of course he is. Our would-be ventriloquist stares blankly on and thankfully Dave returns again all too briefly as we quickly go back to the puppet show. A moment of levity follows as we see a close up of Martin who looks massively pissed off and it's no wonder. We then end on more cars, daft men and that is thankfully that.
A car crash in every respect.
On a musical note, the version of Only When I Lose Myself the video uses is unique to the video. It fades out at the last course and, like the radio version, leaves out the instrumental outro. Unlike the radio version however, it includes the instrumental intro. There you have it.