Thursday 26 March 2020


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. 

Usually anyway. World In My Eyes was one of Depeche Mode's most excting single packages. Two new B-sides! A fancy limited edition!! A video that showed live footage from World Violation!!! Good grief, it's a beauty. Let's use this period of isolation to celebrate this marvel.

Advert in Smash Hits, 17 September 1990

The single was released on 17th September 1990 and, as you can see from the advert above, it promised not only World In My Eyes but also Happiest Girl and Sea Of Sin. New songs! Before we look at them though, it's only fair to talk about the lead single itself.  World In My Eyes is a masterpiece of a song. It opens Violator in explosive style, the missing link between Depeche Mode and Kraftwerk circa Computer World. No Depeche fan can fail to hear the opening riff and get anything other than incredibly excited. 

The song is a band favourite too. It's Fletch's favourite Depeche Mode song and given that he is the world's biggest Depeche Mode fan, who is going to argue with that? In 2017, he told Hotmix Radio:

"For me, (World In My Eyes) really shows how we've managed to have all these different people from different countries all over the world together, liking Depeche Mode."

For once, Alan wasn't grumpy about a song in his Shunt editorials. He called the song "something of a homage to Kraftwerk" and noted that "its success exhibited one of Depeche Mode's most fundamental philosophies."

World In My Eyes is a perennial live favourite too with the band playing it 622 times since the start of World Violation. The most recent version on the Global Spirit Tour was a sensational reworking of it, second only to me to the epic Devotional version. When I first heard the Global Spirit Tour version at Glasgow Barrowlands in March 2017, it blew me away. Not only was I finally seeing Depeche Mode at the best venue on earth, but they were also playing a stunning new version of one of my all time favourite tracks. A unique experience.

Back to the two new songs. 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. 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.

A couple of things to note about these tracks before we head to the video is that, while they are Happiest Girl (Jack Mix) and Sea Of Sin (Tonal Mix), these are in fact the normal what you might call 7" versions of each track. The reason the mix names were added has been lost in the mists of time. The songs were remixed for other formats of course and we'll come to those shortly.

Label on side A of the UK promo 7" BONG20R

As I mentioned in the introduction, the video to World In My Eyes was an incredible thing to see in 1990. 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 Fowlks 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 itself is incredible. It starts with typical Violator era font writing saying "Depeche Mode  World In My Eyes," before we see Dave lying around on a bed. Suddenly, we see Dave and a mystery lady driving into the Drive-In and you see that it's called Strange Too Depeche Mode, albeit in wonky writing. The sun sets and they drive up to to the screen, no doubt to watch a nice film. "What are we seeing tonight Dave? Something romantic?" she no doubt asks. "Sorry no," replies Mr Gahan "It's some snazzy live footage from the World Violation tour." The door must be locked as she doesn't leave.

Then all of a sudden, everything changes. 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! 

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 them as the "woo-ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo-oooh" noise kicks in at the end of the verse. 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 live footage ends. Dave's passenger looks unimpressed. It's no surprise either as 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?

Anyway, what a bloody video. Here it is just to prove I've not made any of that up:

As ever, the public are morons. World In My Eyes entered the charts at 28, climbed to 21 then reached a chart high of 17 before dropping to 22, 46 and then 66. Ridiculous. Luckily for fans of formats there was a lot to choose from. Firstly, there were promos, starting with the 7" promo BONG20R

The sleeve is the same as the 7" showing Fletch making the World In My Eyes sign (hereafter referred to as "the sign"). The only difference between this and the standard 7" is the label on Side A. The b-side label and rear look like this:

The single features the same three tracks as the standard 7"  - World In My Eyes on the 45 rpm A-side and Happiest Girl (Jack Mix) and Sea Of Sin (Tonal Mix) on the 33 1/3 rpm B-side. There were two promo 12" singles released. P12BONG20 features World In My Eyes (Mayhem Mode) and Happiest Girl (The Pulsating Orbital Mix (Instrumental)), the latter a mix exclusive to this release. The promo is being included in the forthcoming Violator 12" Singles box which is a nice touch.


There second promo 12" too is a lovely thing. It's limited to 500 copies and comes with a sticker on the front featuring Dave doing the sign, telling you which one you have. Mine is number 419 as you can see from the picture at the top of this blog. It features the same three tracks as the standard 12" - World In My Eyes (Oil Tank Mix), Happiest Girl (Kiss-A-Mix) and Sea Of Sin (Sensoria). It's one of my favourite items in my collection:

Finally on the UK promo side, there is a radio CD promo that is both lovely and hard to find. CDBONG20R features the same three tracks as the standard 7" and cassette single:

In other promo news, the German promo 7" is a nice thing:

Anyway, enough promo talk. Here is the standard UK 7" from the front

and from the back:

As you'll see, the A-side label is the only difference from the promo 7". The cassette single is a lovely looking thing, as are all the formats here.

There's Alan having a go at the sign there with a silhouette of Martin on stage that appears on every format. The back of the cassette you say? Here it is:

We then come to the standard 12" and CD singles. The 12" , 12BONG20, features the same tracks as the stickered promo. The Oil Tank Mix of World In My Eyes is an initially minimal sort of take on the track albeit in classic extended 12" remix form. You get to hear all the component parts of the album if that floats your boat, and yes it of course floats mine. It's a superb remix. Do have a listen to it to refresh your memory.

Martin pops up on the cover as you can see. The B-side remixes are ok but not really as good as the standard 7" versions. The Kiss-A-Mix of Happies 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.

As you can see above, the rear of the 7" again features the Martin silhouette. CDBONG20 has 4 tracks - the 7" version of World In My Eyes, the Oil Tank Mix of that song and the Kiss-A-Mix of Happiest Girl plus, oddly, Sea Of Sin (Tonal Mix). The three remixes are all shorter than the versions that appear on 12BONG20. This is because the CD single was originally planned as 3" version and, presumably because 3" is smaller than 5", the tracks were edited. The 3" plan was scrapped however but the edits were still used on the 5". The German CD single of the time uses the longer versions.

There's CDBONG20 features Dave to the best of my knowledge. I'll be frank - it's hard to tell and I've been doing this for a month. It could easily be Martin but it could equally be Dave. I don't know anymore. I've been asking friends online and no-one is certain. 26 days in though, I don't want a mistake to blight the blog. If you know for certain who is on the 12" and who is on the CD, then do let me know. I need a holiday. Let's turn to the limited editions.

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)

It's Alan and Andy and they are in Depeche Mode. Clever. The back is equally gorgeous:

That's Martin and Dave - obviously. Neither picture helps in the "who is on the 12" and CD" thing but, dear reader, we are well beyond that by now. There is a sticker on the outside of the package confirming this is L12BONG20

That is a lovely thing in itself. The real treat though is above the small pictures of Dave and Martin that adorn the rear of the gel sleeve. Just look at this:

To open the package, you must cut it open. It tells you to "Violate Here." That is stone cold genius of the highest possible order. It's the small things, indeed the smallest thing, that makes this release worthwhile. I absolutely love it.

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. Wow. The other side of all three things is just as magnificent:

Sigh. They don't make them like that any more. As if it matters, there is music on there too and magical music it is as well. Side A features World In My Eyes (Dub In My Eyes) a Francois Kervorkian remix (like all remixes on the 12" and CD singles) that features the robot voices that were used so superbly on the Devotional version. A mix that demands to be played very loud indeed. The B-side features 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. I recently read an interview with them where they said their remixes were just old tracks of theirs that they handed to record companies. There is a lot of The Orb on this mix but plenty of Depeche Mode too. 

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. The back of it looks like this:

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 another Jon Marsh remix, more upbeat than Mode To Joy and adds a few housey pianos for good measure. The 6th track is Happiest Girl (The Pulsating Orbital Vocal Mix)  a longer and a bit more vocally version of the Pulsating Orbital Mix.

If you can get either limited edition, get them. They're great.

As I mentioned way back at the start, the version of World In My Eyes used on the Global Spirit Tour was incredible. As the tour developed, the visuals did too and we ended up with the sight above which is my picture from the Paris gig in December 2017. On the right, we see Dave taken from the sticker on the limited edition promo from 1990 and on the left, Dave from 2017.

It's the attention to detail that makes it glorious. That attention to detail runs all the way from 1990 to the present day with World In My Eyes. What a trip.


  1. This is just GREAT GREAT GREAT article about my favourite song. Also agree that Devotional version is their best live song EVER!!! Thanks a lot ������

  2. Simply wonderful! My most favorite single :) thank you, I was very surprised with Happiest Girl at the time, love this song.

  3. If I was pushed I would say this release was the band at their absolute peak in every way. Just my opinion though.

  4. The Orb not equal with Orbital! :)

  5. What a joy to read! You certainly took us on a trip there.
    My favourite DM song by a country mile and yes, they were at the peak of their game. Long may it remain on the set list!!

  6. Darn it, I'm going to have to step up the vinyl collection now.... I have 2....from a charity Evesham....the shame...

  7. Until reading this whole thing I had no idea that other mixes existed so its a suprise you didnt mention the cassette promo