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Halo – publish date and other details

Halo – The Story Behind Depeche Mode’s Classic Album Violator will be published on Friday, August 5, 2022.

cover draft Iv

The book is an oral history of the career-defining album and era for electronic pioneers Depeche Mode, stretching from August 1989 upon the release of the first single Personal Jesus to November 1990 and the end of the World Violation Tour.

Written and published by Kevin May and David McElroy in association with UK-based Grosvenor House Publishing, Halo features interviews with those who had key roles during the making of Violator and the subsequent tour.

David and Kevin also hear from those involved in the iconic artwork of the album and its single releases, videos, publicity and other figures associated with the band before, during and after Violator’s release in March 1990.

Each of the book’s eight chapters includes a first-hand account of the era from fans (“Devotees”, as they came to be known), exclusive photographs and a detailed timeline of an extraordinary period in the British band’s history.

Those sharing their stories include Francois Kevorkian, Steve Lyon, Andy Franks, Roberto Baldi, Pino Pischetola, Nils Tuxen, Paul Kendall, Richard Bell, Richard Smith, Pam Heffer, Angela Shelton, Gareth Jones, Neil Ferris, Bruce Kirkland, Billie Ray Martin and many more.

Halo will be available in paperback print and e-book formats.

Pre-order details and a list of online retail outlets where Halo will be available will be shared ahead of the August 5 publish date.

David and Kevin, commenting on the release of Halo, remark: “We’re both thrilled and excited to be releasing Halo. We’ve tracked down and interviewed a wide range of figures involved in this remarkable era for Depeche Mode, from engineers and musicians in the studio at the time, to publicists, support bands, designers and even extras from some of the videos.

“This oral history is for fans and general music lovers who are curious about how a masterpiece was created. It’s an opportunity to learn first-hand from many of those involved in the making of Violator, in their own words, how this seminal album was made, marketed, toured and the impact it had on music and fans.

“This book has been a long time in the making, delayed by life, injury, a pandemic, work and all sorts, so we’re extremely grateful to those who have given us their patience to complete proceedings!”

Stay tuned for more details.

Pictured below: David and Kevin, pictured at the London press screening of the Anton Corbijn-directed Spirits In The Forest (review here), Depeche Mode’s feature-length moving charting the 2017-2018 world tour and the experiences of six fans.

press screening

Personal Jesus – World Violation Tour screen projections

The lack of a bona fide, official video from the World Violation Tour means many fans have forgotten about (or never even seen) the visual elements.

Although the stage design didn’t reach the creative heights of the Devotional Tour period a few years later, Violator‘s accompanying tour did hint at what was to come.

In particular, was the introduction of screens and video projections for the first time.

Illustrating how Depeche Mode’s artwork and visual design had finally been coordinated into an overall theme (roses, typefaces, style and overall aesthetic across sleeves, merchandise and the tour materials), collaborator Anton Corbijn created a series of projections to run behind the chaps as they performed some of the songs during the set.

Some of the films were basic but effective – Waiting For The Night‘s sparklers or Clean‘s hand brush painting of words, for example.

But Personal Jesus once again employed the cowboy theme from the video for the single release in the summer of 1989 (August 29, to be precise).

Rather than directly re-use the seedy bordello scenario from the Spanish desert, Corbijn re-shot the band in the US, essentially messing about with a few (cow)girls.

Whilst the full effect of the backdrops (each of the screens were at least 20-feet tall) can never be obtained by watching a clip online, languishing in a corner of the web is this apparent “rough cut” of the tour projections from Personal Jesus (including a pretty decent recording of the song).

Here it is:

And here is the official Depeche website’s tribute video, including Fletch about talking the “horse prank” from the original video for the single (poor fella) 🙂

When worlds Kaleid – the World Violation opener

The first minutes of any gig are vitally important for whipping the crowd into a frenzy.

It could be argued that Depeche Mode fans generally do not need much encouragement, such is the fervour they have for the band when on tour.

Still, Depeche have created some dramatic opening cues over the years.

The slowly building Pimpf from the Music For The Masses Tour was one; the loud thunder claps and lightning/strobe strikes which fed into Higher Love on the Devotional Tour was another.

The World Violation tour used a shorter version of the b-side to Policy Of Truth, when it was released as the third single from Violator to coincide with the start of nearly 90 gigs in 1990.

The track would pump out nosily as the band assembled behind curtains adorned in a giant “D” and “M” either side of a Violator rose.

The effect worked.

All hell would be breaking loose (in a good way) in the crowd by the time the first song, World In My Eyes, kicked in.

Sadly, as we all know, the lack of an official video from the tour means that fans have to rely on rough and ready clips from the web.

The short clips from the Dodger Stadium gig in Los Angeles, found by band’s “webmaster” Daniel Barassi in 2002, do not do the experience of the tour much justice.

Still, here is Kaleid:

And here is the Policy Of Truth b-side version of the track:

Rare (but decent) clip of Personal Jesus on World Violation Tour

The release of the Live In Berlin film a few weeks back inevitably reignited the “shame there’s no World Violation Tour film” discussions amongst Depeche Mode fans.

It is perhaps because there was no official film from the tour (apart from the footage used to create the video for the World In My Eyes single) that it has, inevitably, gained almost a mythical status over the years.

“Yeah, you should’ve seen them in 1990 – they were AMAZING!”

You get the idea.

Apart from a monumental gig at the Paris Bercy in 1993 during the Devotional Tour,  the shows I saw Depeche play in December 1990 remain personal favourites.

Inevitably, over the years various bits of footage and recordings have emerged and made their way to YouTube or places such as the Depeche Mode Live Wiki page.

In 2002, Depeche “webmaster” Daniel Barrasi found some clips which were apparently recorded by the crew from the huge Dodger Stadium gig.

Edited highlights were eventually posted on the band’s Vimeo page (Halo, World In My Eyes, Enjoy The Silence, Policy of Truth).

There is also a grainy, 1 hour and 47 minute-clip from Frankfurt, but it’s a crowd-shot effort from quite some distance back and would test the patience of even the most devoted fan.

The quality of the remaining clips range from terrible to gives-you-a-decent-idea-of-what-the-fuss-is-about.

Still, there are some nuggets out there on the web and this footage of Personal Jesus from Philadelphia stands out mostly because the sound quality is decent enough and it’s shot from right in front of the stage.

It’s not perfect by any means, but the last 60 seconds illustrates just how powerful the song had become when performed live.

When the World Violation Tour came to London

On this day in 1990, Depeche Mode’s World Violation Tour rolled into the UK capital for the first of three nights.

Nine months on from the release of Violator, this was the first “home-town” gig for the band after almost half a year on the road.

The first two gigs, Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th of November, were quickly sold out and a third was added for the Friday night (23rd).

On the eve of turning 18, it was my first Depeche gig. I went with two friends from college on the Monday night.

A work colleague and I inevitably splashed out far too much money to also buy tickets from a “tout” for the extra gig at the end of the week.

Memorable would be an understatement.

The set-list on the night went as follows:

  • Kaleid
  • World In My Eyes
  • Halo
  • Shake The Disease
  • Everything Counts
  • Master And Servant
  • Never Let Me Down Again
  • Waiting For The Night
  • I Want You Now (Martin solo)
  • World Full Of Nothing (Martin solo)
  • Clean
  • Stripped
  • Policy Of Truth
  • Enjoy The Silence
  • Strangelove
  • Personal Jesus
  • Black Celebration
  • A Question Of Time
  • Behind The Wheel
  • Route 66

The fantastic people over at the Depeche Mode Classic Photos and Videos page on Facebook have kindly said we can share these images. Thx, folks!

nov 19 - 4

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nov 19 - 9

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