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) 🙂