- September 1988
- UK: #4
- US: #84
- US Club: #8
- US Club: #8
- Denmark: #9
- Netherlands: #19
- Italy: #13
Neil and Chris wrote this song at Sarm West Studios with the intent to ask Trevor Horn to produce it. Having written an instrumental demo, they brought it to him, and he was interested.
"I liked the idea of writing a really up pop song about being left alone." The song pulls from many experiences Neil had during his childhood. "[My mother] worried that when we were children we each had a corner of the garden...I used to like to sit there for hours and hours playing with my toy soldiers. ...And I used to pretend not to be a Roundhead but to actually be a Cavalier - I used to jump around the garden pretending I was on a horse. My mother used to say she worried that I wouldn't have any friends because I'd sit there and live in a fantasy world. When she heard this song she said she was worried by the line 'I was a lonely boy, no strength no joy', but in fact I wasn't remotely lonely."
- The original lyric was supposed to be 'drink some tea / maybe if you're with me / we'll drink some coffee...'
- The Party Animal mentioned in the song was meant to be Jon Savage.
- The third verse was pulled from a song they never recorded called "It's Not A Crime". The rest of the lyrics were: 'Love is all I want to see / now I want you here with me / through the morning afternoon / all night long is none too soon / and oh I've got the time / I've got the time/ and oh it's not a crime / it's not a crime / Now I've fixed it we're all alone / don't look back and don't go home through the morning afternoon / lock the door and lose the key…"
- Trevor wanted to record the track live, including all the orchestra, singing and synths together so it could be done in one day. It actually took six months to complete.
- The orchestra was arranged by Richard Niles and this track marked the first of many times they worked with him.
- The line about "Debussy to a disco beat" was inspired by Trevor Horn, a Debussy fanatic. Horn would later include an extract from "Trois Chansons de Bilitis" on Marc Almond's Tenement Symphony album, and record the album The Seduction of Claude Debussy with The Art of Noise, essentially an entire "Debussy to a disco beat" concept album. Both these records, as well as "Left to My Own Devices" (and "The Sound of the Atom Splitting") feature the vocals of soprano Sally Bradshaw.
- 8:10 Left To My Own Devices (album version)
- 4:43 Left To My Own Devices (single mix)
- 11:27 Left To My Own Devices (the disco mix)
- 9:25 Left To My Own Devices (shep pettibone remix) US Promo of 'Introspective' only
- 7:45 Left To My Own Devices (device mix) remixed by Shep Pettibone, US Promo of 'Introspective' only
- 8:16 Left To My Own Devices (royal piano mix) remixed by Frankie Knuckles, rare, only released on 'Compiled' CD-R promos
The video is very simple: Neil and Chris are filmed from the bottom looking up standing on a glass floor. Above them, gymnasts are flying through the air.
Cover Versions by Other ArtistsEdit
- 2005 West End Girls