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Visage

Pioneers of the New Romantic movement, the synth pop group Visage emerged in 1978 from the London club Blitz, a neo-glam nightspot which stood in stark contrast to the prevailing punk mentality of the time. Spearheading Blitz's ultra-chic clientele were Steve Strange, a former member of the punk band the Moors Murderers, and DJ Rusty Egan, onetime drummer with the Rich Kids; seeking to record music of their own to fit in with the club's regular playlist (a steady diet of David Bowie, Kraftwerk, and Roxy Music), Strange and Egan were offered studio time by another Rich Kids alum, guitarist Midge Ure. In late 1978, this trio recorded a demo which yielded the first Visage single, an aptly futuristic cover of Zager & Evans' "In the Year 2525."

Adding Ultravox keyboardist Billy Currie as well as three members of Magazine -- bassist Barry Adamson, guitarist John McGeoch, and keyboardist Dave Formula -- Visage signed to Radar Records to release "Tar" in September 1979, followed a year later by their self-titled debut LP. The album yielded a major single in "Fade to Grey," an instant club classic that heralded synth pop's imminent commercial breakthrough. The follow-up, "Mind of a Toy," was a Top 20 hit, but after releasing 1982's The Anvil, Visage began to disintegrate: first Ure exited to focus all of his energies on fronting Ultravox, then Currie and Formula broke ranks as well. 1984's Beat Boy was the group's final recording, although a remixed "Fade to Grey" was a U.K. Top 40 hit during the early '90s.

After a handful of false starts, Strange reincarnated the group in the 2000s. After several television appearances, and a re-recording of "Fade to Grey," new material finally appeared in 2007 in the form of a charity single "Diary of a Madman." In early 2013, Strange announced the third incarnation of the band, this time featuring Strange, Steve Barnacle, Lauren Duvall, and former Ultravox and Magazine member Robin Simon. That same year, the group released their fourth studio album, Hearts and Knives, coming some 29 years after 1984's Beat Boy. The live album, Orchestral -- which saw the band rework their back catalog with the help of the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra -- appeared at the end of the following year. On the February 12, 2015, Strange passed away as the result of a heart attack while in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. The group's final album, Demons to Diamonds -- which was partly recorded before Strange's death -- was released at the end of 2015, with the companion release, Darkness to Diamond, following a few months later in early 2016. ~ Jason Ankeny & Rich Wilson
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Best Of Visage

1. Fade To Grey (Original Version)

2. Mind Of A Toy

3. Visage

4. We Move

5. Tar

6. In The Year 2525

7. The Anvil

8. Night Train

9. Pleasure Boys

10. Damned Don't Cry

11. Love Glove

12. Fade To Grey (Bassheads 7" Edit)

x

Track List: Visage

1. Visage

2. Blocks On Blocks

3. The Dancer

4. Tar

5. Fade To Grey

6. Malpaso Man

7. Mind Of A Toy

8. Moon Over Moscow

9. Visa-Age

10. The Steps

x

Track List: Hearts And Knives

1. Never Enough

2. Shameless Fashion

3. She's Electric (Coming Around)

4. Hidden Sign

5. On We Go

6. Dreamer I Know

7. Lost In Static

8. I Am Watching

9. Diaries Of A Madman

10. Breathe Life

Comments

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appraisals95 5
tonymora943 - I think you'll find that most western popular music is repetitive. It is the nature of pop music to have extensive vamping! Embrace it, and notice next time you're listening to your favorite song how much repetition there actually is.
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this s**t is repetitive
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progpond3
Fade to Grey is one of those seminal new wave tunes. Heavy synth, haunting melody, weirded out video. (as in original, not like the completely formulaic crap on YouTube/VEVO wherever isn't MTV
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suntzu67
In the beginning there was Steve Strange... The rest followed into the best era of music.
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RIP Steve Strange! Your music will live on!
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The father of the New Romantic scene which we Americans missed out on. Amazing still is the fact that this man's music not heard much till he faded into grey influenced everything we have heard since. Ironic, Such great talent never acknowledged . Hey Steve you ROCK!!!!!!!! !
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Fade to Gray...great song!
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In the year 2525? :P
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Futurama did a funny verson of this in an episode
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Visage
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@TRON I was your first homo erotic experience
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i had my first homo erotic experience to this music
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hyphywyphymu z i k
visage almost like mcisage www.mcisage. c o m
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No mention of the Blitz Club? Strange and Boy George were big figures there, more so than Billy's -- or so I vaguely remember.
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garomaalo70
one of my favorite songs
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Viva La Visage! One of my all time favs. I wish they had released more.
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chingachkook
On of my first albums. Time flys...
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Fade to gray....FADE TO GRAY !!!
What a amazing song !
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Nah, I'm 20 and I love them. "Fade to Grey" and Ultravox!'s "The Voice" got me into New Wave.
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"Visage emerged in 1978" gee... I'm old.

Great music.

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