Category Archives: Visage

Steve Strange (1959 – 2015)

Steve Strange

Born Steven John Harrington in Newbridge, Caerphilly, Wales on 28 May 1959, Steve Strange found success as a club promoter and singer, and will forever be remembered as the face of the New Romantic movement.

Not long after attending a Sex Pistols gig in 1976, Harrington formed his own punk band, The Moor Murderers, with Soo Catwoman, Chrissie Hynde, Vince Ely,  Topper Headon, and Mark Ryan. After the group disbanded, Harrington briefly fronted The Photons before assembling musicians for a new project: Visage. The newly christened Steve Strange was initially joined by Rusty Egan and Midge Ure from Rich Kids; Visage would later be completed with the addition of Barry Adamson, John McGeoch and Dave Formula from Magazine, and Ultravox keyboardist Billie Currie. The group’s first single, “Tar”, failed to chart.

In 1978, Strange began organizing club nights with Rusty Egan in London. Strict door policies were enforced, admitting only “the weird and wonderful”, which turned Blitz at Covent Garden into the epicenter of the New Romantic subculture.

Visage’s eponymous debut album and second single were released at the end of 1980; both the LP and “Fade To Grey” were very successful in the UK and Europe. Follow-up album “The Anvil” charted even higher in the UK and yielded further hit singles in 1982. However, subsequent releases with a different line-up were unable to continue the group’s success, leading to the break up of Visage in 1985.

Strange’s next endeavor was the short-lived Strange Cruise with Wendy Wu. He then resumed his club host career, working primarily in Ibiza. Following a long hiatus from performing and recording, Strange formed Visage Mk II in 2004, although the new version’s activities were minimal. Visage Mk III, featuring Strange, Steve Barnacle, Robin Simon, and Lauren Duvall, premiered in 2013 with “Hearts And Knives”, marking a welcome return to the act’s trademark synthpop sound. The new band also toured in the UK and Europe.

Sadly, Steve Strange suffered a fatal heart attack on 12 February 2015 while on holiday in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

We Fade To Grey…

Visage

POSPX293

01 Visage (Dance Mix)
02 Second Steps
03 Visage (Remix)

INFO > The original lineup of Visage was indeed a supergroup: Barry Adamson, Billy Currie, Rusty Egan, Dave Formula, John McGeoch, Midge Ure, and flamboyant frontman Steve Strange. The band’s eponymous fourth single reached 21 on the UK Singles Chart in 1981, and was available in three sleeve variations featuring Strange’s visage.

NOTE > It was possible to digitally recreate the 12″ single thanks to a pressing error on initial copies of the 2000 collection “The Damned Don’t Cry”, which includes B-side “Second Steps” in place of “The Steps.”

The promotional video was directed by Midge Ure and includes footage filmed at the legendary Blitz club.

Visage – Fade To Grey (1993)

Visage
“Fade To Grey”
1993 Polydor Records (UK)
PZCD 282

01. Fade To Grey (Bassheads 7″ Edit) 03:23
02. Fade To Grey (7″ Remix) 03:36
03. Fade To Grey (Original 7″) 03:51
04. Fade To Grey (Bassheads Dub) 07:36
05. Fade To Grey (Bassheads Trance) 07:29
06. Fade To Grey (Subliminal Mix) 05:17
07. Fade To Grey (Wildcat Mix) 07:47

INFO > Led by flamboyant frontman Steve Strange, new romantic supergroup Visage climbed to 8 in the UK charts with their second single, “Fade To Grey” (POSP 194), released in 1980. The group’s biggest hit was remixed to promote the 1993 reissue of a singles collection released a decade earlier. Although then-trendy Bassheads received top billing on this package, the short-lived duo Hypnotic State delivered superior variations on the classic tune.

FADE TO GREY 1993