Visage Go Out Guns Blazing

7 CDs of contemporary and classic Visage

7 CDs of contemporary and classic Visage

It’s been common knowledge that Visage have a new greatest hits album coming out on December 9th. It’s called “Wild Life” and is of some interest to the Visage collector, as well as the public at large. While there are five albums already drawing from the band’s Polydor/phase 1 era, this will be the first one to mix the singles released since 2012 with the “classic” period. In that sense, it tells a fuller story than all of the other albums. Casual listeners buying this will be served the hits they probably heard on the radio growing up as well as the modern material that far exceeded my expectations at the time and this is a good thing. But the promo for the release foretold of a CD/ 2xLP, and CDX. Everyone assumed there would maybe be a 2xCD with some rare mixes on it. I was waiting for the info to hit the web, having searched on the issue on a weekly basis for the last month or so. This morning I got an email from commenter Gavin alerting me to the full extent of the CDX version.

It’s seven CDs worth of material; most of it from the phase 2 era! How Visage fans will interface with this demands some facts on the table first. Intriguingly enough, six of the seven discs in the limited set can also be purchased ala carte, which is more than fair, considering the asking price [£49]. What is the seven disc breakdown? I’m glad you asked.


Steve Strange Collective | UK | CD | 2016 | SSC001

Steve Strange Collective | UK | CD | 2016 | SSC001

DISC 1 – Visage: The Wild Life [The Best of 1978-2015] UK CD [2016]

  1. Fade To Grey (Original Version)
  2. Mind Of A Toy (Original Version)
  3. Visage (Original Version)
  4. Tar (Original 7” Version)
  5. Anvil (Original Version)
  6. Night Train (7″ Version)
  7. The Damned Don’t Cry (Original Version)
  8. Pleasure Boys (Original Version)
  9. Never Enough (Original Version)
  10. Dreamer, I Know (Original Version)
  11. She’s Electric (Coming Around) (Original Version)
  12. Hidden Sign (Tiger Face Flame Remix)
  13. Love Glove (Orchestral Version)
  14. Aurora (Original Version)
  15. The Silence (Original Version)

The basic CD is salted with at least three tracks on interest. The long-sought-after “Night Train” 7″ remix was supposed to be on many CDs already out in the wild, but this failed to happen. The extremely hot 7″ remix, edited down from the 12″ mix, was incredibly potent. I only have it on the Visage laserdisc I bought in the late 80s. The “Night Train” 12″ only has the 12″ and dub mixes. You had to own the UK 7″ for the 7″ remix. “The Silence” was a new song included in orchestral form on the “Orchestral” album, so I’m interested in hearing the full band version. It was an excellent, elegiac number that made perfect sense to appear at the end of Strange’s life. The mix of “Hidden Sign” is a new one, not previously on the single released in 2014. I’m not certain there’s any difference tot he original 7″ mix of “Tar.” I have it, and I played it once to see and couldn’t determine that there were any differences, so that means at least three tracks I’d want from this CD no. 1.


Steve Strange Collective | UK | CD-R | 2016 | SSC002

Steve Strange Collective | UK | CD-R | 2016 | SSC002

DISC 2 – Visage: The Wild Life [The Best of 1978-2015] UK CD-R [downloads] [2016]

  1. Fade To Grey (Main Version)
  2. Mind Of A Toy (Main Version)
  3. Visage (Main Version)
  4. Tar (Original 7” Version)
  5. The Anvil (Main Version)
  6. Night Train (Main Version)
  7. The Damned Don’t Cry (Main Version)
  8. Pleasure Boys (Main Version)
  9. Never Enough (Original Version)
  10. Dreamer, I Know (Original Version)
  11. She’s Electric (Coming Around) (Original Version)
  12. Hidden Sign (Tiger Face Flame Remix)
  13. Love Glove (Orchestral Version)
  14. Aurora (Original Version)
  15. The Silence (Original Version)
  16. Tightrope (Original Version) 

The second disc is comprised of material that is here on a printed CD-R but otherwise available as a DL only. While the CD no 1. has the Polydor material from phase 1 on it, the early tracks here were re-recorded by the band in 2014-2014; probably because of licensing constraints on physical versus DL media. That said, I am more interested in hearing the late period band tackling this material! Visage phase 1 were studio monsters, but phase two actually played live and had a different vibe to their approach. Then, a previously unreleased track, “Tightrope,” is included as fanbait. Not bad! Possibly nine tracks of interest [depending on that “Tar” version, again]. I appreciate that they reveal up front that this is a printed CD-R. They are getting more common commercially in these, the end times, and while they are fragile, an informed consumer is a happy consumer.


Steve Strange Collective | UK | CD | 2016 | SSC004

Steve Strange Collective | UK | CD | 2016 | SSC004

DISC 3 – Visage: The Wild Life [The Best of Extended Versions + Remixes 1978-2015] UK CD [2016]

  1. Fade To Grey (Extended Version)
  2. Mind Of A Toy (Extended Version)
  3. Visage (Extended Version)
  4. The Damned Don’t Cry (Extended Version)
  5. The Anvil (Extended Version)
  6. Pleasure Boys (Extended Version)
  7. Tar (Extended Dub)
  8. Frequency 7 (Dance Version)
  9. Shameless Fashion (Extended Version)
  10. On We Go (Extended Version)
  11. Hidden Sign (Extended Version)

The third disc is of extended versions and remixes. Several are of interest. “The Damned Don’t Cry” and “The Anvil” have been on wax only, and an extended dub of “Tar” is something new here. I may assume that this was a post-modern mix, and “On We Go” was one of the few tracks from “Hearts + Knives” that was not a single, so the extended version here is a debut.


Steve Strange Collective | UK | CD | 2016 | SSC005

Steve Strange Collective | UK | CD | 2016 | SSC005

DISC 4 – Visage: Hearts + Knives Instrumentals UK CD [2016]

  1. Never Enough (Instrumental Version)
  2. Shameless Fashion (Instrumental Version)
  3. She’s Electric (Coming Around) (Instrumental Version)
  4. Hidden Sign (Instrumental Version)
  5. On We Go (Instrumental Version)
  6. Dreamer I Know (Instrumental Version)
  7. Lost In Static (Instrumental Version)
  8. I Am Watching (Instrumental Version)
  9. Diaries Of A Madman (Instrumental Version)
  10. Breathe Life (Instrumental Version)

Disc four is simply the “Hearts + Knives” album in instrumental form. All, technically, unreleased, though now you can focus on Robin Simon’s sterling guitar as well as the inventive bass approaches of Steve Barnacle with new ears.


Steve Strange Collective | UK | CD | 2016 | SSC006

Steve Strange Collective | UK | CD | 2016 | SSC006

DISC 5 – Visage: Orchestral Instrumentals] UK CD [2016]

  1. The Damned Don’t Cry (Orchestral Instrumental Version)
  2. Fade To Grey (Orchestral Instrumental Version)
  3. Dreamer I Know (Orchestral Instrumental Version)
  4. Mind Of A Toy (Orchestral Instrumental Version)
  5. Visage (Orchestral Instrumental Version)
  6. The Anvil (Orchestral Instrumental Version)
  7. Never Enough (Orchestral Instrumental Version)
  8. Pleasure Boys (Orchestral Instrumental Version)
  9. Hidden Sign (Orchestral Instrumental Version)
  10. Night Train (Orchestral Instrumental Version)
  11. Love Glove (Orchestral Instrumental Version)
  12. The Silence (Orchestral Instrumental Version)

Disc five is the rather stunning “Orchestral” album sans voix. More technically unreleased material.


Steve Strange Collective | UK | CD | 2016 | SC007

Steve Strange Collective | UK | CD | 2016 | SC007

DISC 6 – Visage: Demons To Diamonds Instrumentals] UK CD [2016]

  1. Before You Win (Instrumental Version)
  2. Become (Instrumental Version)
  3. Loving The Alien (Instrumental Version)
  4. Days Become Dark (Instrumental Version)
  5. Seven Deadly Sins Part Three (Instrumental Version)
  6. Aurora (Instrumental Version)
  7. Your Skin Is My Sin (Instrumental Version)
  8. Clubscene (Instrumental Version)
  9. Star City (Instrumental Version)
  10. Never (Instrumental Version)

The sixth disc is the final Visage album in instrumental form. Ironically, the ninth track has already been released on the “Darkness To Diamonds” remix album.


Steve Strange Collective | UK | LTD CD | 2016 | SSC008

Steve Strange Collective | UK | LTD CD | 2016 | SSC008

DISC 7 – Visage: The Wild Life Instrumentals UK CD [2016]

  1. Never Enough (Richard Stone & John Bryan In Prague Instrumental Version)
  2. Seven Deadly Sins Part Two (Instrumental)
  3. Hidden Sign (Tiger Face Flame Remix Instrumental)
  4. Dreamer I Know (Sare Havlicek Remix Instrumental)
  5. On We Go (Extended Instrumental)
  6. Digital Age (Instrumental)
  7. Tightrope (Instrumental)
  8. Your Skin Is My Sin (Antidote Version Instrumental)
  9. Fade To Grey (Tilt’s Nu-Romancer Remix)
  10. The Silence (Original Instrumental)

The last disc is exclusive to this limited edition set. Disc seven is instrumental mixes, all previously unreleased. Tracks 1, 2, and 4 were instrumental versions of previously released mixes, but the rest are instro versions of some of the remixes included in this very release, as well as some B-side material. I was most intrigued by the mixes of “Your Skin is My Sin” by Antidote, and Tilt’s Nu-Romancer mix of FTG. The Tilt version is just here, but the remix of “Your Skin is My Sin” is going to be out there on the other big release of “The Wild Life.”


Steve Strange Collective | UK | 2xLP | 2016 | SSC003

Steve Strange Collective | UK | 2xLP | 2016 | SSC003

2xLP – Visage: The Wild Life [The Best of Extended Versions + Remixes 1978-2015] UK 2xLP [2016]

  1. Fade To Grey (Extended Version)
  2. Mind Of A Toy (Extended Version)
  3. Visage (Extended Version)
  4. The Damned Don’t Cry (Extended Version)
  5. The Anvil (Extended Version)
  6. Pleasure Boys (Extended Version)
  7. Tar (Extended Dub)
  8. Frequency 7 (Dance Version)
  9. Shameless Fashion (Extended Version)
  10. On We Go (Extended Version)
  11. Hidden Sign (Extended Version)
  12. Your Skin Is My Sin (Antidote Extended Version)

Yesssss. The crafty lot at the Steve Strange Collective, have insured that the usually redundant vinyl [I don’t have any of the modern Visage albums on vinyl, only the 12″ of “Lost In Static”] is the only place where the Antidote Extended Version of “Your Skin Is My Sin” appears. This causes me cognitive dissonance. The 7xCD set is a limited edition with the final disc appearing only there. Price is a decent £49 for 56 tracks for the Visage collection. It can be ordered here. Act quickly if that seventh disc appeals to you, and the package included postcards, stickers, and signatures from the surviving members of the band: Steve Barnacle, Robin Simon, Lauren Duval, and Logan Sky. Worth it for the Simon autograph alone! It’s a good way for the Steve Strange Collective to accrue the funds needed for that Steve Strange statue, where all of the royalties are going [apart from the older tracks, one assumes].

Inasmuch as I can justify spending $61.16 on seven Visage CDs [I think its a fair price], having to fork out another £19 [$23.71 + 2xLP shipping from the UK] for that final remix is making me wonder if a strategic download might be the way to go on that track. It goes against my grain, but money is limited in these, the end times. I’ll have to get back to you on that one. Hopefully, we will have a review of the seven disc monster soon. Watch this space.

Tomorrow we’ll go back to our planned post that got bumped for today’s news.

– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | media design • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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14 Responses to Visage Go Out Guns Blazing

  1. Tim says:

    ”the end times”

    ?

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Tim – You -are- aware that there is a new man in control of the largest stockpile of nuclear missiles on this planet? And that his picks for his administration make Famine, Pestilence and Death look like a walk in the woods?

      Like

      • tim says:

        I just wanted to make sure that we were on the same page. I am no Trump fan (or TiC, Twitter in Chief as I call him) and I suspect that we’ll make it through his administration, probably up to our eyeballs in debt and with no social safety net.
        What concerns me more is climate change (my father – in – law has done several tours at MacMurdo in Antarctica as a contractor for Raytheon, he fixes the drills that they use to obtain the ice core samples) and this incoming administration is not at all going to be helpful on that one.

        I was intuited that was a political comment and not a “folks are not buying cds anymore and the end is here for that medium” comment, I just wanted to make sure that I read it right. Your blog is generally politics free and it’s nice having a destination that is like that.

        Like

  2. jordan says:

    I certainly like the fact that Visage is allowing you to choose and pay for the discs or DL you want.Instead of nearly every other act holding you ransom to purchase the box set (looking at you Simple Minds and NGD box) for that one elusive song or mix so kudos to them.I already have the first two Visage on CD and all the 12″ from the first two as well so perhaps it’s worth trying out the new material which I have yet to hear.

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      jordan – Definitely go for a copy of “Hearts + Knives.” They left off many stellar tracks from this on “The Wild Life.” Particularly “Never Enough” and it’s godlike extended version! If that piques your interest [I can’t imagine it not, but you never know] then move forward with the rest.

      Like

  3. Echorich says:

    I am in the same boat as you Monk. The one song I REALLY want is that Antidote Extended Mix….but the vinyl interests me not. The Set is tempting, but I may go a la carte as I have so much of the recent material on cd singles and albums…Going to have to contemplate.

    Like

  4. Taffy says:

    I ordered this right away cuz i’m an absurd completist, but unlike you I remain very wary of re-recordings. Also annoyed that the 12″ of Night Train is missing. But nobody forced me to buy…I simply can’t resist big grand statements like this!

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Taffy – Oh, I’m not wary of re-recordings with groups I collect! That’s just more grist for the mill! I’m definitely interested in the touring band putting their stamp on Visage classics. That live “Anvil” B-side, though rough, was exciting stuff. And when grand statements are affordable like this, they definitely don’t cause me angst.

      Like

  5. Rob C says:

    My only quibble is I was really hoping for a definitive end of story Best Of disc that would include their entire run of singles on a packed CD (could choose to drop the Orchestral version of FTG for another track to highlight that album):

    Tar
    Fade To Grey
    Mind Of A Toy
    We Move [Original 7″ Dance Mix]
    Visage
    The Damned Don’t Cry
    Night Train [7″ Version]
    The Anvil (Night Club School)
    Pleasure Boys
    In The Year 2525
    Love Glove [Single Version]
    Beat Boy [Single Version]
    Shameless Fashion [Radio Edit]
    Dreamer I Know
    Never Enough [Radio Edit]
    She’s Electric (Coming Around)
    Before You Win [Radio Edit]
    Fade To Grey [Orchestral Radio Version]

    Thoughts?

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Rob C – I get what you mean. A full set of all singles on 2xCD would be impressive. My biggest chagrin over this set is that my favorite Visage song, “Never Enough” is not included! The least of which in its godlike extended version.

      Like

      • Rob C says:

        At least they included Never Enough but to leave off Shameless Fashion was odd. I also like their cover of Loving The Alien from the final album.

        A 2-disc edition of all the singles in their 7″ form plus Strange Cruise singles & key remixes would have closed the book in an extremely satisfying way.

        That said I’m considering the 7-disc package though I know I’ll never listen to the instrumentals more than once nor will they make my iPod playlists.

        Like

    • Shelf says:

      Couldn’t agree more – THAT I would buy; however, the track list of the official product is disappointing. Even the promise of that elusive “Night Train” edit isn’t enough. I might have been lured by radio edits of ALL the Mark II singles, though.

      On the other hand, SSC004 – Best Of Extended Versions & Remixes – looks decidedly more interesting. But is it the case that all the Polydor material is re-recorded versions from 2013/14?

      Like

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