Visage’s “The Wild Life” Collection – Deluxe, Delightful…And Definitive [discs 4-6]


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)

Not just perfect for singing along with in your car, but the instrumental version of “Hearts + Knives” captures the first flowering of the actual band that Visage would become by 2013, in stark contrast to the studio project of the early years. The best thing I can say about this disc is that it almost perfectly plays out with all of the melody and inventive arrangements we loved about the vocal album. Getting focus on strictly the music rewards the ear with lots of details that get glossed over in the final production. All of this sounds great, and I’m wishing that I could hear more of my favorite albums in instrumental versions. Curiously, the one song here that falls flat on the playback is ironically, one of the stronger singles. “Lost In Static” was perhaps more reliant on what Steve Strange brought to the table, than the music here would testify for.

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)

Nor surprisingly, the instrumental version of the “Orchestral” album is the definite must-have of this trilogy of CDs. It’s a testimony to the arrangements of Armin Effenberger, John Bryan, Michael Goodey, and Pete Whitfield that this album really succeeds in viewing the music on this CD in a whole new light. Some tracks have the orchestra bursting out of the starting block with the band on parity. Others, adopt a thrust where the orchestra begins the number like an overture of sorts, before the band come blazing in at a later point. This lends some of the longer tracks [“The Anvil,” “Fade To Grey,” Never Enough”] a 12″-like aspect. And it all sounds so right that there’s no wonder why [ahem] Midge Ure has announced that his next album will be an orchestral version of his songbook.

Steve Strange Collective | UK | CD | 2016 | SSC007

Steve Strange Collective | UK | CD | 2016 | SSC007

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)

I tend to focus on “Hearts + Knives” a lot because it was the album where Visage came back from cold storage with the utmost in vigor, but for what it’s worth, “Demons To Diamonds” was almost as strong an album. That the band were tied to songs they had a vocal from Steve by before his demise and it still hangs together well, says a lot for the caliber of work being done by all and sundry. I have a special fondness for this album because it was made after Visage actually played live shows as a band, and thus it has a more live feel that was never a part of the band until that time. Hearing the music without vocals draws attention to the integrity that it has.

Next: …The Limited Edition

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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1 Response to Visage’s “The Wild Life” Collection – Deluxe, Delightful…And Definitive [discs 4-6]

  1. Echorich says:

    I will have to disagree on Lost In Static, Monk. As an instrumental it is still the most fragile song from Hearts + Knives. The bass and drums throb and beat like a nervous heart. Robin Simon’s guitar works shimmers and glides above the beat like a crane searching for its missing life partner. As an instrumental it amplifies the delicate sorrow and beauty that Steve’s lyric bring to the complete song. My only wish is that it was about 2 minutes longer. The ending is just a bit too cold and a longer fade out would have been more appropriate to these ears.


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