Visage: Beat Boy Cassette Remix Edition DLX RM – US – CD 
- Beat Boy 7:19
- Casualty 6:02
- Questions 7:11
- Only The Good [Die Young] 5:33
- Can You Hear Me 6:32
- The Promise 4:10
- Love Glove 5:45
- Yesterday’s Shadow 6:34
- Reprise 2:35
- Beat Boy [Extended Dance Mix a.k.a. “10 Min. Dance Mix”] 8:44
- Love Glove [Full Version] 6:36
- She’s A Machine 4:50
- Yesterday’s Shadow [7″ Version – Previously Unreleased] 4:02
- Beat Boy [7″ Version] 3:30
Now this was a CD-R that I made in 2019 with the fullest confidence that it would never come to market! Little did I know that the best brains at Rubellan Remasters were hard at work making a full suite of the finest Visage reissues that have ever graced my Record Cell! We’ve already had a special Visage DLX Theme Week where we looked at the first three issues with a fine toothed comb. If you never ordered them, too bad, because they went through at least three pressings each and are now Out Of Print and in the process of commanding prices far more that the $13.99-$14.99 they originally sold for.
Visage superfan [and commenter] RichardAnvil came to me in 2019 offering a cassette of the “Beat Boy Cassette Remix” for digitization, so I said “yes sir”and made the disc which we’ve already discussed and there it lay for a surprisingly short length of time before Rubellan Remasters announced that yes, Virginia, there would be a “Beat Boy Cassette Remix Edition” CD! And this one wouldn’t be mastered from a 35 year old cassette. This one, like all of the CDs Rubellan Remasters have released, is carefully mastered from the original master tapes.
It must be said, that RichardAnvil didn’t sit down and channel surf once we got the CD-R version of this done. CD-Rs are at best a temporary stopgap measure, but glass mastered CDs are the real thing. They don’t go belly up in a hot car. So he directed his enthusiasm towards Rubellan Remasters and helped to get this title midwifed and out into the marketplace, also providing the liner notes and the interview with Steve Barnacle of Visage that added much to this edition.
As we’ve already covered the contents of the “Beat Boy” and “Beat Boy Cassette Remix Edition” previously on PPM, and we know that the cassette mixes differ while the tracks are not terribly longer [or shorter] than the already long tracks on the album prime, let’s look at the things that differ from the original tape. Rubellan have also used the US “Beat Boy” cover art [originally the inner sleeve photo on the UK edition] to be this cover with the red/purple color scheme being very different to the blue/violet color scheme of the UK “Beat Boy” cover.
The liner notes were packed with tasty info for the Visage fan interested in how the songs came to be recorded. The detail of Barnacle’s reminiscences provides a treasure trove of detail as to the hows and whys of the album’s artistic descisions. We learn about the mix of Fairlight CMI to traditional instruments and how tracks might have mixtures of real and programmed drums and bass. All of that crossover definitely gives the “Beat Boy” sessions more value years later than had it been entirely recorded “in-box” on the Fairlight. The mix of real and synthetic instrument always makes for a dynamic that keeps my ears more interested than any “purist” approach.
I wouldn’t have pegged “I’m Not In Love” as the inspiration for “Can You Hear Me” but now that I read it, I can definitely see where that came from, even as it was by no means a clone of the 10cc megahit. It was also fascinating hearing how the band’s manager didn’t hear “a hit” and at that point the single “Love Glove” was written, in spite of Rusty Egan’s antipathy. Steve Barnacle revealed that in the end, Egan only added the tambourines to that cut; deeming it “Eurotrash.” Ironically, it was the closest thing to a hit from the album, reaching 54 in the UK charts.
The album here sounds fantastic as any ears had only heard it from the cassette tape version that was never even as good sounding as LPs back in the day. As usual, Rubellan Remasters have taken care to give the music a little punch but with plenty of dynamic range to keep it from sounding harsh and irritating. Of course, serious Visage fans want to know what luxuries were in store this time as the bonus tracks!
The semi-legendary “Beat Boy [10 min. Dance Mix]” was the first bonus track here, but with an eye towards honesty and clarity [it actually has an 8:44 run time], it was called “Beat Boy [Extended Dance Mix]” here. With a mix 1:40 in advance of the original 12″ mix. I always assumed that the many “Beat Boy” remixes were down to Rusty Egan becoming smitten with the “Page R” sequencing environment of the Fairlight, and while all of the mixes feature similar sounds, they are each edited differently. It’s great to finally have the “10 Min Dance Mix” on CD as buying the white label promo 12″ from 1984 is difficult as you can see at no time did the band name grace the label shown at left! So if you want to buy one of these you either have to blunder into one where the seller has no idea, or else the seller is savvy to the origins of this and prices it very accordingly. Almost a lose/lose proposition.
“Love Glove [Full Version]” and “She’s A Machine,” were included here for completion’s sake, even thought the Cherry Pop 2009 CD of “Beat Boy” also featured these tracks. But that disc is OOP now and hard to buy. They are a valuable addition to this program to round it out nicely. The last two tracks are of even more interest. Rubellan when examining the master archive noticed that there had been a 7″ edit made of the great closer “Yesterday’s Shadow” and made sure to source that master when compiling this. It’s a lush, atmospheric track that never outstays its welcome, but having a tight edit of it sure doesn’t hurt any.
Finally, this is the only place where the concise 3:30 7″ mix of “Beat Boy” is available in all its digital glory on the silver disc. With this track ranging from 6-10 minutes in every other commercial mix, the humble 7″ may be the version of this track that delivers the most punch in the least amount of time. Never overstaying its welcome. Making of it a welcome addition to the many bonus tracks that this label have added to their four Visage CDs. Speaking of which…
The Rubellan Remasters Visage Bonus tracks
- We Move 4:00
- Fade To Grey (Dance Mix) 6:43
- Mind Of A Toy (Dance Mix) 5:15
- Visage (Dance Mix) 6:03
- We Move (Dance Mix) 6:29
- Frequency 7 (Dance Mix) 5:03
- Second Steps 5:27
- Motivation 3:46
- I’m Still Searching 3:38
- We Move (USA Single Remix) 3:43
- The Damned Don’t Cry (Dance Mix) 5:43
- Night Train (Dance Mix) 6:08
- The Anvil (Dance Mix) 6:13
- Pleasure Boys (Dance Mix) 6:55
- Frequency 7 3:05
- Night Train (7″ Remix) 3:42
- Der Amboss 4:37
- Pleasure Boys (Bonus Beats) 5:50
- Night Train (Dub Mix) 5:03
- Beat Boy (Extended Dance Mix) 8:44
- Love Glove (Full Version) 6:36
- She’s A Machine 4:50
- Yesterday’s Shadow (7″ Version – Previously Unreleased) 4:02
- Beat Boy (7″ Version) 3:30
So that is a list of the 24 rarities that they have compiled as bonus tracks on their four Visage CDs. It’s an astonishing list that this Visage fan thought I’d have to digitize from vinyl myself and these were all sourced from Polydor’s archives. That’s over two hours of Visage music beyond the four titles which were the main events on their respective discs! Even five years ago I held little hope that the band would have the sort of caring and detail oriented reissue program that has come to pass, so let us say “thank you” to Rubellan Remasters for a gratifying four disc series that is capped by this disc that I sure never expected to see in my preferred format.
Word has it that the disc, which was in general release on the 18th of February has already nearly sold out in pre-order of its first pressing of 1000 discs. The label has said that after the first printing sells out in March [by the look of it] there will be one more pressing of 1000 to go out into the world and that will be that. But there are colored vinyl Visage albums in the pipeline if you’ve got to have it analog! More on those later, but for now, you know what to do.