On November 10th, 1980 Visage released their self-titled debut album. The band saw its genesis when party hosts Steve Strange and Rusty Egan were hosting their New Romantic Bowie and Roxy Music inspired nights at Billy’s nightclub in London’s Soho. This was a precursor to The Blitz Club, the two would found, as well as The New Romantic cultural movement.
Following Strange’s stints in the punk/new wave bands The Moors Murderers and The Photons, and Egan membership in the group The Rich Kids, the pair decided to create their own music to play during their club night.
Egan recruited Midge Ure from the Rich Kids to join them, and the trio recorded a demo which included a cover of the Zager and Evans hit “In the Year 2525”.
Visage’s completed line-up included Ultravox keyboardist Billy Currie and most of the post-punk band Magazine such as guitarist John McGeoch, keyboardist Dave Formula and bassist Barry Adamson.
This was a sort of supergroup in reverse, as everyone in the band went onto legendary bands afterward, such as Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Ultravox, and more.
Adamson however, was only an official member of Visage for the group’s debut single “Tar”, performing as a session musician on the rest of the album.
“Fade to Grey” was Visage’s second single released on the same day as the album. The music video became one of the first videoclips that 10cc’s Kevin Godley and Lol Creme directed before they became known for their works with the Police, Duran Duran, and Herbie Hancock.
Appearing with Steve Strange in one version of the video was his friend Julia Fodor, who mimed the French lyrics during the clip. There is another version, however, that featured Strange’s friend Perry Lister, known for her performances with the Hot Gossip dance troop on Top of The Pops, and being the girlfriend to Billy Idol.
The third single from the album was “Mind of a Toy”. The theme of the video was the children’s book Little Lord Fauntleroy, a novel by the English-American writer Frances Hodgson Burnett.
The final single and the album’s title track “Visage”, includes footage shot at the legendary Blitz nightclub in London’s Covent Garden.
2. “Blocks on Blocks”
3. “The Dancer”
5. “Fade to Grey”
6. “Malpaso Man”
7. “Mind of a Toy”
8. “Moon Over Moscow”
10. “The Steps”