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|2. Blocks On Blocks|
|3. The Dancer|
|5. Fade To Grey|
|6. Malpaso Man|
|7. Mind Of A Toy|
|8. Moon Over Moscow|
|9. Visa-Age (Visa Age)|
|10. The Steps|
This is the album that spawned the singles Fade To Grey, Mind Of A Toy and the title track. Taking time out from their regular musical activities (Ultravox and Magazine - two of the late seventies' most influential British bands - among them), Visage were always conceived as a studio project and they delivered the goods on this album and its sequel The Anvil (1982).
Highlights here? The singles but also tracks like The Dancer, Blocks & Blocks, the stonking instrumental Moon Over Moscow and the homage to Clint Eastwood himself, Malpaso Man.
If you want to know how British synth-based pop/rock developed in the wake of Numan, Foxx and Kraftwerk, buy this and know the truth.
The band consists of members of Ultravox, Magazine and Skids, along with singer Steve Strange. It's unusual to see such a melting pot of talent produce something so original and coherent. Steve Strange is far from the best vocalist technically, struggling to pitch and hold a tune for most of the album, but his style fits so perfectly that lack of technical ability is irrelevant - this is a perfect example of the performance being the most important part of the delivery.
The fantastic 'Fade to Grey' makes this album worth the price, but there is also 'Mind of a Toy' and 'Visage' here, along with some excellent instrumentals.
This album started the new romantic movement, and without it I don't think the movement would have got anywhere!
Brilliant debut and follow-up and then not so hot. This album is a classic: up there with Closer, Architecture & Morality and Vienna in the early 80s pantheon of cool.
The album is closely sequenced, many of the tracks crossfading into one another and this helps the flow of the album. Mr Egan did indeed know Mr Currie and Mr Ure from the Blitz and with Midge was a former Sliker and Rich Kid. It's owes a lot to teamwork: help from Martin Rushent and Numan sidesman Chris Payne (who co-wrote Fade To Grey with Billy Currie and Midge) and even the stylist and hairdresser got a mention on the sleeve!
Malpaso Man is a homage to Clint Eastwood and his production company of the same name: check the lyrics folks! Moon Over Moscow shimmers with Soviet chic and is great to play live.
As an album it's coherant and the material well matched. It's vivid even twenty-one years after its release and that's no bad thing. So buy it! Al Ferrier July 2001