Firstly, so as not to detract from the quality of what is 5 star material on this welcome Polydor/Universal compilation celebrating 30yrs of Visage (effectively), here are the positives.
You get nearly 80 minutes of material, 65 of which is original pure class. There are also two 2009 remixes, the Michael Gray opener being the most successful, and arguably far superior to the the Bassheads 1993 efforts, as it keeps more of the original feel. The Lee Mortimer mix is not so sympathetic, and is not a patch on the original! You get all the crucial hits, some in extended glory, and some well-compiled liner notes and images. The 12" original mix here, of seminal "Fade To Grey", is the 6.40 long version, and "In The Year 2525" doesn't fade out into "The Anvil", so they got that right!
All this makes this an essential purchase, but as with all Visage compilations, including the original Singles Collection (which I still have on vinyl, plus the dance mix promo), there are sadly some mistakes...
...firstly the mix of "Night Train" is not the listed Luongo mix (yet again), but the album mix. Although I like Mr Ure's version just as much it would've been the perfect opportunity to include John's revamp, whether in 7" or 12" form. Then the initial excitement of seeing so many "original 12" dance mixes" was tempered by discovering "Damned Don't Cry" is also the album mix. Inexcusable, dear compiler! However the good news is the rest of the 12" mixes listed (including "Pleasure Boys") are all present and correct.
"Der Amboss" rears its head again, and sounds like it may be mastered from vinyl, as the spikey sequencer lines sometimes distort quite a bit.
The only song exclusion is "Beat Boy", which is a bit of a shame as the 7" edit is quite hard to come by on CD (unlike the album and Dance versions). I would've preferred that in place of Mortimer 2009 FTG remix personally, but that's just me!
I really wanted to give this 5 stars, and the music on this generously full CD deserves them, as does the artwork, but the slightly annoying slip-ups drop a star for me.
Steve, Midge, Rusty, Billy and the crew were a pivotal force at the time, combining outrageous imagery and artiness with some solid atmospheric electro-pop of its era. A lot of today's currently trendy (and mostly female) chart acts owe them a lot.
So all fans of 80's electro music, and the likes of Lady Gaga, should buy it anyway....and enjoy!