1 the human face (`kisser' and `smiler' and `mug' are informal terms for `face' and `phiz' is British) [syn: countenance, physiognomy, phiz, kisser, smiler, mug]
2 the appearance conveyed by a person's face; "a pleasant countenance"; "a stern visage" [syn: countenance]
countenance; appearance; face
- German: Gesicht
- Sorani: ڕوخسار
- Persian: (simâ)
- face (The part of the body)
Visage is a British New Romantic band that originally formed in 1978, near wunnsburg. Founder members Steve Strange and Rusty Egan were hosting club nights at Blitz nightclub in Great Queen Street, London at the time and were eager to find new music to play, ultimately opting to create music themselves. Strange commented about the meaning of the band's name: "The meaning of Visage, apart from being French for face, is that the Vis is for the visual side of the band... and the Age is the new age in dance music. That's how I see it."http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/music/sites/steve_strange/
First incarnation (1978–1984)Initially, the band was comprised of Steve Strange, Rusty Egan and Midge Ure. Ure and Egan began working with Strange after the demise of power pop band The Rich Kids and Steve being at a loose end after the demise of new wave band The Photons (managed by punk legend Andy Czezowski creator of the Roxy Club and owner of the The Fridge) . The trio recorded a demo which included a cover of the Zager and Evans hit "In the Year 2525". Ultravox's multi-instrumentalist Billy Currie and the core of post-punk band Magazine – bassist Barry Adamson, guitarist John McGeoch, and keyboardist Dave Formula – joined the studio-only band later. Visage signed to Radar Records and released their first single, "Tar" (which was originally composed whilst Strange was in The Photons), in September 1979. The single failed to chart, but the band managed to secure a deal with a larger record company (Polydor) the following year.
1980 saw the release of their second single, "Fade to Grey". The single became a huge hit (making the top ten in the UK and topping the chart in several other countries) and was quickly followed by the release of their self-titled debut album which was also a chart success.
After further Top 40 hits with "Mind of a Toy" and "Visage", Strange struggled to reunite the band's members again to record a second album because of their commitments with their respective bands (Ure and Currie with Ultravox, Formula and Adamson with Magazine, and McGeoch with Siouxsie and the Banshees). However, in the autumn of 1981 all musicians (except McGeoch) went to the studio again and recorded The Anvil. The album was released in March 1982 and became Visage's first (and only) UK top ten album, producing two top twenty singles with "The Damned Don't Cry" and "Night Train". Like their debut album, The Anvil has been certified Silver in the UK.
Following this, Ure left the band to concentrate on his work with Ultravox, who were by now becoming even more successful than Visage were. Creative differences with Strange were also cited as reasons for his departure at the time. Visage, now without Ure and Adamson but with the addition of bassist Steve Barnacle, recorded the stand-alone single "Pleasure Boys", which was released in October 1982. Unfortunately, the single failed to prolongue their string of hits and peaked just outside the UK top 40.
Although still recording, Visage then took a two year hiatus from releasing any new material due to contractual difficulties. Polydor issued a "best of" compilation in mid 1983; Fade To Grey: The Singles Collection which included all of the singles released to date and the previously unreleased "In The Year 2525". Limited quantities of the album were issued with a free "Pleasure Boys" 7" picture disc single, whereas the cassette version of the album featured remixes of the singles. Although it only just peaked inside the UK top 40, the album was certified Gold in the UK shortly after its release.
With their contractual problems resolved, 1984 saw the return of Visage for what would become their third and final album to date. Beat Boy was released in September 1984 but was a critical and commercial failure, peaking at #79 in the UK. Two singles from the album; "Love Glove" and "Beat Boy" also failed to make the UK top 40. By this time, Billy Currie and Dave Formula had also departed the band (though they received a "special thanks" credit on the album sleeve for their input), leaving only Strange and Egan from the original line-up along with newer musicians Steve & Gary Barnacle and Andy Barnett. A decision to make Visage a live band instead of a strictly studio-based project also failed to meet with success and the band subsequently split in 1985. Their final release was a Visage VHS video compilation of the band's renowned promotional videos and also included footage of Strange's trip to North Africa the year before. The compilation does not, however, include the original video for the "Love Glove" single which was filmed at a late-night Dockland location in London in 1984.
Following the demise of Visage, Strange then formed the short-lived band Strange Cruise. They released one eponymous album in 1986, though this too proved unsuccessful. Visage returned to the charts once more when a Bassheads remix of "Fade to Grey" was a UK Top 40 in 1993.
Second incarnation (2004-)Steve Strange reappeared on the music scene in 2002, after several years of battling a heroin addiction. Strange performed several Visage songs on the "Here and Now Xmas Tour" — a revival of 1980s musicians. Some time after the performance, noting he still had a fanbase, Strange decided to launch what he calls a "Mark II" of Visage with people from several electronic bands and projects: Steven Young, Sandrine Gouriou and Rosie Harris from Seize and Ross Tregenza from Jetstream Lovers/Goteki. After the announcement of the formation of the new line-up and several television appearances, plans for reworking old material and releasing a new record have made slow progress. An updated version of Fade To Grey was produced in 2005 and Strange recorded the first "Visage mark II" original composition, named "In the Dark", as part of electronic music duo Punx Soundcheck's debut double album When Machines Ruled the World. The album was released in Europe in Summer 2006.
In 2007, another new song entitled "Diary Of A Madman" was recorded. Written by Strange with Visage mk II member Ross Tregenza, the track was co-produced by original Visage member Dave Formula . This song was made available for download from their official website in return for a donation to the charity Children in Need.
The long-since deleted Visage VHS video collection was repackaged for release on DVD in Summer 2006, though it was mistakenly titled "Visage Live".
In 2008, Strange (and Visage II keyboardist Sandrine Gouriou) made an appearance in the BBC series Life On Mars which is set in 1981. In it, they performed the song Fade to Grey in a scene set in the "Blitz" nightclub.
DiscographyFor a complete list of albums, EPs, singles and videos see Visage discography.
MediaThis section includes music samples of several Visage tracks:
External links and references
visage in German: Visage
visage in Spanish: Visage (banda)
visage in French: Visage (groupe)
visage in Italian: Visage
visage in Dutch: Visage
visage in Japanese: ヴィサージ
visage in Polish: Visage
visage in Swedish: Visage
air, bearing, brow, carriage, cast, cast of countenance, color, complexion, countenance, demeanor, dial, expression, face, facial appearance, facies, favor, feature, features, garb, guise, kisser, lineaments, lines, looks, map, mien, mug, mush, pan, phiz, physiognomy, port, posture, presence, puss, stance, traits, turn