❚ MARCO PIRRONI, GARY KEMP AND BROADCASTER GARY CROWLEY were among the 80s faces who turned out for last night’s launch of a new CD compilation, The Face: The Very Best of Visage which goes on sale March 8. It contains 15 Visage tracks including new 2010 remixes of classic New Romantic dance anthems. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of their first chart hit from 1980, Fade to Grey, there are no less than four versions onboard (one by Michael Gray of The Weekend and Borderline, and another by Ministry of Sound deejay Lee Mortimer), plus remixes of Mind of a Toy, The Anvil, and a 12-inch dance mix of the single Visage.
Fronting their “Evening of sublime 80s self-indulgence” club-night in Chelsea were two 80s clubbing wizards Chris Sullivan and Rusty Egan (read more) who was the drummer with Visage and the Rich Kids.
Egan also became a deejay because he hated those flash guys who talked incessantly over the music in discos. He wanted to pioneer a new kind of synth-driven British electro-diskow and sought inspiration in Germany from the likes of Kraftwerk and avantgarde producer Konrad “Conny” Plank. In 1979, the Blitz club-night in London became his sounding board and it went on to inspire a vast slipstream of new British bands who changed the sound of the charts during the early 80s.
Along with Egan, Visage’s founding members in 1978 were the Blitz greeter Steve Strange, and musical polymath Midge Ure, who simultaneously became the lead singer with Ultravox in April 1979. Echoes of their pioneering electropop resonate in the charts today through acts such as Lady Gaga, La Roux, Little Boots and MGMT.