About a month ago, the lead singer of 80’s new wave band Visage, Steve Strange, tragically passed away from a heart attack. He played a major role in the New Romantic music and fashion movement and embraced androgyny, makeup and eclectic clothes. Steve was certainly a visionary and I wanted to pay tribute to him and his band Visage with this post.
Visage are best known for their synthpop hit “Fade to Grey”, released in 1980. The somber dance tune features the voice of a woman speaking in French and Steve singing about what sounds like death. The spoken French is actually the same words sung in English. The visuals in the music video are eerie and display Steve’s gender bending ways. He was definitely one of a kind.
Steve turns into Little Lord Fauntleroy in the video for my favorite Visage song, “Mind of a Toy”. The song tells the story of an old toy that’s no longer loved and is essentially thrown away. The creepy music video was actually banned because it was deemed too scary for children. There’s a disturbing rocking horse, a life-like marionette and a dollhouse fire. The sound of a music box in the outro is fitting. Steve’s aristocratic outfit and quiff hairstyle made him a fashion icon. The concept of personifying a toy is also very intriguing. Good stuff, indeed.
I only discovered Visage this past summer, but Steve captivated me right off the bat. I love a smart song and a dark visual. Rest in peace, Steve. Your colorful influence will never fade to grey.