Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Song of the Day: 'The Damn Don't Cry' by Visage

Damian was away part of the weekend, so my idle hands wound up in a deep Ultravox and Visage hole, two closely related bands I first discovered during one of my moodier phases in high school. MTV's frequent airing of the "Vienna," "Reap the Wild Wind" and "Fade to Grey" videos sent me out to buy the bands' first few albums. And my friends Kristen, Greg, Lisa and I all exchanged Christmas presents in the Dobson library during lunch in 1984, where Lisa got me Visage's "Beat Boy." (I vaguely recall someone bought Lisa Squeeze's "45 and Under" and I think I got Greg an import by Stephen "Tin Tin" Duffy.) Visage's haunting "Fade to Grey" set the New Romantic movement in motion, but "Beat Boy" was the band's first album without Midge Urge -- whose fingerprints were on many touchstones of the '80s New Wave -- so it paled in comparison to its predecessors. (The safe-sex anthem "Love Glove" was its shining moment.) As beloved as the eponymous debut remains, it's "The Anvil" that really excited me in retrospect. How they were able to follow up an iconic single like "Fade to Grey" with something as equally thrilling is remarkable -- Midge Ure is undoubtedly to thank for today's chilling song of the day -- but in addition to "The Damned Don't Cry" the LP also features classics like "Night Club School" and the Moroder-esque "Again We Love." Visage's pioneering vocalist and nightclub impresario Steve Strange died in 2015, a sad loss for one of the most colorful eras in music history.

P.S. We got Depeche Mode tickets for Monday. I'll tell you about that rabbit hole tomorrow.

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