Steve Strange wasn’t just the visible face, vocalist, and de facto leader of Visage, he was a trend setter and created the foundation of the new romantic scene in Britain. He did this two ways 1.) Through his club Blitz 2.) Through his own personal appearance which he promoted and exported.
I am a big fan of Visage’s music and what is especially sad about Strange’s passing is that they recorded a comeback record a few years ago that was actually pretty good. I wrote about it here http://rgdinmalaysia.blogspot.com/2013/06/music-round-up-june-2013.html
Visage’s take on synth pop dressed up in the blitz fashion was largely devoid of cornball overemoting and dance grooves as the main priority (although they were there). Rather, Strange’s music had an air of mystery coupled with the celebration of artifice that originally came from glam rock.
One of best aspects about Visage’s music was they did not have a fixed line-up so Strange employed a revolving gang of musicians, the cream of the new wave crop from Ultravox (Midge Ure co-wrote a number of Visage tunes and was actually in an earlier version of the band but left to join Ultravox full time, however still continued work with Viage), Magazine, Bow Wow Wow. Earlier Visage tunes are often organic filled with guitar (“She Moves”) or bass and drum driven (“Mind of a Toy”). The band’s most well known song “Fade to Gray” is however full Euro synth pop.
Strange created a scene (New Romantics), he provided its first main hangout, he gave it its look and then he made music for its soundtrack. I can’t think of another person in music history so in control of a time and place. A fitting tribute for man whose excellent recorded output would have been enough.