15 June 2022

Kent Music Report beyond the top 100: 15 June 1981

Another week in 1981 where there is only one new single to write about, so let's just jump in.
Visage faded to grey on the Australian chart after just one single.
Beyond the top 100:
Position 28 "Mind of a Toy" by Visage
Highest rank: 1st
Peak date: 13 July 1981
Weeks on below list: 7 weeks
British synth-pop band Visage, fronted by Steve Strange (real name Stephen Harrington), formed in 1978.  Their first Australian single, "Fade to Grey" (number 6, May 1981), reached the top ten locally, and was also Visage's first hit in the UK, where it reached number 8 in February 1981.  "Fade to Grey", co-written and produced by Midge Ure from Ultravox, remains a pioneering piece of early 80s electronic music.

The follow-up single, "Mind of a Toy", was less successful than its predecessor.  In the UK, "Mind of a Toy" peaked at number 13 in April 1981, and also reached number 16 in Ireland, number 42 in the Netherlands in May 1981, and number 10 in Germany in June 1981 ("Fade to Grey" spent seven non-consecutive weeks at number 1 in Germany between March and May 1981).

In Australia, "Mind of a Toy" came within a whisker of the top 100, reaching first position on the Kent Music Report beyond the top 100 list.  "Fade to Grey", however, was to be Visage's only sizeable hit in Australia, with only one other single, "The Damned Don't Cry" (number 94, June 1982), making the top 100.

Both "Fade to Grey" and "Mind of a Toy" were lifted from the band's debut album Visage (number 17, June 1981); their only LP to register a top 100 position in Australia.
I have heard/seen "Mind of a Toy" before, on a repeat of Countdown during rage retro month.  It's OK, but doesn't really hold a candle to "Fade to Grey"; I can see why it was not as big a hit.   Of the few other Visage singles I am familiar with, "Love Glove" (released in Australia in October 1984, did not chart) is my favourite.

Visage would not trouble the beyond top 100 list again.  Steve Strange died in February 2015, aged 55, following a heart attack while in Egypt.

Next post (29 June 1981): There were no singles debuting on the beyond the top 100 list next week that missed the top 100.  In a fortnight's time, there will be six new entries on the below top 100 list.

< Previous week: 8 June 1981                                          Next post: 29 June 1981 >

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