The Anvil (album)

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The Anvil
Anvil cover.jpg
Studio album by Visage
Released March 1982
Recorded 1981 at Mayfair Studios in Primrose Hill, London
Genre Synthpop, new wave
Length 40:33
Label Polydor
Producer Visage & Midge Ure
Visage studio album chronology
Visage
(1980)
The Anvil
(1982)
Beat Boy
(1984)
Singles from The Anvil
  1. "The Damned Don't Cry"
    Released: March 1982
  2. "Night Train"
    Released: June 1982
  3. "The Anvil (7" promo)/Der Amboss (12" promo)"
  4. "Whispers (Japan only)"

The Anvil is the second studio album by the British rock/pop band Visage, released in March 1982 by Polydor Records. The album reached No. 6 in the UK and was certified "Silver" by the British Phonographic Industry in April 1982. The Anvil was a legendary Gay after hours club where famous Danceteria DJ Bill Bahlman created the extremely popular "New Wave Nights at the Anvil" One night Bahlman invited Visage lead singer Steve Strange. So impressed with the power and fun of the energy charged, steamy atmosphere, he named his second album "The Anvil" Several of the tracks are his attempt to capture that energy on vinyl.

Recording[edit]

The only musician of the first album line-up that did not participate in this album's recording was John McGeoch. McGeoch commented in an interview: "One time I was in Spain [touring with Siouxsie and the Banshees] at the same time as Visage were recording the second album in London. Rusty [Egan] wanted me to put a guitar solo on something or other but I only had one day off and there was no way that I could fly home on my one day off. Rusty is not a man to be put off by such things and he was actually trying to put together a satellite linkup from Madrid to London for this one guitar part. Not surprisingly it didn't come off but I was sorry not to have been as involved on The Anvil as I had been on the first album".[1]

Release[edit]

The Anvil was released in March 1982. It reached No. 6 on the UK Albums Chart,[2] which was the band's highest ever chart peak in the UK, and was certified "Silver" by the British Phonographic Industry in April 1982.[3] The album sparked a brief controversy at the time of its release for being named after New York's famous gay bar/nightclub of the era.

The album's first single was "The Damned Don't Cry" which was released three weeks ahead of the album and reached No. 11 in the UK Singles Chart.[2] The second single released was "Night Train" in June 1982, reaching No. 12.[2] The album's title track was remixed and released as a promo single as well as a German-language 12" version ("Der Amboss"), and "Whispers" was also released as a single in Japan (where both it and "Night Train" were used in TDK television commercials).

The album's front cover photograph was taken by Helmut Newton. The original vinyl release of the album came in an embossed/textured sleeve (considered as deluxe packaging for the time), and a limited number of copies (3,000) came with a free poster of Steve Strange posing with a number of models at the Hôtel George-V in Paris (the poster is an extended shot of the 12" single cover of "The Damned Don't Cry").

The Anvil was the last Visage record to feature Ultravox frontman Midge Ure, who left the band after its release. Commenting on his departure the following year, Ure stated:

"The trouble with Visage was that there were too many chiefs, six characters all wanting an equal say without putting in an equal amount of work. I was doing most of the writing and producing, and we all knew Steve [Strange] was the frontman, but when it became successful, jealousy and the nasty side of the business crept in. That was never the way it was intended.

— Midge Ure, 1983[4]

The album's first release on the compact disc format was in Germany in 1984. It was re-issued on CD in the United States in 1997 by One Way Records, complete with two bonus tracks (though they are tracks from the 1980–81 era and not that of The Anvil). The Anvil was re-issued in the UK on CD by Cherry Red Records on 17 March 2008, containing six bonus tracks and detailed liner notes.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[5]
Record Collector 4/5 stars[6]

In his retrospective review, Dan LeRoy of AllMusic wrote that "almost all the band's efforts on The Anvil are extremely well-crafted synth pop."[5] Emily Mackay of Record Collector opined that the album "[still] sounds remarkably fresh."[6]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Visage (Billy Currie, Rusty Egan, Dave Formula, Steve Strange and Midge Ure).

Side A
No. Title Length
1. "The Damned Don't Cry" 4:43
2. "Anvil (Night Club School)" (known as "The Anvil" elsewhere, including various compilation albums and singles) 4:39
3. "Move Up" 4:25
4. "Night Train" 4:29
Side B
No. Title Length
1. "The Horseman" 4:41
2. "Look What They've Done" 4:49
3. "Again We Love" 4:44
4. "Wild Life" 4:24
5. "Whispers" 5:39

Personnel[edit]

Additional personnel

References[edit]

  1. ^ "John McGeoch interview". ZigZag. February 1984. 
  2. ^ a b c "Visage | Artist | Official Charts". Official Charts. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  3. ^ BPI (enter "Visage" in search terms)
  4. ^ Steels, Mark (23 June 1983). "Midge, Bill, Warren & Chris (An Interview with Ultravox)". Smash Hits. EMAP Metro. 5 (13): 45. 
  5. ^ a b LeRoy, Dan. "The Anvil – Visage | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Mackay, Emily (June 2008). "The Anvil review". Record Collector (350). Retrieved 27 December 2014. 

External links[edit]