STRANGE CRUISE: Strange Cruise: CD

Strange Cruise was a short-lived 1980s British pop rock group, fronted by former Visage singer Steve Strange and Wendy Cruise (aka Wendy Wu, the former singer of The Photos). The band released only one, self-titled album in 1986 and it has been remastered and expanded because of the rarity and demand by fans.

Well after all these years this hard to find album is out in the shops and it really is an artifact of the time period. The production is over the top, the songs are in the vein of the poppiest of pop from the era, it’s a mix of Haircut 100 and Culture Club, and about as deep as a puddle after a light drizzle. Yes it’s interesting to hear the mix of Strange’s and Cruise’s voices, but is it really what the man who fronted the preeminent new romantic band’s desire to do this the way it’s presented? I guess you can only be influential and not too well off, when bands like Duran Duran, and Spandau Ballet who started as new romantics had become worldwide sensations and insanely rich as well, and you are standing on the sidelines watching this unfold in front of you. Strange said that the label didn’t get behind the album, but maybe it was the choice of singles that were picked poorly, “Animal Call” is a pretty good song, very catchy, “Hit And Run” was another one that could have been a single, as well as “Love Addiction.” The singles chosen were wrong in my mind “Rebel Blue Rocker” and “The Beat Goes On” are very weak and overdone and don’t give this a great light to shine on the rest of the album. The sound is fairly clear, but being this is from the era of loading the album full of overproduction and tons of layers, it still is clear and crisp.

The album is a must for any completist of Steve Strange’s music and also if you are a fan of The Photos, but don’t think that you will playing this as much as either of those artist’s other albums. It’s sad that Strange has passed away, but at least we got another Visage album from him so we wouldn’t be stuck with this a his farewell to us.

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