ULTRAVOX - Vienna (1980)
New Wave, Electro, Synth-pop
Producer - Conny Plank
Chris Cross: Bass, Synthesizers, Vocals.
Midge Ure: Lead vocals, Guitars, Synthesizers.
Warren Cann: Drums, Electronic percussion, Vocals.
Billy Currie: Synthesizers, Piano, Violin, Viola.
Produced by Ultravox and Conny Plank.Recorded at RAK (London)Mixed at Conny's Studio (near Köln)
A1 Astradyne (7:07)
A2 New Europeans (4:00)
A3 Private Lives (4:06)
A4 Passing Strangers (3:49)
A5 Sleepwalk (3:10)
B1 Mr. X (6:33)
B2 Western Promise (5:44)
B3 Vienna (4:52)
B4 All Stood Still (4:23)
link to download:
Ultravox (formerly Ultravox!) were one of the primary exponents of the British electronic pop music movement of the early 1980s. The band was particularly associated with the New Romantic movement, although it both pre- and post-dated New Romantic by several years, drawing inspiration variously from punk, the artier side of glam rock, pub rock and latterly straightforward synthpop.
Rejecting the abrasive guitars of their punk-era contemporaries in favor of lushly romantic synthesizers, Ultravox emerged as one of the primary influences on the British electro-pop movement of the early '80s. Formed in London in 1974, the group -- originally dubbed Ultravox! -- was led by vocalist and keyboardist John Foxx (born Dennis Leigh), whose interest in synths and cutting-edge technology began during his school years; with an initial line-up consisting of bassist Chris Cross, keyboardist/violinist Billy Currie, guitarist Steve Shears and drummer Warren Cann, their obvious affection for the glam rock sound of David Bowie and Roxy Music brought them little respect from audiences caught up in the growing fervor of punk, but in 1977 Island Records signed the quintet anyway, with Brian Eno agreeing to produce their self-titled debut LP.
After scoring a minor UK hit with the single "My Sex," Ultravox returned later that year with Ha! Ha! Ha!; sales were minimal, however, and Shears soon exited, replaced by guitarist Robin Simon. A third LP, 1978's Systems of Romance, was recorded in Germany with renowned producer Conrad Plank, but it too failed commercially; Island soon dropped the band, at which time both Foxx and Simon quit, the former mounting a solo career and the latter joining Magazine. At that point the remaining members of Ultravox tapped singer/guitarist Midge Ure, an alumnus of Silk as well as Glen Matlock's Rich Kids; upon signing to Chrysalis, the new line-up recorded Vienna, scoring a surprise smash hit with the single "Sleepwalk," which reached the number two spot on the UK pop charts in 1981 and pushed the LP into the Top Five.
After 1981's Rage in Eden, Ultravox teamed with legendary producer George Martin for 1983's Quartet; their most successful LP in the otherwise impenetrable American market, it launched the minor hit "Reap the Wild Wind." Upon completing 1984's Lament, Warren Cann left Ultravox to forge a solo career. The remaining members, adding Big Country's Mark Brzezicki, resurfaced with U-Vox in 1986 before going their separate ways. Currie and Simon reformed the band as U-Vox in 1993, adding vocalist Marcus O'Higgins; three years later, they released the lackluster Ingenuity. ~ Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide
Written by Jason Ankeny
"Ultravox first album with Midge Ure is amazing and his vocal skills and ability to write pertinent lyrics is truly astounding. This album has some amazing tracks on it and yes there are more excellent tracks besides Vienna. Tracks such as Mr. X, the odd sounding yet cool sleepwalk, and many others shows that the brilliant mind of Midge Ure. This is a guy that can write good new wave, instrumental, synth and pop music and this is not a small feat in itself. I love this album."