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|His modern world revolves around the synthesizer's song
Full of future thoughts and thrills, his senses slip away
He's a European legacy, a culture for today
"New Europeans" -- Ultravox
"Along with bands like Depeche Mode, The Human League and Soft Cell, Ultravox have defined the essence of the early eighties new romantic wave. Armed with an impressive musicfolio, including numerous electro-pop hit songs, they became pioneers of the synthpop genre. Characterized by Billy Currie's distinctive synthesizer's touch and Midge Ure's powerful voice, Ultravox will always be remembered for their 'Ure years'. The John Foxx era has its electro-punk appeal and the 'post-Ure' years with Billy Currie are an intriguing come-back, that might have been rejected by Ultravox fans, but still holds a distinctive melodic value."
-- Said Sukkarieh, Musicfolio, 5/99
Line-up: John Foxx (vocals), Billy Currie (keyboard, violin), Chris Cross (bass) , Warren Cann (drums) and Steve Shears (guitars) [later-on replaced by Robin Simon].
Formerly known as Tiger Lily, this line-up released 3 albums under the name Ultravox.
Track Listing: Saturday Night In The City Of The Dead , Life At Rainbow's End (For All The Tax Exiles On Main Street) , Slip Away , I Want To Be A Machine , Wide Boys , Dangerous Rhythm , The Lonely Hunter , The Wild the Beautiful and the Damned , My Sex
Track Listing: Rockwrok , Frozen Ones , Fear In The Western World , Distant Smile , Man Who Dies Every Day , Artificial Life , While I'm Still Alive , Hiroshima Mon Amour
1978: Systems of Romance
Track Listing: Slow Motion , Can't Stay Long , Someone Else's Clothes , Blue Light , Some Of Them , Quiet Men , Dislocation , Maximum Acceleration , When You Walk Through Me , Just For A Moment
1999: The Island Years
Best of Ultravox, 1977-1979. The John Foxx era.
In 1980, Vocalist and guitarist Midge Ure replaces John Foxx and Robin Simon
½ 1980 : Vienna
"With Vienna, Ultravox effectively began their second incarnation. Over the course of their previous three albums, they had crafted a punchy variety of art-punk, largely dependent on Billy Currie's synthesizer effects and John Foxx's atmospheric vocals. The focus shifted on Vienna, with the band moving into a fusion of ambience and artistry that would ultimately make them one of the best bands of the new-wave period. It's not that Vienna wasn't a pop album (it was), but it represented a form of high craftsmanship within the pop idiom that few others could hope to attain. (...)
This album, and particularly its second half, ranks as one of the more artistically solid creations from the British new wave movement..."
-- The Christopher Currie, Tentaive reviews, 5/00
1981: Rage in Eden
"It's got the characteristic Ultravox sound that mixed synthpop and electronics with more traditional rock instrumentation. The sound is more ambitious than Vienna, the lyrics and arrangements have the grandiose New Romantic flair (or, to look at it negatively, some of the lyrics verge on highly pretentious, and some of the instrumental excesses have a 70s prog rock feel to them), and it's a very solid album overall. There's lot of the classic Billy Currie soaring synth, Ure's vocals are still pleasantly melodramatic, and Warren Cann's tight and varied percussion drives everything along. The album only spawned a couple of singles in The Thin Wall and The Voice..."
-- Al Crawford, awrc.com, 9/77"Confirmation, consolidation and CLASS." -- Melody Maker
½ 1982: Quartet
"Producer George Martin has accomplished for Ultravox what it most sorely needed: a refinement of their sound. The music sparkles crisply here, not having to constantly fight the production as in the past. Quartet should be the record to catapult Ultravox from its synthesizer-dance band cult status to large scale notoriety. Reap The Wild Wind is the obvious lead cut, having already received considerable airplay as an import. Explore the rest of the album as well; try Serenade, Visions In Blue, We Came To Dance."
-- CMJ New Music Report, via CDnow.com
"Ultravox self-produced Lament, proving themselves quite capable of working without outside supervision. The album contains two of their finest singles, 'One Small Day' and 'Dancing with Tears in My Eyes', amidst a host of other suave and personable excursions. Lament further elevates Ultravox's reputation as one of the few groups to capably incorporate synthesizers and other modern conveniences into a truly unique sound. "
½ 1985: Ultravox - The Collection
A collection of some of the jewels of Ultravox gathered from 1980 to 1985. 14 songs, including one new non-album track: Love's a Great Adventure.
Track Listing: Same Old Story, Sweet Surrender, Dream On, The Prize, All Fall Down, Time To Kill, Moon Madness, Follow your Heart, All in One Day.
"This album, the final Ultravox release to feature singer/guitarist Midge Ure, is widely seen as a letdown to most of their fans and even the band themselves. Chalk it up to change. In reality, this album is decent, very decent, yet lacks too. In the early 80's, Ultravox' sound was a unique hybrid of electronic, rock and European classical styles. Sombre, atmospheric and powerful with a touch of cool, icy mystique. This was 1980-1984. Many bands have a period like this when their classic line-up period ends but they have one more album in them, one that is by your favorite line-up but also one that doesn't quite fit in with the rest of their albums. This is one such record. (...) Drummer Warren Cann is also absent here, reducing U-vox to a trio. His robotic rhythms were a big feature of previous albums, and his replacement, Mark Brzezicki, a powerful drummer in his own right, adds more swing to the proceedings. Midge Ure had also changed. As of the previous year, he had begun to outgrow Ultravox. He now had a succesful solo album(1985's the Gift), the 'Do They Know Its Christmas' single and a big hand in Live Aid under his belt, and one could be forgiven if they thought Midge may haver been involved in this album as a contractual obligation. His writing and overall aura seem to be going in a new direction, that of the slightly adult contemporary solo artist with a political bent ala Sting, Bono etc. Other features which add to the 'thawing out' of Ultravox include horn sections, backing vocals, acoustic guitar and orchestral arangements. This is a more organic sounding album. Billy Currie, pretty much the 'sound' of Ultravox, is curiously restrained on this album. His European styled piano and Kraftwerk synths are replaced by more streamlined 80's style synths. There is not much of his violin at all. All in all, this album is a curious one to hear. Not for those who would have kept them sounding like 'Vienna' forever."
-- Jason M. Carzon, Amazon.com customer review, 4/05
1997: Dancing with Tears in my Eyes
Another collection (and there are so many) of greatest hits from the Midge Ure era of Ultravox. 16 songs.
1998: Ultravox - Premium Gold Collection:
Yet another collection of 18 hit songs from Ultravox (1981-86).
Billy Currie revives the Ultravox name by teaming up with vocalist Tony Fenelle in 1992:
Track Listing: I Am Alive , Revelation , Systems Of Love , Perfecting The Art Of Common Ground , The Great Outdoors , The Closer I Get To You , No Turning Back , True Believer, Unified , The New Frontier
Billy Currie restructures his band to include Sam Blue (vocals), Vinny Jones (guitars), Gary Williams (bass), and Tony Holmes (Drums).
½ 1994: Ingenuity
"The same old Currie synthesizer's coalescence worthy of Ultravox. Interestingly enough, the vocalist (Sam Blue) does a good job filling in the huge void left by Midge Ure. Songs like Ingenuity and Future Picture Forever on this album remind me of the more recent Alphaville work. But as a whole, the album is far from actual 'ingenuity'."
-- musicfolio.com, 5/99
1995: Future Picture
A collection of old Ultravox songs performed by the new vocalist Sam Blue. Why? Do we really need to compare his vocal capabilities to Midge Ure's brilliance? The album includes also some of the new songs from Ingenuity.
2011/2012: Reunion of Midge Ure / Billy Currie / Chris Cross / Warren Cann
Tracklisting: 01.Live Again 02.Flow 03.Brilliant 04.The Change 05.Rise 06.Remembering 07.Hello 08.This One 09.Fall 10.Let It Lie 11.Satellite 12.Contact
Release date: May 28, 2012
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