― NoRMaN FaY, Thursday, 10 May 2001 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink
John Foxx Ultravox -- great, all three albums wonderful, "Hiroshima
Mon Amour" astonishing.
Midge Ure Ultravox -- I'll take the greatest hits, but that's about
it. I heard "Reap the Wild Wind" a few months ago at a mall and was
surprised at how well it still worked.
John Foxx alone -- first two albums? Grand. "Europe After the
Rain," now *that's* an early eighties song title. After that I'm not
so sure, but I heard something from his recent ambient stuff and I
enjoyed that, at least.
Midge Ure alone -- HA!
― Ned Raggett, Thursday, 10 May 2001 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink
Why Metamatic so GREAT? Haveta go home and relisten with Pop-Epiff ears, I think.
― mark s, Thursday, 10 May 2001 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink
― norman fay, Thursday, 10 May 2001 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink
― ooops, Thursday, 10 May 2001 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink
When they lost Foxx and got Midge Ure, they lost their leader and
conceptualist, but gained a more hook-wise songwriter, and Vienna is
a good one. Later albums found Ure's vocals getting ever more
grandiose, songwriting pompous, and while the band continued to play
well, they had lost what attacted me to them in the first place.
― Sean, Thursday, 10 May 2001 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink
ultravox were alright, great in places - that hymn video with oliver
tobias eyes looking bored
― geordie racer, Thursday, 10 May 2001 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink
― Nick Greenfield, Wednesday, 16 May 2001 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink
― Fastnbulbous (Fastnbulbous), Wednesday, 13 September 2006 13:13 (6 years ago) Permalink
― aldo_cowpat (aldo_cowpat), Wednesday, 13 September 2006 13:49 (6 years ago) Permalink
― Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Wednesday, 13 September 2006 20:01 (6 years ago) Permalink
― rogermexico (rogermexico), Thursday, 14 September 2006 06:01 (6 years ago) Permalink
― timmy tannin (pompous), Thursday, 14 September 2006 06:06 (6 years ago) Permalink
― Obvious Ninja (Haberdager), Thursday, 14 September 2006 11:27 (6 years ago) Permalink
Do any decent quality live boots exist of the Foxx-fronted band's last US tour, I wonder?
― Pashmina (Pashmina), Thursday, 14 September 2006 11:34 (6 years ago) Permalink
Classic: The three albums with John Foxx and the first two albums with Midge Ure - 'Vienna' and 'Rage In Eden'. If we're talking solo careers, John Foxx's 'Metamatic' easily goes in here.
Dud: everything else. Midge's entire solo career included.
― Turrican, Friday, 4 November 2011 05:55 (1 year ago) Permalink
There's a moment on the second track on 'Quartet', their third album with Midge, where Midge sings "SERENADE!!! IN RHYYYYTHM AND SWWWING!". I believe that to be the exact point where Ultravox turned shit.
― Turrican, Friday, 4 November 2011 05:57 (1 year ago) Permalink
I dunno, I have a soft spot for the best of the Midge Ure cheese - "The Collection" singles comp scratches that itch for me. Otherwise, I agree with your assessment EXCEPT there's plenty of other good bits in John Foxx's solo career, including a new album ("Interplay") this year which ranks with his best. No foolin'!
― Gerald McBoing-Boing, Friday, 4 November 2011 15:09 (1 year ago) Permalink
Yep, you can totally add Interplay to the classic pile as well. What an album!
― The Jupiter 8 (Turrican), Thursday, 5 April 2012 21:14 (1 year ago) Permalink
...and the follow-up just came out, "The Shape Of Things", which is also great albiet more dark and introspective.
Oh, and the Midge Ure line-up reunited and announced a new album. No good can come of that but I'll still give it a Spotify spin.
― Gerald McBoing-Boing, Thursday, 5 April 2012 21:24 (1 year ago) Permalink
Yeah, The Shape Of Things is definitely a little bit more 'abstract' and less 'song-based' than Interplay, but it's still definitely well worth a listen. I'll also be making a point of checking out the new Ultravox album with Midge though; I'm hoping it leans more towards the Vienna/Rage In Eden end of that line-ups output rather than the Quartet end of things.
Sometimes I think that Rage In Eden (especially the title track and the song suite at the end of side 2) is the best thing that the Midge line-up ever did.
― The Jupiter 8 (Turrican), Thursday, 5 April 2012 21:31 (1 year ago) Permalink
Ever since aerosmith posted some years ago about how "The Voice" was a great study about fascism I've taken on that one in a new light. Only just saw the video the other week and while it's definitely a classic early 1980s/Russell Mulcahy trip in its best moments it actually really works on that front:
― Ned Raggett, Thursday, 5 April 2012 22:10 (1 year ago) Permalink
Coincidentally, I'd also only just seen the video to this for the first time the other week! Now that I'm more than used to the 6 minute album version of 'The Voice', the single edit just feels as though it's been unjustly tampered with! The rest of Rage In Eden has a similar grandiose vibe to it, and it's pretty much all there in its song titles: 'We Stand Alone', 'Accent On Youth'... not to mention lyrics like 'And those who sneer will fade and die/and those who laugh will truly fall/and those who know will always feel their backs against the thin wall'. I always liked the way that they composed the title track for Rage In Eden by flipping part of the backing vocals for 'I Remember (Death In The Afternoon)' backwards and writing a whole new song around it too.
It's one of those albums that, on the whole, seems to have a complete and total vision to it that it never wavers from, and it's very much an album that needs to be listened to as an album. It's also the least poppiest Midge Ure-era album; the title track and 'Your Name (Has Slipped My Mind Again)' are hardly what I'd call 'hit single' stuff. After this, they definitely got a hell of a lot more poppier and more conventional, eventually turning into something resembling a "stadium" band with Lament.
I've said this before, but... I understand the passion that John Foxx fans have for the first three Ultravox albums, and it's a passion that I share completely; Systems Of Romance is quite possibly one of my favourite albums of all time. However, at the same time, I don't believe that Ultravox ceased to be a creative force when Midge Ure joined the band - this incarnation of the band tended to write as a collaborative unit all together in the same room, and for the first couple of albums at least the juices were still flowing. There's some interesting and creative work on Vienna and Rage In Eden, I think. I do think that by 1982/1983, though, that this particular line-up of the band had already run its course creatively, although they did manage to craft some fairly decent pop songs afterwards.
― The Jupiter 8 (Turrican), Thursday, 5 April 2012 22:50 (1 year ago) Permalink
Gotta also say about "The Voice" -- that's a good bassline.
― Ned Raggett, Thursday, 5 April 2012 22:52 (1 year ago) Permalink
Yeah, it's pretty much a hallmark of the whole album. Not only 'real' bass, but loads of analogue sequenced bass goodness.
― The Jupiter 8 (Turrican), Thursday, 5 April 2012 22:55 (1 year ago) Permalink
So the new album is out now, apparently?
― The Jupiter 8 (Turrican), Tuesday, 29 May 2012 18:22 (11 months ago) Permalink
and on emi according to the listing in mojo !
(it seems that bands that come back after such a length of time out normally end up on certain boutique labels that cater for the 80s reissue/revival market as opposed to a major these day .. )
― mark e, Tuesday, 29 May 2012 18:56 (11 months ago) Permalink
I haven't heard it yet, I'll be giving a listen later on today!
― The Jupiter 8 (Turrican), Tuesday, 29 May 2012 19:11 (11 months ago) Permalink
Well, Brilliant had the potential to be something much more than it actually is; but its flaws... christ, where do I begin?
― The Jupiter 8 (Turrican), Friday, 14 September 2012 22:26 (8 months ago) Permalink
heard "dancing with tears in my eyes" in whole foods of all places tonight. it was blasting and i totally appreciated its ridiculousness in such a setting tbh
― buzza, Monday, 17 December 2012 08:00 (5 months ago) Permalink
Haha, just re-read this thread today! I need to reappraise "Vienna" and "Rage In Eden", haven't heard them in eons as I've only got the compilation.
― Gerald McBoing-Boing, Monday, 17 December 2012 21:52 (5 months ago) Permalink
I thought the first three Ultravox! albums with John Foxx were fantastic. Great glam/punk/futurismo sound, great concept and style too.When they lost Foxx and got Midge Ure, they lost their leader and conceptualist, but gained a more hook-wise songwriter, and Vienna is a good one. Later albums found Ure's vocals getting ever more grandiose, songwriting pompous, and while the band continued to play well, they had lost what attacted me to them in the first place.
― Sean, Thursday, May 10, 2001 1:00 AM (11 years ago)
^^^ this is a good assessment. Foxx was/is a better lyricist, Ure better at coming up with hooks, although Foxx writes better tunes. Bits of 'Radge' are OK, but that's where they lost me. I've been listening to 'Vienna' a lot recently, and it could do with better ordering of the tracks - having 'New Europeans', 'Private Lives', and 'Passing Strangers' one after the other is a bit of a mistake IMO, they should have been spread out a bit. A great move to open the album with a 7 minute long instrumental though - can't fault them on having the balls to do that.
― Black Rod, Jane, and Freddy (snoball), Monday, 17 December 2012 22:07 (5 months ago) Permalink
I've always preferred the Canadian track order of Side 1 - Sleepwalk/Passing Strangers/New Europeans/Private Lives/Astradyne - probably because that's the first way I heard it, but it seems to flow better to me.
Anyway - classic band for me in both incarnations, with the first three albums having the edge, obv, but I dig a lot of the Ure era too.
― Kent Burt, Monday, 17 December 2012 23:09 (5 months ago) Permalink