John Foxx Era Ultravox Vs Midge Ure Era Ultravox

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C'mon ILMers, which is really the best?
Search & Destroy, Classic Or Dud, Taking Sides etc
Also solo stuff too.

Benny Green, Monday, 28 April 2003 16:37 (sixteen years ago) link

Back when this question had more currency it seemed to me that there was a very passionate contingent on the John Foxx side. I could not understand it for the life of me! Vienna + Rage In Eden = the best that band could ever possibly have been, to my ears. But then it's been years, perhaps the John Foxx Vox wouldn't sound as unremarkable to me now as it did then.

J0hn Darn1elle (J0hn Darn1elle), Monday, 28 April 2003 16:52 (sixteen years ago) link

get thee to Systems Of Romance
and yes, this question has been well-worn here
and no, the future of music does not depend on it

Paul (scifisoul), Monday, 28 April 2003 17:13 (sixteen years ago) link

OH My GOd!

To even suggest that midge ure era Ultravox is even in the same league as foxx is an insult. its true that Metamatic blows away any of the Ultravox recordings, but c'mon "dislocation" and "my sex" vs. "vienna" and "visions in blue"

give me a break

geeg, Monday, 28 April 2003 19:53 (sixteen years ago) link

The "Vienna" album was their best. They never sucked as bigtime during their Foxx era that they did on that 1986 "U-Vox" album though

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Monday, 28 April 2003 20:23 (sixteen years ago) link

I know we've done this twice before because I remember posting to them. So yes John Foxx version of Ultravox(!) was better, etc. The Midge Ure version did put out some good singles at first, and overall were fine. That debut LP is classic though, as is the album cover.

Sean (Sean), Monday, 28 April 2003 20:48 (sixteen years ago) link

Many people speak about John Foxx's Metamatic being better than Ultravox, but http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&uid=6:32:22|PM&sql=A6beyxdkb3oly only gets one and a half stars.
Is it as bad as that?

Benny Green, Monday, 28 April 2003 21:38 (sixteen years ago) link

Metamatic is not better than Ultravox. It is, however, better than The Pleasure Principle.

Sean (Sean), Monday, 28 April 2003 21:47 (sixteen years ago) link

! "Films" !

Paul (scifisoul), Monday, 28 April 2003 22:11 (sixteen years ago) link

Ultimately for me Ultravox is a singles band, whether it's Foxx-era or Ure-era. The albums are OK, but you could put together a hell of a 2-CD box from all of them.

Chris Barrus (Chris Barrus), Monday, 28 April 2003 22:54 (sixteen years ago) link

Sean nothing is better than The Pleasure Principle.

J0hn Darn1elle (J0hn Darn1elle), Monday, 28 April 2003 23:12 (sixteen years ago) link

Metamatic is the best 'synthpop' album ever made....period!

geeg, Monday, 28 April 2003 23:47 (sixteen years ago) link

Sean nothing is better than The Pleasure Principle.

What he said. Or Telekon or Replicas or Dance or...

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 00:20 (sixteen years ago) link

John Foxx. More brains and imagination. And I like the fetish he has for dresses.

Also, he's constrantly rhyming 'glimmer' with 'shimmer', which cracks me up. And the first version of 'Endlessly' is the best Thomas Dolby track Thomas Dolby never wrote. Also he has an interesting deformed ear. Finally, he's reinvented himself as a graphic artist.

Midge Ure? Didn't he front Gary Numan's backing band? Oooh, sorry, that's harsh. I LOVED 'The Thin Wall' - what a track!

colin s barrow (colin s barrow), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 01:14 (sixteen years ago) link

Have any of the anti-Ure crowd listened to Rage in Eden lately? To me it still sounds fresh, challenging, incredibly original.

J0hn Darn1elle (J0hn Darn1elle), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 01:29 (sixteen years ago) link

No surprise that Ultravox! dropped the "!" after John Foxx left imho as they were nothing to shout about after that.

"Midge Ure? Didn't he front Gary Numan's backing band?"

No, he used to front a little bunch of Bay City Roller wannabe's called Slik.

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 14:31 (sixteen years ago) link

And let's not forget The Rich Kids. And the solo cover of No Regrets. But oh, Vienna... well, you know, he's justified his existence with that track. Ure Ultravox had its moments. What were they suppposed to do, just break up when John Foxx left? A musician's got to eran some money.

What's Mr Foxx's new material like then?

colin s barrow (colin s barrow), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 14:47 (sixteen years ago) link

Have any of the anti-Ure crowd listened to Rage in Eden lately? To me it still sounds fresh, challenging, incredibly original.

The last time I heard any Ure-era Ultravox in one place was the original singles collection and it pretty well reconfirmed my feeling that I don't need to hear any more than that again, aside from Lament -- when it gets to its second-side-of-Low phase, it becomes one strange and weird album. TBH, I think yer superlatives much more readily match Simple Minds at around the same time -- Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call, Empire and Dance and New Gold Dream just make whatever Ure was doing seem so, well, stodgy. Which is odd given where Simple Minds finally ended up. ;-)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 14:53 (sixteen years ago) link

"And let's not forget The Rich Kids."

Very good point. Actually it's always puzzled me why there are albums out there in the racks claiming to be "The Best Of Midge Ure And Ultravox" when (since they don't include either anything by Rich Kids or anything by Ultravox with John Foxx singing on them) they quite clearly contain neither.

John Foxx solo stuff? I haven't got it all by any means but what I've heard is good but not as good as the stuff he did with Ultravox!

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 14:56 (sixteen years ago) link

Stewart, I was wondering about the very recent stuff - like post 1998 I think. I hear widely diverging reports.

colin s barrow (colin s barrow), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 15:01 (sixteen years ago) link

Colin, I'm afraid the last actual album of his I bought was The Golden Section but I picked up the comp. Modern Art reasonably cheaply on CD recently, this covers most if not all his solo career and it all seemed pretty good to me - worth a try at £5.99 anyway http://www.101cd.com/

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 15:13 (sixteen years ago) link

Cheers. I baulked at The Golden Section, which was the first one I didn't buy. Then I lost touch with his later stuff.

colin s barrow (colin s barrow), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 23:33 (sixteen years ago) link

six months pass...
I'm a huge fan of both eras of this band.
At least, all John Foxx, and the first two albums and singles with Midge. (Dancing with Tears in My eyes = awesome!) I was searching here but I can't find out some things I want to know about Midge. How's his pre-uvox stuff? I read one great review of the Rich Kids but haven't heard any, and is anything from Slik available or worth hearing? How's his most recent solo stuff as well?

sucka (sucka), Sunday, 16 November 2003 05:30 (sixteen years ago) link

John Foxx. I liked a lot of songs from those first three albums (as well as at least one of Foxx's solo albums), but lost interest in the band after that. Of course, I was kind of a college radio snob at the time, and the later stuff was no longer picked up by the station I listen to. I think I would still like Foxx era Ultravox, though it's job is probably done: it will never have the same resonance for me as it did when I was a melancholy junior high school kid, I suspect. "I want to be a machine. . ."

Rockist Scientist, Sunday, 16 November 2003 06:33 (sixteen years ago) link

Don't have the old albums around, but I remember thinking Foxx's solo "The Garden" was an interesting album, but may not have held up well over the years. It's still fun to sing robotically along with "Someone Else's Clothes" (again) from Systems of Romance, though.

rscheil, Monday, 17 November 2003 06:57 (sixteen years ago) link

Ultravox are odd in the sense that they're the only band in the "new wave" category (besides Echo and the Bunnymen, arguably) that changed their front man and main songwriter yet kept the name.

That said, I agree with Barrus.. though if I were forced to choose sides, I'd certainly choose UltraFoxx over Ure-ltravox. The only good thing to come out of Ure-ltravox, IMHO, is the song "White China".. whereas I could actually listen to entire early UltraFoxx albums.

donut bitch (donut), Monday, 17 November 2003 07:05 (sixteen years ago) link

I actually think that ure would be best remembered for his stuff with visage

geeg, Monday, 17 November 2003 07:25 (sixteen years ago) link

I can really get into a couple songs by Visage- Fade to Grey, and esp. Damned Don't Cry. I wasn't so hot on "the anvil".. Was the first album better?

sucka (sucka), Monday, 17 November 2003 09:11 (sixteen years ago) link

Yes, the first Visage album is way better than The Anvil. And DB, it's definately an arguable point that Ultravox "stayed the same" after swapping Foxx for Ure, especially after Vienna.

Sean (Sean), Monday, 17 November 2003 11:16 (sixteen years ago) link

two years pass...
Been listening to "Ha! Ha! Ha!" quite a bit over the last few days, it's unbelievably great, but also one of the most mixed-up, wrong-sounding records I've ever owned. Clunky pub-rock, mixed with sub roxy/cockney rebel lit-glam played in a robotic, machine-like way some of the time, then slathered with atonal synthesiser noises. The middle eight from "the man who dies everyday" is still, all these years later, a total wtf moment. Like, where did that come from? The opening verse to "fear in the western world" would probably cause a sharp intake of breath if you played it to just about anyone who hadn't heard it before. I think it's probably my favourite Ultravox album at the moment, nearly all of it is good. It sounds like nothing else I can think of at all.

OTOH, I went to pick up my copy of "Vienna" last week, and it had vanished, which pissed me off a lot. I'll pick up another copy tonight, I think. "Vienna" is great too, a smashing set of singles, & good album tracks as well. "Mr X" is one of my favourite pieces of music, it has a really strong sense of atmosphere & place to it. Again, I can't think of anybody else who really sounded quite like that.

Ultravox are probably at about the lowest point imaginable at the moment w/r/t public/music fan recognition, I think? I can't remember the last time I read anyone propping them. Weird that a small subset of brit "new wave" has been consistently influential/name-droppable, but this, which I think is a lot better, is still off the map. It's daft, b/c they have this back-catalog with loads of great music in it, an unexplored resource for ppl looking for ideas to cop. They were astonishingly good live the 2 times I saw them as well, especially on the tour for "Lament". I have real strong memories of this one - looking down from the balcony at a stage covered in black scrim netting, seeing all the blinking lights on the drum machines and hearing/feeling this mighty unstoppable pulsing machine-like rhythm. I'd kind of like to see that one again, tbh.

As well as this, the story of the band is surely worth retelling - they got dropped from island in '79, & their response was to self-book a tour of the US - commercial suicide/blow yr brains out! except they actually came back in the black! How they wound up with the singer from a '70's teen-glam-pop group fronting them, a genius move almost up there w/phil o recruiting 2 girls from a nightclub to replace the 2 departed synthesiser players & which paid off almost as well. Also, the care they took on their presentation, both live & on record etc etc. They were also, at certain times, a very good-looking band.

I'm curious, as well, about what exactly the ex-members are doing, don't dare look it up on google, b/c I suspect it might be depressing, but billy currie, chris cross, robin simon, and especially warren cann were real distinctive players.

Pashmina (Pashmina), Thursday, 18 May 2006 12:46 (thirteen years ago) link


I think Chris Cross is a psychologist now.

Here be more info:

http://www.ultravox.org.uk/

JohnFoxxsJuno (JohnFoxxsJuno), Thursday, 18 May 2006 12:52 (thirteen years ago) link

Last I heared, they were "U-Vox". Yep, you guessed...

mark grout (mark grout), Thursday, 18 May 2006 12:55 (thirteen years ago) link

What got me into listening to "Ha! Ha! Ha!" again, btw, was this great interview w/warren cann:

http://www.discog.info/ultravox-interview.html

Pashmina (Pashmina), Thursday, 18 May 2006 12:56 (thirteen years ago) link

"U-vox", I think, was just billy currie, with a new singer? I avoided hearing their album at the time.

I googled for warren cann, and found that he'd briefly played for huw lloyd langton's group? wtf of the day...

Pashmina (Pashmina), Thursday, 18 May 2006 12:59 (thirteen years ago) link

Funnily enough, I listened to that Island comp of their first 3 albums this weekend. I was struck by how fresh "Slow Motion" and "Hiroshima Mon Amour" sound (especially the former).

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 18 May 2006 14:12 (thirteen years ago) link

NB that there are some great old clips of John Foxx-era ultravox up on youtube at the moment, 7 live clips from '76, w/stevie shears, including a powerful version of "slip away", OGWT & Reading Festival 1978 as well. They have all those tacky old '80's videos too :-/

Pashmina (Pashmina), Thursday, 18 May 2006 15:13 (thirteen years ago) link

This is all well timed, this revival -- I'm surprised nobody's mentioned these yet:

The first three Ultravox albums (Ultravox!, Ha! Ha! Ha! and Systems of Romance) are all currently in the process of being remastered. Each disc contains material that has never previously been available on CD. The accompanying artwork is set to include lyrics as well as extensive sleevenotes.

01. Sat'day Night in the City of the Dead

2:34
02. Life at Rainbows End
(For All the Tax Exiles on Main Street)

3:43
03. Slip Away

4:16
04. I Want To Be a Machine

7:23
05. Wide Boys

3:15
06. Dangerous Rhythm

4:16
07. The Lonely Hunter

3:43
08. The Wild, the Beautiful and the Damned

5:50
09. My Sex

3:02
Additional Tracks
10. Slip Away (recorded live at The Rainbow)

4:08
11. Modern Love (recorded live at The Rainbow)

2:34
12. The Wild, the Beautiful and the Damned
(recorded live at The Rainbow)

5:15
13. My Sex
(recorded live at Huddersfield Polytechnic)

2:55

---

01. ROckwrok

3:35
02. The Frozen Ones

4:06
03. Fear in the Western World

4:00
04. Distant Smile

5:21
05. The Man Who Dies Every Day

4:12
06. Artificial Life

5:00
07. While I'm Still Alive

3:16
08. Hiroshima Mon Amour

5:13
Additional Tracks
09. Young Savage

2:56
10. The Man Who Dies Every Day (remix)

4:15
11. Hiroshima Mon Amour (alternative version)

4:54
12. Quirks

1:40
13. The Man Who Dies Every Day
(recorded live at Huddersfield Polytechnic)

4:15
14. Young Savage (recorded live at The Marquee)

3:25

---

01. Slow Motion

3:32
02. I Can't Stay Long

4:19
03. Someone Else's Clothes

4:28
04. Blue Light

3:11
05. Some of Them

2:32
06. Quiet Men

4:11
07. Dislocation

2:58
08. Maximum Acceleration

3:56
09. When You Walk Through Me

4:18
10. Just For a Moment

3:10
Additional Tracks
11. Cross Fade

2:53
12. Quiet Men (full version)

3:55

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 18 May 2006 15:17 (thirteen years ago) link

I should add that most Midge Ure-helmed Ultravox tunes are horrors ("Dancing With Tears in My Eyes"!) and am a bit appalled by John's love upthread (but I do enjoy their live rendition of "Vienna" at Live Aid).

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 18 May 2006 15:22 (thirteen years ago) link

Those '76 live tracks are astonishing. The band is fucking rocking!

Pashmina (Pashmina), Thursday, 18 May 2006 15:29 (thirteen years ago) link

(though the wobbly video tape is kind of annoying)

Pashmina (Pashmina), Thursday, 18 May 2006 15:30 (thirteen years ago) link

I heart "I Can't Stay Long" (even though I realised the rhythm breakdowns are a direct rip of "Shot By Both Sides")

Paul (scifisoul), Thursday, 18 May 2006 15:50 (thirteen years ago) link

nine months pass...
OMG. The Stockholm 1977 show here is superb.

Capitaine Jay Vee, Friday, 2 March 2007 05:44 (twelve years ago) link

Jeez, that's a mighty cool blog.

Bimble, Friday, 2 March 2007 08:34 (twelve years ago) link

Wow, I've bookmarked that one. D/Ling the Ultravox show as well as the OMD 1980 show.

Pashmina, Friday, 2 March 2007 10:37 (twelve years ago) link

I saw U! at Reading, back in 1978? Hmm, have to say, "My Sex" was written for having bottles thrown at.

Mark G, Friday, 2 March 2007 11:45 (twelve years ago) link

What? You saw me? heheh

Mark G. you owe me an email regarding WDE.

Bimble, Friday, 2 March 2007 11:53 (twelve years ago) link

oh yeah!

Mark G, Friday, 2 March 2007 11:55 (twelve years ago) link

Well that's a very rock and roll response! ;) "OH YEAH!" *guitar solo*

Bimble, Friday, 2 March 2007 12:08 (twelve years ago) link

More rock and roll response = "check yr email!"

Mark G, Friday, 2 March 2007 12:35 (twelve years ago) link

But Mark, I don't see anything in my email. Jettison the nu-ILX feature and write to me directly at Bimble875@hotmail.com

Bimble, Saturday, 3 March 2007 06:53 (twelve years ago) link

Synth technique pioneered by Ultrafoxx and used extensively by John Foxx, Ultravoxx and Gary Numan in the ensuing few years, but never by anyone else - the screeling monosynth solo, heavy on the pitchbend and vibrato to create an almost-out-of-control feeling. Very modern at the time.

I think the intro to 'Slow Motion', the first track off Systems of Romance, was a huge influence on Gary Numan's intro style - a stark melody on a synthline, then WHAM, in come the drums, bass and guitars all at once.

The Garden is a bit underrated I think. It's time for that album to come out of the closet and stand proud and tall. Chuck out the book of poetry that came with it though.

moley, Saturday, 3 March 2007 10:30 (twelve years ago) link

I am not familiar with John Foxx era Ultravox. I plan to check it out as I expect I will like it.
Not as much as I like Midge Ure era Ultravox though.

Geir Hongro, Saturday, 3 March 2007 22:31 (twelve years ago) link

I reckon you'll like it Mr H.

moley, Saturday, 3 March 2007 23:16 (twelve years ago) link

"I saw U! at Reading, back in 1978? Hmm, have to say, "My Sex" was written for having bottles thrown at."

I thought they were fantastic.

Stewart Osborne, Sunday, 4 March 2007 22:06 (twelve years ago) link

That song spawned a slightly crap Aussie band called Mi-Sex, you know. They had a hit once called 'Computer Games'.

What an odd record that first Ultravox! album was. produced by Brian Eno, a bit disconnected sounding, a bit arty, a bit proggy, a bit cold. I never liked it much. Ha! Ha! Ha1 and, especially, Systems of Romance, are a different story. They are very much the first and best New Romantic albums ever - which sounds like damning with faint praise, but not in my books.

moley, Monday, 5 March 2007 04:50 (twelve years ago) link

"I saw U! at Reading, back in 1978? Hmm, have to say, "My Sex" was written for having bottles thrown at."

I thought they were fantastic.


Stewart Osborne on Sunday, 4 March 2007 22:06 (Yesterday)


I liked them too, but there was something about that track that seemed to invite the occasional soft plastic empty bottle.

One of the highlights of the day, for me.

Mark G, Monday, 5 March 2007 10:42 (twelve years ago) link

This thread inspired me to finally check out the John Foxx era, 23 years after first hearing (and enjoying) the Midge Ure material. Well! _Systems Of Romance_ is great and John Foxx' _Modern Art_ comp is very, very good. Thanks ILM!

Mr. Odd, Thursday, 8 March 2007 03:35 (twelve years ago) link

"One of the highlights of the day, for me."

Ultravox!, Radio Stars (complete with Andy Ellison clambering up the speaker stacks and ending up hanging from the lighting gantry 20+ feet above the stage), Penetration, Sham 69 and The Jam, all playing in a field, a couple of miles from where I lived, on a sunny afternoon, during the school holidays.... at 14 years old that entire day was without question one of the highlights of my entire life (and with Chelsea, Bethnal, Squueze, John Otway, Tom Robinson Band and Patti Smith all appearing, the Sunday of that Festival was pretty high up there too)!

Stewart Osborne, Thursday, 8 March 2007 09:44 (twelve years ago) link

eight months pass...

compilation from first three albums (foxx era) currently rocking my world

Just got offed, Wednesday, 5 December 2007 20:17 (twelve years ago) link

Good choice Mr J!

Herman G. Neuname, Wednesday, 5 December 2007 21:44 (twelve years ago) link

The first three of maybe four albums with Midge Ure >> anything involving John Foxx >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> The "U-Vox" album and most of Midge Ure's solo output.

Geir Hongro, Wednesday, 5 December 2007 21:54 (twelve years ago) link

one year passes...

I came here to say something, only to discover that I said it pretty much to the word a year ago. Take it away, old-LJ.

(There's a special late-night state of concentration when this music becomes almost divine)

america is the only _______ that _______ (country matters), Tuesday, 3 February 2009 03:41 (eleven years ago) link

Geir Hongro, u mad on da drugz

Skank Bloc Burwood (King Boy Pato), Tuesday, 3 February 2009 11:15 (eleven years ago) link

"Slow Motion" is the greatest arena rock anthem that never was.

Skank Bloc Burwood (King Boy Pato), Tuesday, 3 February 2009 11:16 (eleven years ago) link

Love "Slow Motion", but not that much the early John Foxx stuff. That said, the first three albums were all great. But the next four were even greater.

Geir Hongro, Tuesday, 3 February 2009 14:43 (eleven years ago) link

This is just really fucking intelligent, emotional pop music, with some of the best use of strings (mostly violins) pop has *ever* seen.

america is the only _______ that _______ (country matters), Tuesday, 3 February 2009 15:17 (eleven years ago) link

five years pass...

The pending Korg reissue of the ARP Odyssey has sent me to Midge-era Ultravox beyond Vienna for the first time since I sold back that mid-80s greatest hits in horror when I realized what that era of the band sounded like.

Twenty years later, via Spotify, I'm actually quite taken with a lot of this – and find Midge's histrionics far less offensive than I remember. Vienna, Rage, Quartet, and Lament all have some great stuff on them. The extended version of the title track from Lament is great. "Hymn" is an earworm.

Billy Currie is the secret weapon of both eras. Midge def. knew his way around a hook. But whether it's the soaring ARP Odyssey solo on "Astradyne" or all those glassy textures on Quartet and Lament, it's the synths that are always keeping my attention. Tho Ha! Ha! Ha! showed he didn't learn it all from him, have to imagine Conny Plank had a big impact on him. Or maybe he was why Conny wanted to work work them.

Naive Teen Idol, Tuesday, 6 May 2014 23:11 (five years ago) link

three years pass...

Astradyne solo continues to amaze.

Naive Teen Idol, Wednesday, 13 December 2017 13:52 (two years ago) link

I agree, it's superb! The rest of the album is great too - top notch production.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Wednesday, 13 December 2017 18:21 (two years ago) link

eleven months pass...

NTI above mentions the reissued Korg Arp Odyssey. I have one, and after using it for a bit I've developed a renewed respect for Billy Currie. For some reason Arp didn't give the Odyssey traditional pitch and modulation wheels. Instead the rev1 model has a small knob for pitch and nothing for modulation, so players had to use the titchy VCO modulation sliders instead if they wanted to make the sound go wobbly.

Perhaps it was a patent issue. I don't know. Currie sold his original Arp Odyssey a while back and looking at photographs of it you can see where he wore the paint off the VCO 1 mod slider. I'm surprised the control didn't break off. Live footage from the period shows him continually adjusting the pitch and portamento controls. The "soaring" effect on e.g. Hymn is a portamento octave jump, which is simple but effective.

Korg's reissue comes with a reprint of the original manual. Page 41 suggests that you "resist the temptation to merely open as many sliders as possible, as far as possible". Currie seems to have ignored this advice.

As for Ultravox, the band is still a sucking void of conversation-stopped unhipness. It's odd how the *idea* of early-80s New Romantics is far more fashionable than the actual music, but then again even at the time the music was a backdrop to the fabulous clothes. Personally I find the band's first two albums too unpolished to enjoy, but Systems of Romance is terrific and still sounds awesome nowadays. On a sonic level it's easily four-five years ahead of its time. It's criminal that it wasn't a huge hit. Vienna and Rage in Eden have their moments but the sound seems to have gone back a step - the blend of guitar and synth on Systems is terrific whereas the guitar was toned right down for Vienna and Rage and to my ears they sound thinner. On a conceptual level Foxx and Ure had a similarly histrionic vocal style but whereas Foxx sounded as if he meant it, Ure sounded as if he was affecting a style. They were both affecting a style but Ure was less transparent.

I think on a more fundamental level John Foxx was better at creating an image of artistic credibility than Ure. Along with David Sylvian he managed to give the impression that he was a deeply intellectual and worldly cultured genius whereas Ure - and Gary Numan, Jim Kerr etc - were obviously faking it. This does raise the question of whether there's any difference between a perfect imitation of a cultured genius and a genuinely cultured genius - I suppose the former creates something new whereas the latter merely polishes it, which might be why so many pioneers go unsung, because their work was raw and unfiltered and less appealing to the senses than the refined products that their successors produced. Systems of Romance is an aberration, in that it's both inspired and polished, and yet it was a flop. The world doesn't make sense.

I've always wondered why Foxx left. His post-Ultravox albums weren't radically different from Ultravox. If he had stayed, his Beatlesy/psychedlic tendencies would have balanced out the band's stiffness. Ultravox totally ran out of ideas in the mid-80s and haven't generated any new ones since then, whereas Foxx's latter-day ambient albums are really good. By now he would be carrying the band but what's wrong with that? Purely as as backing band Currie etc didn't lose their mojo.

Another question. Cheekbones. John Foxx vs David Sylvian - who had the sharper, more delicate cheekbones? They were both gorgeous men, and yet the record-buying public ignored them. Did men find their looks threatening? Did women worry that they were competing with them? Were teenage recordbuying boys nervous that their friends would mock them?

Ashley Pomeroy, Saturday, 24 November 2018 15:37 (one year ago) link

A+ post, Ashley

Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, 24 November 2018 16:39 (one year ago) link

Great post and otm re: real vs faked "genius" ( I'd call it "worldliness" in this case). Much as I love early Simple Minds, much Numan and much Ure Ultravox you can't deny Foxx and Sylvian had/have the advantage in the worldliness and creativity depts.

An Uphill Battle For Legumes (Capitaine Jay Vee), Saturday, 24 November 2018 17:11 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

I am going to see MADGE YR tonight for his acoustic Questions & Answers thing

I bought the ticket before I realized it was a Q&A show

i hate audience Q&As normally, like in a skeleton leaving my body way

can anyone confirm that this will be a fun evening?

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 18 January 2020 23:00 (four weeks ago) link

ican confirm for myself that it was great!

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 19 January 2020 07:41 (four weeks ago) link

Hurrah!

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 19 January 2020 07:53 (four weeks ago) link

Somehow, despite adoring the Island Years comp, I'd never heard Artificial Life until just now. Wow

opden gnash (imago), Tuesday, 21 January 2020 15:53 (three weeks ago) link

this song has the best outro of the 70s my god

opden gnash (imago), Tuesday, 21 January 2020 16:07 (three weeks ago) link

veg, did you ask him anything?

Naive Teen Idol, Monday, 27 January 2020 00:10 (three weeks ago) link

I didnt get a chance - it was pretty competitive to get Midge’s attention! i was a bit intimidated by everyone leaping out of their seats yelling his name lol

I wanted to ask if he had a favorite story about Phil Lynott

But he gave good lengthy interesting answers to pretty much all the questions. Talked about when Steve Strange rode a camel to a nightclub, and the story behind how he could have joined the Sex Pistols, Band Aid eyc

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 27 January 2020 00:22 (three weeks ago) link

There was a young kid maybe 10 or so in the front with his Mum, and he got up & asked Midge about the Dancing W Tears In My Eyes video: the kid wanted to know if Midge thought that could ever happen. I almost got a little teary - at the same age I was petrified of nuclear war & could havd done with some reassurance from Midge myself <3

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 27 January 2020 00:25 (three weeks ago) link

that = nuclear armageddon/end of days etc

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 27 January 2020 00:26 (three weeks ago) link

What was Midge's reply to that question?

van dyke parks generator (anagram), Monday, 27 January 2020 07:43 (three weeks ago) link

He told the kid that he hoped it wouldnt ever happen. Then he gave a bit of backstory about the song/video, inspired by reading “on the beach” & that they got in a lot of trouble over the video bc parents said it scared their kids. He also said that the future looked more promising to him because it would be in the hands of concerned people like him (the boy)

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 27 January 2020 16:45 (three weeks ago) link

paraphrasing obv

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 27 January 2020 16:45 (three weeks ago) link

two weeks pass...


I wanted to ask if he had a favorite story about Phil Lynott


Ooh, that would’ve been a good one.

Naive Teen Idol, Wednesday, 12 February 2020 05:57 (five days ago) link

Would have asked him if he'd ever met John Foxx, and if so, what did they talk about

Zelda Zonk, Wednesday, 12 February 2020 07:20 (five days ago) link

Remember reading in Smash Hits of all places that Foxx came to one of the early Midge-era (Ure-era?) Ultravox gigs.

van dyke parks generator (anagram), Wednesday, 12 February 2020 08:51 (five days ago) link

"Free Bird!"

Diddums Is a Ranter (Vast Halo), Wednesday, 12 February 2020 21:01 (five days ago) link

Choosing one over the other is pure folly; both iterations of Ultravox were/are pure greatness and some of the very best music ever produced. Also, John Foxx and Midge Ure are two of the prettiest men to have ever existed and I've had big old celebrity crushes on both since I was a young teenager.

We Live as We Dee, Alone (deethelurker), Thursday, 13 February 2020 01:18 (four days ago) link

hey veg - it was i that asked the sex pistols question at yoshis! (chaki)

kurt schwitterz, Thursday, 13 February 2020 10:12 (four days ago) link

This was the Sacramento show at Harlow’s - popular question I guess! But ace that you saw him at Yoshi’s!

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 16 February 2020 19:25 (yesterday) link


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