Sunday, February 24, 2008

Classically Martin: Ultravox: Vienna

It was 1980. Go figure. Possibly the best time to make a vocalist change for an electronic band. Ultravox had just lost singer John Foxx to the ever-luring 'solo career.' Instead of going for another frontman with stylings in the glam-rock area, they went for the melodic aristocracy of Midge Ure (of the Rich Kids.) Their album, Vienna, would be a test that many bands had and would in the future take in trying to soothe the fears of their fanbase and claim new musical landscape. The first single, "Sleepwalk," was released with little fanfare (#29). The second single, "Passing Strangers," didn't make a blip on the radar. It could have been heartbreaking. The band released the title track as the third single... and it went to #1 on the U.K. charts (even getting some notice in the U.S.) The previous singles would get noticed again and become part of the classic album that also included the song "All Stood Still." So, for your entertainment, a few videos from the album.


Passing Strangers


All Stood Still

To be noted, the band would keep performing (including a performance of "Vienna" at Live Aid in London) and Ure would co-write "Do They Know It's Christmas" for Band-Aid. He would follow Foxx's lead a few years later. The band's replacement didn't meet with the same success.


BeckEye said...

Good pick. "Vienna" has always been a cool song. I remember thinking I was pretty cool in school because I knew who Ultravox were and no one else did. But I wasn't. :)

David Amulet said...

Ultravox--a group I hadn't thought about in many moons. Nice selections.

LoraLoo said...

"Vienna" is a good one. I had never seen what these guys look like before, and the lead singer's mustache is distracting (and not in a good way, LOL).