At the time, the band were still including of their earlier songs in their set and again it is interesting to hear how these are handled by the new line up. A new line-up, led by Currie, was formed in 1992, but achieved limited success, with two albums failing to chart and one solitary single reaching 90 in the UK Singles Chart. Encouraged by the record’s performance, Ultravox took to the stage for a lengthy tour, taking in shows across the UK and Europe during the autumn and winter of 2012. Gone is the ice cold detachment of Foxx and in comes a more straightforward and deliberately epic sound. Doves drummer Andy Williams reveals his top ten formative albums, LISTEN! Continuing the trend that began with Lament, its overall sound drifted further away from synth-infused pop, with a brass section pepping up the expansive arena-sized rock of ‘Same Old Story’, and the melancholic ‘All Fall Down’ embroidered with strong Celtic flavours from traditional Irish folk band The Chieftains. Ure and Billy Currie had met while collaborating on Visage, a studio-based band fronted by New Romantic icon and nightclub impresario Steve Strange. Museum Of Fine Arts, Boston On the strength of the single, the album then re-entered the chart and reached No. , Along with acts like Visage and Gary Numan, Ultravox was one of the early influences on techno. Like many other bands that formed Britain's punk and new wave movements, Ultravox!
Simon remained in the US and briefly joined The Futants, an American punk band from New York. Replacing a front man is always a huge step for a band and one that will change the band for better or worse, but there is no denying that the Vienna version of Ultravox connected with a huge audience of 80’s kids. Next track New Europeans gives us the first real taste of the new mainstream direction.
During the 90s, Currie slightly contentiously released two albums, Revelation and Ingenuity, under the Ultravox banner, though he was the only original band member to feature on these recordings. Buy the anniversary box set of Vienna here.
The group had still not finalised their band name, wanting to make a good and lasting choice. and Kraftwerk, they chose the name Ultravox!, initially inserting an exclamation mark in homage to the former. You may have to be an Ultravox obsessive to wade through the fourth disc’s cassette recordings from pre-tour rehearsals, but the sound quality is decent enough and if your spine doesn’t tingle during (again) that song, you are probably a close personal friend or relative of Joe Dolce. His addition to the band took away John Foxx’s more arty and perhaps obscure reference points and replaced them with a more mainstream sensibility. Ultravox were to be unfairly consigned to history, a victim of the major label demands for shifting units.
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