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67) Ultravox!

I first came aware, like many I would assume, of Ultravox through Vienna. I thought it was okay and as each of their polished hits arrived, I was neither enthralled nor offended. I would never buy anything released by them nor did I need to change the channel or switch off the radio.


Reading an article years later the reviewer said they were much more interesting in the John Foxx led era than the Midge Ure one. Eh, a John Foxx era, news to me.


There certainly was, three whole albums but let’s not forget there was an exclamation mark after their name so how was I to know. This is the first, Brian Eno and Steve Lillywhite co-produce and its defining electronic music with a bit of the aggression of punk before punk was even with us. A harmonica on the guitar driven opener Saturday Night in the City of the Dead you can hear how far away they were from the well-executed synth songs they became known for.


Life At Rainbow's End (For All The Tax Exiles On Main Street) is a non to subtle dig at the Rolling Stones and bands of their ilk at that time. I Want to be a Machine is the centrepiece, over seven minutes starting with Foxx and an acoustic guitar, we are over two mins forty in before the band come in and with a violin thrown in for good measure, it builds beautifully, this was a band who could write and play.


The Wild, the Beautiful and the Damned has ripping guitar, violin and Foxx’s vocals all shining through.


My Sex is Foxx talking over minimal music a perfect end to a seminal album.


Whoever wrote that they were more interesting in the Foxx era was spot on.


8/10


GIVE IT A STREAM: The Wild, the Beautiful and the Damned

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