Ultravox is an English group formed in 1974 by Dennis Leigh. Quickly joined by Chris Allen, bass player, Stevie Shears, guitarist, Warren Cann, drummer and Billie Currie on violin.
Originally, the group was called "Tiger Lily". Then "The Zips", then "Fire of London", then "London Soundtrack" and finally "The Damned", the time of a week before realizing that another group was already called that !
The group signed with the Island Records label in 1976.
And released his first album in February 1977. It was a failure.
Like the next two, by the way.
The arrival of Midge Ure in 1979 changed everything.
The singer, from the Visage group, participated in the production of the new album which came out in 1980, "Vienna".
A first extract "Sleepwalk" reached an honorable place in the Top40 but it is above all the now cult "Vienna" and its ultra particular atmosphere, which will reveal the group to the eyes of the whole world.
In 1981, released the album "Rage in Eden" in the sonic continuity of the previous one, an album which had a certain success.
In particular thanks to the flagship titles "The thin wall" and "The voice".
The year 1982 saw the sound of the group evolve considerably through the release of the album "Quartet" which will produce 4 single hits, just that !
"Reap the wild wind", "Hymn" were released that year and "Visions in blue" and "We came to dance" were released in 1983.
But it is the year 1984 which will be the year of the ultimate consecration with the release of the album "Lament" and the singles "Dancing with tears in my eyes", "One small day", "Love's great adventure" and "Lament ".
The group is at the height of its artistic possibilities and the result is sumptuous.
Unfortunately the group slows down and Midge Ure begins to produce solo titles including the single "If I was" in 1985 which will be a real success.
A last interesting title will be released in 1986 "All fall down" but the group will never again find the dynamics of yesteryear and will disappear altogether in 1987.
Ultravox is by itself a reference model of the ultra particular and especially ultra avant-garde sound that reigned in the 80s across the Channel.
To be enjoyed without moderation !
Discography (among others ...) :
• Ain't misbehavin (Tiger Lily) 1975
• Dangerous rhythm (Ultravox!) 1977
• Young savage (Ultravox!) 1977
• Rockwrok (Ultravox!) 1977
• Frozen ones 1978
• Slow motion 1978
• Quiet men 1978
• Sleepwalk 1980
• Passing strangers 1980
• Vienna 1981
• All stood still 1981
• The thin wall 1981
• New Europeans 1981
• The voice 1981
• Reap the wild wind 1982
• Hymn 1982
• Visions in blue 1983
• We came to dance 1983
• One small day 1984
• Dancing with tears in my eyes 1984
• Lament 1984
• Heart of the country 1984
• Love’s great adventure 1984
• Same old story 1986
• All fall down 1986
• All in one day 1987
• I am alive 1993
• Ingenuity 1995
• There goes a beautiful world 1995
• Brilliant 2012
• Live 2012
• Rise 2012
1975 ... the very beginnings of a small group which will become one of the major groups of the New-Wave movement. But at this stage, difficult to imagine ...
1977... for the moment the group cannot pass the stage which would allow him to stand out from the crowd. Patience, patience...
1977... it's not the overspeed that will help to break through at the highest level, that's for sure. They'll have to work a little more...
1977 ... this one is not likely to do better than its predecessor since it is in the same overspeed. To say the least counter-productive all that...
1978...no major improvement in sight for the moment. The group still can't find the little + that could change everything...
1978 ... the style evolves blatantly. Rather auspicious for the continuation of the events, it remains only to be a little patient ...
1978...even if they won't have succeeded in taking off more than that, the 70s will at least have allowed them to show that they exist a little bit...
1980... the arrival of Midge Ure will completely change the situation. The group is completely transformed and it shows, especially it can be heard !
1980 ... the hits are linked now. Admittedly, the success is limited for the moment to England but it will not be long before the group reaches the long-awaited global recognition ...
1981 ... then comes THIS title ! A real visual and sound shock ! A title with a dark side without equal but of an almost extra-terrestrial inspiration for the time. They simply sign here the biggest success of all their discography and enter One Shot in the musical legend of the 80s. MO-NU-MEN-TAL !
1981 ... the group becomes one of the biggest phenomena across the Channel thanks to a style and a sound among the best of the moment
1981 ... a sound squarely ahead of its time. We are only at the very beginning of the decade and the group can boast of having already understood everything. HU-GE !
1981...a title that will only be released in Japan, hence the most limited influence. Surprising strategy to release it only there...
1981 ... a huge year 1981 with 1 mega hit and 2 hit tops on the counter, just that. Each title that comes out now is almost an event in itself !
1982 ... the years go by and the Premium level does not weaken by an Iota. The group largely flies over the competition and it's off to last !
1982 ... a hymn perfectly up to par ! Surely one of their most emblematic songs and which shows once again that this group really has a talent very above the average !
1983 ... very strange visions that allow them to see what others do not see ... That is what changes everything !
1983 ... one wonders, given the level reached, if the group is able to raise even a little bit its level of play. The following year will prove it in a big way !
1984 ... starting with this title ! Some XXL caliber hit which definitively consecrates them as one of the major groups of this decade and this end of the XXth century
1984 ... but that's not counting on THIS title ! The group is at the height of its art. A new, well-deserved planetary consecration that rewards truly unique musical expertise. MAS-TER-FUL !
1984 ... after the exceptional titles which preceded, it was normal to release the pressure somewhat. The group delivers here a title this time all in finesse and of which they have the secret. MAG-NI-FI-CENT !
1984...a title that will only be released in Germany, hence the most limited influence. Surprising strategy to release it only there. Well this reminds me of something...
1984 ... a truly incredible year 1984 with an incredible number of world class titles. All thanks to a level of inspiration among the best of the moment !
1986 ... "always the same story" that she says the song ... May we deny, with them, it's top novelty every time !
1986 ... then there, we are the opposite of their usual know-how. This time, it's The Pogues Celtic ballad. They will have done everything for us !
1987 ... the WONDER ! A title with crazy lyricism and which shows once again that they are good in all registers. MAS-TER-FUL !
1993 ... the adventure was magnificent, the adventure was incredible but it is indeed coming to an end. Midge Ure is gone. The soul of the group is gone and the group now ends up coasting ...
1995 ... a freewheel that still produces titles with more than certain quality. So why deny it ...
1995...now remains to be seen whether the adventure will continue for a little longer or not. Only the future will be able to answer this question...
2012 ... when the Phoenix rises from the ashes. Like many groups of the time, we see come back with undisguised joy these sizes that we thought were gone and that have lost none of their superb...
2012... the basic fans are inevitably delighted to see their favorite group return. Afterwards, we must not get carried away too quickly because this return could be very stealthy...
2012...so will this title be the last or will we have the pleasure of seeing them again in the years to come ? Only them have the answer...
Special bonus : the HUGE intergalactic hit sung by its creator. A totally extraordinary title, reflecting an incredible era !
Official Website :
Greatest Hits :