With the departure of vocalist John Foxx and guitarist Robin Simon behind them, Vienna kicked off Ultravox's second phase with former Rich Kids vocalist Midge Ure at the helm. Trading Foxx's glam rock stance for Ure's aristocratic delivery, Vienna recasts the band as a melodramatic synth pop chamber ensemble with most of the group doubling on traditional string quartet instruments and the synthesizers often serving to emulate an orchestra. It was a bold move that took awhile to pay off (the first two singles, "Sleepwalk" and "Passing Strangers," went unnoticed), but when the monolithic title track was released, the Ure lineup became the band's most identifiable one almost overnight.
Digitally remastered and expanded two CD edition of the British band's 1986 album including a bonus disc featuring alternate, extended and live tracks. U-Vox was their eighth full album and the fifth of the band's most-recognizable incarnation, fronted by Midge Ure. It was also the last Ultravox album to reach the Top 10 in the UK Album Chart. Following the departure of original drummer Warren Cann, U Vox featured his replacement: Mark Brzezicki from Big Country. The sound moved away from the Electronic sound of earlier recordings and some unusual instrumentation was used, such as the Celtic sound of "All Fall Down" with instrumentation by The Chieftains. The album's final track, "All in One Day", was arranged and conducted by George Martin. U-Vox was the last Ultravox album with Midge Ure before the band split in 1988.
As the title suggests, Ultravox were in a gray mood as they launched into their seventh studio LP, their previous existential angst now pooling around personal anguish. The album's title track was a study in languorous melancholy, where the emotional pain lingered on and on. And why would it ever dissipate, when romance is forever doomed, as "When the Time Comes" exquisitely illustrated? Even "One Small Day," the most musically celebratory song on the set, battles depression but dismally loses the war. No wonder Ultravox were so keen to escape far into the past, with "Man of Two Worlds" taking them back to the gloriously romanticized days of the Celts. The modern world, in contrast, was filled with terrors, both emotional ("A Friend I Call Desire") and global. There was the omnipresent yellow peril to fear; but if "White China" warned of the dangers of creeping communism, the nation sworn to protect its citizens from a Stalinistic embrace proves just as nefarious on "Heart of the Country".
With the successes of Vienna and its follow-up, Rage in Eden, Ultravox's position in the music scene was unassailable, further fortified by frontman Midge Ure's foray into solo-dom with the summer 1982 hit cover of the Walker Brothers' "No Regrets." The band's "Reap the Wild Wind" followed it up the U.K. chart that fall, a taster for the band's sixth album. And what a portentous taste it was…
Vienna is the fourth studio album by British new wave band Ultravox, first released on Chrysalis Records on 11 July 1980. The album was the first made by Ultravox with their best-known line-up, after Midge Ure had taken over as lead vocalist and guitarist following the departures of John Foxx and Robin Simon, and it was also the group's first release for Chrysalis. Vienna was produced by renowned German producer Conny Plank who had also produced Ultravox's previous album Systems of Romance, and mixed at Plank's studio near Cologne, Germany. The album had a slow start, but the release in January 1981 of the title track as the third single from the album heralded the band's commercial breakthrough worldwide and led to healthy sales throughout 1981. Vienna peaked at number 3 in the UK Albums Chart and reached the top ten in Australia, New Zealand and several European countries.
Midge Ure, mastermind of Ultravox, founder of Band Aid & Live 8, Grammy Award Winner & Brit Award Winner presents his new studio album 'Fragile'. 'Fragile' is the first collection of new, original music from Grammy and Brit award winning musician Midge Ure in over a decade. "I have recorded various things over that period" Ure states "a covers album of favourite songs, a few live CD's and of course the latest Ultravox album Brilliant, so I haven't been slacking. I just never felt the need to write and release an album just for the sake of it". 'Fragile' is a culmination of influences garnered from a lifetime in the music business and shows elements of Ure's musical journey displaying his accomplished guitar work (Rich Kids, Thin Lizzy) and the electronics and technology he has utilised since the late 1970's (Visage, Ultravox).