Friday, 6 July 2012

This month I have mostly been buying ....Ultravox

There was a time when I would don a grey mac and wander around looking at buildings mumbling "This means nothing to me". I could never quite get the sideburns right and never dared the pencil thin tache. I stuck with them right through the ditching of Warren Cann (about the time that I was beginning to think that he only had one drum pattern) through to the awful final lp U Vox

Never fashionable, forever haunted by the critical ghost of John Foxx, they never really got the credit they deserved especially for Rage in Eden.

Like a lot of bands from the period a reunion tour has turned into some new material. I probably bought this for sentimental value more than anything else. I was a tad worried when I first heard it , all seemed very ...well Ultravoxy and I began to think "never look back"

However, the lp actually benefits from not having any stick in your mind immediate favourites. I  kept going back to it and slowly songs started to get their hooks in. What really strikes me is how this could have been the bridge between Vienna and Rage in Eden (more New Europeans and Sleepwalk in sound than Dancing With Tears or Love's Great Adventure). They seem to be using the same synths as in 1982. This isn't a criticism (there was always the risk they would go all simply red or trying to be a poor man's Peter Gabriel) as strangely it makes the lp sound fresh. As per usual the press has slated them whereas the john foxx lp also played on analogue synths got rave reviews (that ghost again).

You've got the have some balls calling your lp Brilliant but apparently the title track refers to the need to build singers and bands up, hail them as brilliant and then dump them (one of my favourite rants at the moment is that if David Bowie was starting today he probably wouldn't have got passed his first 2 lps). I was gutted to learn in Midge Ure's autobiogrpaphy that most of his lyrics from the time meant very little, but here that theme of building up to knock down runs throughout the lp

So not quite the classic but as with OMD and Blancmange, in returning to what they did best , a come back lp that can hold its own with the original output

You can buy Brilliant here  , if you liked the early post john foxx lps then you'll love this

Here is an interview with the band , by one of the most annoying djs (I guess) going

And here is a 2 part making of for the new lp

and finally one of their best


Leave a comment and let me know what you are listening to.