YEAR RELEASED: 1980
CHART ACTION: #164 US, #3 UK
SINGLES: Sleepwalk (#29 UK), Passing Strangers (#57 UK), Vienna (#2 UK), All Stood Still (#8 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: New Europeans
LINEUP: Warren Cann, Chris Cross, Billy Currie, Midge Ure
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A reconstituted Ultravox goes towards electronics, and discovers the winning sound.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: After practically disbanding when erstwhile leader John Foxx, Midge Ure joined up with three of the Ultravox quintet and formed practically a new band, since they remade their sound and style.
Going for a cool, European, electronic vibe in the manner of Gary Numan, and coupling that with the alien-sounding guitar of Ure and violin of Billy Currie, Ultravox’ Vienna struck the right mood in image, style, and sound.
Even though the sound is mostly electronic, drummer Warren Cann’s use of electronic percussion and programming (he came up with the signature percussion sounds in the title track) were unique.
The whole album came together, with the kick-off instrumental setting the mood for the entire record. This set the tone for the 80’s New Romantic movement in the UK.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Drummer Cann was the creepy vocal in “Mr. X”, and they also did a German version called “Herr X” (of course). Also, the US switched around the order in the first side, and it messed with the flow.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, B-sides and remixes abount
GRADE: A: A landmark album for the UK scene.