IGNORED OBSCURED RESTORED
Ultravox! released their self-titled debut in 1977. They were extremely popular in the UK, having landed seven Top Ten albums and seventeen Top 40 singles there. But most of those hits were in the version of the band led by Midge Ure (dropping the ! from their name), not the original group led by John Foxx.
The original lineup straddled the turf between Roxy Music glam and late 70s British punk. An example of this is the Steve Lillywhite and Brian Eno produced, reggae influenced, “Dangerous Ryhthm.”
Upon its release as their first single, Sounds magazine opined “They might be rather like a younger early days Roxy Music but, oh my what a good model to copy. And their very youth bestows upon them a direct brashness missing in the recent Roxy. Rich emetic bass, precise Ringo drums, synthesiser cascades and Eno’s hand in the production make this the best and most confident debut single since ‘Anarchy’.”
The pulsating bass and staccato guitar (which is reminiscent of Elvis Costello’s “I Don’t Want to Go to Chelsea”, by the way) complements the way the lyrics convey the demimonde of the British club scene.
Surging and merging
Urgent and urging
Soft as a footstep on the stair
The red light is on now
My gravity’s gone and how
I can feel something in the air
It’s not like anything I’ve ever known before
And I don’t care
This number really captures the pulse of its time.
Enjoy… until next week.