Are they still together? Possibly a version of this band still exists – but I only like ‘em w/ John Foxx
Did you ever see them play live? Oh, yes – numerous times. Both with and without Foxx!
Anything you want / need by them? Perhaps audiophile editions of the first 3 albums?
You really should own / hear:
- Ultravox (1977)
- Ha! Ha! Ha! (1977)
- Systems Of Romance (1978)
A tremendously charismatic band on stage, circa ’78. “Touch & Go” was a highlight – finally committed to vinyl after John Foxx left the band (on “Metamatic”). Always just the right amount of “abrasive” – with the ‘scraping’ violin…
Definitely a band that straddled the line between progressive rock and punk rock. “Ha! Ha! Ha!” is definitely the central work in their canon. It works both ways!
“Systems Of Romance” has the polish that “Ha! Ha! Ha!” is missing. It’s a very easy record to hear! Not many rough edges.
I was always majorly turned off of this band because of their debut album being produced by Brian Eno, which such flouncing and fanfare. I came back to the debut once “Ha! Ha! Ha!” made such an impression on me. By the time I got to see them play live, they were already on their way out of the pool hall. To be honest, I was surprised that they decided to continue without John Foxx.
When the CD’s got re-mastered, most of the non-LP singles got added to the CD’s; a very good thing! The original 45’s are really quite good, for the most part. I have Jim Donato to thank for helping me (nearly) complete my collection, by providing the one UK Island 45 I could never find: “Quirks” b/w “Modern Love”.
I remember well when the colored vinyl 12” singles came into the distributor – people clamored for them, without having any idea what the music was like – they made clear and white vinyl records, m-a-a-a-n! “Hey, give me one or two of those!”, I remember one vinyl whore barking at me. “You aren’t going to like the music”, I thought. Oh, wait – he wasn’t going to listen to it. Nice. Age 20, in the music business. Yikes!
I’ve had people be surprised that I like Ultravox, over the years. I always have to clarify my fandom by saying “Only with John Foxx”. “Ha! Ha! Ha!” still kicks my butt. Stop reading this hippie dribble and go and find an LP or CD of it.