Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Music Box: Midge Urge & Ultravox

Sure, the '80s were all about the girls for me. Debbie, Chrissie, Belinda, Kim, Debora, Clare, Holly Beth, Siobhan, Keren, Sara, Patty, Exene ... you get the idea). But, from time to time, I actually picked up a record or two that involved a male singer. While Paul Weller was my main man, I also had an albeit brief flirtation with John Waters Midge Ure who, like Terry Hall, had his hand in a number of interesting projects.

Besides Ultravox -- whose poster up top adorned my bedroom wall -- he was a member of Thin Lizzy(!), Silk, the Rich Kids and the wonderful but short-lived Visage. I can't remember which video I saw first, but both "Vienna" and "Reap the Wild Wind" were two of my fave early MTV staples -- and what glorious videos they were. (Just played "Reap" again and never realized that the beginning sounds nearly identical to OMD's "So in Love"!)

"Quartet" ended up being the only Ultravox album I bought as I wasn't overly crazy about the over-blown "Dancing With Tears in My Eyes," the single off the followup album. But then I gained even more respect for Ure when he co-wrote "Do They Know It's Christmas?" with Bob Geldof, which still gives me goose bumps every time I hear it.

Midge's solo debut featured the huge U.K. hit "If I Was" and then a few years later he scored with "Cold, Cold Heart" (still a fave). After that, I don't recall ever hearing from him again. I picked up his all-eras "Best of" CD when it came out in 1993 (it was the first time I knew of "Do They Know It's Christmas?" being on disc), and was thrilled to see it included all of the songs I've mentioned, plus Visage's club classic, "Fade to Grey," which Ure cowrote and played on. Not sure if I need more (if you're a diehard fan, tell me if I do), but I still thoroughly enjoy revisiting this relationship from time to time, that -- unlike Midge -- definitely meant something to me.

  • Read all Music Box posts HERE.

    Unknown said...

    Don't forget the Midge Ure single "Breathe" which became a big circuit remix by Vick Moore.

    nojarama said...

    You missed out on "Lament" then if you disliked "DWTIME" (which is criminal if you did). That is my favorite Ultravox album!

    Don said...

    Hey, is that Ralph Fiennes in the "If I Was" video?

    steve1066bp said...

    Thanks for this.

    I had forgotten how much I liked Midge Ure. He is one of the artists I've overlooked in upgrading from the cassettes I had in the 80s.