[My Gang] Ultravox - Vienna : Reco of the Week 30 March 2010


30. Mär. 2010, 19:51

Track: Vienna
Artist: Ultravox
Album: Vienna (1980)
Tags: , , , , ,
Video: Click the pic...

YouTube, official video

The best of the time travel series begin this Easter weekend with the new Doctor Who and the return of Ashes To Ashes, both BBC1.

To celebrate 30 years since the original release of Ultravox's signature track, Vienna, and to herald their reunion tour, there is a campaign in Facebook to download Vienna from Sunday 4th April and get them the UK number 1 that eluded them the first time around. The aim is to get it to number 1 for Sunday 11th April.

Source: Facebook

Vienna was an unusual piece even at the time. We were getting used to synths taking over from real instruments, but a balanced mix of synths, orchestral strings and piano, so that it sounded more classical than pop, was new. The size of the music is epic and immense. The look and feel of the video is about being grand, wealth, good taste and highbrow culture, taking inspiration from the film The Third Man (1948). It was released as a single in 1981, which probably doesn't suit the purposes of the Facebook group but there we are.

It is the title track and the third single from the album, Vienna, arguably their best, which was released in 1980. I remember Passing Strangers and Sleepwalk but Vienna was the one that got everyone talking.

The early 80s were a backlash against the free and easy, natural-look 70s. Prog was out, tightly constructed and composed was in. Scruffy threads were out, 1940s polished design and couture was in. The New Romantics made it an art form but on the street, everyone looked the way Keeley Hawes does in Ashes To Ashes. Midge Ure captured the mood and set the tone with his haughty aloofness and this video. Fans may have been mourning the loss of John Foxx, but there was a new audience who hadn't noticed them before, me included.

I had the 12" to this track and it irks me to this day that someone 'borrowed' it, without asking, and never gave it back. And we used to giggle at the name, because of course Vienna was the name of Mr Rigsby's cat in Rising Damp. The two are inextricably linked in my mind.

I will continue my tradition of building radios per series for Ashes To Ashes and will have one up and running from Friday. You can view tracklists per episode in the Last.fm group - Ashes To Ashes.

Source: Den of Geek

Don't forget - don't download Vienna before this Sunday. Wait till then, spread the word, and let's see if we can put history right.

Further reading:


Facebook Group: Let's get Vienna to number 1 on 4th APRIL!


- My Gang
- Ashes To Ashes

Reco of the Week archives

Disclaimer: Mines

Source: Den of Geek

Admin: Stats as of today:

Last.fm listeners of this track - 102,125
No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 341,763
Position in Last 7 Days: 1 / 1,918
Position in Last 6 Months: 1 / 25,349

Date Added: March 30, 2009
Views: 555,188, Ratings: 1,424, Comments: 876, Favourited: 5,062 times

Stats after 7 days:

Last.fm listeners of this track - 102,636
No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 344,114
Position in Last 7 Days: 1 / 1,973
Position in Last 6 Months: 1 / 26,232

Views: 570,376, Ratings: 1,479, Comments: 898, Favourited: 5,162 times

307 Unique Visitors
365 Page Views

Unique Visitors
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  • rwitte

    Thanks for this; I do like the track (23 plays in my library, already) and I haven't played it in response to your recommendation. Furthermore, it is pretty much the only ultravox track that I really like. I always found Midge Ure's musical history kind of strange: he was in a very diverse set of bands in the 70s and 80s. The facebook campaign looks to be modelled on the recent one for Rage Against the Machine. Oddly I have almost given up watching TV since December 2008: I find listening to Last.fm radio is more entertaining.

    31. Mär. 2010, 7:29
  • MapofBones

    Wow thanks for this! I'm one of the people involved with the campaign and it was actually started last June as a thank you to Ultravox for their gigs they did in April. To get them a good position - hopefully No. 1 - would be fantastic!

    31. Mär. 2010, 10:43
  • Babs_05

    Hi rwitte, thanks for the comment. There are quite a few Ultravox tracks I like - The Voice, Visions In Blue, Lament, to name a few. If anyone reading this knows where we can buy 12" versions, please let us know! I did that in the first year or two of joining Last.fm - stopped watching TV. Now, I watch my shows, but I'm impatient and irritated and want to get back here, lol.

    31. Mär. 2010, 15:33
  • Babs_05

    Hi MapofBones, thanks for the comment. I'm glad you found my article. I saw Jonathan Ross put the word out in Twitter a few months ago and I made a note to write about it nearer the time. Wouldn't it be great if they did finally get their number one!

    31. Mär. 2010, 15:35
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