Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by simes1970, Mar 20, 2017.
Visions In Blue needs to fade to black!
No more Laments!
Time to hit the Top 5 and the title track from 1984 comes next.
Score 63.5 Average 9.07 Highest Score 12 (Simes1970) Lowest Score 6 (NNnumb)
This track is just pure class.One of the best singles from 1984 full stop.
"Slow number from the album of the same name. I love the moody synths." (Hairycub1969)
"Going downhill. The intro to this sounds almost like Phil Collins" (Nnnumb)
"This is -for some reason (well, it´s the title, duh!)- the song that I most remember from that album." (TrendyMuller)
"Their last great single. Listen to that drum pattern. Didn’t Talk Talk rip it off for Life’s What You Make It? I prefer the dark, mellow Ultravox," (Auntie Beryl)
So it's time to Lament the loss of this great track at 5
Scores 12 Simes1970 10 Eric Generic, Auntie Beryl, 9.5 Remorque 8 Hairycub1969 TrendyMuller 6 Nnnumb
Next up at 4 perhaps a surprise release as a single
Score 65.5 Average 9.35 Highest Score 11 (TrendyMuller, Auntie Beryl) Lowest Score 7 (Hairycub1969)
I really didn't like this back on release, but as I have gotten older I appreciate just how good a track this is.
" Amazing that this was even a single. It doesn’t have anything like a traditional structure, I can’t imagine it got much airplay at the time, the video is mighty weird, and yet it would have got my 12 were it not for the Vienna juggernaut. I go back to this one a hell of a lot." (Auntie Beryl)
"This is a bit of an understated track for their standards by that time. It sounds like an attempt to re-create Vienna via the Visage book of tricks. I like how they drop Ure out of the mix during the climax. It´s clearly the re-discovery of the rate for me and one of their best singles." (TrendyMuller)
" A brave move to release a ballad from “Quartet”, it has a very sad feel to it and what was going on with the two lady horse riders in the video? The video was omitted from “The Collection” but thankfully included in “The very best…” CD/DVD Collection in 2009" (Hairycub1969)
Visions In Blue bites the dust at number 4.
Scores 11 TrendyMuller, Auntie Beryl 10 Nnnumb 9.5 Eric Generic 9 Remorque 8 Simes1970 7 Hairycub1969
I vividly/aurally remember that I actually found Lament (song and album) to be a sonic step back from the technological extremism of Rage and Quartet. I always found the drum sounds at the beginning of Lament very thin and cheap sounding.
And "thin" and "cheap" are actually the last words I would ever associate with Ultravox since Midge joined in.
That´s why I found Visions In Blue so fascinating. This thing sounds amazing and pristine. And after the song opens up after 2 minutes it really SOARS.
It's time to finish off the rate with the 3 top rated Ultravox tracks. It just so happens that the first 2 cannot be separated so at 2= it's
Score 66 Average 9.42 Highest Score 11 (Remorque, Simes1970) Lowest Score 8 (Auntie Beryl)
I just love this to bits. Once again it is over the top but in a good way. Interesting video.
" Ultravox do religion and the video warns us about “selling out to the devil” – very dramatic stuff! Back in my sauna days of the 00’s, there was a dance version doing the rounds (Hello Cabbrello!) – great memories!" (Hairycub1969)
"The young Warren Cann looks a lot like Benedict Cumberbatch. I really loved Hymn for the music. The lyrics are a bit shit. What is he on about faith and glory and kingdom come? And ANOTHER Peter Saville designed album campaign that made a huge impression on me! (and lot´s of Freemason imagery...get ´em while they´re young)" (TrendyMuller)
"Hurrah, more pomposity! If Vienna was the apogee of their progginess, the Vox would occasionally revisit that feel, to my approval. A step in the right direction, better was to follow soon enough." (Auntie Beryl)
So first up, let's pray for Hymn at no2=
Scores 11 Simes1970, Remorque 9.5 TrendyMuller 9 Nnnumb Hairycub1969 8.5 Eric Generic 8 Auntie Beryl
So before we get to the no1 the last song standing is
Score 66 Average 9.42 Highest Score 12 (Hairycub1969) Lowest Score 7 (Remorque)
I feel this harks back to early Ultravox which is no bad thing. It almost starts off as a punk synth single before developing into a superbly crafted piece of pop.
"Histrionics from Midge and very Bowie, as all the New Romantics were back then. Learn from the best, I say." (Auntie Beryl)
"This is my favourite single. I love the dark haunting sound of the synths and the electronic bassline throughout, as well as the sratchy guitars. Midge literally raps his way through this song – very dark lyrics too (about a whistleblower or traitor?) It’s my favourite video too – with so much going on – special effects and action! I also love the way the song slows down around 3.30 and then starts up again with the scratchy guitar getting funkier. This would have made a great Doctor Who theme" (Hairycub1969)
"This gets 10 simply for sounding like Visage...or the other way round. God, I love that sequenced groove!" (TrendyMuller)
The Thin Wall is the last to go before probably what everyone suspected to finish top.
Scores 12 Hairycub1969 11 Eric Generic 10 TrendyMuller 9 Simes1970, Nnnumb 8 Auntie Beryl 7 Remorque
"It means nothing to me", but here is the Top Ultravox track
Score 74 Average 10.57 Highest Score 12 (Eric Generic, Auntie Beryl) Lowest Score 9.5 (TrendyMuller, Nnnumb)
Just pure pop synth heaven.
"Aka the most famous #2 of all-time. I must've heard this thousands of time and it still sounds good" (Nnnumb)
"Well, what to say of Vienna?! It´s ingrained into my musical DNA. For better or worse. The sound design is brilliant and it was an era-defining POP spectacle. Upon re-visiting it years later, I have to say that the song is a bit like a beautiful fassade...there is not much behind it. And the attempts at writing John Foxx lyrics falls quite flat. I´m sure they were crying all the way to the bank, though." (TrendyMuller)
" It’s an absolutely stunning synth pop ballad with a brilliantly film video. This song recently spent 5 weeks at the top of my Retrochart!" (Hairycub1969)
"Aged 7 and three quarters this was the song that made me properly notice pop. I did watch Top Of The Pops before this, but only because everyone else in the house was doing it. But once I’d seen this, I had a team to back, something to cheer on, a favourite that will never leave my heart. Yes, it’s overplayed. But that’s only because it’s incredible. I’m a sucker for a string section to this day, this song has been with me for 36 years, and was my first love in a way." (Auntie Beryl)
Vienna wings it's way to the Top spot.
Scores 12 Eric Generic, Auntie Beryl 11 Hairycub1969 10 Remorque, Simes1970 9.5 TrendyMuller Nnnumb)
Glad that Vienna won, and not Hymn (possibly my least-favourite Ultravox single from when they were still good). The Thin Wall was the biggest surprise of the rate for me, it reminded me of Blancmange...in a good way! Hymn is almost self-parody, but it still hooks you by the end, bastards.
Round of applause to @simes1970 for creating the rate!
Yes, thanks @simes1970 for a fascinating rate. I have to remind myself to use more decimals for "fine tuning" the next time.
So here are some recommendations for all of you who like the analogue super synth sound of Metamatic and who are not familiar with the later output of John Foxx.
After his hiatus he came back with extreme ambient works "Cathedral Oceans". Ambient tends to be either beautiful or boring and Cathedral Oceans are a mix of both.
He then teamed up with Luis Gordon and went back to cold electro with a techno edge. I´m not quite too eager on the results, but there are definitely some amazing tunes, like The Falling Room. The lyrics are very John Foxx, with a slight tendency of bordering on self parody (The One Who Walks Through You).
In 2006 he went solo again with the great, (fake?) concept album Tiny Colour Movies. Its instrumental, but it has this distinct "hauntological" aura that is so special for JF. Song titles such as Stray Sinatra Neurone are proof that he was back in form. There is also a track called Kurfürstendamm and I was just living right off Kurfürstendamm in Berlin at that time. And I´m now typing these words in my office AT Kurfürstendamm. I´m a sucker for synchronicity.
In 2014 he returned to the Ballardian Universe, this time explicitly, as the title "B-Movie (Ballardian Video Neuronica) suggests. This is highly recommended!
He also did numerous collaborations, of which I would recommend
Mirrorball (with Robin Guthrie/Cocteau Twins).
Empty Avenues (with The Belbury Circle) - a 6 track EP/Mini Album
Eurpean Splendour (with Jori Hulkkonnen) another 4 track EP plus remixes by DAVID LYNCH!
And then there is John Foxx And The Maths, his collaboration band with Benge. They are quite prolific in their exploration of the analogue sound universe that Foxx created with Metamatic.
Check out Interplay (especially the song Watching A Building On Fire, which features Ladytron´s Mira Aroyo).
Thanks to you all for taking part. Next time it's Blancmange UK Singles 1980-1986.
Thank you @simes1970 for an interesting and very enjoyable rate!
It's been fun reading all your reviews/commentary.
I didn't want to give "Vienna" my 12 even though it's an absolute classic - therefore was pleasantly surprised that "The thin wall" came joint second!
Looking forward to the Blancmange and Soft Cell rates!
Separate names with a comma.