Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ultravox - Extended: A Collection of 12" Remixes (1998)


Because sometimes you just need extended remixes of early '80s electronic New Romantic synthpop. The regular 4 minute album versions just aren't enough, so you yearn for an eight minute special remix. You're in luck.

Admittedly, Ultravox (like its influences Roxy Music and Kraftwerk) is an acquired taste - lots of synths with the occasional electric violin, drum machine, and guitar. These 10 tracks remix singles from the years 1980-86, when Midge Ure was frontman for the group. Never heard of Ure? He co-wrote and produced the charity single Do They Know It's Christmas? and co-organized Band Aid, Live Aid and Live 8 with Bob Geldof. Ultravox was big in the UK, but not so much here in the US where their highest charting album, 1982's Quartet, peaked at #61 on the album chart.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart:  Did not chart

Tracks: The best remixes are All Stood Still, Reap The Wild Wind, We Came To Dance, and One Small Day. Weaker tracks include Serenade and Lament. The final two tracks, Same Old Story and All Fall Down are from 1986's U-Vox release and don't even sound like Ultravox songs. Same Old Story has horn parts and female backup singers and sounds like something The Blow Monkeys would release. All Fall Down includes performances by the Chieftains and sounds like an Irish drinking song. Better to stop this disc after 8 tracks.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: Not sure how I discovered this band, but I'm sure Jim and MTV had something to do with it. I thought that most people at my high school listened only to music by bands like Journey, Rush, AC/DC, and REO Speedwagon (which certainly couldn't have been true), so I took pride in listening to music other that others wouldn't regularly listen to. Yes, I was that guy. Ultravox's music fit the bill. I picked up this CD from the used bin at a Hasting's in Victoria on a rainy day around 2004, so I have memories of this CD attached to that time, too.

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