Ultravox 1980

Ultravox, also known as Ultravox!, are a post-punk / new wave group from the UK. Originally known as Tiger Lily, the group was founded in 1974 by art student John Foxx who became the lead singer and frontman. He was joined by bassist Chris Cross, keyboard player Billy Currie, guitarist Stevie Shears and drummer Warren Cann. Shears was replaced by Robin Simon in 1978. After three albums on Island Records, Foxx left the group in early 1979, and together with Simon was replaced by guitarist and vocalist Midge Ure, formerly of Slik and Rich Kids. Ultravox then entered their most successful commercial phase with the album Vienna in 1980 (with the title track reaching no. 2 in 1981), followed by Rage in Eden (1981), Quartet (1982), and Lament (1984). After various divisions, some mostly unsuccessful releases, and a final dissolution of the group in 1988, Ure, Currie, Cann and Cross reformed in 2009 for live performances. Their latest album Brilliant was released in 2012.

Significant dates

  • 1974: Tiger Lily formed
  • 1976: Ultravox! name conceived during recording of first album
  • 1977-02: debut album Ultravox! released
  • 1977-10: second album Ha! Ha! Ha! released
  • 1978-08-25: Ultravox play Reading Festival
  • 1978-09: Systems of Romance album released
  • 05 December 1978: TV debut on Old Grey Whistle Test
  • 1979-03: John Foxx leaves the group after self-financed US tour. Robin Simon also joins Magazine.
  • 1979-05: Billie Currie performs with Gary Numan's Tubeway Army on The Old Grey Whistle Test and Top of the Pops. Currie also plays as guest musician on The Pleasure Principle, and tours with Numan in September 1979.
  • 1979-11: Midge Ure performs live as vocalist and guitarist with re-formed Ultravox on US tour.
  • 1980-01: John Foxx releases debut solo album Metamatic
  • 1980-02: Ultravox start recording Vienna album with producer Conny Plank.
  • 1980-06: Sleepwalk single released.
  • 1980-07: Vienna album released and enters the UK charts at peak position of 14.
  • 14 August 1980: debut Top of the Pops appearance with Sleepwalk, reaches no. 29 in UK chart.
  • 1980-10: Album track Passing Strangers released as a single but fails to chart.
  • 1981-01: Vienna title-track released as a single. Will eventually reach no. 2 for four weeks in February and March. Album reaches a new peak of no. 3 in March. (See also Smash Hits 19 February 1981)
  • 14 January 1981: Concert at Paris Theatre, London recorded for BBC In Concert. Broadcast on Radio One 31 January 1981 and repeated 15 August 1981 (taped). [1]
  • 1981-05: Fourth and final single from Vienna All Stood Still released as single. Reaches no. 8 in UK.
  • 1981-08: New single 'The Thin Wall' released. Reaches no. 14 in UK Charts. (See also 27 August 1981, Top of the Pops)
  • 1981-09: New album Rage in Eden released. Enters UK charts at peak no. 4 position. Rage in Eden World Tour (UK and Europe) begins.
  • 1981-10: New single The Voice released. Will eventually reach no. 16 in UK. (See also Top of the Pops 12 November 1981)


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