Ultravox (formerly known as Ultravox!) are a British new wave band, formed in London in 1974 as Tiger Lily. Between 1980–86, they scored seven Top Ten albums and seventeen Top 40 singles in the UK, the most successful of which was their 1981 hit "Vienna". The band has been led by two different frontmen who never played together in the band at the same time. From 1974 until 1979, singer John Foxx was frontman and the main driving force behind Ultravox. Foxx left the band to embark on a solo career and, following his departure, Midge Ure took over as lead singer, guitarist and frontman in 1980 after he and keyboardist Billy Currie worked in the studio project Visage. Ure revitalised the band and steered it to commercial chart success lasting until 1987. Ure left the band in 1987 after establishing his own solo career and the group disbanded for a while until 1992 when they briefly re-united and then reformed again in 2008.
Links To Peel
"Here is another band which has improved considerably in recent months, and their set was of a very high quality; tight, concise and exciting ... So I liked Ultravox."
The DJ regularly played tracks from early LPs with John Foxx, and the only session by either version of the band was recorded in 1977 on the release of the second Ultravox! album, 'Ha! Ha! Ha!'. On the 15 August 1978 show, Peel mentioned liking the track 'Slow Motion' the first time heard it, hating it the second, then liking it again the third time, but finally being undecided on the fourth. In the period after the departure of Foxx, keyboard player Billy Currie worked with Tubeway Army, who were strongly supported by Peel, and was part of the line-up for their second session, also known as the first Gary Numan 'solo' session.
SessionsThree of the tracks from their only session is available on The Peel Sessions (12" / Strange Fruit / 1988), while all four were included on the 'Rare Retro' disc included with the four-disc compilation The Island Years (4 CD Box-set and digital, Caroline International/Island, 2016).
- My Sex / The Man Who Dies Every Day / Artificial Life / Young Savage
Other Shows Played
- 15 August 1978: 'Slow Motion (LP-Systems Of Romance)' (Island)
- 22 August 1978: Someone Else's Clothes / Dislocation / Some Of Them (LP - Systems Of Romance) Island
- 24 August 1978: 'Blue Light (LP-Systems Of Romance)' (Island)
- 28 August 1978: Maximum Acceleration (album - Systems Of Romance) Island
- 30 August 1978: Blue Light (album - Systems Of Romance) Island
- 12 September 1978: I Can’t Stay Long (LP – Systems Of Romance) Island
- 19 September 1978: When You Walk Through Me (LP - Systems Of Romance) Island (JP: "Well, when you walk through me, you're going to have to cope with a lot of unsightly fat, I'm afraid.")
- 04 October 1978: Someone Else’s Clothes (LP – Systems Of Romance) Island
- 16 October 1978: Maximum Acceleration (LP - Systems Of Romance) Island
- 25 October 1978: Quiet Men / Cross Fade (12” single) Island
- 23 June 1980: Sleepwalk (7") Chrysalis
- 03 July 1980 (BFBS): Waiting (7" - Sleepwalk) Chrysalis CHS 2441
- 31 December 1985: Dancing With Tears In My Eyes (Live Aid Concert)
- 30 November 1990 (BFBS): The Man Who Dies Everyday (album - Ha!-Ha!-Ha!) Island Records
Top Of The Pops
- 25 December 1981 (TOTP): Vienna
- 30 September 1982 (TOTP): Reap The Wild Wind (#29)
- 14 October 1982 (TOTP): Reap The Wild Wind (#20)
- 08 June 1983 (TOTP): We Came To Dance (#24)