Nights At The Roundtable with Ultravox during their New Wave/New Romantic period with the 1980 single Passing Strangers.
November 22, 2010

Ultravox - from Experimental to purveyors of New Wave/New Romanticism.

A few months ago I ran an early track from Ultravox, during what as known as their John Foxx period. After Foxx left the band in 1979, Midge Ure joined the band as lead singer and the direction of the band underwent a dramatic change. During Foxx's period, the band were experimental, taking their cues from many of the German experimental/progressive bands of the early 70's. But when Ure entered the picture, the rough edge of their experimentalism transitioned into a hybrid of New Wave and New Romanticism and it turned out to be huge commercial success for the band. It also coupled with the new direction Music Video's were taking, from the straightforward performance-oriented film to the highly-stylized and scripted format which Ultravox derived huge notoriety from.

Tonight's track, Passing Strangers is from October 1980 and was issued as a single which achieved modest success, reaching #57 on the charts. It would be followed less than three months later with the milestone Vienna, but Passing Strangers is kind of an overlooked track.

Though the band packed it up for a while in 1987, they have recently reunited and have been touring from late 2009 to earlier this year. No word if an album is in the works.

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