tempobet yeni adresi
like this cd review

10/12/2016 : ULTRAVOX! - The Island Years

ULTRAVOX!

The Island Years

MusicCD
Post PunkSynth Pop / Electro Pop

[90/100]   

Caroline International
10/12/2016, Paul PLEDGER

Before pointy sideburns Slikmeister Midge Ure steered the typically difficult Ultravox template towards chart success and sold-out arena shows, the preceding John Foxx-led version knocked out three studio albums and enough residue material to fill an entire catalogue.

And so here it is in the form of The Island Years, just about every version of every song written before Vienna and Band Aid beckoned - and it's quite a compendium. Previously issued by Island some ten years ago with extra tracks, each album now appears remastered but on its tod, with a further disc of bonus studio, live and session tracks to bolster the package and raise the rent. But it's worth it.

From 1976 to 1979, Ultravox raged and roared on the fringes of pop success, delivering a trio of diverse synth-rock albums that encompassed elements of Bowie, Roxy, Japan, Wire, Bolan and Devoto. Way ahead of their time, Gary Numan, Duran Duran and Suede have all doffed a cap in their general direction in recent years, be it musically or lyrically.

The Island Years comes in a clam-shell box with a sizeable booklet and four discs, starting with 1976's snotty sputtering self-titled debut. Rather than being a typical punk long-player, 'Ultravox' was a blustering spiky rock 'n' roll mash-up of glam attitude and romantic gloss-pop. Somewhat unfashionable like Magazine's debut Real Life or Wire's Pink Flag, John Foxx's charges dared to present their oblique anthems shrouded in moody strings, psychedelic riffs and mysterious urbane lyrics. In 1977, it sounded like little else. Slip Away, Wide Boys and Dangerous Rhythm are perhaps the most accessible, the expressive The Wild, The Beautiful and The Damned and I Want To Be A Machine the most Ballardian and My Sex the most exquisite.

Ha!Ha!Ha! quickly followed but didn't quite deliver the promise of the debut although it still contains a welter of testy post-punk histrionics and recognisable Ultravox trademarks. The Man Who Dies Everyday, Hiroshima Mon Amour and RockWrok feature regularly in write-ups and accolades but it's The Frozen Ones and Fear in the Western World that truly astound with their prophetic visceral rage, while the eerie Distant Smile lulls you into a false sense of serenity before launching itself into a propulsive anthem.

Systems of Romance is quite rightly often cited as Foxx-era Ultravox's most consistent and accessible album. Armed with Slow Motion and Quiet Men, it cannot fail to be a part of the music-press' inevitable '80s round-ups. Pin-sharp songs right the way through from I Can't Stay Long to the gloriously cinematic Maximum Acceleration, Systems of Romance continued its stamp on Foxx's own solo career with its imagery, use of electronics and even down to its font - The Garden a natural progression. And if you remain emotionally intact after Just For a Moment, you're tougher than tough.

The Rare Retro disc is decidedly must-have. Young Savage, single mixes of Rockwrok, Slow Motion and Quiet Men, electric live versions of The Man Who Dies Every Day and Modern Love, rare TV and radio takes of My Sex and Hiroshima Mon Amour and a swath of Peel Sessions make this a compulsory requirement.

This review also appeared on Flipside Reviews

Paul PLEDGER
10/12/2016


Music reviews

10
05
TERMINAL SERIOUS
Fear And Cufre
09
05
NEL & JP
Desinterersse
07
05
DARKEST NIGHT 2024
30
04
ATTRITION
The Black Maria
26
04
HYBRYDS
Mythopia, the sequel
25
04
PROJECT PITCHFORK
Elysium

NEWSLETTER

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

NEWS

19
05
46 of The Man-Machine!
15
05
On this day, 34 years ago, British post-punk band Wire released their 7th studio album Manscape
13
05
Today it’s exactly 27 years ago Nine Inch Nails released their The Perfect Drug (Versions) EP!
11
05
Today it’s been 37 years since NITZER EBB released their legendary debut album That Total Age!
08
05
EVA X Drops Her 'Dopamine Blind' Video; A Nighttime Escape Story
08
05
44 years ALAN VEGA · MARTIN REV or THE SECOND SUICIDE ALBUM!

Concert reviews

15
04
FAD GADGET
***FLASHBACK REVIEW***The Return of FAD GADGET (15.04.2001)***FLASHBACK REVIEW***
16
11
DREADFOOL - EUFORIC EXISTENCE - EULFI
ELECTRO au BNR
09
09
ENZO KREFT - DARK MINIMAL PROJECT - CAUSENATION
@B52 Music Club Eernegem
23
08
AMPHI FESTIVAL 2023
A second opinion...
18
06
ERATO - BLACK SNOW IN SUMMER
Black Planet Fest - @ B 52 Music Club Eernegem - friday 19th of may
18
06
KORINTHIANS, NEL & JP, NONA PROBLEMO
@Charlatan Ghent - 25 mei 2023

GET A COPY OF OUR MAGAZINE
SEND TO YOUR HOME

INTERVIEWS

11
05
XTR HUMAN
An Interview With Electro-Industrial Artist, XTR Human
09
05
THE RED MOON MACABRE
Resurrected after 32 years in 2021, now very active again. Interview with Renzo Tellez, founder of the classic Goth Rock band ‘The Red Moon Macabre’.
06
05
NOW AFTER NOTHING
An Interview With Darkwave Band, NOW AFTER NOTHING
10
04
ATTRITION
An Interview With The Legendary, ATTRITION
09
04
DE DELVERS
With the lyrics, I try to name things that I see happening around me and to pay attention to what we sometimes prefer to turn our heads away from.

PHOTOS

20
05
MONO INC
Christuskirche Bochum
14
05
CHRISTIAN DEATH
Rockpalast Bochum Matrix
16
04
PROJECT PITCHFORK
Kulttempel Oberhausen
16
04
NICHTS
Christuskirche Bochum
15
04
FAD GADGET (15.04.2001)***FLASHBACK REPORT***
Elektrofest 15/04/2001, Mean Fiddler, London
14
04
OTTO VON SCHIRACH
Magasin4 Anderlecht
14
04
AMBASSADOR 21
Magasin4 Anderlecht

ADVERTISE
IN PEEK-A-BOO

VIDEO CLIPS

20
05
VENUS FLY TRAP
Rocket USA
19
05
SUFFOCATING MINDS
Should I Look Above
18
05
SCHWEFELGELB
Zu Zweit
17
05
THIS CAN HURT
IF YOU GO
16
05
FEAR FACTORY
Expiration Date
15
05
KAI SCHUMACHER
The Hug (Rework by Illuminine)
14
05
ASH CODE
Nite Rite