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Music / Lament

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"One day, where I didn't die a thousand times..."
Lament, released in 1984 through Chrysalis Records, is the seventh album by British New Wave Music band Ultravox. Their last with drummer Warren Cann, who would be replaced with Big Country member Mark Brzezicki two years later, it continues the shift away from the more complex brand of new wave that Vienna and Rage in Eden championed. Rather than upping the Synth-Pop elements of Quartet, however, the album instead added in elements of Arena Rock such as heavier use of guitar and stadium-esque reverb. This shift would end up foretelling the overtly pop rock direction of both U-Vox and the band's 90's output.

Lament was also one of the first albums to take advantage of the technological advancements of the then-nascent Compact Disc format, interspersing several remixes with the album's songs to prolong its length and offer consumers with an incentive to try out those shiny plastic discs. This expanded tracklist was also included on the cassette release (minus the Special Mix of "White China"), as the Compact Cassette format at the time had already started to become known as an outlet for extended versions of albums.

The album was yet another success for Ultravox, peaking at No. 8 on the UK Albums chart and being certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry. In the US, however, it was not as big of a success as Quartet was, peaking at just No. 115 on the Billboard charts. Lament spawned four singles: "One Small Day", "Dancing with Tears in My Eyes", "Lament", and "Heart of the Country".


  1. "White China" (3:50)
  2. "One Small Day" (4:30)
  3. "Dancing with Tears in My Eyes" (4:39)
  4. "Lament" (4:40)
  5. "White China (Special Mix)" (8:23)*†
  6. "One Small Day (Extended Mix)" (8:31)*
  7. "Man of Two Worlds" (4:27)
  8. "Heart of the Country" (5:05)
  9. "When the Time Comes" (4:56)
  10. "A Friend I Call Desire" (5:09)
  11. "Lament (Extended Mix)" (8:01)*

* = omitted from LP releases
† = exclusive to the CD release

Weeping for the memory of a trope gone by:

  • Alternate Album Cover: The original LP release depicts a grid of black squares against a gray background, with the album title and tracklist displayed in the upper-right quadrant. Releases on other formats and in most regions outside the UK replace the tracklist with a photograph of the Callanish Stones in Scotland. The 2009 Definitive Edition CD would split the difference, featuring the photo cover on the outer slipcase and the tracklist cover on the front of the jewel case's booklet. The 2017 reissue of the Definitive Edition, meanwhile, features a third modification that's mostly similar to the original cover, but moves the tracklist to the back.
  • Anti-Love Song: "A Friend I Call Desire".
  • Artistic License – Physics: The video for "Dancing with Tears in My Eyes" has a nuclear power plant meltdown causing a nuclear explosion, which is impossible in real nuclear reactors because they use low-enriched uranium and nuclear reactors employ safeguards so that the chain reaction for a nuclear explosion doesn't occur.
  • Call-Back: Within the album; "Heart of the Country" reuses much of its percussion from "White China".
  • Changed for the Video: "Dancing with Tears in My Eyes" does this not to the lyrics, but the concept, reframing the lyrics from describing nuclear war to a nuclear power plant melting down. Rather eerily, the video predates the Chernobyl incident by about two years.
  • Darker and Edgier: While not jarringly obvious, Lament is slightly darker in its music and lyrical subject matter than Quartet. It's kinda in the title.
  • Epic Rocking: The remixes of "White China", "One Small Day", and "Lament" included on the CD and cassette release all surpass eight minutes in length.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: "Man of Two Worlds" features Gaelic vocals in the chorus, sung by Mae McKenna.
  • Melting-Film Effect: The music video for "Dancing With Tears In My Eyes" ends with the family's Happier Home Movie film melting, presumably due to radiation from the nuclear reactor meltdown.
  • Mind Screw: As per usual with Midge Ure-era Ultravox.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: A title and tracklist surrounded by a grid of small squares, all over a dark gray backdrop. Later releases mitigate this somewhat by moving the tracklist to the back and replacing it on the front with a photograph of the Callanish Stones in Scotland, previously featured on the LP release's inner sleeve.
  • New Sound Album: Lament features greater dabblings in pop rock than previous efforts, foreshadowing the full-on pop rock direction of U-Vox and the Billy Currie era.
  • One-Word Title: Lament, "Lament".
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: Even for Ure-era Ultravox, "One Small Day" is unusually guitar-driven, to the point of sounding more like a straight rocker than the band's usual foray of synth-driven New Wave Music.
  • Out with a Bang: Implied in the video for "Dancing with Tears in My Eyes". The video's protagonist is a worker at a nuclear power plant who, when the reactor goes into meltdown with no hope of stopping the explosion, hurries home to spend one last romantic evening with his wife. The video ends with the couple in bed; the last thing we see is a shot of their television (bearing an onscreen message warning of the impending disaster) which then goes blank as a blinding light floods the room.
  • Title-Only Chorus: "White China", "Lament".
  • While Rome Burns: "Dancing with Tears in My Eyes" is about a man driving home from work and hearing that a catastrophe (presumably a nuclear war) is on its way. He then goes home to his wife, they get drunk, make love to their favorite music and the last verse ends with "it's time, and I don't think we really care." In the video, the catastrophe turns out to be a nuclear power plant Going Critical.
  • World War III: "Dancing with Tears in My Eyes" describes the narrator coping with the onset of it.