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Music / U-Vox

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"I woke up to find that the world had gone mad."

U-Vox, released in 1986 through Chrysalis Records, is the eighth album by British band Ultravox. The first to be produced by longtime collaborator Conny Plank since Rage in Eden, it finalizes the band's shift away from the electronic New Wave Music that had defined their output since Vienna six years prior; instead, U-Vox dives fully into mainstream pop-rock, with the occasional foray into the unusual on the Celtic "All Fall Down" and orchestral "All in One Day".

Conny Plank returned to produce, his role having previously been filled in by Beatles producer George Martin on Quartet and by the band themselves on Lament; Martin did however maintain involvement with the band on this album by arranging and conducting orchestra parts for "All in One Day".

The album's recording wasn't an entirely smooth process, with drummer Warren Cann being unceremoniously fired from the band prior to recording. In his stead, he was replaced by Big Country guitarist Mark Brzezicki. Frontman Midge Ure and bassist Chris Cross would also exit the band after the album's release, with Ultravox dissolving two years later. Violinist Billy Currie would briefly revive the band under a different lineup in 1992, but the 80's configuration wouldn't reunite until 2008.

U-Vox produced three singles: "Same Old Story", "All Fall Down", and "All in One Day".


Side One
  1. "Same Old Story" (4:38)
  2. "Sweet Surrender" (4:34)
  3. "Dream On" (4:37)
  4. "The Prize" (5:37)
  5. "All Fall Down" (5:09)

Side Two

  1. "Time to Kill" (4:26)
  2. "Moon Madness" (3:28)
  3. "Follow Your Heart" (4:53)
  4. "All in One Day" (5:09)

I can hear you crying out behind your paper trope:

  • Cold War: "All Fall Down" harshly criticizes it.
  • Follow Your Heart: "Follow Your Heart", natch.
  • Lighter and Softer: U-Vox is quite possibly the lightest album Ultravox had ever put out up to that point, lacking much of the gloom and artsy leanings of previous Ure-led albums and bearing a greater resemblance to the mainstream pop rock that was common throughout the 1980's.
  • Mind Screw: As per the norm with the Ure-led Ultravox, though not to as much of an extent as before; while the lyricism is still fairly obtuse, "Same Old Story", "All Fall Down", and "All in One Day" make use of much more direct lyrics than what Ultravox became known for by that point.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: A magenta background with a large pink "U-VOX" logo atop.
  • New Sound Album: While Lament had already dabbled in pop rock elements, U-Vox jumps into it whole-hog, to the point where Ultravox hardly resembles the band that recorded songs like "Vienna" and "The Voice".
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: "All Fall Down" and "All in One Day", which respectively make use of Celtic arrangements by the Chieftains and orchestral arrangements by George Martin (who had previously produced Quartet).
  • Raster Vision: The album cover simulates this on the title logo; some LP copies include a magenta-and-transparent outer sleeve with vertical raster lines, which when placed atop the main sleeve provide a grid effect on the logo.
  • Record Producer: Conny Plank, returning to work with the band after briefly being replaced by George Martin on Quartet and the band themselves on Lament.
  • Shout-Out: The title logo on the album cover is a noticeable riff on the IBM logo.
  • Title-Only Chorus: Much of the songs on this album.
  • War Is Hell: The general point of "All Fall Down".