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Jack Hertz

Topic: Ultravox Vienna

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Vienna is the fourth studio album by British new wave band Ultravox, first released on Chrysalis Records on 11 July 1980. The album was the first made by Ultravox with their best-known line-up, after Midge Ure had taken over as lead vocalist and guitarist following the departures of John Foxx and Robin Simon, and it was also the group's first release for Chrysalis. Vienna was produced by renowned German producer Conny Plank who had also produced Ultravox's previous album Systems of Romance, and mixed at Plank's studio near Cologne, Germany. The album had a slow start, but the release in January 1981 of the title track as the third single from the album heralded the band's commercial breakthrough worldwide and led to healthy sales throughout 1981. Vienna peaked at number 3 in the UK Albums Chart and reached the top ten in Australia, New Zealand and several European countries.

Ultravox effectively changed pace, style and audience with the arrival of Ure, who had already participated in the formation of Visage with Currie. Many different styles are in use on the album; "Astradyne" is a long instrumental featuring sweeping, majestic synthesizer arrangements throughout, while "Mr. X" is a simpler, much sparser affair. The lyrics to the album's songs were mainly written by Ure and drummer Warren Cann, who also takes a rare lead vocal on "Mr. X".

Vienna was remastered and re-issued on CD in 2000 on the EMI Gold label. This release also included a selection of B-sides from the album's singles as bonus tracks as well as the promotional video for the "Vienna" single. The definitive version of the Vienna album was released in 2008 and included a second disc of rare and previously unreleased tracks.

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