Vienna (album)

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Vienna
Studio album by Ultravox
Released 11 July 1980
Recorded February 1980, RAK Studios, London (mixed at Conny Plank's Studio near Cologne, Germany)
Genre Synthpop, post-punk, art rock
Length 43:37
Label Chrysalis
Producer Ultravox, Conny Plank
Ultravox chronology
Three into One
(1979)
Vienna
(1980)
Rage in Eden
(1981)
Singles from Vienna
  1. "Sleepwalk"
    Released: 16 June 1980
  2. "Passing Strangers"
    Released: 15 October 1980
  3. "Vienna"
    Released: 15 January 1981
  4. "All Stood Still"
    Released: 26 May 1981
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau C[2]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[3]
Smash Hits 8/10[4]

Vienna is the fourth studio album by British new wave band Ultravox, first released on 11 July 1980. The album peaked at No. 3 in the UK charts and was the first Ultravox release to enter the UK top ten. It was certified Platinum in the United Kingdom in July 1981 for 300,000 copies sold. The album reached No. 22 in Germany, and No. 164 in the United States.

Background[edit]

This album was the first for Ultravox with the new (today called "the classic") line-up: Midge Ure had taken the reins as vocalist and guitarist after the departure of John Foxx, and it was also the first release under Chrysalis Records. Additionally, it was also the first massive commercial success for the band. Ultravox effectively changed pace, style and audience with the arrival of Ure, who had already participated in early New Romantic ventures with Visage and actually steered the ensemble in that direction for the years to come.

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 between Ure and drummer Warren Cann, who also takes a rare lead vocal on "Mr. X".

For Vienna, the band decided to once again work with renowned producer Conny Plank, renowned for his work with German synthesists Kraftwerk, as they did on their previous album Systems of Romance. The tracks were mixed at Plank's studio near Cologne, Germany.

The album was remastered and re-issued on CD in 2000 under the EMI Gold label. This release also includes a selection of b-sides from the album's singles as bonus tracks and the music video for the "Vienna" single.

The definitive version of the Vienna album (released 22 September 2008) is a double remastered CD including rare and previously unreleased tracks on the 2nd CD.

Singles[edit]

Four singles were released from the album from 1980 to 1981, the most prominent one being the title track which hit No. 2 in the UK charts.

  1. "Sleepwalk" (16 June 1980, No. 29 UK)
  2. "Passing Strangers" (15 October 1980, No. 57 UK)
  3. "Vienna" (15 January 1981, No. 2 UK)
  4. "All Stood Still" (26 May 1981, No. 8 UK)

Chart positions[edit]

  • The Netherlands – #1[5]
  • United Kingdom – #3[6]
  • Sweden – #6[7]
  • Norway – #18[7]
  • West Germany – No. 22

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Warren Cann, Chris Cross, Billy Currie, Midge Ure except as mentioned.

Original release: CHR 1296[edit]

Side A:

  1. "Astradyne" – 7:07
  2. "New Europeans" – 4:01
  3. "Private Lives" – 4:06
  4. "Passing Strangers" – 3:48
  5. "Sleepwalk" – 3:10

Side B:

  1. "Mr. X" – 6:33
  2. "Western Promise" – 5:18
  3. "Vienna" – 4:53
  4. "All Stood Still" – 4:21

US release: DIDX 397[edit]

Side A:

  1. "Sleepwalk" – 3:10
  2. "Passing Strangers" – 3:48
  3. "New Europeans" – 4:01
  4. "Private Lives" – 4:06
  5. "Astradyne" – 7:07

Side B:

  1. "Mr. X" – 6:33
  2. "Western Promise" – 5:18
  3. "Vienna" – 4:53
  4. "All Stood Still" – 4:21

2000 CD re-release: 7243 5 25523 0 6[edit]

  1. "Astradyne" – 7:07
  2. "New Europeans" – 4:01
  3. "Private Lives" – 4:06
  4. "Passing Strangers" – 3:48
  5. "Sleepwalk" – 3:10
  6. "Mr. X" – 6:33
  7. "Western Promise" – 5:18
  8. "Vienna" – 4:53
  9. "All Stood Still" – 4:21

Bonus tracks:

  1. "Waiting" – 3:51
  2. "Passionate Reply" – 4:17
  3. "Herr X" – 5:49
  4. "Alles Klar" – 4:53
  5. "Vienna" [video]

2008 Remastered Definitive Edition[edit]

Disc One[edit]

  1. "Astradyne" – 7:07
  2. "New Europeans" – 4:01
  3. "Private Lives" – 4:06
  4. "Passing Strangers" – 3:48
  5. "Sleepwalk" – 3:10
  6. "Mr. X" – 6:33
  7. "Western Promise" – 5:18
  8. "Vienna" – 4:53
  9. "All Stood Still" – 4:21

Disc Two[edit]

  1. "Sleepwalk (Early Version)" – 3:23
  2. "Waiting" (B-side of Sleepwalk) – 3:51
  3. "Face to Face (Live)" (B-side of Passing Strangers) – 6:04
  4. "King's Lead Hat (Live)" (B-side extra of Passing Strangers (12" version)) – 4:06 (written by Brian Eno)
  5. "Passionate Reply" (B-side of Vienna) – 4:17
  6. "Herr X" (B-side extra of Vienna (12" version)) – 5:49 (German version of "Mr. X")
  7. "All Stood Still" (Extended 12" Version) – 5:08
  8. "Alles Klar" (B-side of All Stood Still) – 4:53
  9. "Keep Talking" (Cassette recording during rehearsals) – 6:23
  10. "Sleepwalk (Live)" – 3:43
  11. "All Stood Still (Live)" – 4:35
  • Track 3 recorded live at St. Albans, 16 Aug 1980.
  • Track 4 recorded live at The Lyceum, 17 Aug 1980.
  • Tracks 10–11 recorded live in rehearsals at The Lyceum, 17 Aug 1980.

Personnel[edit]

Ultravox
  • Warren Cann – drums, percussion, backing vocals, lead vocals on "Mr. X" and "Herr X"
  • Chris Cross – bass, synthesizer, backing vocals
  • Billy Currie – keyboards, violin, synthesizer (ARP Odyssey)
  • Midge Ure – guitar, synthesizer, lead vocals (except "Mr. X" and "Herr X")
Additional personnel
  • Conny Plank – co-production
  • Brian Griffin & Brian Aris – band photography

References[edit]

External links[edit]