Ultravox! (album)

Ultravox! is the eponymous debut studio album by British new wave band Ultravox!. It was recorded at Island Studios in Hammersmith, London in the autumn of 1976[1] and produced by Ultravox! and Steve Lillywhite with studio assistance from Brian Eno. It was released on 25 February 1977 by Island.[2]

Ultravox ultravox.jpg
Studio album by
Released25 February 1977 (1977-02-25)
StudioIsland Studios, Hammersmith, London
GenreNew wave
Ultravox! chronology
Singles from Ultravox!
  1. "Dangerous Rhythm"
    Released: 4 February 1977


The songs "Saturday Night in the City of the Dead" and "Dangerous Rhythm", alongside other songs from the album, were written while the band were named Tiger Lily. The former song pre-dated punk music, written over a year before the emergence of punk. The latter, a reggae influenced song, was released as the first Ultravox single in February 1977 to positive reviews.[1] The band's early ambition to combine 1950s and 1960s pop music with the intensity of raw rock music and glam rock developed into writing longer and more intricate songs like "I Want to Be a Machine".[1] The song "My Sex" includes an early use of a synthesizer.[1] Lyrically the album is mainly about the band's environment, living in London in the mid-1970s, with lyricist John Foxx being heavily influenced by the writings of J.G. Ballard.[1] "Life At Rainbow's End (For All The Tax Exiles On Main Street)" pointedly criticises the hugely popular 'dinosaur' bands of the past, namely The Rolling Stones, who released an album called Exile On Main Street in 1972.


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [3]
Christgau's Record GuideB[4]
Record Mirror     [5]

Ada Wilson in The Rough Guide to Rock wrote that the album "failed to recapture [Ultravox!'s] on-stage energy".[6] In his retrospective review, Dave Thompson, writing for AllMusic, opined "it was Ultravox! who first showed the kind of dangerous rhythms that keyboards could create. The quintet certainly had their antecedents – Hawkwind, Roxy Music and Kraftwerk to name but a few – but still it was the group's 1977 eponymous debut's grandeur (courtesy of producer Brian Eno), wrapped in the ravaged moods and lyrical themes of collapse and decay that transported '70s rock from the bloated pastures of the past to the futuristic dystopias predicted by punk."[3]

Track listingEdit

1."Satday Night in the City of the Dead"John Foxx2:35
2."Life at Rainbow's End (For All the Tax Exiles on Main Street)"Foxx3:44
3."Slip Away"Billy Currie, Foxx4:19
4."I Want to Be a Machine"Currie, Foxx7:21
5."Wide Boys"Foxx3:16
6."Dangerous Rhythm"Warren Cann, Chris Cross, Currie, Foxx, Stevie Shears4:16
7."The Lonely Hunter"Foxx3:42
8."The Wild, The Beautiful and the Damned"Cross, Currie, Foxx5:50
9."My Sex"Cross, Currie, Foxx3:01
2006 reissue bonus tracks
10."Slip Away (Live)"Currie, Foxx4:12
11."Modern Love (Live)"Cann, Cross, Currie, Foxx, Shears2:31
12."The Wild, The Beautiful and the Damned (Live)"Cross, Currie, Foxx5:18
13."My Sex (Live)"Cross, Currie, Foxx3:05


Technical personnel
  • Terry Barham – assistant engineer


  1. ^ a b c d e Ultravox! (album reissue booklet). Ultravox. Island Records. 2006.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  2. ^ "John Foxx Official Website Metamatic : Discography : Ultravox! : UK 12 Inch Vinyl". metamatic.com. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  3. ^ a b Thompson, Dave. "Ultravox! – Ultravox". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "U". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor and Fields. ISBN 0-89919-026-X. Retrieved 17 March 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
  5. ^ Potter, Seamus (12 March 1977). "Voxy Music". Record Mirror. p. 14.
  6. ^ Wilson, Ada (2003). "Ultravox". In Buckley, Peter (ed.). The Rough Guide to Rock. Rough Guides. p. 1119. ISBN 9781843531050. Retrieved 29 December 2014.

External linksEdit