I betcha you didn’t know… The story behind Ultravox

Who doesn’t know that classic hit Vienna by Ultravox? We all remember that video which so prominently featured Ultravox’s front man and singer Midge Ure.

However it took quite a bit of effort to get Vienna made. Ultravox started off in 1974 but were named Tiger Lily at that stage. The band was formed by Dennis Leigh aka John Foxx. On 14 March 1975 they released their only single titled “Ain’t Misbehavin'”,which was a cover of the classic Fats Waller jazz song from 1929. Tiger Lily’s version would feature in a soft porn film.

Because of some changes in the line up the band decided to change their name, so between 1975 and 1976 they were known as The Zips, Fire of London, London Soundtrack, and The Damned, there was already a band called the Damned so they eventually settled for ‘Ultravox!’. Some time in 1978, the group also dropped the exclamation mark, becoming simply “Ultravox”

That still would not be the end of it . John Foxx left the band in 1979 and was replaced by Midge Ure , who had temporarily been playing with Irish hard rock band Thin Lizzy on their American tour, replacing Gary Moore. Midge Ure had also worked with a band called Visage together with Billy Currie who was the violinist of Ultravox . For all you keen music fans you will recognize the name Visage, they had a massive hit with the single “Fade to Grey” which was released in November 1980.

Another thing which few people will know is Midge Ure’s involvement in Live Aid and Band Aid. Not only did he co write the single “Do they know it is Christmas time” he also organized most of the bands for the legendary concerts. He received very little credit for that from Bob Geldof. For those of you who watched Top of the Pops on BBC in the 1980’s will remember the theme music. It was called Yellow Pearl which came from Phil Lynott’s solo album Solo in Soho . The song was also co written by Midge Ure.

The forgotten Live Aid acts.

live aid

On July 13 1985, one of the biggest ever music concerts took place. Live Aid. The aim of the concerts was to raise  funds for relief of the ongoing Ethiopian famine.

The concerts are often referred to as a dual-venue benefit concert, which is actually not true. Yes the main concerts took place in London and Philadelphia but there were other concerts held in tandem in Australia,Asia and other European countries.

Another thing that happened was the relaxing on restrictions to Rock music in the Soviet Union

The Soviet Unions’s  Contribution for Live Aid was the Band ‘Autograph’

USSR LINK

Their performance was broadcast via Satellite from Moscow to Wembley,London.They were introduced by Introduction by Vladimir Posner .They played 2 songs Golovokruzhenie ( ” Vertigo “) and Nam nuzhen nir ( ” We need peace “).

Yugoslavia contributed with their equivalent to Band Aid and USA For Africa with a song called “For a Million Years” the song was introduced by Mladen Popovic , who also gave some background information to the song.

BB King was performing at the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Hague,Netherlands that night and joined also via satellite link and played 4 songs.

“When It All Comes Down”
“Why I Sing the Blues”
“Don’t Answer the Door”
“Rock Me Baby”

BB King

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