Thanks to Liz, I now have a new musical mini-obssession--Ultravox.
A little background here--I was a teen in the 80s. I heard Ultravox then, and I despised them. I despise Midge Ure. OK--maybe that's not fair--I'm sure Midge Ure is a decent guy. And I liked that other project of his, Visage. But I despise the Midge-Ure- influenced Ultravox. On the sliding scale of "songs that make me want to run screaming from whatever public place I'm in" (1 being a mildly annoying song, 10 being Hotel California), Ultravox's "Dancing with Tears in My Eyes" is right up there at number 10.
I have never been a fan, and always ignored them.
Then Liz and I went to dinner the other night, and as always, she's keeping me up to date on what I'm missing or what I've missed musically. I think we were looking at some WFMU "swag" from their marathon, including several mix CDs made by WFMU DJ's. There was a song by Tiger Lily on one of them, which was the precursor to Ultravox. When she mentioned them I inwardly rolled my eyes, but then she showed me this video:
I was totally gobsmacked. I had no idea that they were ever that good. At that time, their singer/songwriter was John Foxx (stage name for Dennis Leigh). I have no idea why that iteration of Ultravox did not gain as much popularity as the Midge Ure one--the pre-Midge-Ure Ultravox was brilliant!
I've gone onto MySpace, and found some of John Foxx's newer material. Quite different, but really good nonetheless. He's not only a musician, he's a graphic artist, digital designer, and lecturer. I can totally relate to a guy who creatively multi-tasks like that.