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Single Review: “Vienna” – Ultravox

On 1st January 2013 Ultravox’s 1981 hit ‘Vienna’ was voted the UK’s favourite number two single. The song topped a poll by BBC Radio 2 and the Official Charts Company to find the greatest track to miss out on the number one spot. Vienna was held off by novelty track ‘Shaddup You Face’ by Joe Dolce.

This track has all that synth goodness from the late 70s going into the early 80s. The bleak sounds are what make it for me – it’s interesting because the Roland CR-78 drum machine featured here is the same machine that Phil Collins uses on “In The Air Tonight”, so it gives it that cold feeling in the track. This is a classic for me.

I also love the fact that the video was shot partly in Covent Garden, I love that part of London! Growing up this song was constantly on the radio so it’s got memories for me.

I’ve also heard elements of it used on songs by Annie Lennox – her cover version of “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” calls to mind the rhythm of the bass and drums and it’s so well done too.

Another one is by Take That, “Eight Letters” – the influence after all these years is there.




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