January 3, 2013

Ultravox ‘Vienna’ – The Top ‘Number Two’ Single Of All Time

If you were a teenager in the 80’s you lived through a phase that will probably never be experienced again, even though music tends to go through retro cycles.  Like all things music related or otherwise, a technology is used to create something unique and new – but it cannot escape the grasp of A&R’s who seek to commercialize and eventually kill the novelty of it.  I could even argue the same thing for cars produced during the 80’s, it was a terrible time for car designers who were looking to create something “modern”.  There are very few cars in that decade that are wanted by collectors today.

The creation of synthpop undoubtedly had some great things going for it.  We can call them cheesy today, but back then it was revolutionary.  And it still is the birth of modern synthesizer music in many respects.  Think of Gary Numan’s “Cars” – or the various hits by the Human League that still resonate through the airwaves today.  These are pieces of culture trapped in a bubble that are still good products of the synthesizer revolution.  Ultravox’s “Vienna” falls into the category of the slow synth ballads that are quite laughable by today’s standards – yet it ranks as one of the top #2 songs of all time by the BBC.