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Retirement means nothing to Midge Ure

80s Forum: Retirement means nothing to Midge Ure
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  1. #1
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    Retirement means nothing to Midge Ure

    Great interview with Midge prior to Ultravox's first tour since 1984:

    http://entertainment.timesonline.co....cle6035608.ece
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  2. #2
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    Re: Retirement means nothing to Midge Ure

    You are right, that is a great article. However a few points... "In an age where nobody buys vinyl anymore", what a ridiculous statement. There are a LOT LESS people that buy vinyl now, due to dj's dropping off with the digital age. Vinyl will always be popular to the purists like myself. In fact i am contemplating buying it to spin once i get into radio. There is so much on vinyl that you can't get on cd. Especially the more obscure 80's artists. Also the mixes that were on vinyl are very few and far between on cd comps. Remember playing vinyl is an art that i grew up with. I still dig out the old albums from time to time. Midge Ure says he has written a book, i must look for that. I have always considered Midge Ure to have a real prescense. I mean who can't listen to Vienna and not feel some kind of emotion. Joe Dolce topping Ultravox, what a joke. A one hit wonder gimmic song. Whats-a matter you, hey It's a nice-a day hey etc shudupa ya face Ultravox, tour Australia please!
    Sometimes, HE comes back...

  3. #3
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    Re: Retirement means nothing to Midge Ure

    There was another article in a newspaper centered around the fact that Ultravox have reunited and are starting to tour again. The author couldn't help but use the opportunity to point out that Joe Dolce beat them to no. 1 in Australia with his novelty tune. He then proceeds to analyse what he finds in the lyrics of Vienna. We are then told that this is what was wrong about the 80's, how the song was a bland piece of 4 minutes, and the lyrics didn't make sense. I really dislike this type of journalism when the opinion is just geared towards the negative side, and nothing good is revealed. The author at least had the nouse to tell us how Midge Ure became Midge Ure. Has anyone here got their greatest hits, either the 1984 version or later? Funny how they call it greatest hits because here (at least) Vienna was their only really known song. There was at least one other, which was Dancing with tears in my eyes. However it didn't receive nearly as much attention. Thats what makes the 80's music unique to me is that you can listen to these compilations and think what else could have possibly been given the time if day if the radio stations weren't so ignorant. There are some really great less known songs on there. I am still keeping my fingers crossed for some type of packaged Australian tour.
    Sometimes, HE comes back...

  4. #4
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    Re: Retirement means nothing to Midge Ure

    I had the misfortune to come across that review, from a gentleman called Alan Howe....

    His article presents the worst kind of journalism, a non-constructive personal diatribe written by a man who basically knows absolutely sweet-FA about Ultravox. This was his ever-so-subtle take on Vienna:

    "Early in 1980 they recorded 132 meaningless words embedded in the most flatulently overblown arrangement that droned on for four minutes and 37 seconds."

    And his take on Joe Dolce:

    "Help came from an unlikely source: Ohio-born Melburnian Joe Dolce. His clever folk observation of immigrant uncertainty - Shaddap You Face - bolted up the UK charts all the way to the top, keeping Ultravox's baleful novelty at bay."

    - Pardon me? Of all the things I've heard about 'Shaddap' a 'clever folk observation of immigrant uncertainty' wasn't it!

    It is safe to assume that Mr Howe is not a patron of the arts. One can only assume that he the sort of person whose idea of a romantic night in would be a serving of raw meat to the soothing tones of Kevin 'Bloody' Wilson....

    Here's the article in it's full gory:

    Alan Howe

    May 04, 2009 12:00am
    I WALKED out of that U2 show at the MCG in 1993 after the third "song".

    There's little worse than having half-educated Irishmen subliminally instructing you to "think this".

    What may be worse, perhaps, is having talentless, angry Scotsmen vying for your attention.

    Remember Ultravox?

    They weren't a band so much as a bunch of cables running from boxes, 26 on their last tour, making worrying sounds - blips and tuneless thumps - like your washing machine does when the bearing's shot.

    Their lead singer was a little Glaswegian called Jimmy Ure.

    He'd once been in a band that already had a Jimmy in it, which the Scots find confusing, apparently, so the little bloke ran the letters in reverse - Mij, but call him Midge.

    Early in 1980 they recorded 132 meaningless words embedded in the most flatulently overblown arrangement that droned on for four minutes and 37 seconds.

    Instead of lyrics it had lines like this: "The rhythm is calling. Alone in the night as the daylight brings a cool, empty silence."

    It meant nothing to most people.

    It's not easy to make a record as absurd as Vienna, and perhaps with "E for effort" in the back of their minds, Poms started to buy it. I was living there at the time and witnessed this with alarm.

    Help came from an unlikely source: Ohio-born Melburnian Joe Dolce. His clever folk observation of immigrant uncertainty - Shaddap You Face - bolted up the UK charts all the way to the top, keeping Ultravox's baleful novelty at bay.

    "That man and his song have plagued us around the world," little Midge whined at the time. "I've never met Joe Dolce and don't intend to," he spat out later.

    There's bad news. They're back. Ultravox has reformed and played in Belfast last night. They plan to tour for the rest of the year.

    I called Dolce at the weekend to go over his emphatic victory in 1981 and to warn him he might be a required player before the end of the year.

    These days, Dolce takes on more demanding musical tasks than mere pop hits. Not so long ago he recorded a beautiful, barely orchestrated tribute to the Greek poetess Sappho.

    YESTERDAY he was preparing for a performance of "this baroque 14-par guitar vocal thing about the Narcissus myth that I've been working on for about five years".

    "It's probably the most complex thing I've ever written. It's going to be amazing, but it is pushing me to my limit to learn it."

    He agrees that it can be harsh for songs, such as Vienna, to be cruelly cast aside as mere novelties.

    "I have always said that if you take anything that little kids like, it's a novelty. Little kids like the Wiggles - a novelty. But kids don't think in those terms.

    "Everyone called me a one-hit wonder, but on the Countdown tour everyone was only allowed to do one song - after 10 or 20 years, if people remember one song from someone, they're lucky."

    Shaddap You Face was just another song in Dolce's repertoire in 1979 until late one night at the Flying Trapeze cafe in Fitzroy when the drunk audience picked up on the "hey" at the end of each chorus.

    "It didn't take long to write it, but it took a while to evolve. The audience actually wrote that part spontaneously."

    His granddaughter recently upbraided him for saying "shaddap you face". "She's five. She said 'don't say that, it's a bad word'," says Dolce.

    Would we find Vienna on Dolce's record shelf? "I don't think so. No. I never really liked Ultravox.

    "But I've always wanted (Midge Ure) to do a cover version of Shaddap. In fact I read that at the end of some of his shows he actually sings a couple of bars of Shaddap You Face."
    Last edited by Chasey; 5-06-09 at 04:08 AM.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Retirement means nothing to Midge Ure

    It is a joke to compare Joe Dolce's meaningless, low quality tralala to a masterpiece of electronic music. It was simply bad timing that Ultravox didn't hit Nr. 1. We know all those stupid songs, that people think are fun for a few weeks. They shoot to the top but a month later everyone is already annoyed. In the end, what song passed the test of time and is still played and very known? Vienna of course. And a lot of people would tell you "Joe Dolce? Never heard of him."
    I'm a-happy Xchanger (the only one left )

    Making Prefab Sprouter even more cheerful by stalking him.
    If Chasey moves even closer I can stalk him for real!
    Ultravox Lovin' Sista of Torchwood Fan

  6. #6
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    Re: Retirement means nothing to Midge Ure

    Precisely, Katja!
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