Saturday, April 19, 2014

Ultravox - Lament

Today (April 19th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Lament, the seventh studio album from Ultravox. This 1984 release charted at number 41 in Australia, number 24 in the Netherlands, number 10 in Norway, number 8 in Sweden and the UK and number 7 in New Zealand. Here in the US, it spent nine weeks on the Billboard Album chart, peaking at number 115.

Side one starts with "White China", a mid-tempo track with a solid new-wave dance rhythm.

"One Small Day" was the album's first single. The song takes a different sound as it is predominantly a guitar-based tune.

The second single "Dancing With Tears in My Eyes" went to number 58 in Australia, number 52 in Canada, number 38 in New Zealand, number 36 in France, number 16 in Switzerland, number 8 in Ireland, number 7 in Germany, number 6 in the Netherlands and Poland, number 3 in the UK and number 2 in Belgium. I can remember this one quite well from both the video on MTV (which featured an imminent nuclear holocaust) and from the campus college radio station. The blend of the keyboards and the percussion work well. I was kind of surprised that it did not make much noise on the US charts though.

The slow, introspective title track is next. "Lament", as the third single, went to number 47 in New Zealand and number 22 in the UK.

Side two begins with "Man of Two Worlds" and features Gaelic vocals by Mae McKenna. The song, which touches on the theme of living a previous life, is very distinct between the darker sounding verses and the lighter chorus.

The mid-tempo "Heart of the Country" was released as the fourth single.

"When the Time Comes (I'll Cry...)" is about the emotions involved in a break-up.

The original vinyl release closed with "A Friend I Call Desire". The guitar riff on this one reminds me a bit of the Cure.

Lament was another one of those albums that I missed out on back in 1984. It was another one of those "so much music, so little time/money" situations. However, if I had heard it, I know I would have been very much into it. Ultravox had the new-wave Brit-pop-rock sound that made up a big part of my music listening back then.

For their 1982 album Quartet, click here.

No comments: