Last summer I saw Ultravox on a festival over here. I didn't think Midge Ure was in particularly great vocal shape then, but the electronic landscapes he and his bandmates created, transported me back to the early 80's, when I was really young and smitten by that arty esoteric sound.
Concertopener Astradyne set the atmosphere of the show and Ultravox's greatest hits set (with the occasional albumtrack) confirmed that they really have an impressive body of work, despite some critics comments that the music hasn't stood the test of time.
From Lament, the setlist contained One Small Day and of course Dancing With Tears In My Eyes.I'd loved to hear some more tracks of this album, which I consider as their strongest next to Vienna.
This more than welcome re-issue is well worth the wait. The album itself can be heard in pristine sound quality on disc 1. Ultravox had reached its highest peak here in sheer versatility and songcraft. I really don't think there is a weak track in this collection of songs. You will hear full bodied rock but also folk- and world-influenced songs.
Disc 2 is a treasure trove of 12 inch mixes, work-in-progress-mixes and (instrumental) B-sides. You can indulge in and choose between 3 different epic versions of One Small Day. On the contrary, the 10 minutes plus version of Dancing doesn't really work and never climaxes.
The real gem however is the extended, solemn, elegiac version of the title track Lament. I heard it for the first time more than 20 years ago and it still moves me.
Lament isn't a classic album like Vienna, but one that certainly merits to be rediscovered.