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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply magnificent!
This was it. The album which established Ultravox
as a powerful musical force. Derided for years
by a music industry that never really comprehended
their worth or talent, this was the album which
at last brought the band - a quartet since the
departure in early 79 of former frontman John
Foxx and ace guitarist Robin Simon - to national...
Published on 7 Jan 2002 by sonik57

versus
40 of 50 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars UPDATED: Fantastic music, disappointing package.
This will be the fifth time I've bought Vienna; vinyl and cassette way back in the Summer of 1980 (yes, I am that old), the original CD release in the 90's, the recent(ish) expanded version and now this, the "Remastered Difinitive Edition".

Well, there's not a lot to say about disc one apart from: it's the best post-Foxx album by miles. Not only do you get...
Published on 2 Oct 2008 by Coincidence Vs Fate


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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply magnificent!, 7 Jan 2002
This review is from: Vienna (Audio CD)
This was it. The album which established Ultravox
as a powerful musical force. Derided for years
by a music industry that never really comprehended
their worth or talent, this was the album which
at last brought the band - a quartet since the
departure in early 79 of former frontman John
Foxx and ace guitarist Robin Simon - to national
and international recognition. 1978 had seen
the last of their three influential but unbought
albums for Island, Systems of Romance, appear
with a blueprint for modern rock. It took a lot
a beating...
Incidentally, Systems... is Midge Ure's favourite
album and he knew the songs intimately when he
was working with keyboard genius Billy Currie
in Visage, something which definately counted in
his favour!
Midge Ure brought more than just Captain Kirk
sideburns to the band: he brought a shimmering
commercial sheen which blended with their risky,
edgy earlier sound.
The sequencing of the tracks on the album works
a treat: Astradyne, the album's instrumental
opener sets the tempo with Billy Currie's superb
violin well to the fore. No sooner has the track
concluded then we're straight into Ure's choppy,
strident guitar of New Europeans, the contrast
between the textures is awesome.
The band gigged this album extensively before
and after it was recorded in the spring of 1980
so they were as tight as a gnat's chuff when
the tapes rolled.
Private Lives is ushered in with Currie's classical piano flourishes and then all hell
breaks loose as their trademark duelling guitar
and ARP Odyssey vie with each other to pass you
their energy.
Four singles were released from this album,
Sleepwalk and Passing Strangers not quite
getting the success they deserved. This all
changed with the title track...
Edited down to a four-minute version (without
the moody, swirling synths on the intro), it
was the track which brought them to the public.
It's a classic, what else can you say? Currie
relates that the hairs on the back of his neck
stood up the first time Ure sang it to the band.
The four tracks of the second side are written
to be a sequence: starting out with the stark beauty of Mr X with its precise drum programming
and shifting bass patterns and then on into Western Promise, a hymn to Ure's previous tour
of the far east as temporary lead guitarist in
Thin Lizzy.
Western Promise is an incredible track. A minimal
sequencer emerges from Mr X as it fades away and
a haunting melody rises up before Cann's drums
crash in. Apparently they recorded Warren Cann's
furious drumming in the foyer of RAK Studios in
London due to its reflective surfaces and managed
to get a decent take just before the neighbours'
complaints brought the old bill around!
Ure gives one of his finest vocal performances
before the track shudders to a halt and the
moody Moogs come in to lead us into Vienna itself.
The track is probably the album's emotional
highpoint; the textures working so well together
and Currie's violin in the break bringing a
different quality altogether. It deserved to be
number 1 but was eclipsed by a novelty record.
The album concludes with All Stood Still; a track
which sees several changes of the light and shade
they wanted to capture and yet the song has an
ongoing urgency that is irrepressable.
Simply exquisite and one of the landmark albums
of the last twenty-five years.
So buy it!
Al Ferrier
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My senses slip away, 10 April 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Vienna (Audio CD)
I found about Ultravox from reading an interview with Gary Numan who named them as an influence. After hearing Astradyne on a college radio I eventually bought Vienna in the summer of 1981. Even after hearing a little bit of the album I still expected the rest of the album to be robotic like Numans but it was far from it. I found it lush and Midge Ure's voice full of emotion to go along with the moody electronics. But the album also rocks out with more guitar driven songs like New Europeans, Passing Strangers and Private Lives. Even some of the synth only songs rock out, which none of Ultravox's contemporaries did with as much ferocity. Listen to Sleepwalk and Western Promise.
Most of the songs feature synth solos by Billy Currie playing an ARP Odyssey, which sounds something like a cross between a violin and a guitar. Currie also plays some amazing violin and viola on some songs, most notably Astradyne, Mr. X and the title track. And drummer Warren Cann takes electronic percussion to a whole new level on this album.
The title track Vienna is one of the best songs ever recorded in my opinion. A beauitful blend of electronic and classical instrumentation. I do believe it was a hit all over the world except the US of course. Ultravox were just too European for mainstream American ears at that time. Pity...for mainstream America that is. The only place you'd hear Ultravox at that time was on college radio, so mainstream America missed out on some amazing music.
This re-release has some b-sides to singles included all of which are good songs...Passionate Reply and Waiting are standouts to me. Herr X is an interesting version of Mr X with the vocals in German. Also included is the breakthrough video Vienna which was probably the first video to look like a mini movie. Watch for the tarantula on the sleeping guys face.
With all the extras I think you get a lot for your money with this cd.
This is a must have for any electronic music fan.
Buy it and enjoy the great band Ultravox was.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vinyl 180 2014 White Vinyl Release Is Worth The Money, 15 Dec 2014
This review is from: Vienna [VINYL] (Vinyl)
This is a wonderful bit of vinyl. Whilst coloured vinyls are great to look at and are worth collecting for the novelty or rarity value, they often sound poor with distracting levels of noise & rumble that detract from the listening experience.

However, this white vinyl disc from Vinyl 180 & the accompanying 7" single, also on white vinyl, are great.

The vinyl is clean (next to no rumble or clicks), the sounds distinct & full, there is less compression than even the original vinyl release and it's clear they've used a 96khz or 192khz (or even analogue) master. I was fearing that they would just use the 16 bit/44.1khz CD masters from the 2008 release but obviously not from the frequency analysis I did and the evidence of my own ears.

This puts many of the recent coloured/fancy vinyl releases to shame - and I include Ultravox's own "Brilliant" clear vinyl in that!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars viva vienna, 20 Jun 2010
This review is from: Vienna: Remastered Definitive Edition (Audio CD)
My only negative of this package is the fact of here we go again, ive lost track of the number of formats ive bought it on.. but theres cassette, vinyl and original cd release to name but three... so did we need another, the jurys still out.. this album is a classic, a real rags to riches story, with the ironic drama of the number 1 that never was... the songs are good enough to stand out whatever there played on... the new re mastering certainly takes advantage of modern technology, which just keeps getting better..

What i really would have liked, was this remastered in surround format,, the textures of the bulk of tracks cry out for this treatment, imagine astrodyne, mr x, vienna and western promise whizzing around the sound stage.. and the other albums in the series would benefit from this approach...

So if there is to be another re release please make it in 5.1, and i for one will buy it.. just once more...

This still gets five stars from me because vienna is an unsurpassable icon..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Electronic Kings., 31 Aug 2007
By 
Mr. M. A. West (london) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Vienna (Audio CD)
I myself being an Ultravox fan during the Midge Ure days and seeing the band at the hammy odeon this CD brought back memories. I forgot how good it was, I must say this is their peak of Creativity IMHO.
Love Astradyne for starters, But I cant single a track out for praise as there are all brilliant , even the Bonus tracks which I have as B Sides are great. I suppose Ultravox will always be remembered for Vienna and that Video of course. The other albums were good especially Rage in Eden, Not quite as good but almost.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Means Something To Me!, 10 Aug 2005
By 
Coincidence Vs Fate - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Vienna (Audio CD)
I remember buying the Sleepwalk single from Woolies in Leamington Spa. At the time I didn't realise there had been an earlier incarnation of the band. What makes this track even more remarkable is that it was the original DEMO version sent to Chrysalis that made it onto the album.
There really isn't anything to fault on this album, apart from maybe the title track, which I've probably heard a few too many times. I was also surprised that All Stood Still was released as a single, I think a case of trying to squeeze a little too much from the original release. Still, mustn't grumble.
The album kicks off with the magnificent Astradyne instrumental, still one of my favourite Ultravox tracks. Their use of electronics, screeching guitars (fed through goodness knows what!) and violin complement each other perfectly. There is a definite European feel to the album, not least on tracks such as Passing Strangers (another wonderful single) and New Europeans. I only really feel let down the aforementioned All Stood Still and Mr X, which is a bit throwaway to me. At least on this expanded version they've included the Vienna b-side, Passionate Reply, which surely would have sat nicely on the original release?
Because Vienna was such a huge hit, I always felt their subsequent albums were somewhat diluted and none had the feel of Vienna. If you only own one Ultravox album, then make it this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A refreshed classic, 20 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Vienna: Remastered Definitive Edition (Audio CD)
I will admit to being biased as I grew up with the early 80s New Romantic music. I never subscribed to the theory that the synths did all the work. For me, you needed the song first, and these guys were always using the newest kit that needed an awful lot of work to produce anything worth listening to.
This album, above many others, captures the spirit of the time. It was not as pop orientated as many of its peers, it drew upon the mystery that was Europe in those early EU and communist ere days, and it bundled all that into a collection of songs that were full of edgy lyrics and sweeping synth fed rhythms. I was hooked when I first heard it and it has not dated. To me, that proves that behind the image, was real talent and songwriting. Oh, and that video. I can still remember the impact that Vienna had on my classmates. A black and white masterpiece, so high class, so atmospheric, these guys really knew how to do style.
This remastered version has really brightened up the album, which had always had its fair share of hiss and gremlins. Of course, synth pop was about precision and so the result has not taken anything away and has just allowed the music to be so much more transparent and forward. A fitting tribute to an old favourite.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate 80s Album!, 16 Mar 2012
By 
B. Tan (Singapore) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Vienna: Remastered Definitive Edition (Audio CD)
I went through many best albums of the 80s listings and am really shocked that this album was not anywhere near the top 20. This masterpiece of electronic art is one of my favourite albums of all time. You can tell that every track has a lot of hard work put into it. No songs sounds similar to another, whether in tune or characteristics. Brilliant use of the synthesizers. If you think that synthesizer music has no soul, listen to this album. Its a work of art. Every track will draw you in and make you sit up and listen, each with its own special appeal. A note of caution to audiophiles like myself. This remastered definitive edition sounds leaner than the original. It sounds cleaner and has got more details but I think it will only suit systems that are warm sounding.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleased with purchase, 13 Oct 2010
This review is from: Vienna (Audio CD)
Good price, great album. Well pleased with the purchase. Delivery was swift. I already have this album on vinyl, but wanted the cd to load to my MP3 player. I will be looking at Amazon again.
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40 of 50 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars UPDATED: Fantastic music, disappointing package., 2 Oct 2008
By 
Coincidence Vs Fate - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Vienna: Remastered Definitive Edition (Audio CD)
This will be the fifth time I've bought Vienna; vinyl and cassette way back in the Summer of 1980 (yes, I am that old), the original CD release in the 90's, the recent(ish) expanded version and now this, the "Remastered Difinitive Edition".

Well, there's not a lot to say about disc one apart from: it's the best post-Foxx album by miles. Not only do you get the classic (and that term really is apt here) single "Vienna", you get a couple of `should have beens' in "Sleepwalk" and "Passing Strangers" and one `why choose this as a single' in "All Stood Still" . The album starts off in fine fettle with the absolutely fantastic instrumental "Astradyne", an immense seven-minute synth extravaganza. Apart from the throwaway "Mr X" there really isn't a bad track on here, with "New Europeans" being a particular highlight. SO, if you've never heard this album before you'll in for a real treat.

If, like me, you bought this CD purely for the bonus disc then, like me, you maybe a tad disappointed. Why? Well, we've been here before haven't we? The b-sides have already appeared on the excellent but long-deleted "Rare" CDs AND on the previous expanded incarnation of this album. In fact, the only unreleased material you get is a couple of rehearsal recordings of "Sleepwalk and "All Stood Still". Historically interesting perhaps, but hardly essential and certainly not worth the price of buying this CD.

Another disappointment is the booklet; some nice photos maybe, but extremely thin with no insight or comment from any of the band. Compared to other remastered releases (particularly the excellent Thompson Twins releases on Edsel) this is a real let-down. OK, so if material doesn't exist in the archives then you can't add it to anything, but this smacks of a cash-in, rather than being a truly essential release. OK, so it's nice to have the b-sides on one CD, but still...

Now, before you have a pop, I'm certainly NOT having a go at the music, Ultravox were truly magnificent on this album, it's just that the overall package smacks of bandwagoning.

Five stars for the music, two for the package.

UPDATE - 23 Dec 2014

Well, that was six years ago and I still feel the same about that "definitive edition".

Today I received my white vinyl version and it sounds absolutely magnificent. As someone else pointed out the sound really is fantastic even though it's pressed on white vinyl. In the "old days" coloured vinyl always meant lots of surface noise and a less dynamic sound. However, the modern coloured vinyl seems to be a different beat altogether. Similar to the Visage "hearts and knives" coloured edition, this version of Vienna really is a treat to listen to. Five stars for the package AND the music this time!
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Vienna: Remastered Definitive Edition
Vienna: Remastered Definitive Edition by Ultravox (Audio CD - 2008)
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