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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive? Yes, this deserves the definition
I really had forgotten what a spectacularly good album this was until I revisited it with the arrival of this latest edition. The sound moves away from the electronic feel of both Vienna and Rage In Eden and follows a much more rock oriented path. The results are astounding. The sheer power of the sound is breathtaking with each instrument perfectly positioned in the mix...
Published on 18 Feb 2009 by J. Milner

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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre album, brilliant remaster...
Much lighter and positive in tone than "Rage In Eden", "Quartet" meant commercial overkill for Ultravox. With four Top 20 hits in Britain and a fifth single scheduled but not released, it was their most successful album internationally, but in terms of songs, it's actually a rather mixed bag. Experiments and longer instrumental passages are reduced to a minimum, Billy...
Published on 15 Mar 2009 by ippudo


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive? Yes, this deserves the definition, 18 Feb 2009
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J. Milner "jcmilner" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quartet: Remastered Definitive Edition (Audio CD)
I really had forgotten what a spectacularly good album this was until I revisited it with the arrival of this latest edition. The sound moves away from the electronic feel of both Vienna and Rage In Eden and follows a much more rock oriented path. The results are astounding. The sheer power of the sound is breathtaking with each instrument perfectly positioned in the mix. It makes you realise what a highly proficient team the four individual members of the band made. The rhythm section plays at such a ferocious level here but the sound is very organic and not at all clinical sounding bearing in mind this was 1982 and tinny drums and keyboards were starting to become the order of the day.
George Martin's production is clean, detailed and surprisingly powerful. Well known for his attention to intricate detail, this is a fine example of why he will always be regarded as one of music's pioneering producers. A legend in other words.
The remastered edition certainly does the sound justice. The weakness of the early 80s sound is transformed into wonderfully balanced and highly dynamic reproduction with incredible clarity especially in the bass and drums. Full marks to Abbey Road for another excellent restoration job.
Decent bonus tracks too. Not many unreleased but everything in one place sounding good. That's what's important.
One minor omission is the lack of lyrics and the rather sparse booklet. The packaging is nice but I would rather EMI had included the lyrics and extra photos within the physical package and not as a DIY download. As a collector, I am not interested in a cheap print-out but a professionally manufactured insert. Some of us still prefer the real thing. This doesn't detract from the release as a huge effort has been put in on the part of Extreme Voice and EMI. Well done folks.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 18 Feb 2009
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B. Van Den Heuvel "Biker Bob" (Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quartet: Remastered Definitive Edition (Audio CD)
Owning the vinyl record since 1982, upgrading to CD in the '90s and then to the Extended version of 2000, this disc is my FOURTH version of this utterly brilliant album. And it has blown me away! It is a masterful remaster of an almost timeless album from Ultravox. In my opinion not the best, that spot is reserved for Rage In Eden for me, but such a rare gem of an utterly beautiful album! The detail in music is much richer, the basses are much more pronounced and the highs have been enhanced and it sounds like you haven't heard before. Get this album, even if you have one of the other aforementioned versions, it's that much better. It's worth it for the remasters alone. The bonus CD is a nice addition, but most U-Vox fans will have these songs already.
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4.0 out of 5 stars revisiting Quartet, 26 April 2013
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This review is from: Quartet: Remastered Definitive Edition (Audio CD)
Remaster of Album CD1,CD2 extended versions of Reap the wild wind,we came to dance plus serenade special re-mix,b-sides and live tracks.I bought this for less thanú5.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Conventional Construction, 19 Feb 2013
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Nicholas Casley (Plymouth, Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quartet: Remastered Definitive Edition (Audio CD)
I was seventeen when `Quartet' was released, and a big fan of the group, subscribing to the fan club and seeing the group live in concert. For me, `Vienna' and `Rage in Eden' saw Ultravox reach the top of their form. That's not to say that their next album `Quartet' is bad; far from it! Rather, it lacks both the angst and the originality that made their previous work so distinctive amongst the glut of New Romantic techno-wannabees.

One must question whether it was wise to bring in George Martin as producer. Presumably it was with the band's consent that he made their third album in three years more mainstream in feel and less technically innovative than its predecessors. Ultravox were trying to expand their audience, maybe make it into the big league. It did not work. The review in Melody Maker described it as possessing "a consistent Euro bore beat and a judicious spray of sticky hooks."

Perhaps the band should have tried someone like Trevor Horne or Peter Walsh instead to produce the album. Anyway, as it stands, the songs on `Quartet' lay bear the traces of their own conventional construction, ironically rather like the architectural drawing that features on the cover.

But that cover does at least have a right edge that provides a new perspective. Thus `Quartet' is not in itself all bad news. There is still no duff track throughout the whole album, although `Cut and Run' comes close and `Mine for Life' goes on a bit. I suppose `Hymn' is the best track, its relentless passion eventually bludgeoning the listener to respect it. And I also have a soft spot for `We Came to Dance', which stands out amongst the rest of (what used to be on the LP) side two.

The lyrics remain evocative, although the interiority and paranoia of `Rage in Eden' has been transformed into a more outward-looking disposition, as made manifest in such tracks as `Reap the Wild Wind', `Hymn', and `The Song (We Go)'. There is still the yearning of the past in the present, but an intensity is lacking that is not replaced by anything other than a mere pop sensibility. The result is a bit bland. There is no instrumental: in my opinion they should have made the B-side `Monument' the album's introductory track.

As to the remastering on this two-disc edition, there is still a feeling that something has been lost in the sound. It is not as encompassing, as enfolding as before; it is somewhat distant, and increasing the volume does not solve the problem.

As for the contents of the second disc, we have a generous sixty-four minutes of extended versions, B-sides, live versions, and remixes - and not just of `Quartet' material. The live versions of `The Thin Wall', `We Stand Alone', and `I Remember (Death in the Afternoon)' - all from the `Rage in Eden' album - are particularly good, but they alas also go to highlight how deficient is the material on `Quartet'. This is also shown by none of the other B-sides apart from `monument' amounting to very much.

Still, I do not want to be negative. `Quartet' is still a fine album with some fine tracks. But instead of the five stars for `Vienna' and `Rage in Eden', it can `only' muster four.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent repackaging of a great LP, 20 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Quartet: Remastered Definitive Edition (Audio CD)
Back in the 80s when i started to get into music as a 17 yr old the first 2 cassettes ( remember them?) I bought were Yazoos : upstairs at Erics, and Ultravox : Quartet
I actually wore out Quartet and ended up doing a transplant of the tape capstans into an audiovox case . Suffice to say I really like this album!

Fast forward to now and i saw that it is now available as a double CD remastered etc etc, the sound quality is fantastic, and the bonus tracks are excellent , theonly thing missing would be some Video archival footage from 1982 :)

Allin all this is a great remastering of a great album, very enjoyable
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5.0 out of 5 stars quartet ultravox., 5 July 2012
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A. K. Pengelly (tuscon) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quartet: Remastered Definitive Edition (Audio CD)
Always thought this was their best album, and it could not get any better. I was wrong. The extended tracks just go to show what a excellent band ultravox were!!!
Buy it and be very happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre album, brilliant remaster..., 15 Mar 2009
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This review is from: Quartet: Remastered Definitive Edition (Audio CD)
Much lighter and positive in tone than "Rage In Eden", "Quartet" meant commercial overkill for Ultravox. With four Top 20 hits in Britain and a fifth single scheduled but not released, it was their most successful album internationally, but in terms of songs, it's actually a rather mixed bag. Experiments and longer instrumental passages are reduced to a minimum, Billy Currie doesn't even touch his viola, and there's little mystery and no real continuity. The album sounds more like one of those random, non-descriptive greatest hits collections by then fashionable British bands like The Fixx and The Outfield, whose bland, radio-friendly MOR was virtually bound to be more successful overseas. Starting off promisingly with two of its punchiest tracks, things are quickly relegated to pleasant wafts of nothingness (well mostly). I've always disliked the pretentious sing-along samey-ness of "Hymn", but there's plenty more to get annoyed with: the faux-Caribbean overtones of "The Song", two agreeable but rather unmemorable rockers - "Mine For Life" and "When The Scream Subsides" - plus the contrived and painfully clunky "We Came To Dance". In the second half, only the unusually structured ballad "Visions In Blue" and the terse and rampant "Cut And Run", a largely underappreciated tale of murder and suspense, manage to hold my attention at all.

Unlike most other reviewers, I prefer George Martin's more dynamic to Conny Plank's rather flat production. In fact, the production is the only constant which makes this uncharacteristically mediocre record bearable as a whole, particularly in its 2009 remastered incarnation.
(Beware of the initial print run though, the first disc has a manufacturing fault and won't play properly).
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultravox Quartet, 5 Jan 2012
This review is from: Quartet: Remastered Definitive Edition (Audio CD)
I gave it as a present as it was on my son's wish list. He was delighted to receive it as he is a big fan.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC ....GLAD I INVESTED :), 19 Feb 2009
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Mr. P. Keighley "bonerra10" (Leeds UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quartet: Remastered Definitive Edition (Audio CD)
Like Most People Reviewing This FANTASTIC Album..............I Had The Original Vinyl.........Then Got The CD"s etc etc.............BUT I HAVE To Say........THIS Is The BUSINESS.............1 Think The Remastering Is There For You to Hear..............The EXTRA QUALITY..................The CD Sounds INCREDIBLE........I Can Hear Moments I Havent Heard Before, I KNOW They say That about ANY Album you may hear if you Play Them Enough...But TRUST mE.......You WILL Find That with This Version...

My Personal Favourites Tracks Have ALWAYS Been " Mine For Life" " Visions In Blue" "Cut and Run " and My FAVOURITE......................" The Song ( We Go )" One Of My MOST Played Tunes On My IPod!!!!!!...........SUCH a Catchy Song And If you Havent Heard It before!!!!...........You WILL be Whistling This Without Realising it!!!!!

The Extra Bonus CD is The Making Of Buying This Actually.............Some AMAZING Versions Of The "Quaret" Tour ( And I Think The Messengers On Backing Vocals Etc ADDS To What Midge Was Able to Do In Concentrating On The Music ( IE- Guitars and Keyboards....Vocals Obviously!!!!! )

Personally My 2 FAVOURITE Ultravox Albums Were "Rage In Eden" and Quartet"................Must Say I LOVED "Lament" That Remastered Version Is STILL To Come.............I HOPE!!!!!!! Will It Come Out BEFORE The Reunion Tour though???...........Or After???...........

I LOVE Ultraxov ALways Have And ALWAYS Will.............ALL These Digitally Remastered Versions Of The Albums Are WORTH Getting For ALL Ultravox Fans ................ENJOY!!!!! And DONT Miss Out!!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good - But They'd Done Better (and where's the original cover?), 23 April 2010
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G. Tully "Velcrosnowglobe" (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quartet: Remastered Definitive Edition (Audio CD)
I've been a bit kind with the star rating, it should be a 3.5 but you can't give half points.

There are some very good tracks on this album, no doubt about that. They are probably enhanced by the memory of the great videos that went with them. Let's face it, Oliver Tobias hamming it up as the Devil in "Hymn" and the misty-eyed tribute to the fighter pilots of WWII in "Reap The Wild Wind" aren't easy to forget (and bring a smile to remember). Those two tracks are probably the stand-outs on here, though I hold both "Mine For Life" and "The Song (We Go)" in high regard, too. On every subsequent album after "Vienna" there was a track that tried too hard to be that album's title track and that shows in "Visions In Blue"; a song that fits in well on the album but probably should never have been a single (but thanks for the video, Midge & Chris ;-)).

The extra disc, for me, isn't worth having. Ultravox B-sides were rarely worth listening to and some of the twelve inch versions weren't great either. Fortunately, there doesn't seem to be a premium on the price for it so I haven't included it in my rating.

I still think that anyone who wants to know what Ultravox were all about should just stick to the last greatest hits package that came out (and if you can get it with the DVD then all the better) or get yourself a copy of the new live album. If you really want to buy the studio albums and you have to pick one then this shouldn't be your first choice. For that, you should get "Vienna" or "Rage In Eden". If you like them then you can come back to this later... and I hope you do.
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Quartet: Remastered Definitive Edition
Quartet: Remastered Definitive Edition by Ultravox (Audio CD - 2009)
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