Si Wooldridge | Chippenham, Wiltshire England | 08/11/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Oddly enough Ultravox are lumped in with the synthpop artists of this era and that is pretty misleading. Ultravox were always a rock band who liked and used electronics to enhance their sound to great effect. Midge and the boys were my personal favourites for a long time and this collection just brings the singles together. They were never huge in the UK but consistently hit the Top 30 with their singles, bar I think Sleepwalk - the first single. The change was Vienna and life was never the same after this.The singles here show how diverse Ultravox really were and how tight a band they were, the muscianship and maturity of sound is fantastic. As I said, not typical 80's synthpop (although I've nothing against that, and bought a lot of it at the time).Standout tracks: Vienna - all-time classic; Reap The Wild Wind - fantastic song, brilliant video; Love's Great Adventure - same as RTWW. The rest aren't too far behind - trust me...If you like this album, there are 4 others you need to get (Vienna, Rage In Eden, Quartet, Lament) - I'd go for the middle two first then the outer two. With Ultravox you can't go wrong if you like good music."
A great place to start
James Walsh | Dublin, Ireland | 08/16/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Those of us who are Ultravox fans and were during the 80s obviously will rate this album at the top (as bar 2 exceptions) all the songs on it were UK Top 30 hits for the group.Ultravox were in the forefront of the New Romantic movement in the early 80s (especially once Midge Ure and Billy Curie joined the band). As a reaction against punk, New Romanticism was more about melody, the musical expression and the electronic media that had started to become fashionable at that time, and less about rebelling and defying convention. Ultravox are probably one of the finest exponents of the genre.Ultravox became known with the song Vienna (which at the time boasted the most expensive video ever made). It's an opera in three minutes. From a commerical point of view the group never reached the same heights with the later tracks although their musical skill and style continued to develop.The two earliest songs (Sleepwalk and Passing Strangers) are quite weak in comparison to the later works and really are not worthy of this CD. The rest are works of art. Personal favourites include 'Reap The Wild Wind' and the incredibly haunting 'Visions In Blue'.For somebody who knows little or nothing about Ultravox this is the best place to start. If you don't like this then don't go any further. If you find yourself drawn in then I suggest you buy the four albums from which these songs are drawn. In order of release they are Vienna, Rage in Eden, Quartet and Lament. On these albums you'll find more to enjoy from one of the 80s best bands."
I don't care, I just like this!
Aravis1 | Jacksonville, FL | 11/08/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"To put it bluntly, I have had friends start laughing when I play this cd in the car with them. I don't care, and do you want to know why? Music is fun, and it can take you to places and moods that are difficult to revisit otherwise. I didn't grow up on the 80's music, and neither did my friends. I was waking up to music when grunge hit, when we were oh so serious in our melancholy. What I love now about the "older" stuff is how experimental it all was; you have to admit these bands were enjoying themselves by making new and unusual sounds with increasingly untraditional instruments. So, if you think you can handle the dip into that strange period in popular history, what better band than Ultravox? They were their own group, and their sound had its impact on other bands of the era, not to mention the teenagers who are now all grown up and contributing to the industry. One of my favorite artists right now is Moby, and he listened to Ultravox. I love every song on this cd; the ideas in the lyrics are well versed, and the tunes are undeniably catchy. When the bug hits to listen to one of them, that cd stays in the player for at least a couple weeks! Be forewarned, this is typical 80's stuff, and most people either love it or can't stand it."
Great Intro to These Not-Quite Legends
SandmanVI | Glen Allen, VA United States | 06/01/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ultravox never quite achieved legendary status either in the UK or the US but several of their singles did. Shining moments include "Dancing With Tears In My Eyes", the most new wave of the bunch, and the classic "Vienna". There are many other good songs too. However I think enough people have talked about the album's contents. I have a different bone to pick. As Si Wooldridge laments, the legions of people who call this synthpop are way off. He is also correct that they were a rock band that just used synths to add mood to their music. The endless comparisons to Alphaville, OMD or Depeche Mode are pointless... they are in a different genre altogether. However there is a connection to straight synthpop via the Visage side project whose single "Fade To Grey" remains a genre masterpiece. The most accurate comparison for UV is to Roxy Music. Both bands made stylized post-Glam following in the footsteps of Bowie. Both utilized electronics to generate atmosphere and ambience; neither used such instruments to craft punchy dancefloor hooks. Both were led by accomplished vocalists whose personality and charisma often dwarfed the bands: Ultravox by Ure and Roxy by Ferry. If someone picks this up expecting bleepy 80's synth music they will be let down greatly. Generally speaking this is not meant to be slammin' club music."
Great 80's band
Aravis1 | 05/17/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ultravox was one of my favorite bands growing up, however they never really registered on the American radar. I remember buying this compilation in London while traveling abroad in high school. None of my classmates had ever heard of them (unless they were dedicated MTV watchers like myself), but whenever I played them the reaction was always "Hey, they're GOOD!". Well, they were good, and this greatest hits collection is a necessary part of your CD collection if you're into early 80's music. I was never a huge fan of "synth" music, but Ultravox easily escapes that genre. Midge Ure was a great songwriter (co-wrote "Do They Know It's Christmas"). Buy this and you won't regret it."