Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Exclamation Mark


Although I've rightly described David Sheppard's Brian Eno biography "On Some Faraway Beach" as like wading through treacle (I'm just over half way through, the book is also extremely readable. Almost every page throws up something I either didn't know or hadn't noticed.

The band Ultravox were originally called Ultravox! , a homage to the German band Neu! (originators of motorik, and heavy influencers of lots of bands) , the exclamation mark was dropped at some point , possibly when John Foxx left and Midge Ure joined. That was one thing I was unaware of.

During the Brian Eno and Steve Lillywhite produced first album Brian Eno was invited to work with Bowie (who had recently been producing Iggy Pop) on his next album at the Château d’Hérouville where Elton John recorded "Honky Chateau" and the single "Honky Cat" was obviously a nod to this.

The thing is this album was "Low" , the first of the "Berlin Trilogy" and while Bowie , Eno and Iggy were between Berlin and the Château d’Hérouville I was unaware and always assumed that the album was fully formed in Berlin.

We will go with the finest song from the Ultravox! debut , "My Sex", it is disturbingly good , with John Foxx's monotone machine voice over a fragmented lush backing.

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