Personnel: Midge Ure (guitar); Billy Currie (violin); Warren Cann (drums).
While Ultravox's commercial success was virtually nonexistent in the U.S., their singles were strewn across the British charts throughout the early half of the '80s. Led by Midge Ure's haunting but forceful vocal presence, sometimes reminiscent of U2's Bono, Ultravox used the keyboards to guide their sophisticated and intelligent pop style, resulting in some extremely intricate and provocative material. The Collection gathers the heartiest of Ultravox's repertoire, wisely ignoring any of their late-'70s albums in which John Foxx, the group's founder, inundated his darkened keyboard approach. Effectively desolate but rich in lyrical poetry and clever melodies, songs like "Vienna," "Reap the Wild Wind," and "The Voice" cast Ure's talents as a singer to the forefront, while livelier efforts, like the frantic forward thrust of "Love's Great Adventure," showcase the group's spirited synthesizer work. "Dancing With Tears in My Eyes" is a moody radio-dance track, and the hovering broodiness of "The Hymn" harbors its own brand of gothic charm. The Collection completes the task of covering the most crucial of Ultravox's material. ~ Mike DeGagne