Ultravox includes: Midge Ure (vocals, guitar); Billy Currie (keyboards); Chris Cross (bass); Warren Cann (drums).
VIENNA introduced ex-Rich Kids vocalist/guitarist Midge Ure, who stepped in to fill guitarist Robin Simon and singer John Foxx's shoes, and heralded a shift to a more lush, synth-driven melodic approach. Its successor RAGE IN EDEN follows the path, exploiting Ure's almost Freddie Mercury-like operatic tendencies and further promoting the move toward more accessible melodies. The biggest difference is a darker mood that makes RAGE IN EDEN Ultravox's most ominous-sounding effort.
As before, Billy Currie's signature ARP synthesizer leads wail and squeal over the predominantly electronic rhythm tracks, and Ure's theatrical vocals up the drama quotient. But with the apocalyptic/paranoid lyrics of "The Thin Wall" and "Stranger Within," and the quiet doominess of "I Remember (Death in the Afternoon)," the group appears like the herald of some dread new order of European society. Fortunately for the listener, memorable melodies and syncopated rhythms accompany these dark themes. On "Your Name (Has Slipped My Mind Again)," the 'Voxers prove they don't need synthesizers to sound creepy, as Ure delivers a chilling plaint over little more than piano and bass drum. Successive albums would move Ultravox ever closer to pure pop, but RAGE is surely its most unnerving moment.