Friday, 8 March 2013

Ultravox 'Dancing With Tears In My Eyes'

Chart Peak: 3


Five tracks in and we're already onto the second song about a nuclear apocalypse. Admittedly the video to this song implies that the cause of this one is accidental rather than military, although that's not made clear in the lyric, which is more about the reaction of a protagonist. Parts of the lyrical imagery and the concept are reminiscent of David Bowie's 'Five Years', although this one is obviously about a shorter timescale. Despite the greater urgency, though, this track does seem to share a flaw with a lot of pop from this era - a lack of development. There's no increase in tension as the song progresses and really once you've heard the first minute you've heard the remaining three as well; with this subject matter in particular that seems a bit of a lost opportunity.

Midge Ure does go some way to closing the gap with an impassioned vocal which is the most powerful element of the track. And the song is certainly catchy - it's one of only two Ultravox songs I can remember hearing in the 1980s (you can probably guess what the other one was) but I didn't pick up any sense at all of what it was about, even though I was just about old enough to have heard of such things. I sort of feel that if you're going to delve into such deep subject matter you have some duty to raise your game a bit.

Also appearing on: Now 24
Available on: The Very Best Of

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