Monday, December 16, 2019

MIDGE URE/SOUNDTRACK 1978-2019 (2CDs/DVD) review!

SOUNDTRACK 1978-2019
(2CDS + DVD)

Available NOW!

Even with his numerous musical achievements over the last four decades, Midge Ure is still not a household name in the States. And that, dear reader, must change. For those who may still wonder who Midge Ure is, let’s get you caught up: He was a member of mid-‘70s Scottish Glam pop band Slik before joining Punk/Post-Punk supergroup Rich Kids (with former Pistol Glen Matlock, Rusty Egan, and Steve New). He then spearheaded the New Romantic scene by co-founding Visage with Egan and Steve Strange. Ure was recruited as a temporary member of Thin Lizzy to fulfill tour dates and do some recording, He then joined Ultravox after the departure of their original vocalist John Foxx. Ultravox became one of the most respected and popular New Romantic/Synth bands in the UK. Midge then helped Bob Geldof write one of the biggest-selling benefit songs of all time, “Do They Know It's Christmas?” He was also responsible for the production of the Band-Aid single as well as being heavily involved with Live Aid. He has since pursued a solo career, reuniting with Ultravox for an album and few short tours before resuming his solo work.  There’s a lot more to Midge’s career but those are some of the highlights. If that resume intrigues you, then you’ll want to experience Midge’s music first-hand and SOUNDTRACK 1978-2019 is a fantastic starting point.

The Scottish singer/songwriter may have initially been rejected by early Ultravox fans when he replaced John Foxx, but he has since become the face and most familiar voice of the band. Oh, and what a voice. Midge Ure is as cool and suave as Bryan Ferry, but his vocals are also comforting and intimate. Never distant or detached, Midge mixes confidence with vulnerability. When New Romantic and Synthpop ruled the airwaves in the ‘80s, his voice provided humanity and warmth to any project he was involved with. In fact, it still does. It must be said, though, that Midge brings Rock bravado to the party, rarely relying solely on synthesizers. His guitar playing can sway from intimate to intense, never overpowering the mood of the song. If you still aren’t convinced, one spin of SOUNDTRACK 1978-2019 and you’ll wholeheartedly agree.

Featuring a generous selection of solo recordings mixed with tracks by Ultravox, a song from Rich Kids, and collaborations with Mick Karn (Japan), Glenn Gregory (Heaven 17), Rusty Egan, Band Electronica, Kate Bush, Shiller and Moby, SOUNDTRACK 1978-2019 is an excellent collection for fans, new and old. The two CDs feature 32 non-album tracks, single edits, and album versions of songs spanning 41 years including “Vienna” (Orchestral Version), “Dear God” (7” Version), “Fade To Grey” (the Visage classic performed with Band Electronica), “Dancing With Tears In My Eyes” (7” Version), “The Man Who Sold The World”, “Breathe” (7” Version), and many others. The accompanying DVD contains 16 videos, Audio Commentary by Midge, three live performances with Band Electronica, two videos from his Orchestrated project, two EPKs and one documentary. To say that this is a treasure trove of great Electronic-based Pop is an understatement.

There have been other Midge Ure collections in the past but this set focuses a bit more on his over-looked solo career, which makes this essential even if you have some or all of the other compilations on the market. SOUNDTRACK 1978-2019 deserves a prime spot in your personal collection.

Your pal,
Stephen SPAZ Schnee

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