THE 1000 BEST SONGS IN THE WORLD EVER.
1981-Number 2 single.
Best Bit-At 3.28. It was an American vocalist imitating an Italian accent that stopped this song from being a Number 1 single, and initiating the most asked Pop quiz question ever. Which song stopped Vienna from getting to Number 1?
In 2012 the song was named the greatest ever single to peak at Number 2 in the UK, in a poll carried out by BBC Radio 2, and the official charts company.(I have to beg to differ, as there are several songs which reached Number 2, a lot higher placed in this countdown.)
Ultravox were formed in 1974, in London, England, originally calling themselves ‘Tiger Lily,’ before the name change to Ultravox! in 1976. The exclamation mark was in tribute to the German band ‘Neu!,’ but was later dropped. The original line up included John Foxx, who left to pursue a solo career in 1979, and guitarist Steve Shears, who left in 1978. The other three original members who were Billy Currie, (see also best songs 543) Warren Cann, and Chris Cross, were joined by Midge Ure (see also best songs 543 and 455) in 1979, to complete what is considered the bands classic line up. The group probably took their name from the Latin, ‘Ultra’ meaning ‘beyond’, and ‘Vox’ meaning ‘voice.’Ultravox were active until 1987, but have reformed with old, and new members on two occasions, before the band was finally retired in 2013. In total Ultravox released 11 studio Albums between 1977-2012, and achieved 17 UK top 40 singles.
‘Vienna’ was the third single released from the bands fourth studio Album also called ‘Vienna,’ the song had input from all four band members, and was produced by the quartet, and Konrad ‘Conny’ Plank (1940-1987) who had previously worked with, among many others, Kraftwerk (see also best songs 41) and Brian Eno.The songs lyrics were written by Midge Ure about a brief love affair in the city of Vienna. Bill Currie has said that Ure was hesitant about the classical romantic feel of the songs orchestration, and said,’This means nothing to me,’ to which Konrad Plank replied,’Well, sing that then.’ Midge Ure has said,’We wanted to take the song, and make it incredibly pompous in the middle, leaving it very sparse before, and after, but finishing with a typically over the top classical ending. Ure also said that inspiration for the song came from The Walker Brothers 1978 song ‘The Electrician.’
‘The feeling has gone, only you and I. It means nothing to me, this means nothing to me, oh Vienna.’