Midge Ure on Ultravox’s future and new album Orchestrated (EXCLUSIVE)
The 64-year-old made his name with new wave band Ultravox, introducing the world to 1980s hits like Vienna and Dancing With Tears In My Eyes.
Apart from writing Band Aid charity single Do They Know It’s Christmas?, Midge went on to have a successful solo career.
Now as his latest album Orchestrated is released, the singer has spoken out on Ultravox’s future, something he seems unsure of.
Midge revealed: “Honestly and truly, I have no idea. I think it’s probably finished. It was lovely to get back five years ago and do those shows. And it was great to make up again, not that we really fell out. But we’d moved our separate ways.”
Midge continued: “After 20-25 years of heading in different directions, to come back and perform those songs one more time, it was a glorious thing to do.
“But the reality is, I’m the youngest in the band and I’m 64, so we’re never getting back together to think, ‘Okay, maybe we’ll take our rightful place in the annals of musical history and go out there and conquer the world – let’s go break America!’
“It’s really not going to happen. So it was very much, go back and do it and have fun. Leave the door open. I’m not really sure if the door’s still open or not.”
One major obstacle is Billy Currie, who quit the band after 43 years in announcement on his official website back in January.
Midge added: “I mean I read Billy’s post about, ‘That’s it, it’s all over. I’m not doing it again’, but in reality there’s been no discussion about it. I didn’t know anything about it. In fact it was some of the hardcore fans who passed on the information.”
The singer also spoke out on his new album Orchestrated, which as title suggests does indeed feature an orchestra.
He said: “It’s just been that in the last few years I’ve been given the opportunity to perform with orchestras. I don’t know if it’s something that happens when you get older…or because it’s a cool thing, but I’ve performed with various orchestras mainly in Europe. And anytime they play anything I’ve had a hand in, those melodies just lend themselves to that vastness, that cinematic structure.”
While an arranged version of Vienna features on the new album, Midge admitted he originally hated the idea.
He revealed: “Back in the early 80s, Ultravox’s record label of the time thought it would be a great idea to do an orchestral version of Vienna. We went in and we did and it was so dreadful that I took a razor blade to the multitrack tape and cut it up, because it was absolutely useless. So I think that maybe put me off the idea, for quite a while.”
“[Whereas today] the attitude towards orchestras has changed. Thirty-five years ago, whether it was Ultravox or Frank Zappa, I think there was an attitude, that pop music wasn’t worthy. But that’s all changed.”
Nevertheless Midge always had the fans’ in mind, saying he was concerned by what their reaction would be to Orchestrated.
The singer added: “Yeah, very much so. Simply because, these songs are old enough that they’ve been part of people’s lives for most of their lives. And they’re very precious about those things, just as I am.”
Midge Ure’s Orchestrated is out now.
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