Rejecting the abrasive guitars of their punk-era contemporaries, Ultravox emerged as one of the primary influences on the British electro-pop movement of the early 1980s.Between 1980–86, they scored seven Top 10 albums and seventeen Top 40 singles in the UK, the most successful of which was their 1981 hit, Vienna, following close behind with albums like Rage In Eden, HA!HA!HA! and Quartet.
Formed in London in 1974 the band was led by vocalist and keyboardist John Foxx (born Dennis Leigh), whose interest in lushly romantic synths and cutting-edge technology began during his school years. With an initial line up consisting of Chris Cross (bass), Billy Currie (keyboards and violin), Steve Shears (guitar), and Warren Cann (drums). In 1977 Island Records signed the quintet, with Brian Eno agreeing to produce the band’s self-titled debut LP.
Moving camps, Ultravox got picked up by Chrysalis Records, releasing Vienna in 1980. This scored a smash hit with ‘Sleepwalk’ reaching the No.2 spot in the UK and remained there for 4 weeks. This also pushed the LP into the Top 5. After 1981’s Rage in Eden, Ultravox teamed with legendary producer George Martin for 1983’s Quartet, their most successful LP in the otherwise impenetrable American market, it launched the hit ‘Reap The Wild Wind’.