Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the album the band releases a new 6 Disc Deluxe Edition and 2LP Vinyl of the album on 9th October.
First released on Chrysalis Records on 11 July 1980, Vienna is the fourth Ultravox album and the first made by Ultravox with their best-known line-up, after Midge Ure had taken over as lead vocalist and guitarist following the departures of John Foxx and Robin Simon.
Vienna represented a total change in pace, style and even audience. Under Foxx, Ultravox had a cult following but wasn’t exactly a commercially successful band. According to Ure, in an interview with The Guardian , the band “had been dropped by their label, our management had disappeared and we had to scrape around for money just to get into a rehearsal studio”. Now, with Ure, the band moved firmly into the realm of synth-pop, old fans did not completely accepted the change, nor it was universally acclaimed by critics, but, as evidenced by the sales charts, Vienna brought the band a legion of new fans and, retrospectively critics now consider it to be one their best album.
Although it had a slow start, sales gained traction with the release, in January 1981, of the title track as the third single from the album. “Vienna”, the song, is considered the band's commercial breakthrough worldwide and led to healthy leading the album to peak at number 3 in the UK Albums Chart and reached the top ten in several countries.
Produced by renowned German producer Conny Plank who had also produced Ultravox's previous album, Systems of Romance, Vienna showcases different styles throughout the album. It is dominated by the synth and the bass, "Astradyne, the opening track, is a long instrumental featuring layers of synthesizers, while "Mr. X" is simpler, a Kraftwerk inspired synthpop. “Vienna”, the is an apotheotic track that grows from a sparse voice over drums beginning through a dramatic grand piano and landing into a frantic violins/piano duel, to return to a climatic end chorus.
The brand new 6-disc boxset will contain a total of 66 tracks, with 44 previously unreleased recordings and mixes. CD 1 contains the original 1980 master of the album, CD 2 contains the original album plus four B-sides in a new stereo mix by Steven Wilson, CD 3 contains Single versions, B-sides and Live tracks, CD4 contains, taken from the band's personal archive, previously unreleased rehearsals recordings from 1979/80, including previously unreleased tracks “Sound On Sound” and “Animal” and CD 5 contains a concert from St. Albans City Hall in August 1980. The final disc is a DVD that contains a new 5.1 Surround Sound Mix of the Album and B-sides by Steven Wilson along with 24/96 Hi-Res audio of the stereo mixes and the original 1980 Production masters for the album and B-sides.
The boxset is packaged in a 12”x12” rigid slipcase and includes 4x Art Prints and a 20page 12” square booklet containing Album commentary by band members and personal photos of the time from Midge and Chris.
There is also a 4LP Vinyl Edition and a 2LP Vinyl Edition, the first vinyl containing the original 1980 master of the album, the second vinyl containing the Single Versions it’s B-sides, the third and fourth vinyls (in the 4LP edition) contains the concert from St. Albans City Hall in August 1980. These packages come in a wide spine sleeve with a Ruby colored bellyband, printed insert with lyrics and the vinyl housed in a poly-lined inner sleeve.
The promotional videos are being remastered as well, the first of these is a newly restored Live version of Vienna filmed at St Albans City Hall in August 1980. The video has been edited from the original 16mm Film Reels with audio taken from the newly mixed Live At St Albans version from the box set.