[Rage in 40] -- Forty years ago this week -- on Friday, September 11, 1981 -- Ultravox released their fifth studio album, Rage in Eden. It reached #4 on the UK album charts, and #144 in the US, while also peaking within the top 50 albums for a few other European countries and Australia. Rage in Eden produced two hits: "The Thin Wall," which kicked off side B, and "The Voice," the album opener on side A. "The Thin Wall" peaked at #14 in the UK Single Charts, while the much stronger (in my opinion, anyway) "The Voice" peaked at #16. None of the singles charted in the US. But all told, Rage in Eden was a finely crafted piece of New Romantic, synth-driven rock. The lyrics are more introspective, even mysterious, than those on previous releases, but perhaps the band felt they had reached a point where they could stretch a bit and experiment lyrically given that their previous record, Vienna (1980), was such a commercial breakthrough. Also, Midge Ure, who had previously worked with Ultravox keyboardist Billy Currie before joining the band on Vienna, now had over a year of experience with his new bandmates.
Whatever the case, Ultravox continued to mine the sound of their third and fourth releases while going a bit more surreal with their lyrics. And it works. Even if the record wasn't terribly popular at the time, I say this is a recording that has aged well, perhaps even being a masterpiece of 1980s synth-rock.
Rage in Eden received a 2008 remaster with 13 extra tracks (live recordings and extended versions).
Flashback: Rage in Eden (1981)
That's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the Prophet or Madman archives or via Bookended's 80s Flashback tag. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.
I'll see you in seven!