Alphabetisize!………………..U!

  Another section which should take no time at all to run through and should also be, hopefully, fairly painless as theres less than half a dozen artists under the letter U.

  Way out in front is U2 where ive managed to count about 13 cds, which include the two double best of’s and a live bootleg cd i picked up in Ibiza one year the same time i found Duran Duran Unplugged. In fact i think ive got all their cds except from October and Rattle And Hum.

    I know its easy to hate U2, ‘biggest band in the world’, and all that, but i quite like them and the twice ive seen them have been up there with some of the best gigs ive ever been to.

   Parkhead was good, although we were raging after fighting our way to get close to the front we then were confronted by the horrific prospect of watching the Utah Saints, live. Thats a bollocks statement right there if there ever was one. Live my arse, its all a bunch of pre-programmed shit. So we buggered off for a walk then took up residence at the other end of the stadium, on the terraces and enjoyed every moment from there. I remember big burning crosses on the screen while they were doing ‘BULLET THE BLUE SKY’. A song we found could be hummed along to almost half of the verve live set we witnessed years ago at the Barrowlands.

   The other time was at Murrayfield when they were touring their POP album. By their own accounts, this is nowhere near their best album, its full of good songs that werent totally realised properly at the time (theyve actually said at various times that they would like to go back one day and redo the album) but live they took on a new lease of life.

  The live show was spectacular, with one of the biggest screens ive ever seen on stage, i remember then doing ‘MIAMI’ to a cartoon backdrop of palm trees being blown away by hurricanes and roaring waves lashing out of the sea and engulfing buildings, it was pretty stunning stuff.

  If i was to pick my favourite of their albums i would go for ACHTUNG BABY, a change of direction for them at the time, but still full of great songs.

   And my acoustic version of ONE this year at the camp site got a few shouts of drunken approval when oen person actually shouted in the direction of our tent to ‘turn it up’. I can only come to the conclusion that they thought we had the ipod on and if that was the case then i’ll take that as excellent drunken compliment.

  I also like UB40s take on the whole reggae thing, and as well as having half a dozen of their cds, ive also seen them live one as well. A pretty surreal experience as it was sometime in the last 10 years at the Exhibition Centre and support came from The Pretenders, or Chrissie Hynde and whoever was left of the Pretenders, but both sets were great.

 Ive got 3 cds from Midge Ure, a guy who rarely gets the recognition he deserves, and has done a hell of a lot more, music wise, than most people will realise.

  By the mid 70s he was already topping the charts with 70s glam poppers SLICK, as well as being in the RICH KIDS. He actually auditioned for the Sex Pistols, but of course didnt look the part, and he toured playing guitar for THIN LIZZY at one time.

  As the lead singer with Ultravox he took them to chart fame during the 80s and also wrote and lent vocals to VISAGE including the classic FADE TO GREY.

   Of course everyone knows about his involvement with Live Aid and helping write Do They Know Its Christmas? and he also topped the charts as a solo artist in 1985 with IF I WAS. He even recorded a song with Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott (YELLOW PEARL) which ended up being the theme tune for TOP OF THE TOPS for a while.

  I saw him playing live once down at the Magnum in Irvine where he played an excellent set mixing solo material with stuff that he had done with Ultravox and more. And Ultravox are back together and ready for touring next year, and by the time its over im sure colins borther Gus, if he hasnt got one already, will probably have a restraining order out against him for the safety of the band.

  Theres an Undertones best of, which amongst many other great songs features the late John Peels favourite single, TEENAGE KICKS.

  And i’ll finish off this short section with actress/comedian Tracy Ullman who turned her hand to singing for a bit in the 80s and churned out the pop classics BREAKAWAY, SUNGLASSES and THEY DONT KNOW and could well be the missing link between all those 60s motown, phil spector girl groups and the PIPETTES.

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Published in: on November 20, 2008 at 10:57 am  Leave a Comment  

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