From Can’t Explain.
Ultravox!, “The Man Who Dies Every Day” (1977)
Somebody, maybe a record store clerk, sold this to me as punk-rock back in the day, but in retrospect it’s much easier to see it as late-breaking glam. It’s hard to imagine anyone playing it without a face caked and streaming with makeup. It’s cartoonish, but irresistible, with its dramatic dynamics, rubber-ball tempo, harmonies at the top of the lungs, and all the B-movie pseudo-noir spy subterfuge affect and gesture. If it’s practically stalking around in a trench coat and fedora, to me that just means it’s in character: “Someone stood beside me for a moment in the rain / A silhouette, a cigarette, and a gesture of disdain,” etc., etc. In the ’80s, Ultravox experienced some personnel changes, dropped the exclamation point from the name, and went New Romantic. That worked too, although maybe left a few purity questions
Pretty: “Reap the Wild Wind”
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