Brilliant (Album)


  • Vocals / Guitar / Keyboard: Midge Ure
  • Piano / Violin / Keyboard: Billy Currie
  • Bass / Keyboard: Chris Cross
  • Drums: Warren Cann

Brilliant is the eleventh studio album by British band Ultravox. It contains the first time in more than 25 years newly produced material according to the comeback of the commercially successful in the 1980s cast Midge Ure, Billy Currie, Chris Cross and Warren Cann. The last recorded album together Lament was published in 1984, two years afterwards appeared U- Vox with Mark Brzezicki instead of Cann on drums. Under the same band name came in 1994 with the Ingenuity far last studio album out of the Currie and four other musicians were involved.


At the second concert series Return to Eden Ultravox was contacted in the spring of 2010 by Universal Music Germany. The negotiations on the production of a new studio album were initially characterized by the search for suitable conditions. Finally, Midge Ure, Billy Currie and Chris Cross went in Ures private holiday home in the Laurentian Mountains north-west of Montreal. With the help of laptops and keyboards several small recording studios were established, in which the three musicians could refine the jointly developed ideas independently. Warren Cann's participation in the songwriting remained limited due to work commitments in the city Los Angeles. The recordings began in Canada in September 2010 and lasted until the first official announcement of the album in January 2011., The same time announced contract with Universal Music smashed later due to musical and artistic disagreements.

The band still decided to finish the album and received support from the record label EMI Records. Ure, Currie and cross alternated in their own British studios, while the percussion passages of Cann in Los Angeles were recorded retrospectively. For the production of the Grammy Awards -winner Stephen Lipson were responsible Sarm Studios in London and Tom Weir at Studio City Sound in Los Angeles. Lipson had already worked with many bands and artists from the 1980s, such as Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Propaganda, Grace Jones and Annie Lennox. The studio recordings in England and the United States was completed in late 2011. More than a year after the Erstankündigung the official release date on 29 March 2012 was announced.

" Brilliant is a bittersweet comment on pop culture. It's about the other side of fame and success, a song about the bright young things did ignore the Consequences of fame with the ensuing burn out rate. In a way it should read Brilliant with a question mark. "

" Brilliant is a bittersweet commentary on pop culture. It's [ the title track ] to the downside of fame and success, a song about the young hopeful hop, ignore the consequences of Fame, and the resulting rate of Verglühens. In a way, you have to provide Brilliant with a question mark. "

Cover design

Designed by the record label on your own album art was presented on 24 April 2012. The design is kept in dark shades of gray and shows a scroll in the form of a question mark made ​​of thick marbled material. On the inside of the roll is a black logo with the band name " Ultravox ", where the horizontal of the letter " A" was replaced by a thinner slightly transverse line. The punching of the word " BRILLIANT " on the opposite side of the roller leaves the album title by light once more appear under the band name. While the "A" has been corrupted in the same way, the second " I" stands on his head and is reminiscent of an exclamation mark.


Ultravox used in addition to "classic" rock instruments such as drums, electric guitar and electric bass predominantly digital sounds on the basis of the Virtual Studio Technology ( VST). To use Apple MacBooks Pro came as hardware and various virtual instruments - for example, the company reFX Nexus - and the software Sequencer Logic Pro. In four songs also is Billy Currie analog synthesizer ARP Odyssey to hear (Flow, Change, Rise and Hello), which was on earlier albums such as Systems of Romance and Vienna an aural trademark of the band. Currie playing in some pieces and the electric violin.

For additional adjustments polyphonic recordings to support the compositional work the software Melodyne was used. Whether the product has also played a role in the mastering of the album, remains unclear.

During the live performances were as in the previous Return to Eden tours the plug-ins GForce ImpOSCar2, Minimonsta, Oddity, and Virtual String Machine (VSM ) for emulating the synthesizer from the 1980s, including Oberheim OB -X, Moog Minimoog, ARP Odyssey, ELKA Rhapsody 610 and Yamaha SS 30th In addition, the equipment included a Yamaha CP -300 Stage Piano and MIDI Remote Controller Novation ReMOTE 49 Types of SL, CME UF7 and Roland A -800 Pro. Drummer Warren Cann used a Yamaha DTXtreme for percussion.

Title list

Publications and chart success

The album was released on 25 May 2012 in Germany. The title track was brilliant for the purpose of sales promotion released as a radio single and played 17 April 2012 for the first time in Ken Bruce on BBC Radio 2. Prior to the publication of excerpts of the songs were presented both on the official microsite as well as online music services, and Internet forums.

With 6100 records sold, the album debuted in the UK at number 21 in the album charts. Thus, the band reached the best ranking since the published 1986 U- Vox. In Germany the album finished in the first week position 27 and held in the following week in the standings. Other chart positions the album was in Austria with rank 59, in Switzerland with rank 67 and in Belgium ( 182./185. ), Italy ( 84 ), Poland ( 28 ) Scotland ( 13 ) Sweden ( 36 ) and Czech Republic ( 42 ).

On September 24, 2012, an EP was released with the single Live and three additional tracks on several online music services:

Mid- October 2012 also came out a vinyl edition of Brilliant.


In the fall of 2012, a tour took place in the UK with 14 concerts. Concerts included first two sets without opening act with material from previous albums as well as Brilliant. The series started on 21 September 2012 in Bristol Colston Hall and ended on October 8, 2012 in Gateshead. The recording at London's Hammersmith Apollo on 27 September 2012, 24 of the 27 tracks played is available as a double CD or MP3 downloads Live Here Now. More concert dates in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and other European countries followed in the period October 10 to November 8, 2012. Both setlists were combined with some performances, shortened and sorted differently.

A making-of DVD Brilliant Beginnings to document the making of the album was added to the tour book.


According to online magazine the band makes a "surprisingly fresh and unused impression ". Unlike other artists, which is an authentic combination of old and new have succeeded only to a lesser extent, was working the " mix of old Ultravox DNA and contemporary sound - elements." Although none of the twelve songs for " sublime moments " care - such as the well-known singles from previous albums, which helped the band to immortality - Ultravox it succeed, " credibly convey to modern times " the spirit of the genre.

Stephan Schelle writes for the Music Circus magazine that the band " is an impressive way to be able to produce intelligently made ​​New-Wave/Elektropop, who also sounds timeless" in. The album pierce through " beautifully crafted songs " and " catchy tunes " shown and is referred to as exhaustive " great work ".

Also stated Stefan Reinke of the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung that the album " from the first note sent on an emotional journey into the past and yet is always on the amount of time ," the listener. The electric piano, the spherical synthesizer, the restrained drums, juicy bass, guitars sparse, but precisely set and of course Midge Ure voice sound just the way they need to sound like Ultravox. The enjoyment of Ultravox think first and foremost place in the stomach, not in the head. An album " for the duration of the loop ".

The program guide Hörzu recognizes the comeback 4 out of 5 points and stressed the recognition value of the characteristic Ultravox sound. The " late work " solvent consisting of the " grandiose title of" derived " primarily a promise ."

Jus Forrest of The Electricity Club certified the album despite the long hiatus of four musicians a contemporary sound without abandoning the specific sound patterns from the 1980s, as the band's trademark. Ultravox have created it again to capture the " reminiscent of old black and white movies magical atmosphere ." The band walk into " familiar ground ", but at the same time do a " self-confident step forward towards modernist optimization". The result was not only brilliant but also a brilliant new beginning.

Martin Townsend from the Daily Express awarding 4 out of 5 and certifies the band a " overwhelming lively sound." The epic " Sturm und Drang " ( Original English version also is this fixed German phrase quoted ) from earlier times was present on the album. Although purists might bemoan lack of sophistication, it falls hard not to be enchanted by the " glorious old-fashioned melodrama ".

By contrast, in Martyn Young of musicOMH in his critical review 2.5 out of 5 points stated that the album will not live up to its title and "extremely outdated " and " uninspired " sounds. It is marked by "boring and morose piano ballads " to " overweight and bombastic songs " with " hardly memorable melodies " and "obsolete synthesizer sounds ," the soft until the second half of the album " sounded technically interesting moments ". Just because the album only satisfy with the old fan base, it does not go through a " nostalgic viewing " beyond.

Jon O'Brien of Allmusic ranked the album 2.5 of 5 points in the midfield and is particularly critical of the band after the long break no obvious stylistic evolution in comparison to the Vienna era. Although the first title of show known stadium rock and gloomy synth-pop, with continuous playing time lose Brilliant but " fast momentum " and offers " cumbersome, progressive ballads in one piece". Given "exorbitantly monotonous diet " it falls to the listener hard, endure to the end.