In early June 1976, Ultravox! is the new name of the band formerly known as Tiger Lily. Tiger Lily started in 1973 and gained their first big break supporting the Heavy Metal Kids on 16th August 1974 at the London Marquee, although not a hit with the audience they were reviewed in Melody Maker:

"...you can actually hear the lyrics he is singing, which makes a change. And the words are actually worth hearing, which makes an even greater change, being something of a cut above the 'Diamond Dogs' technically, if running along the same rather predictably apocalyptic groove. The band, who are Steve Shears playing an incredible bending Gibson guitar, Chris Alle, bass and the Canadian Warren Cann on drums, are loose and enjoyable and even their out of tuneness (on their second gig together) seems to contribute something to the overall atmosphere."

Tiger Lily are:

  • Dennis Leigh
  • Chris St. John
  • Billy Curry
  • Steve Shears
  • Warren Cann

1980 Re-release cover.

14th March 1974 they release their debut single Monkey Jive/Ain't Misbehavin', the latter used for an X-rated movie of the same name. The money they received for the use of the song was used to buy a synthesizer.

After a number of name changes - The Zips, London Soundtrack and Fire of London, they change their name to Ultravox!. The band members also have a change of heart with Dennis Leigh becoming John Foxx and Chris St. John changing his name to Chris Cross. Their first single, Dangerous Rhythm/My Sex is released through Island Records (19/1/77), both songs written by Foxx/Cross and recorded with the help of Brian Eno and Steve Lillywhite. 1st March 1977 saw the release of their debut self titles album:

7/12/76
The Nashville (London) 
25/2/77
The Marquee (London) 

Ultravox!

  • Sat'day Night In The City Of The Dead
  • Life At Rainbow's End (For All The Tax Exiles On Main Street)
  • Slipaway
  • I Want To Be A Machine
  • Wide Boys
  • Dangerous Rhythm
  • The Lonely Hunter
  • The Wild, The Beautiful And The Damned
  • My Sex

Billy Curry has changed his name to Currie and plays keyboards and some violin, Steve Shears is on guitar, Chris Cross on bass, Warren Cann on drums and John Foxx on vocals. They are all original compositions and produced by Brian Eno and Steve Lillywhite.

6/3/77
The Red Cow (London) 
25/3/77
The Marquee (London) 
30/3/77
The Affair (Swindon) 
3/4/77
Top Rank (Sheffield) 
12/4/77
The Top Rank (Brighton) 
15/4/77
The Marquee (London) 
12/5/77
The Marquee (London) 
30/6/77
The Marquee (London) 
14/7/77
The Marquee (London) 
28/7/77
The Marquee (London) 

The next 2 singles were Young Savage/Slipaway (Live) (31/7/77) and Rockwrok/Hiroshima Mon Amour (3/10/77), they are taken from the second LP:

Ha! Ha! Ha!

  • Rockwrok
  • The Frozen Ones
  • Fear In The Western World
  • Distant Smile
  • The Man Who Dies Every Day
  • Artifical Life
  • While I'm Still Alive
  • Hiroshima Mon Amour

It was released 14/10/77 and they supported it's release with some gigs around the U.K.
 

23/9/77
Eric's (Liverpool) 
30/9/77
Barbarella's (Birmingham) 
1/10/77
Barbarella's (Birmingham) 
7/10/77
Heriot Watt Uni (Edinburgh) 
9/10/77
The Roadhouse (London) 

Studio 4, Radiohuset, Stockholm, Sweden - 19/10/77:

I Want To Be A Machine
Rockwrok
Slipaway
The Frozen Ones
A Distant Smile
Young Savage
My Sex
The Man Who
Dies Every Day
Artificial Life
Wide Boys
Sat´day Night In The City Of The Dead
The Wild, the Beautiful & The Damned
Rockwrok
 
 

Somehow we drifted off too far
Communicate like distant stars
Splintered voices down the phone
The sunlit dust, the smell of roses drifts, oh no
Someone waits behind the door
Hiroshima mon amour

Riding inter-city trains
Dressed in European grey
Riding out to echo beach
A million memories in the trees and sands, oh no
How can I ever let them go?
Hiroshima mon amour

Meet beneath the autumn lake
Where only echoes penetrate
Walk through polaroids of the past
Futures fused like shattered glass, the suns so low
Turns our silhouettes to gold
Hiroshima mon amour

In February 1978 Steve Shears leaves and is replaced by former Neo gitarist Robin Simon. They drop the exclamation mark from the end of their name and release a live E.P on 1/3/78:

Retro EP

  • The Wild, The Beautiful And The Damned
  • My Sex
  • Young Savage
  • The Man Who Dies Every Day
31/12/77
The Marquee (London) 
22/1/78
The Apollo (Glasgow) 
23/1/78
Clouds (Edinburgh) 
27/1/78
Middletown Civic Hall (Manchester) 
4/2/78
Barbarella's (Birmingham) 
9/2/78
The Rafters (Manchester) 
10/2/78
Eric's (Liverpool) 
13/2/78
The Marquee (London) 
14/2/78
The Marquee (London) 

A change of producer saw a slightly smoother sound with the release of Slow Motion/Dislocation (8/8/78), it is a sample from the sessions they are in at Conny Plank's studio near Cologne in Germany. The album is released (12/9/78):

Systems Of Romance

    • Slow Motion
    • I Can't Stay Long
    • Someones Else's Clothes
    • Blue Light
    • Some Of Them
    • Quiet Men
    • Dislocation
    • Maximum Acceleration
    • When You Walk Through Me
    • Just For A Moment


19/8/78
The Marquee (London) 
20/8/78
The Marquee (London) 
22/8/78
The Marquee (London) 
23/8/78
The Marquee (London) 
21/9/78
The Limit (Sheffield) 
23/9/78
Eric's (Liverpool) 
3/10/78
Barbarella's (Birmingham) 
6/10/78
The Factory (Manchester) 
10/10/78
The Astoria (Edinburgh) 
11/10/78
The Marquee (London) 
12/12/78
Lyceum (London) 
26/12/78
The Marquee (London) 

Setlist (26/12/78):

  • The Man Who Dies Everyday
  • Slip Away
  • Some Of Them
  • Slow Motion
  • Hiroshima Mon Amour
  • Artificial Life
  • Just For A Moment
  • Quiet Men
  • I Can't Stay Long
  • He's a Liquid
  • Walk Away
  • Young Savage
  • Someone Elses Clothes
  • Blue Light
  • Rock Wrok

Talking in the window as the light fades
I heard my voice break
Just for a moment

Talking in the window as the light fades
I felt the floor change
Into an ocean

We'll never leave here - ever
Let's stay in here forever
And when the streets are quiet
We'll walk out in the silence

Listening to the movement that the night makes
I let the room fade
Just for a moment
Sitting in the shadows that the leaves make
I felt the floor change
Into an ocean

We'll never leave here - ever
Let's stay in here forever
And when the streets are quiet
We'll walk out in the silence

Listening to the music the machines make
I let my heart break
Just for a moment
Listening to the music the machines make
I felt the floor change
Into an ocean

We'll never leave here - ever
Let's stay in here forever
And when the streets are quiet
We'll walk out in the silence


 
 

A new single was lifted from the album, Quiet Men/Cross Fade (3/10/78) and the band did some dates in the States.
 
 

23/2/79
Hot Club (Philadelphia)

Set list (13/2/79):

  • The Man Who Des Everyday
  • Slip Away
  • Slow Motion
  • Hiroshima Mon Amour
  • Artificial Life
  • Just For a Moment
  • He's a Liquid
  • Quiet Men
  • I Can't Stay Long
  • Someone Else's Clothes
  • Blue Light
  • My Sex


Upon return to England in April 1979, John Foxx decides to leave the band with the other members saying he was becoming difficult to work with. On 30th July 1979m Midge Ure tells N.M.E. "...I'm joining Ultravox on November 1st. I was due to join them as guitarist and singer in September but they've agreed to wait until I've finished my dates with (Thin) Lizzy." In the mean time Ultravox are looking for a new label.

Information gleaned from Punk Diary - 1970-1979 by George Gimarc.