Listen to this track by one-time experimental electronic outfit turned stadium-ready synthpop merchants Ultravox. It’s “Dancing With Tears In My Eyes” as taken from their seventh album Lament. The song was an important stage in the revitalization for the band who scored top ten chart showings around the world (but not in the States – whaaat?).
The song features the vocals of lead singer Midge Ure, a seasoned musician who’d by this time played with bands as diverse as Thin Lizzy, Rich Kids (with Sex Pistols original bassist Glen Matlock), and Visage. It was through the latter band that he came to Ultravox, bonding with Billy Currie who also played part-time in Visage. When he came into the fold is was to replace original Ultravox lead singer John Foxx when Foxx left for a solo career.
Midge Ure’s obvious songwriting talents and incredible lead voice helped to usher in a new era of more pop-oriented direction. Within this new era for the band, “Dancing With Tears In My Eyes” is a career highlight, and known for the accompanying video which reflected the lyrics about a last ride home before some cataclysmic event with the man on the wire crying “it’s over, it’s over!”.
As kids listening to the radio and watching videos at the time, most of us knew what that meant. Because apart from the pop appeal of the track rooted in some of the aesthetics of the time, this song captured something else which was very pervasive in pop culture and the general atmosphere of that era; fear.