A Young Person’s Guide To “Dancing With Tears In My Eyes”

The pre-release single from Ultravox’s “Lament” album was a guitar heavy stomper, which gave me pause, back in the day. I bought the 12″ in the minty fresh, green tinted sleeve, and wondered what the album would offer when it dropped. Would it all be guitar rock? As it turned out, “Lament” was an eclectic mixed bag from my favorite band at the time. The next single was the more typical, Krautrock influenced “Dancing With Tears In My Eyes.” The motorik beats were back on this track for almost the last time.

Chrysalis | UK | 7" | 1984 | UV1

Chrysalis | UK | 7″ | 1984 | UV1

Ultravox: Dancing With Tears In My Eyes UK 7″ [clear vinyl booklet sleeve]

  1. Dancing With Tears In My Eyes [7″ edit]
  2. Building

As was not quite the norm back in those days of 1984, I bought the 7″ version, largely due to the packaging perks, which included the mandatory clear vinyl initial pressing. At the time, I did not know that this was the practice for all Chrysalis Ultravox 7″ singles. The band liked it because it looked cool, and the clear vinyl could not be recycled stock, meaning it was virgin and yielded the hottest sound. Chrysalis liked it because it goosed the sales chart wise. Everybody’s happy.

I found out about the clear vinyl pressings for everything when I met Mr. Ware and he regaled me with tales of mail order record buying, which was still in the future for me by a year or two. In 1984, I was limited to what I found in stores. I had bought a copy of “We Came To Dance” on clear vinyl, but typically, I eschewed 7″ singles, preferring their extended 12″ relatives for the Record Cell.

The sleeve also had a booklet of four pages of stills from the set of the video as directed by Midge Ure + Chris Cross. The A-side was a typical 7″ edit shaving off about 30 seconds from the LP track and a [by this time in their career] rare vocal B-side; the sombre piano ballad “Building.”

Chrysalis | UK | 12" | 1984 | UVX1

Chrysalis | UK | 12″ | 1984 | UVX1

Ultravox: Dancing With Tears In My Eyes UK 12″ [gatefold + poster]

  1. Dancing With Tears In My Eyes [special re-mix]
  2. Dancing With Tears In My Eyes [7″ edit]
  3. Building

At the same time as I bought the 7″ on clear vinyl, I also bought the UK 12″ which also had enhanced packaging. The sleeve was a rare 12″ gatefold plus poster included inside. It said a lot regarding Chrysalis’ confidence in the track that they’d package it like “Dark Side Of the Moon,” which was hardly the norm for 12″ singles. It paid off though. The single was Ultravox’s top seller after “Vienna” with the track reaching the #3 position.

ultravox - dancing poster

This was the 24″ x 24″ poster

The 12″ replicated the contents of the 7″ on its B-side, but the A-side was an extremely long for its time 10 minute remix by the band themselves. Quite frankly, it felt a little over extended. A 4:39 album track of that time could reasonably expect to surface in a 12″ mix lasting between six and seven minutes. Maybe Ultravox felt the hot breath of Frankie Goes To Hollywood breathing down their necks, so they worked the action from the length angle. I would judge that they had failed in this regard. Unfortunately, this did not stop the band from making a 12 minute remix of “Heart Of The Country” exclusively for the German market later! Too bad they didn’t ask me first.

Chrysalis | US | 12" | 1984 | 4V9 42783

Chrysalis | US | 12″ | 1984 | 4V9 42783

Ultravox: Dancing With Tears In My Eyes US 12″

  1. Dancing With Tears In My Eyes [extended]
  2. One Small Day [club version]

As an Ultravox fan in The States, it always seemed like they never lifted a finger to promote the band here. Until this single, I never saw a commercial single issued for the band; only promo 12″ers. This time, US Chrysalis must have been feeling the love since they commissioned exclusive US remixes for the first two A-sides from “Lament” from Steve Thompson for the A-side, and François Kevorkian + John Potoker! Naturally, these remixes by steely-eyed, flat-bellied professional mixers had a bit more vigor than the band’s own mixes of these titles.

The A-side benefitted much by topping out at a more healthy 7:45 and Thompson packed more dynamics into that shorter time to boot. The B-side was a 7:48 remix of “One Small Day” that remains my second favorite mix of this, the most remixed Ultravox song. I bought this as soon as it was released since I sensed that it would be new American mixes, and wasn’t disappointed. Due to the nature of the beast, these two remixes remain the only Ultravox tracks never re-issued on CD ever, probably due to those pesky licensing issues.

Chrysalis | US | 7" | 1984 | VS4 42781

Chrysalis | US | 7″ | 1984 | VS4 42781

Ultravox: Dancing With Tears In My Eyes US 7″

  1. Dancing With Tears In My Eyes [7″ edit]
  2. Building

I bought the first three records in the initial time of their release. Imagine my shock years later when I chanced upon this delightful US 7″ with a cover design closely based on a promo poster that US Chrysalis produced for in-store display with an appealing black and purple motif using the same portrait of the band. I just found out today that there is allegedly a commercial 12″ with this variant cover!

Chrysalis | GER | 7" | 1984 | 106 449

Chrysalis | GER | 7″ | 1984 | 106 449

Ultravox: Dancing With Tears In My Eyes GER 7″

  1. Dancing With Tears In My Eyes [7″ edit]
  2. Building

Finally, I ran across this German variant sleeve in a mail order catalog somewhere. The more sophisticated Europeans opted for a still evoking the video on gray rather than the busy grid favored by Peter Saville. Again, there is a German 12″ with this sleeve, but not in my Record Cell. I think I am done collecting Chrysalis Ultravox vinyl, but there are still Island-era rarities that I have all of the time [if not money] in the world for.

– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | media design • record collector • satire • non-fiction
This entry was posted in A Young Person's Guide, Core Collection, New Romantic, Scots Rock and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A Young Person’s Guide To “Dancing With Tears In My Eyes”

  1. Echorich says:

    Dancing With Tears In My Eyes, Man Of Two Worlds and A Friend Called Desire are the last great Ultravox songs to these ears. Lament was certainly a patchy affair. The follow up U-Vox (subtitled ‘U shouldn’t have’ to these ears) would have more in common with Laments more pedestrian tracks like One Small Day and White China. Even the title track sounded like a band trying to recapture something they left on Conny Plank’s studio floor.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Echorich – Surely Midge had one foot out of the door at that point [“UVOX”] and I’m guessing that he went through the motions for the sake of Cross and Currie after sacking Cann, but he did his friends no favors.


  2. Tim says:

    Someone once said that they thought that mashups were a mostly social aspect of music.
    In the spirit of being social I share this link. Not often that you see someone mashing with Ultravox.


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