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Midge Ure

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Biography

One of the key members of the new wave band Ultravox, guitarist/vocalist Midge Ure began his professional music career with Salvation, a Glasgow-based group that became the bubblegum band Slik in 1974. Upset in the change of direction, Ure left the band to join the Rich Kids, a punk-pop group led by former Sex Pistol bassist Glen Matlock. The Rich Kids only released one album, 1978's Ghosts of Princes in Towers, before breaking up later that year. Ure spent a brief time with the Misfits (not the American band) before forming Visage with drummer Rusty Egan and vocalist Steve Strange; he left the group to replace Gary Moore in Thin Lizzy, who had left in the middle of an American tour. After the tour was finished, Ure fulfilled an agreement to join Ultravox as the replacement for John Foxx. Once he joined the band in 1980, Ure helped make Ultravox a mainstream success; during this time he also worked as a producer, making records with Steve Harley and Modern Man. In 1982, Ure released a solo single, a cover of the Walker Brothers' hit "No Regrets"; it climbed into the U.K. Top Ten. Ure and Bob Geldof formed Band Aid, a special project to aid famine relief efforts in Ethiopia, in 1984. The two wrote the song "Do They Know It's Christmas?" and assembled an all-star band of British musicians to record the single; it sold millions of copies over the 1984 holiday season and prompted Geldof to organize the benefit concert Live Aid in 1985. In 1985, Ultravox was put on hiatus and Ure began to pursue a full-time solo career. Recorded entirely by Ure, his 1985 solo debut, The Gift, launched the number one single "If I Was," as well as the minor hits "That Certain Smile" and "Call of the Wild." The following year, he recorded the final Ultravox album; in 1987, the band broke up and he began recording his second solo album. The resulting record, 1988's Answers to Nothing, was less successful than The Gift in the U.K., yet it charted in the U.S., which is something Ure's previous album failed to do. Three years later, Ure released his third album, Pure; while it didn't do any business in America, the album featured the Top 20 British hit "Cold, Cold Heart." He attempted a comeback in 1996 with Breathe, which went ignored by both the American and British markets. Four years later, his score for the Jon Cryer drama-comedy Went to Coney Island was issued by the Evenmore label. Ure's recording activity during the 2000s began with Move Me (2001), which featured some surprisingly hard rocking material. A few years later, he published an autobiography, If I Was, and then, with Geldof, arranged the Live 8 concerts, after which he was recognized as an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire). Following the release of the covers-oriented 10 (2008), Ure participated in an Ultravox reunion and continued to record as a solo artist. Fragile was issued in 2014. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Top Songs

Birth Name:

James Ure

Born:

10 October 1953 in Glasgow, Scotland

Genre
Years Active:

'70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Contemporaries