Friday, April 22, 2005
Friday Random Ten - The Mystery Hymn Version 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
Before we get to this week's Random Ten, allow me to direct you to a German Ultravox fan's webpage, which contains a link to one of the most unusual versions of Hymn I've heard. It's from a 1986 concert (unknown venue) described as a "audience member's tape recording" in the German caption. I'm not sure this could even be an Ultravox concert per se, since I think the band dissolved in late 1985. I could be wrong, but perhaps the date's an error, or it's really a solo Midge Ure concert? I stand corrected: the final Ultravox album, "U-VOX" (a.k.a. "The Pink Thing") was released in 1986, so this might explain the folksier, soulful feel of this tune. Give it a listen (Winamp or other mp3 player needed) and tell me what you think? (Look for the link labeled "Auszug aus "Hymn" Live 1986 (ULTRAVOX, Tonbandaufnahme eines Zuschauers)")

The segment contains only the last 1:56 of the song, and the sound quality is poor-to-fair at best. Midge sounds passionate-but-weary, his voice missing a few beats as though he's sung it a million times before; but what's striking is the instrumentation. Instead of the traditional four-man synth-pop arrangement, the song and Ure's guitar lead are backed by what appears to be a synthesized women's gospel chorus - and the shouts of front-row fans. The recording is imperfect, but it's warm and revelatory as the orginal was ethereally chill - and I can't help but wonder to think of what a fresh new gospelized version of the song would sound like under the old Midge vocal. Now that would be stupendous.
  1. Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band - Dropout Boogie
  2. RX - My Name is RX
  3. The Beatles - Come Together
  4. From Bubblegum to Sky - Some Kind of Fantastic
  5. The Clash - Hateful
  6. The Blue in Green Quartet - Interplay
  7. Tindersticks and Isabella Rossellini - A Marriage Made in Heaven
  8. Spillsbury - Schlagzeile
  9. Dry and Heavy - Heavy Special
  10. Barenaked Ladies - Grim Grinning Ghosts