TITLE: Ha! Ha! Ha!
YEAR RELEASED: 1977
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: ROckWrok, The Frozen Ones, Young Savage
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Hiroshima Mon Amour
LINEUP: John Foxx, Warren Cann, Chris Cross, Billy Currie, Stevie Shears
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Second 1977 album introduces more keyboards, a drum machine, and a better set of songs.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: This is a pretty vast improvement over their self-titled debut. Ha! Ha! Ha! is the album that starts Ultravox! on the way to being Ultravox as we know them. Their synthesizers and electronics set more of a mood and feel, and the punky cuts have more energy and urgency to them.
Foxx’ vocals still irk me a bit, but he’s more in control and he actually does a good job in delivering Hiroshima Mon Amour as a torch song (complete with saxophone break).
They got some airplay on the BBC with this one, even without a single hitting the charts. Not to say this is a perfect album, but it’s better, and the bonus single Young Savage is probably their best punk-rock-electronica single.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Metalheads recall Hiroshima Mon Amour as covered by Alcatrazz. Mopers recall that song covered by the Church. I guess it can fit in both camps.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yeppers. The Young Savage single, some live cuts and some remixes and most of them actually add to the record.
GRADE: B+: Again, not perfect, but better and more of what I like about Ultravox and that whole electronics meets punk movement that was burgeoning in the UK.