Ultravox! – ‘ROckwrok’ West German 7″ single (Island, 11 655 AT), 1977

Another tasty West German picture sleeve design that differed markedly from the UK issue – whether that was to John Foxx’s satisfaction is unlikely, given that the original UK issue was designed by him and showcases what are now classic John Foxx design traits in its cut-up and juxtaposed figures. But this sleeve keeps with some kind of low-tech xerox style if nothing else, in lurid red and black. The flimsy, glossy paper used for the sleeve means that tracking down mint copies is especially difficult.

Ultravox 'ROckwrok' West German 7 inch single front sleeve design

^ Ultravox 'ROckwrok' West German 7 inch single front sleeve design

A previous post looked at the West German issue of ‘The Frozen Ones’ as a single. That release was unique in so many ways, with its choice as a single in the first place, a unique sleeve design and a unique remix of the B side, ‘The Man Who Dies Everyday’, making for a very desirable collectable all in all. This time round, other than the sleeve, this is like the UK release, though both are notable for the version of ‘Hiroshima Mon Amour’ to be found here – it is radically altered in comparison to the take to be found on the ‘Ha!-Ha!-Ha!’ LP, all distorted guitar, slashing viola and muscular drums – all absent from the synthesized stylings of the LP cut, which also comes with saxophone courtesy of ‘CC’ from the band Gloria Mundi. It should be noted too though that the version of ‘ROckwrok’ (as per the UK single also) is a little different from the LP mix – it has a different stereo mix for sure, but is also slightly edited – round about the 2 minute 19/20 secs mark, the lines “A nimble mambo in the park, park, Fuck like a dog, bite like a shark, shark, The population’s got to ROckwrok, ROckwrok…” have been edited out.

Ultravox 'ROckwrok' West German 7 inch single rear sleeve design

^ Ultravox 'ROckwrok' West German 7 inch single rear sleeve design

A very rewarding read is the interview conducted and compiled by Jonas W√•rstad with Warren Cann [PDF or HTML] – sadly, this does not cover the whole of Warren’s time with Ultravox (who knows, maybe one day…), but it is gloriously detailed on the early days and you can read about the impact of the band’s acquisition of the Roland TR-77 rhythm machine on ‘Hiroshima Mon Amour’ in particular, in part 2.

Ultravox 'ROckwrok' West German 7 inch single side A label design

^ Ultravox 'ROckwrok' West German 7 inch single side A label design

Ultravox 'ROckwrok' West German 7 inch single side B label design

^ Ultravox 'ROckwrok' West German 7 inch single side B label design

One Response to “Ultravox! – ‘ROckwrok’ West German 7″ single (Island, 11 655 AT), 1977”

  1. Well, at least your copy looks better in better shape than mine. Still, beggars can’t be choosers. Especially in mail ordering singles in the pre-internet era as I did. I quite like the cover shot here, and at least Island Germany stayed with the deprecated line tone look of the album and single art in the UK. I’ve given up on Jonas’ ever posting the rest of that Warren piece. You’ve got to love how eloquent a historical voice Cann is within the context of Ultravox. He’s like history on tap for that band. It’s almost hard to get him to stop with the anecdotes once he starts up! I once sent him a copy of “The Collection” and “Monument” on VHS [from my Japanese laserdiscs] when scuttlebutt reached the Ultravox community that he needed a copy. He was happy to get a nice copy and sent along some reminiscences by email with his thank you note that I had the foresight to print out, since I only had email at work in the 90s.

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