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Midge Ure , OBE, born as James Ure (Cambuslang, Lanarkshire, October 10, 1953), is a Scottish musician, a major contributor to Live Aid and Live 8 and former leader of the synth pop band Ultravox.
He was born as the son of a humble truck driver. As a teenager he learned to play the guitar, and also, at age 15, he left the Rutherglen Academy, his school. In 1969, he formed a band called Stumble.
Salvation and Slik
In 1972, he joined Salvation, formed by the brothers Kevin and Jim McGinlay, in voice and bass, respectively; joining with keyboardist Billy McIsaac and drummer Kenny Hyslop. As in the band there were two members called Jim (diminutive of James, name of Ure), Kevin McGinlay decided to revert the order of the letters of the name of Ure (according to the English pronunciation), being called him «Midge»; and thus it would be known from that time as Midge Ure. Salvation then became a very popular band throughout Scotland.
In April 1974, Kevin McGinlay left Salvation and, then, Ure replaced him without leaving the guitar position, reducing the group to quartet. In November of that same year, Salvation changed its name to Slik, signing a contract with Bill Martin and Phil Coulter, composers of the Bay City Rollers songs. Both composed the songs of the band, among which were “Forever And Ever” and “Requiem”, both released as singles and hits in Europe at the beginning of 1976. Slik’s career was reaching success, but by the end of that year, punk was gaining popularity among music critics and youth, taking away all other genre’s popularity; by that time, the only album of Slik, was sent, but without getting to have the success of the singles.
With its popularity reduced by punk, Slik continued releasing singles, until the beginning of 1977, when Jim McGinlay leaves the band and is replaced by Russell Webb.
Punk years: PVC2 and The Rich Kids
In 1977, with punk as a popular genre, Slik adopted his style and changed his name, calling himself PVC2. In May of that year, Ure is invited to join The Rich Kids, a band formed by bassist Glen Matlock, after his separation from the Sex Pistols, along with guitarist Steve New and drummer Rusty Egan, but it lasts a short time and returns to Scotland to devote more time to PVC2, which released a single single in August 1977, Put You In The Picture. Then, Ure leaves London, and PVC2 changes its name to Zones.
In London, in October 1977, Ure meets The Rich Kids. The Rich Kids would release only 3 singles and an album, called Ghost Of Princes In Towers (1978). For 1979 this band separates, but Ure would have many things to do for that year: it contributes with some songs of The Skids, it would behoove him to briefly replace Gary Moore in the guitar for Thin Lizzy during his North American and Japanese tour, he would be part of Visage (He did it since 1978) and would enter Ultravox in November of that year to be its leader, guitarist and singer.
Fame: Ultravox, Band Aid, Live Aid, solo
Midge Ure with Ultravox, in 1984.
The roots of his stage in Ultravox have roots in Visage, a musical project in which he met Billy Currie. This belonged to Ultravox, which lacked singer and guitarist (John Foxx and Robin Simon, respectively), so after meeting also with the other members of this band, takes the empty place of these two posts.
Taking roots from the previous Ultravox albums (“Ultravox!”, “Ha! Ha! Ha!” and “Systems Of Romance”), and the increased use of synthesizers, Ure and the others release 5 successful albums: “Vienna”, “Rage In Eden”, “Quartet”, “Monument” (live) and “Lament”; and one that was not, “U-Vox”, which caused the dissolution of the band in 1987.
Ure faced serious problems before the separation from Ultravox: he was not as attached to Billy Currie as he was at the beginning, he was an alcoholic, he suggested the departure of drummer Warren Cann in 1986 (according to Billy Currie) and the little success of the album U -Vox that same year. Finally, Ure, along with Chris Cross and Billy Currie, decided to end the band in 1987.
In 1997, Mdge Ure released the album, the album will be called Breathe (composed of 11 songs), initially the album does not sell what was expected, but soon a well-known brand of watches (Swatch), is fixed in the pull that can have the song Breathe for its announcements, followed to this the disc undergoes one of the majors increases in sales of the international market.
Ure resides in Bath, in the ceremonial county of Somerset.
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