Wednesday, May 11, 2022

"Dear God" by Midge Ure

Song#:  3828
Date:  03/11/1989
Debut:  95
Peak:  95
Weeks:  5
Genre:  Pop, Alternative Rock

Pop Bits:  This Scottish musician/singer/songwriter had been a member of several bands since the late 60s. Two of the bands, Silk and Visage, would each earn a Top 10 hit in the UK. Silk would score in 1974 with the #1 "Forever and Ever" while Visage would get to #8 in 1980 with "Fade to Grey." It was while Ure was in Visage that he'd get the opportunity to front the new wave outfit Ultravox. That band had been around since '76 and released three albums that got them nowhere. They were on the verge of splitting for good but then Ultravox member Billy Currie, who was also a member of Visage, talked with Ure about helping to revitalize Ultravox. Ure would join and in 1980 the new lineup would issue out the album Vienna. It would be a major hit in the UK reaching #3 and spawning the classic #2 title track hit. They would follow it up with another successful LP, 1981's Rage in Eden. Ure and Currie would then go back and work with Visage for their 1982 LP The Anvil. It did well, but both Ure and Currie preferred to work with the Ultravox crew and left Visage. The band's next three studio albums would all be Top 10 gold sellers in the UK. Along the way, Ure would also step out on his own and recorded a solo album in '85. It would end up being a #2 hit thanks to the #1 single "If I Was." By '87, Ultravox were beginning to unravel and so they chose to call it quits. Ure would then continue with his solo career. He would issue out Answers to Nothing in the fall of '88. The title track first single was a mid-charter in the UK, but it became Ure's first solo song to make a US chart. It would get to #26 at Modern Rock. His next single "Dear God," wouldn't do well in the UK, but it would end up reaching #4 on the US Modern Rock chart and #6 Rock. That action helped the tune cross over to the Pop chart where it would spend a little over a month near the bottom of the chart. The album would be able to get to #88 in the US. It and the single would be his only solo entries on the US Pop charts.

ReduxReview: This pleading song came at a time when Ure's attention was on world issues. Ure had co-written the successful charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas" with Bob Geldoff and the pair would also organize the 1985 Live Aid event. So it seemed natural that his experiences and viewpoints gained from his charitable work would find its way into his songs and that certainly seemed to be the case with this single. Its rolling, worldbeat arrangement made the tune stand out along with Ure's pleading vocal. It was a message song that was easy to digest and it should have done far better on the chart. Ure's solo work was kind of up and down for me, but he had the ability to push out soaring, memorable gems like this one and '96's "Breathe."

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Ure's next solo album, 1991's Pure, wouldn't make the US album chart, but a song from it, "Cold, Cold Heart," would reach #12 on the US Modern Rock chart. Further releases wouldn't chart in the US and his results on the UK charts would also decline. His last significant hit would come with 1996's "Breathe." While it would only get to #70 in the UK, it did well in other European countries including Austria where it reached #1 thanks to its use in popular ads for Swatch. Ure would continue to record and perform over the years and in 2008 he would reunite with Ultravox. In 2012, they would record a new album, Brilliant, which would get to #21 in the UK.  2) Midge Ure's given first name is James (aka Jim). It was while he was in one of his early bands that he got dubbed Midge. It came about because the band already had a Jim and so to avoid any confusion between the two Jim's, Ure's first name was turned backwards into Mij, which then later became Midge.


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