Ultravox star who co-wrote iconic 80's hit Vienna dies aged 71

2 April 2024, 11:21

Ultravox bassist Chris Cross (l) has died. Ultravox (r)
Ultravox bassist Chris Cross (l) has died. Ultravox (r). Picture: alamy/getty

By StephenRigley

Ultravox star Chris Cross, who played the bass and co-wrote their classic hit Vienna, has died age 71.

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Announcing his death on Instagram, bandmate Midge Ure, paid tribute to “the glue that held the band together”.

“We worked together, we played together, made music and directed videos together. We were instant friends as well as Ultravox comrades.

“Even after years apart we managed to pick up where we left off like the years in between never existed. You were the glue that held the band together. You were the logic in the madness and the madness in our lives. It was great to know and grow with you. You are loved and missed old friend.”

Ultravox In Paris
Ultravox In Paris. Picture: Getty

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Born Chris Allen, the musician died on March 25, but the news was not shared with the public until this week.

Ultravox formed in London in 1974 and initially performed under the name Tiger Lily.

They achieved a number of Top 10 albums and 17 hit singles between 1980 and 1986, including their iconic synthpop single "Vienna" which reached No.2 in 1981.

It was kept from the top spot on the UK singles chart by Joe Dolce’s novelty hit “Shaddap You Face”, but charted again in 1993. In 2012, it was named as the UK’s favourite No 2 single in a national poll.

The band split in 1996 but reunited in 2008. The next year they carried out a reunion tour and released their final album Brilliant, in 2012 which was their first album of new material in three decades.The album reached number 21 in the UK charts.