Trans Europa Express – Day Three: Ultravox, Thomas Dolby, Rheingold, The Editors & Tangerine Dream

TEE InfoWe’re back with day three after a scheduled bank holiday break and my track for today is Ultravox’s ‘New Europeans’ from the 1980 album Vienna.

Not released as a single, but a permanent feature of their live set, this still sounds incredibly fresh, largely due to the pin-sharp production by German producer Conny Plank.  The album, mixed near Köln, brings back memories of my first ever trip to Europe – a German Exchange in 1981 – listening to it on my walkman staring out of a coach a misty German autobahn on the way to being dropped with a German family.

Their educated son has left
In search of borrowed dreams..

He puts his headphones on

His modern world revolves around
The synthesizer’s song

Full of future thoughts and thrills
His senses slip away
He’s a European legacy
A culture for today

I can’t help wondering whether the BBC could actually play this song at the moment – would it be seen as demonstrating political bias with the Referendum imminent? Is it on a secret banned list along with ‘Safe European Home’ and “European Female’ I wonder?

Scroll down for today’s picks from Andy, Roy & Gerard, whilst you can check out the list so far here.



14 thoughts on “Trans Europa Express – Day Three: Ultravox, Thomas Dolby, Rheingold, The Editors & Tangerine Dream

  1. Not sure we’re likely to hear Killing Joke’s virulently anti-EU ‘European Super State’ either To be fair to The Joke they’re not fond of governments full stop

  2. When the idea of the Euro countdown was initiated, the first song that popped into my head was “Vienna”, but I’d missed the forgotten-classic that is “New Europeans” and so it’s a pleasure to hear that again. So, if Day 3 is about Europe as a whole, and synthesizers of the early 80’s then my choice should fit in perfectly well. The more-obscure “Leipzig” would have been a worthy inclusion from this artist, but I’ve gone for what I believe was the original opening track on his “Golden Age of Wireless” album, before Magnus Pyke utterances usurped it in the pecking order. Anyway, here’s the much-loved Mr Dolby, reminiscing about when “he was 14, she was 12″…

  3. Well I am going to need a substitute as I did have this on my shortlist for posting. I was also tempted by ‘Budapest By Blimp’. Great choice and I don’t recall having seen that video before – presumably as unaccountably Europa only got to #48 in those pre-MTV days. In looking up the chart position on wiki it says that Andy Partridge guests on the track. Is that true?

  4. I thought that might be the case, and yes, “Budapest By Blimp” was an alternative for me too. I believe Andy Partridge plays harmonica on Europa, and they were certainly good mates at this time. In fact, in an attempt to force Partridge to play live, following the severe stage-fright he developed, the other XTC members “let it be known” that they had approached Dolby about replacing Partridge to do gigs. Apparently, this was never going to happen, and I think they actually felt quite bad about the idea once they realised the full extent of Partridge’s illness.

      1. This is quite brilliant – not come across it before. In the video it seems like a young Michael Ballack is being backed by two members of the German version of Grange Hill. I don’t need to post Der Mussolini now, this is far more fun.

  5. Re: Day 3 still ……
    Richard, I had an inkling you’d choose ‘New Europeans’.
    Maintaining the electronica theme …
    I’d heard of this German group or rather their unusual name; and distinctly remember buying the record from my local Sellanby store as I was intrigued and inspired also by it’s distinctive album cover.
    Ahead of it’s time … from 1976, Tangerine Dream’s ‘ Stratosfear’ [ RIP Edgar Froese ]

  6. I was thinking of something by Tangerine Dream as I am a big fan of Christopher Franke, so that fills a very handy gap in the playlist. I think Andy is also something of a fan. However their back catalogue is so large it’s dizzying for a beginner to know where to start,

  7. Welcome on board – we are certainly ticking off our German cities. Reminds me that Glastonbury is imminent, although without BBC3 on the TV will be having to watch more of it online I guess. A strong line up, although in denial about Saturday night’s headliner.

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