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Ultravox bassist and Vienna co-writer Chris Cross dead at 71

Midge Ure has led tributes to his Ultravox bandmate and ‘Vienna’ co-writer, Chris Cross, who has died aged 71.

The new wave group’s bassist – whose real surname was Allen – sadly passed away on March 25, with the news confirmed overnight by Midge, who admitted Chris was “the glue that held the band together”.

The 70-year-old former Ultravox frontman said in a touching tribute: “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 – which were named Tiger Lily when Chris joined in 1974 – released their final album, ‘Brilliant’, in 2012.

Chris was also a member of Stoned Rose with Pete Hughes and Mick Carroll, who later formed Ritzi.

Midge and Chris penned Ultravox’s biggest hit, ‘Vienna’, which peaked at number two in the UK, but was beaten to the top spot by Joe Dolce’s novelty song ‘Shaddap You Face’

The former previously said he’s convinced their chart battle with Joe made ‘Vienna’ a bigger success in the long run.

The 80s’ synth-pop classic was pitched against ‘Shaddap You Face’ in February 1981, and kept ‘Vienna’ off the top of the UK Singles Chart for three weeks.

He told Classic Pop magazine last year: “That ghost will never be laid to rest. It’s the novelty factor. That’s why people are still talking about ‘Vienna’ today. If it had got to number one, no one would be bothered.”

The band’s album of the same name also missed out on the top spot as it failed to overtake Kate Bush’s classic record ‘Hounds of Love’, but Midge insists he didn’t feel bad about it because he was a fan of the singer’s work.

He joked: “I bought ‘Hounds of Love’ so I probably shot myself in the foot there.”

Midge and Kate went on to work together, recording the track ‘Sister and Brother’ for his 1988 solo album ‘Answers to Nothing’.

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