Ultravox star Chris Cross, who co-wrote smash hit Vienna, has died

April 02, 2024

Ultravox star Chris Cross has died, his bandmate Midge Ure has announced, in a tribute paid to his friend as "the glue that held the band together".

The musician, whose real name was Chris Allen, was the bass guitarist with the new wave band, best known for their 1981 hit Vienna.

He died on 25 March, according to reports, but the news was shared last night. No further details have been given.

In his tribute, posted on social media, Ultravox frontman Ure said: "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."

Keyboard player Billy Currie also paid tribute, writing on his Facebook page: "Hi People, Very sad to hear about Chris... We had some amazing times together. Laughing mostly."

Allen was one of the founding members of Tiger Lily, the band that went on to become Ultravox, in the mid-1970s.

Ure, who was not part of the original line-up, took over as frontman from John Foxx in 1979, leading the band to the biggest hits of their career.

'Fantastic legacy'

Vienna was Ultravox's highest charting single, peaking at number two in February 1981 - and was famously kept off the top spot for three weeks straight by Joe Dolce's Shaddup You Face, according to the Official Charts Company.

The song was the sixth biggest single of the year in the UK, and was voted the nation's favourite number two single in a poll by Radio 2 and Official Charts in 2013.

Other hits included Dancing with Tears in My Eyes, All Stood Still and Reap The Wild Wind.

Follow a split, the band reunited in 2008 and toured the following year. They had 16 top 40 singles and 10 top 40 albums in total.

Fans have also paid tribute on social media, with one writing on X, formerly Twitter: "Such sad news about the passing of Chris Cross. He was an integral part of both incarnations of Ultravox and a great musician who will be sadly missed."

Responding to Ure's post, another said: "Sad times, great memories, fantastic legacy of incredible music. RIP."

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