“My Sex” is the last song on Ultravox!’s 1977 debut album. The lyrics evoke a futuristic, industrial world in which the singer’s “sex” seems to be walking a highwire. It is half-human, half-machine. Sometimes it’s a “novocaine shot, sometimes it’s an automat.” Obstacles are everywhere, delineating the landscape: sky-scrapers on a car-crash overpass, a neon outline on a high-rise overspill. “My sex is often solo. Sometimes it short-circuits, sometimes it’s a golden glow.”
John Foxx’s lyrics are really poetic imaginings, reminiscent of the landscape in Antonioni’s Red Desert, in which Monica Vitti wanders around an industrial Italian city, morbidly disconnected to the manufacturing wasteland surrounding her, except with his version there’s an element of romance brightening things up a bit around the edges.
When I first listened to this album, it made sense to me that Brian Eno had produced it. I had inadvertently been listening non-stop to several of his 1970s productions when I first moved to New York: David Bowie’s Low, Tallking Heads’ More Songs About Buildings and Food, and Devo’s Q: Are We Not Men? A: We are Devo!, as well as his solo albums Here Come the Warm Jets, Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy), Another Green World, and Before and After Science.
Here are choice tracks from each of these albums:
Enjoy your Eno Sunday.