Systems of Romance, released on 8 September 1978, is the third album by British new wave band Ultravox (an exclamation mark having been dropped from the moniker earlier in the year). It was the final recording for the group with original lead singer, lyricist and co-composer John Foxx, and their first album without guitarist Stevie Shears, who had been sacked from the band. Shears was replaced by Robin Simon, making his first and only appearance on an Ultravox album. Though not a commercial success, Systems of Romance had a significant influence on the electropop music that came after it. Co-produced by Conny Plank and Dave Hutchins, Systems of Romance featured the band’s heaviest use of electronics to date. More new wave orientated than the glam- and punk-influenced tunes that characterised their first two albums, Ultravox! and Ha!-Ha!-Ha!, its style was partly inspired by German band Kraftwerk, whose first four albums were produced by Plank. “Just for a Moment” eschewed all acoustic and synthetic drums, relying on treated ARP Odyssey sounds for their percussive effects imbued with a heavy proto-industrial flavour and featuring church-like vocal and keyboard effects that would be echoed on Foxx’s second solo album, The Garden.
Do you have a favourite John Foxx track or early Ultravox track and why? ‘Just For A Moment’ from Systems Of Romance . Conny Plank RIP. ‘Just For A Moment’ is a hauntingly elongated distanced and cool track. A thrilling song of pure genius. It’s one of them I can see the title & sing the song inside my ears . Thank u.’ – The Orb.