Ultravox

Dancing With Tears in My Eyes

Song Review by

Back in 1980, Duran Duran boldly announced they wanted to be the band we all danced to when the Bomb went off. But it was Ultravox who actually placed that concept on record, four years later. 1983’s "We Came to Dance" had already toyed with the idea of dancing as the ultimate escape; now the band would take the concept to its ultimate conclusion.

The arrival of American cruise missiles on British soil in the early 1980s placed the UK very loudly on the front line of any future nuclear confrontation between the super-powers and, with international tensions rising (the Soviet Union walked out of disarmament talks in December, 1983), and nerves stretched to breaking point, the possibility of total annihilation seemed suddenly very real, and a once rhetorical question took on a whole new reality – how would you spend those final few minutes?

"Dancing with Tears in My Eyes" was Ultravox's answer, "weeping for the memory of a life gone by...living out a memory of a love that died." That lyric is crucial, as the band's evocative accompanying video rather muddied the waters by suggesting that the Three Minute Warning would stretch on for hours. In reality, Midge Ure lyrically spends his last moments recalling a perfect, romantic evening and, dancing alone with that memory, imagines himself in his love's arms until death arrives.

"Dancing" was indeed a song to comfort one at the end, its swirling synths lifting the spirit, while its prominent beats urge one to forget one's terror and lose oneself in the rhythm. Initially included on the band's Lament album, the song was then spun off as a single in May, 1984, when it whirled its way to #3 on the UK chart.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Lament 1984 One Way Records 4:40
The Collection 1984 Chrysalis Records 4:11
Best of 1980-1990, Vol. 2 1990
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:10
Pop & Wave, Vol. 3 1993
Various Artists
3:49
Pop & Wave, Vol. 3: Lots More Hits of the 80's 1993
Various Artists
Columbia 3:50
Rock of the 80's, Vol. 5 1996
Various Artists
EMI-Capitol Special Markets 4:07
Dancing with Tears in My Eyes 1996 Disky 4:05
1984: 20 Original Chart Hits 1997
Various Artists
A Time To Remember 4:11
The Voice: The Best of Ultravox 1997 Caroline Distribution / EMI Music Distribution 4:05
Extended Ultravox 1998 Chrysalis Records 10:03
Eighties Mix [Import] 1998
Various Artists
Import 5:00
Retro 80's, Vol. 1 1998
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:09
No Image 1998
Various Artists
Crimson Productions
Electronic Eighties, Vol. 2 1999
Various Artists
Polygram 4:39
No Image 1999
Various Artists
Crimson Productions
40 Hits: 1980-1984 1999
Various Artists
Millennium Hits (Netherlands) 4:05
Now: 1984 [2 CD] 1999
Various Artists
Virgin / EMI 4:07
Non Stop 80's Party 1999
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:52
Greatest Hits of the 80's [1999 Disky] 1999
Various Artists
Disky 4:05
Relax!: The Ultimate 80's Mix, Vol. 2 1999
Various Artists
Polygram 3:35
The Very Best Superstars 1999
Various Artists
Disky 4:05
Number One 80's 2000
Various Artists
PolyGram 3:57
Best of the Eighties 2000 Simply The Best (Netherlands) 4:10
Complete Collection 2001
Various Artists
Disky 4:05
Don't Stop the 80's 2001
Various Artists
WEA International 4:11
Atomic 80's: The Definitive Eighties Album 2001
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 4:03
More Maximum '80s [Boxset] 2001
Various Artists
Disky 10:01
Twogether Pop 2002
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:04
Classic Alternatives, Vol. 5 2002
Various Artists
SPG 10:03
The Original 80's Album 2003
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:54
New Romantics Are Back 2003
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:39
The Best of Ultravox 2003 EMI / EMI Music Distribution
The Original Electro-Pop Box Set 2007
Various Artists
EMI 4:05
Top of the Pops 1984 [EMI] 2008
Various Artists
EMI 4:05
This Is 1984 2008
Various Artists
EMD Int'l 4:06
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Pomaton 4:05
Smash Hits 1984 2009
Various Artists
Rhino 0:00
Anthems: Electronic '80s, Vol. 2 2010
Various Artists
Ministry of Sound 4:05
Essential 2011 EMI / EMI Gold 4:07
'80s: The Collection 2012
Various Artists
Rhino 0:00
Top of the Pops: New Romantic 2013
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:06
12" Dance: 80s Pop 2016
Various Artists
Rhino
80 Hits of the '80s
Various Artists
Rhino
Best of British: Classic Hits from the 80s, 90s and 00s
Various Artists
EMI Gold 4:07
Classic Pop: Synthpop
Various Artists
Rhino / Warner Music 4:11
No Image
Various Artists
EMI / Mixed Repertoire 4:05
No Image
Various Artists
EMI 4:09
No Image
Various Artists
EMI 4:39
Original Hits: 80s Pop
Various Artists
EMI 4:06
Road Trip: 60 Essential Driving Songs
Various Artists
Union Square Music 3:56