John Foxx’s Metamatic (Amazon.com, Amazon UK) was one of my favorite albums of the early 80s. I had been a fan of Ultravox, but, unfortunately, only got a chance to see them live after Foxx had left the band. I saw them in New York, with Midge Ure on the Vienna tour, and wished I had seen the band in their prime.
Metamatic was Foxx’s first solo album, and, while some of it sounds a bit dated today – the drum machines, the synthesizers – it still holds up well as a great set of songs. There’s a wide variety of tones here, from Plaza to Underpass, from Metal Beat, with its weird syncopated rhythms, and No One Driving, probably my favorite song on the album. A second album of extras includes Glimmer, a great instrumental B-side to No One Driving, and some other B-sides and some alternate versions.
This is a great snapshot of John Foxx’s first post-Ultravox project, and it stands out as some of his best music. I love it as much now as I did 36 years ago…
(The title of this post, Click Click Drone, is the refrain from Underpass.)