Tag Archives: John Foxx

Return to the 80s Music: Metamatic by John Foxx

John_Foxx_-_Metamatic_-_LP_album_coverHey Everybody, welcome back to Return to the 80s Music! As I mentioned previously, I will go through chronologically and cover as many 80s albums as I can. We’ll hear some classics, some hidden gems that not everybody may be familiar with, and maybe some nobody has heard of, which can be a great discovery, or something that will make you say What the HELL was that?!?!

I hope this is good and you all enjoy it. I hope we make some rad discoveries, and I know there will be songs that will bring us back to some great times! In either case, it is always awesome to Return to the 80s!

You can click on the song title to check out the YouTube video of the song. I’ll also include the Spotify playlist at the bottom of each article, if the album is on Spotify.


unnamedToday’s album is another new one for me. I was vaguely familiar with the name John Foxx. Today we will be covering his debut solo album, Metamatic.

The English singer was the original lead singer for the band Ultravox. Midge Ure took over after he left. 

I am going to be up-front here. I am not the biggest fan of electronic music. Of course I’ll take ’80s electronic/synth-pop music over the EDM that’s out there today. But this definitely isn’t one of my favorite genres. So keep that in mind. And I encourage you to let me know if you are into this kind of music, and give me your review of this album.

Now, let’s jump into this album.

Metamatic was released on January 18, 1980. This is also the first album by a solo artist in the ’80s. It was released on Virgin Records, and John Foxx was also the producer for his own album.

The album spent seven weeks in the UK charts, peaking at #18.  Now let’s listen to the album.

Side one

1. “Plaza

I actually don’t mind this song once the vocals start. It reminds me of Gary Numan (who himself was influenced by Ultravox when John Foxx was a member of that band) and a little bit of some Talking Heads. Maybe this won’t be as bad as I thought.

2. “He’s a Liquid

This song has a music video. And the Metamatic album cover is a screenshot from this video. This is a slower pace than “Plaza”. Not a fan of this one, I won’t be adding it to any of my playlists anytime soon. The music would be cool background music in a ’70s sci-fi movie.

3. “Underpass

This was the first single released from the album. It is my favorite so far. I like the music and the vocals. The song reached no. 31 in the UK charts, which sounds about right where it should have been.

4. “Metal Beat

This is an odd little song. It does have a metallic sound to it (“metallic” not “Metallica” – as a matter of a fact, as far from Metallica as you can get). I recommend listening to this with headphones as some parts pass from one ear to the other. I respect the experimentation and creativity here.

5. “No-One Driving

This was the second and final single released from the album. I could see why it was released. It has a more melodic tone to it. It entered the U.K. charts at #32, where it remained for one more week after that, then dropped off. There is a music video associated with this one as well.

Side two

6. “A New Kind of Man

This has a dystopian sound to it. I’m not hating it, but not too excited about it either.

7. “Blurred Girl

Not liking this one. All these songs are starting to blur together now.

8. “030

The only thing different about this is that it sounds like there are dual vocals. I’m not sure if these are overdubbed (probably) or if somebody is doing backing vocals. I’m losing too much interest to look into it to find out. I should have taken a break, but I’m powering through.

9. “Tidal Wave

This has a cool dystopian, futuristic sound. 

10. “Touch and Go

This is a bouncy, futuristic, electronic sounding ditty to close out the album. This is probably my favorite song on side 2.


Hidden Gems: Since this is all new to me, I’ll go with the singles that were released – “Underpass” and “No-One Driving”

Here is my ratings scale

5 Classic – a must buy
4 Solid album – worth buying
3 Some good or great stuff, but also skippable songs
2 Meh – may have 2 or 3 good songs. Just buy the singles you like, if any
1 Sucks. Time I can’t get back

I will give this one a 2. This was not horrible, but it’s not something I’d go out of my way to listen to.

But like I said, I’m not an electronic person. So. please let me know what you think. I know John Foxx is influential, so please let me know if you’re a fan of his work, and what you like about this album.

Feel free to comment below, or connect with me on TwitterInstagram, and/or Facebook. Or you can even email me directly at returntothe80s@gmail.com.

Here is the extended version of the album on Spotify: