Skip to main content

Home Music Music News

Ultravox bassist and ‘Vienna’ co-writer Chris Cross has died aged 71

"You are loved and missed old friend," said Midge Ure.

By Nick Reilly

Chris Cross of Ultravox performs on stage at O2 Academy on August 25, 2010 in Sheffield, England. (Photo by Gary Wolstenholme/Redferns)

Ultravox bass guitarist Chris Cross, who co-wrote the group’s classic hit ‘Vienna’, has died at the age of 71.

Cross died on March 25 but his death was only announced last night – with the group’s frontman Midge Ure paying tribute to his friend.

“We worked together, we played together, made music and directed videos together,” said Ure.

“We were instant friends as well as Ultravox comrades. Even after years apart we managed to pick up where we left off like the years in between never existed. You were the glue that held the band together. 

“You were the logic in the madness and the madness in our lives. It was great to know and grow with you. You are loved and missed old friend.”

Keyboardist Billy Currie added: “Hi People. So sorry to hear about Chris. Very shocked. We had some amazing times together. Laughing mostly.”

Cross’ cause of death is yet to be revealed.

He was one of Vienna’s founding members in 1974 when the group began as Tiger Lily, with singer Dennis Leigh, guitarist Stevie Shears, drummer Warren Cann and violinist/keyboardist Billy Currie.

They changed their name to Ultravox in 1976 and had middling success with three albums, before the arrival of Midge Ure in 1979 changed their fortunes.With Ure on board, the group released their breakthrough album Vienna, which featured the song of the same name.

Their final album came in 2012 with Brilliant.

Paying tribute, one fan wrote online: “Such sad news about the passing of Chris Cross. He was integral part of both incarnations of Ultravox and a great musician who will be sadly missed.”