Billy Currie

Billy Currie

Infobox Musical artist
Name = Billy Currie

Img_capt = Billy Curie in 2005
Img_size =
Background = solo artist
Birth_name = William Lee Currie
Alias = Billy Curry, Billy Currie
Born = 1 April 1950
Died =
Origin = Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England
Instrument = viola, keyboards
Genre = New Wave, Synthpop, Glam Rock
Occupation = Musician
Years_active = 1974–
Associated_acts = John Foxx, Tiger Lily, Ultravox, Visage, Steve Strange, Midge Ure, Dave Formula, Barry Adamson, Gary Numan, Tubeway Army, Phil Lynott, Humania, Sam Blue, Vinny Burns
Notable_instruments =

Billy Currie (born William Lee Currie on 1 April 1950 in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England) is a musician and songwriter. He is best known as the keyboard player with the New Wave band, Ultravox, who achieved their greatest commercial success in the 1980s.


In 1974, after being part of Ritual Theatre, an art group, he joined Tiger Lily, completing the line-up of a previously four-piece band like them, playing the viola and keyboard. Currie is noted for his use of analogue synthesizers, and in particular his trademark soloing sound, which typically consisted of soaring fluid lines on an ARP Odyssey, making use of oscillator sync, later re-created with the Oxford Synthesizer Company "OSCar" synth. Currie's original instrument whilst at music college was the viola, and he frequently added solo violin or viola to the arrangements of songs he played on, a relatively unusual choice in pop music.

In 1988 Currie put out an instrumental solo album "Transportation", released on the IRS NoSpeak record label. Steve Howe played guitar on some of the tracks, including "Schna Schna".

Ultravox recorded the "Revelation" album with Tony Fennell but soon after completion, at the outset of the supporting tour, Fennell left to be replaced by Sam Blue. The tour took in the former USSR and Malta amongst other locations. Many of the synthesisers for which Currie was famous, apart from the often-volatile Oscar and the Minimoog, were abandoned for this tour, replaced with Korg Wavestations and T-series keyboards.

Personal life

Currie has a daughter called Lucy, born c. 1991, and a son Tom, born c. 1996. He is married to Heidi and lives in North London.

Associated bands

*Barry Edwards' "The Ritual Theatre"
*Ultravox (1974–1988, 1991–1996)
*Visage (1979-1984)
*Gary Numan (1979)
*The Armoury Show (1985)
*Humania (1988-1989)
*Phil Lynott
*Steve Howe


With Ultravox

*"Ultravox!" (1977)
*"Ha!-Ha!-Ha!" (1977)
*"Systems of Romance" (1978)
*"Vienna" (1980)
*"Rage in Eden" (1981)
*"Quartet" (1982)
*"Monument" (1983)
*"Lament" (1984)
*"U-Vox" (1986)
*"Revelation" (1993)
*"Ingenuity" (1996)

With Gary Numan

*"The Pleasure Principle" (1979) (guest)
*"Living Ornaments '79" (1981)

With Visage

*"Visage" (1980)
*"The Anvil" (1982)
*"Beat Boy" (1984) (guest)

With Humania

*"Sinews of the Soul" (2005, recorded 1989)


*"Transportation" (1988)
*"Stand Up and Walk" (1990)
*"Unearthed" (2001)
*"Keys and the Fiddle" (2001)
*"Push" (2002)
*"Pieces of the Puzzle" (2003)
*"Still Movement" (2004)
*"Accidental Poetry of the Structure" (2007)

External links

* [ Official web site]
* [ All Music Guide biography]

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