ABC’s – Viva Love

Three decades after The Lexicon of Love, ABC are releasing a sequel album. Alongside our premiere of Julien Temple’s video, one fan explains their greatness


Now, 34 years since the release of Lexicon, Fry is delivering a sequel to his great opening gambit. The Lexicon of Love II examines affairs of the heart from the perspective of an older, maybe wiser, but no less romantic individual. Horn is not on board but Dudley is, which could be preferable given that her rich, considered arrangements were as essential to the original Lexicon as Fry’s own voice. If the record is not the game-changer that the original was, the same values of style and scale are in play. There is the declamatory opening single Viva Love, there are callbacks to Poison Arrow (“I care enough to know I could never leave you”) and, naturally, there is an orchestral reprise at the end.

Appropriately the cover of Lexicon II shows Fry, ABC’s frontman and now sole member, watching two young models from the wings of a theatre. They represent Fry’s younger self and the sort of unattainable, irresistible woman that he used to pursue in song. If you’re going to revisit one of the few British albums truly deserving of the term classic, this is the way to do it.