Miles Away

Louis Gordon, John Foxx

About Miles Away

"Miles Away" is a song by John Foxx, released as a single in October 1980. It was his fourth solo single, following "Burning Car" in July that year. The track was not included on any original album, falling roughly midway between the release of Foxx's debut LP Metamatic in January 1980 and his second album The Garden in September 1981. Sonically, as well as chronologically, "Miles Away" was a transitional song in Foxx’s catalogue, its instrumentation being heavy with synthesizers, as in previous solo releases, but also featuring the acoustic drum sound that would characterise his remaining 1980s work. No detail on the electronics used in the song appeared on the original single's sleeve, however Foxx's studio equipment at the time included an ARP Odyssey, a Minimoog, an Elka 'String Machine', and an ARP Analog Sequencer. The fanfare-like synthesizer lines of "Miles Away" were reminiscent of the track "Slow Motion" which opened the album Systems of Romance, Foxx's last with former band Ultravox. Regarding the song's title and subject matter, Foxx said "You know when you're looking out of a window or you're not quite present, you know you're with someone but your mind is on something else, and that is quite often my state of mind I think, so I decided to write a song about it."The lyrics and cover photograph also appear to reference 'The Quiet Man', an alternate character developed by Foxx in the late 1970s that personified detachment and observation ("I'm a new man when I walk away"). Foxx has described The Quiet Man as habitually wearing a nondescript grey suit that he (Foxx) found in an Oxfam shop. The picture sleeve of "Miles Away" depicts just such a "grey suit, white shirt and dark tie", arranged across a lounge chair. 


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Miles away
I'm walking in like someone else again
Miles away
I'm watching summer through an English rain

And I'm a new man when I walk away
It's crazy
Shaking the daze from my head again
I know I must be miles away

Miles away
Miles away
Miles away

Miles away
I reassemble on the morning train
I try to say
My voice just tumbles on a long delay

And there's a new man at the edge of me
It's crazy
Making new plans for the rest of me
I'm looking back from miles away

Miles away
Miles away
Miles away

All the same
We talk on telephones across the haze
Miles away
The planes go glinting on their vapour trails

And I'm a new man when I walk away
It's crazy
Turning my head to the shine again
I'm waking up from miles away

Miles away
Miles away
Miles away

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John Foxx

John Foxx (born Dennis Leigh, 26 September 1948, Chorley, Lancashire, England) is an English singer, artist, photographer and teacher. He was the original lead singer of the band Ultravox before leaving to embark on a solo career with Midge Ure taking his place. Primarily associated with electronic synthesizer music, he has also pursued a parallel career in graphic design and education. more »

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Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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