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Roxy Music - Roxy Music CD (album) cover


Roxy Music


Crossover Prog

4.05 | 278 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars What an album ! What a line-up ! Roxy's creativity at his best !

This album made quite a sensation in 1972 and the music produced here is rather avant- garde. It is a totally new sound. Two keys and a sax, also quite unusual for the time.

Bryan Ferry applied for a job as a singer with ... King Krimson around 1969 but was rejected! He will then meet Mackay and Eno, students at the Winchester School of Arts (section : contemporary music). The band's first name was Roxy, but it could have been Ritz or Plaza...It will finally stick on Roxy Music.

In an interview in the Melody Maker in August 1971, Ferry will tell : "We've got a lot of confidence in what we're doing, and we're determined to make it but in as civilised a way as possible. The average age of this band is about twenty-seven, and we're not interested in scuffling. If someone will invest some time and money in us, we'll be very good indeed."

A year after this rather premonitory interview, the band's first album was released on Island records, they were supporting act for Alice Cooper at Wembley, for Bowie at the Rainbow.

Their look related them closely with glam. He will say about some "colleagues" : "We're not a singles group really. I certainly don't want to find myself sliding down that Slade/T Rex corridor of horror".

The look of the band is rather provocative. Extravagant and ambiguous dressing to say the least.The very chic look from Ferry, contrasting with the androgynous Eno. In October 1972, Bryan will tell NME : " I'd like to have gone and done something in Holland and Belgium for a month. I see the album and the single are doing well over there. And I imagine we might score heavily in Paris . . . there being a certain chicness in our ensemble which the French would appreciate."

Dear friend Bryan is well aware of his look ...

Now, about the music.

"Re Make/ Re-Model" is a great opener : one can feel already the essence of the band. Strong rythm, great guitar from Phil. This track is really incredible. Each band player playing his bits of a solo, but still it is a great band effort. Competely disjointed.

"Ladytron" is a real catchy song. It is very bizarre during the first minute : weird sounds all around. As soon as Bryan enters the vocal scene, the flavour of Roxy for the years to come is alreday there. Great melody, croony style. It ends up into an intriguing mix of "noises" : a sort of end of the world (probably Eno's influence).

"If There Is Something" is a nice rock tune with lots of good piano. Mackay 's sax work is great. Lots of music. Not too many vocals (this will change over the years). These instrumental parts are so gorgeous. The finale is grandiose : an orgy of synths ! Bryan is already the singer he will be for the decades to come. Quite tortured in this number.

"Virginia Plain" will be their first hit single. Great pop tune. I am really found of this one and listening to it even more than thirty years after its discovery is still a pleasure. This track was not on the original vinyl album. The single will reach the fourth spot on the UK chart. What's Your Name ? Virginia Plain !

"2HB" closes side one of the vinyl album on a quiet mood. Finally, one can breathe a bit !

"The Bob" is quite exprimental and spacey at times. Quite complex track, this medley is like a short rock-opera with lots of tempo variations and scary moments. This is truely unheard by then. Is this the ancestor of "Bohemian Rapsody" or "One Night In Paris" ? Bryan's shaky voice here sounds a bit different than usual. This track has a very special flavour indeed.

"Chance Meeting" is not the strongest track on the album. A weird atmosphere again, piano oriented.

"Would You Believe" is a typical Roxy song in its first part: quiet & nice vocals with piano and sax for the intro, then it turns into a truely rock'n'roll piece (almost revival) and then back to the start. Another great song.

The longest number of the album "Sea Breezes" starts with ... a sea breeze. It is quite a slow and tranquil number for about four minutes, then the listener is brought into a rather cacophonic moment which finally ends with Bryan emotional voice. Not too bad.

The (too) short "Bitter's End" closes this disc in a wonderful manner : a quite retro tune with magnificant vocal harmonies.

B-side is somewhat weaker but I am profundely admirative of this first effort. It will peak at Nr. 10 in the UK chart. Completely original. Incredibly innovative. I will rate this album with five stars.

ZowieZiggy | 5/5 |


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