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Roxy Music - Country Life CD (album) cover


Roxy Music


Crossover Prog

3.68 | 215 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I got acquainted to Roxy in 1974 or so (thanks to some radio aired tunes). I decide to buy their whole production somewhere in the early eighties (1981 with their box "The First Seven Albums"). This album is as famous for its catchy sleeve as for the music. The sleeve showing two semi-naked fwomen was rather controversial for its time (1974). The album had to be relooked in the US and some countries had alternative versions of the cover photo showing only the a close up of the girls faces ! After the musically weaker "Stranded" (IMO) Roxy had to perform better.

When you listen to "The Thrill of It All", you definitely know that something real better is going to come. It is a thrilling song. Almost frenetic. A great opener as usual. Ferry is great, emotional (but this will be a constant landmark for this album). Most of side one is superb (except perhaps "Three & Nine" and "If It Takes All Night" are just good songs. The latter belongs more to the Ferry's solo repertoire.

The second highlight "Out of the Blue" with its gorgeous bass and violin is fabulous and belongs to the very best of Roxy. Just a bit too short... "Bitter Sweet" is a wonderful (almost) ballad song. A bit in the style of "Song For Europe" but instead of French lyrics we got some German ones here. The band backing Ferry is in a perfect shape. A "band" called The Venus In Furs made up from Radiohead vocalist Thom Yorke, Suede guitarist Bernard Butler, Jon Greenwood, Clune, Paul Kimble & Andy Mackay recorded this song for the soundtrack to the good film "Velvet Goldmine" which was a pastiche of the glam rock scene, caricaturing specially Bowie/Ziggy (huum. I've heard of that one already...). "Trytych" is probably below par here but we won't blame them too much for that because the next "Casanova" is again a great Roxy song. Flamboyant Ferry and a fantastic support band in their very personal style. One of the best song on "Country Life". "A Real Good Time" is another rock ballad, but less inspired.

"Praire Rose" is a memorable track. Another Roxy anthem in the vein of "Virginia Plain" etc. Manzarena and MacKay are fabulous in this quite remarkable song. It is a good rocking song with great bass and sax. Very powerful and inspired. Bizarrely, this song will open their 1974 tour, but will never been played live after that.

Very few songs belongs to the classic Roxy repertoire, but this album is, IMO, one of their best. It will hit number three in the UK charts. At this moment of their career, there were already some rumours about their separation... In terms of prog, you should look next door because you won't find any here.

Four solid stars for this very good album.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |


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