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Roxy Music - For Your Pleasure CD (album) cover


Roxy Music


Crossover Prog

4.05 | 275 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
4 stars The missing link between two apparently incompatible styles such as prog and glam rock, "For Your Pleasure" is an album of light and shade, just like its supremely decadent cover. RM have always been famous for their stylish, glamorous cover art, depicting beautiful women in various states of undress, but never once descending into bad taste. However, FYP is distinctly different, and a stark contrast from the naive Fifties sweetheart gracing the cover of their debut: on a dark city background, a sleek, black panther is held on a leash by an equally sleek, leather-clad, panther-like woman with exotic features. The model in question, called Amanda Lear, became a celebrity in Italy in the late Seventies, when she was rumoured to have had had a sex change, due to her deep, very sexy voice. How much more decadent can you get?

Back to music-related matters, Roxy Music's second album offers a nice balance of lighter-hearted, poppier songs in the vein of their debut, and more complex, less immediately digestible tracks, stamped all over by Brian Eno's commanding presence. The keyboard wizard left the band immediately afterwards, and the band's music took a definite turn towards a sophisticated brand of pop-rock that made good use of Bryan Ferry's crooner-on-acid vocal style. Love it or hate it, Ferry's voice - though quite different from what you would expect from a prog singer - was very influential in the Eighties, as it should be quite clear to anyone who has ever listened to Japan's David Sylvian. However, on FYP Newcastle-born Bryan sounds definitely less seductive and more disturbing than on the band's later records . He sounds cocky on quirky, upbeat album opener, "Do the Strand"; vaguely hysterical on the frantic Editions of You (featuring a stunning sax solo at the end); and his typical smooth-operator self on the slow-burning "Beauty Queen" and "Grey Lagoons". His finest hour, though, is his performance on one of the album's highlights, the ultimately weird "In Every Dream Home a Heartache". The song, a stark, sinister depiction of urban loneliness and frustration, builds up slowly and relentlessly, and shows a different side to Ferry's suave, charming persona, as well as his full potential as a singer.

While the hypnotic, sax-drenched "The Bogus Man" does go on a tad too long to these ears, the hauntingly minimalistic, Eno-dominated title-track is definitely another of the album's gems. With its dark, brooding atmosphere, it is undoubtedly one of the most progressive compositions in RM's whole output. All the band's members shine throughout the record, reminding the listener that, behind their slightly silly, glammed-up image (which, incidentally, doesn't look that different from what Peter Gabriel was doing in the same period), they are all first-rate musicians. Though Phil Manzanera is one of the great, unsung guitar heroes of the rock world, and Andy Mackay is far too often neglected when sax players are mentioned, their contribution to to the band's overall sound is as important as Eno's left-field keyboard landscapes.

No less progressive than anything the 'real' prog bands were doing at the time, "For Your Pleasure" is a superb album from a band whose real musical worth is far too often forgotten. An excellent addition indeed.

Raff | 4/5 |


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