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Roxy Music - Viva! Roxy Music CD (album) cover


Roxy Music


Crossover Prog

3.78 | 66 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Viva! put to rest my worries over whether Roxy's music would play out well on stage. Being but a lad of tender years when the first Roxy rolled around, I never had the chance to hear them live, and obviously I missed something. Cobbled together from shows in '73, '74 and '75 (all of 'em English), Viva! Roxy Music is something of a "best of" live album that showcases the band at their full seminal strength for versions of "The Bogus Man," "If There Is Something" and "Do The Strand." Eno was out by this time, but Eddie Jobson doesn't miss a beat replacing his cacophonous clamor with eerie electric violins and synthesizers. Granted, I'm partial to Roxy's earliest work; it was more ambitious sonically, and I was delighted to find the band just as ambitious on stage. Digitally remastered in 1989, Viva! sparkles on ceedee, with minimal ambient noise and all the portentous stillness intact (maybe the crowd didn't know what to make of a song like "Chance Meeting," as it hardly invites the opportunity for a singalong chorus). What Viva! does is reinforce the band's role as sonic explorers, something that seemed a long way removed from the post-Siren world. The lone recent material is "Out of the Blue" (always a pleasure to hear) and a charging version of "Both Ends Burning" that features some nice sax work from Andrew Mackay (and some ill-advised backing vocals from the ladies). Otherwise, this is classic Roxy, an unusual course to take (given that Atlantic had no trouble jettisoning the band's more artistic music on subsequent compilations) but an absolute treat for olde tyme Roxy aficionados. Viva! Roxy Music is one of the more useful, enjoyable live documents to come out of the prog scene, and an excellent encore to Roxy's first five albums.
daveconn | 4/5 |


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