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Roxy Music - Country Life CD (album) cover

COUNTRY LIFE

Roxy Music

 

Crossover Prog

3.67 | 208 ratings

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Fenrispuppy
5 stars When I was a teenager, Roxy Music was all the rage. Most of my "art rock" friends were into them and they were on E.G. Records out of England...the same label as King Crimson...so they had to be great, right? Unfortunately for me, I started with their later stuff first . "Avalon" (1982) had a great reputation and it was apparent from the cover that "Flesh + Blood"(1980) should have boasted some interesting cover songs in the form of the Byrd's "Eight Miles High" and Wilson Pickett's "In the Midnight Hour".

What this listener found while exploring these albums, along with "Manifesto" (1979), was pleasant soft rock with a flamboyant, dramatic lead singer and a disco beat. Ughhh! Not to be dissuaded, this listener eventually dug further back into RM's catalogue and hit the jackpot with "Country Life". The album was filled with quirky, eclectic art-pop that could actually be called progressive.

Sure, songs like "Out of the Blue" began to point the way toward their smoother, more romantic and somewhat disco later stuff (I won't even mention "Love is the Drug"...oops, just did!) but the song manages to remain progressive and interesting, unlike that other song that I won't...and didn't mention. Perhaps Eddie Jobson on violin was a difference maker.

Highlights on "Country Life" for this listener also include: "The Thrill of it All", "Bitter Sweet", "Triptych" and "Prairie Rose" which are all progressive yet very different than what other prog bands were doing. Interestingly, while most of the songs here are quite good, only one exceeds more than six minutes.

As a postscript, my disdain for late-era Roxy Music has subsided quite a bit through the years. "Avalon" and "Manifesto" occasionally get play on my iPad, though I still can't get through "Flesh + Blood" in one sitting. Maybe someday, you never know.

Bottom line: "Country Life" deserves a grade of A- or 4.5 stars.

Fenrispuppy | 5/5 |

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