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Roxy Music - Flesh + Blood CD (album) cover


Roxy Music

Crossover Prog

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3 stars To be honest it's more a 'pop-art rock' album than a prog one. It contains some good songs as the cover of "In the Midnight Hour" ,the potential hit "Oh Yeah" and the disco- style "Same Old Scene", but the two highlights are "My only love" and "Running Wild", because these are the only tracks of this CD where you can hear a little more of Manzanera's guitar. Anyway this album is a pleasant listening if you like the charming voice of Brian Ferry and Andy MacKay's saxo which is very present in this album.
Report this review (#34046)
Posted Tuesday, April 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars In the (numerous) extremities of the progressive "octopus", there are very different genres like "metal", "kraut", "zheul"... Roxy Music is a part of a prog art which eyes up towards the variety. To popularize the progressive, albums as this one are necessary quite as those of Queen or Radiohead. This album is very cool, very pleasant, very charming. For nothing in the world, I shall not exchange it for 10 albums of metal prog. And then Brian Ferry, it is one in the most charming voices of the progressive. An unpretentious album with some magnificent tracks " In the Midnight Hour ", "My Only Love" (which Andy MacKay sax very presents in), and the inescapable hit " Over You ". I like.
Report this review (#45253)
Posted Friday, September 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Flesh + Blood ironically turned out to be the least substantive of the Roxy records, amounting to little more than a musical gilding of Ferry's already-golden voice. It's not a bad record by any means, especially for anyone who reached Roxy Music via the new romantic bands they inspired (Icehouse, Japan, etc.), but it does represent a final step in the path from subversive to submissive. If Manifesto was a Bryan Ferry album in disguise, Flesh + Blood drops the pretense altogether by featuring cover material ("In The Midnight Hour," The Byrds' "Eight Miles High") and a title track recorded without Mackay and Manzanera (Paul Thompson had already left). In its defense, Ferry's voice is a force to be reckoned with, like vintage Elvis. When he wilts over love on "Oh Yeah (On The Radio)" and "My Only Love," it's hard to keep your own knees from buckling under. And there's no denying that Roxy Music does the new romantic bit better than anyone, expertly capturing the shades between playful ("Over You") and pouty ("Rain Rain Rain"). If you enjoyed Manifesto and Avalon, you'll obviously enjoy this record too; in fact, you could say that the three form a holy trilogy of sorts for new romantics.
Report this review (#57194)
Posted Sunday, November 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Not as good as the follow on album Avalon, but Flesh and Blood is still fair trade. It offers early hints of the 80's dynamic sound footprint that so many archetypical bands evolved into.' In The Midnight Hour' the opener has become a cult classic and other tracks like ' Same Old Scene', ' Eight Miles High' and ' Running Wild' offer much promise. Overall pretty average output from Brian Ferry and co. Interesting to see Paul Carrack on keyboards too.
Report this review (#104104)
Posted Thursday, December 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars I was quite disappointed by "Manifesto" and I wondered : what's next ? Well... Softer, croony songs like the opener "Midnight Hour" and the next one "Oh Yeah" display good melodies, a bit sloppy though. Mackay almost absent. It will peak at the fifth spot in the charts. Where are the great Roxy's openers ?

Then comes the fabulous (IMO) "Same Old Scene" : strong bass, nice vocals and great keys. It is my preferred song of the album (and one of their whole tracklist). One might consider as too much disco but here comes Mackay : just superb ! A great Roxy song. It will be released as a single and rech the 12th spot in the charts.

The title track starts like "Manifesto" and it is a pity that they didn't develop it a bit more the intro. The guitar riff is not very good, and the melody is average. A rather average track. We go back into Roxy's tradition with "My Only Love" : an inspired Ferry, good guitar from Phil and a great bass support (maybe a bit overwhelming here, as well as on the whole album I must say). The choir at the end is a bit "heavy".

The intro for "Over You" sounds a bit like "Kimberly" from Patti Smith. Poppy and commercial (this one, not "Kimberly" which is a track with more dimension). It will peak at the fifth spot as well in the charts.

The next two tracks are the weakiest of the album : "Eight Miles High" a cover from The Byrds is dicotheque oriented and repetitive for the former, slow and dull for the latter.

"Strange Delight" is another story. The strange Roxy atmosphere of the early days is back again : a bit decadent, a bit pop, a bit "sexy". The other highlight of the album (but we were used to more than a few highlights on Roxy's albums, right) ? The album closes with "Running Wild" which is a good mellow ballad in which Ferry exells. This track will never be played live.

When I am listening to this album for this review, I understand how difficult it is to review an effort more than twenty-five years after its release, even if I got hold of it at by then. Since, the time machine is not efficient, but I guess one will need to live with this feeling for ever. At least, I was lucky (but that means I am old now!) to be there and live those wonderful moment of rock music (even if "Flesh + Blood is definitely not a masterpiece). I am sure that I appreciated more the album when I purchased it than now.

This album will peak at the first spot of the UK charts (it will remain in the charts for sixty weeks). So, same rating than for "Manifesto" : two stars.

Report this review (#111994)
Posted Tuesday, February 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
2 stars This was one of my prog related disappointements in a decade full of prog disappointments. Roxy Music´s second coming had a certain amount of quality alright, but below what one should expect from such great musicians. The production here seems to be the main problem: too slick and sterile, it robbed the songs its energy and life most of the time. But there are other issues besides that: Roxy come back was much in the 80´s style of regrouping, i.e. meaning founding members plus hired guns. Roxy Music always had a great overall sound that was more than a sum of its parts. That chemistry is missing here. No matter how important and unique are Andy McKay and Phil Manzanera: this is almost a Bryan Ferry solo record.

Inspiration is lacking too. Most of the tunes are not as powerful and remarckable as earlier stuff. Again the production may have buried some gems, since songs like My Only Love, Oh Yeah and Same Old Scene got some real nice, convincing versions when played live in future concerts. The two covers included here are also much more fitting to a Bryan Ferry CD than on a RM release. An even then, I´m afraid they´d not be that album´s highlights.

Conclusion: not a bad record (specially if you compare it to much that was produced at the time, prog wise). But this one is definitly not a good starting point to someone who wants to get to know this groundbreaking band. Flesh + Blood are for (hardcore) fans and collectors.

Report this review (#179578)
Posted Thursday, August 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Flesh+Blood" is the seventh full-length studio album by UK pop/rock act Roxy Music. The album was released through E.G. Records in May 1980 (and Atco/Reprise in the US). The linup has changed since "Manifesto" (1979) as drummer Paul Thompson decided to leave the band before entering the studio. Therefore the drums on the album are played by three different session drummers in Allan Schwartzberg, Andy Newmark & Simon Phillips. With the departure of Thompson, Roxy Music are down to the trio of Bryan Ferry (vocals, keyboards), Andy Mackay (saxophones, oboe) and Phil Manzanera (guitars, additional bass).

The more straight forward, accessible, and commercial direction that the band took on "Manifesto" (1979) is pretty much continued on "Flesh+Blood" and it wouldn´t be wrong to state that "Flesh+Blood" is the least adventurous album by Roxy Music in terms of experimenting with their sound. The compositions are of high quality though and if you enjoy sophisticated pop/rock there are loads of features to enjoy on this album. It´s not hard to understand why the album became an instant commercial success for Roxy Music as it feels like it´s designed for that very purpose. The album spawned no less than three hit singles in "Over You", "Oh Yeah", and "Same Old Scene", which further enhanced the success of the album.

Like "Manifesto" (1979) before it, "Flesh+Blood" is, despite of its commercial success, an album which divides the waters as some feel that Roxy Music sacrificed some of their sophistication and art rock credibility after their return from the 1976-1978 hiatus, in favor of a more streamlined accessible and hit oriented sound, while others obviously enjoyed the new more commercial sound (it´s hard to argue against positive album sales and hit singles). No matter what opinion you share "Flesh+Blood" was arguably a success for Roxy Music and it features high level musical performances, a well sounding professional sound production (courtesy of Rhett Davies and Roxy Music), and catchy songwriting. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

Report this review (#210728)
Posted Wednesday, April 8, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars Flesh + Blood ? 1980 (2/5) 7 ? Best Song: My Only Love?

This is the type of commercialism and crass economic posturing that generally sickens me and pushes me away on all levels of artistic merit. Roxy Music went from being one of the tightest and most entertaining bands from the early 1970's to one of the worst and most absolutely incompetent 'cliché-riders' of the 1980's. But let's be fair. When it comes to the 1980's, this stuff is honestly pretty high quality on a consensus basis. I'd take it over Huey Lewis and the News, I would.

I need a new Drug is a bopping song, with soaring vocals and-

'In the Midnight Hour' is the same banal plodding as before on Badifesto, but with more of a sax swerve to it, which means that for all intents and porpoises, Flesh + Blood is an improvement. It's a bloody improvement. Take it home and rub off the bargain bin dust, it's a masterpiece of art and- It's a masterpiece of mid-tempo sleaze pop, that's what it is. Ever song has the same bom bababa, swing to it and the same series of banally obnoxious guitar chords that have been stripped of all their fervor. Goodbye blue sky, make way for dance obsession and anemic production values. The title track doesn't seem far off being a damned Duran Duran B-side. And no, I ain't talking Rio, either. Maybe it's y youth coming about, and maybe it's my desire for honestly plausible melodies for a change, but I like (repeat: like) 'My Only Love' and its tiddly twee, facile piano notes. It's the only thing on the disc with any taste at all. On the other hand, their cover of the Byrds' 'Eight Miles High' is reason enough to pardon serial killings. It's got no soul, no personality, and no merit. It's an improvement!

Report this review (#443573)
Posted Friday, May 6, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars My least favorite Roxy Music release. All of the prog and glam is gone and what is left is mostly smooth dance stuff. There are a few numbers here I like: "Same Old Scene", "Flesh and Blood", and "No Strange Delight". However, I like them for what they are, semi-disco romance tunes, rather than any progness about them. "Eight Miles High", from the Byrds, does nothing and doesn't go anywhere. Weird cover, to say the least. This sounds exactly like a Bryan Ferry solo album rather than a Roxy Music album. 2 stars is basically a gift. I long for STRANDED, ROXY MUSIC, or COUNTRY LIFE.....The 80's was a wasteland of music at times...
Report this review (#443619)
Posted Friday, May 6, 2011 | Review Permalink

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