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Roxy Music

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Roxy Music Manifesto album cover
2.83 | 155 ratings | 10 reviews | 5% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

- East Side
1. Manifesto (5:29)
2. Trash (2:14)
3. Angel Eyes (3:32)
4. Still Falls the Rain (4:13)
5. Stronger Though the Years (6:16)
- West Side
6. Ain't That So (5:39)
7. My Little Girl (3:17)
8. Dance Away (3:48)
9. Cry Cry Cry (2:55)
10. Spin Me Round (5:15)

Total Time: 42:38

Line-up / Musicians

- Bryan Ferry / vocals, keyboards
- Phil Manzanera / guitar
- Andy Mackay / oboe, saxophone
- Paul Thompson / drums

- Paul Carrack / piano, keyboards
- Richard Tee / piano (8)
- Fiona Hibbert / harp (3)
- Gary Tibbs / bass
- Alan Spenner / bass
- Steve Ferrone / drums
- Rick Marotta / drums
- Luther Vandross / backing vocals (8)

Releases information

ArtWork: Cream, Antony Price & Neil Kirk

LP EG ‎- 2310 651 (1979, UK)
LP ATCO Records - SD 38-114 (1979, US)

CD EG ‎- 800 031-2 (1984, Europe)
CD Virgin - ROXYCDX7 (1999, Europe) Remastered by Bob Ludwig

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy ROXY MUSIC Manifesto Music

ROXY MUSIC Manifesto ratings distribution

(155 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(5%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(22%)
Good, but non-essential (41%)
Collectors/fans only (30%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

ROXY MUSIC Manifesto reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by soundsweird
3 stars The first album by the group that wasn't so much a group album. While there was a commotion among fans and critics, most agreed that it was still a pretty good album. I remember hearing several of the songs on the radio at the time, instead of just one hit single. I guess this could be viewed as the album linking "Siren" to "Avalon", stylistically. I only heard "Flesh + Blood" once many years ago, so I can't comment on the sound of that album, or how it fits in the grand scheme of Roxy's evolution. Anyway, I can still appreciate the title track, "Spin Me Round", "Stronger Through The Years", and "Ain't That So". There are other good tracks, but some fans find them too slick and poppy.
Review by daveconn
3 stars They're back! Real horrorshow this, as Roxy Music teleports into the disco culture with the head of Bryan Ferry and the body of their old band. Not the ungainly hybrid you might think, although the title track is unpotable to either palette. Better to take "Trash" for instance: maybe a little dryly arranged, but clearly the kin of such kinetic keepers as "Pyjamarama" and "Street Life." At the other end of the East Side, the dark ghosts of For Your Pleasure. linger on "Stronger Through The Years." But Manifesto's most compelling argument comes on the second side (called the West Side), which is a Ferry solo album in all but name. "Cry, Cry, Cry" could well have crawled from the sessions of Let's Stick Together, while "Dance Away" is Bryan's worldview not the band's. Yet, in merging the two halves of his wild muse, Bryan Ferry hits upon a kind of "new romantic" music that applies art rock's intelligence to matters of the heart. Right, that was always part of the Roxy vision, but Manifesto featured a sound that other bands could actually emulate. The suffering young Werthers of the world could aspire to a dreamy and downbeat ballad like "Spin Me Round" or (if they could play their instruments) a jazzed-up oldie like "Angel Eyes." Thus acts like Icehouse, Japan and Ultravox all tore a page or two from Manifesto, and the rest is musical history. Not too many bands could return from the shadows and seem shiny and new all over again, so I say HOORAY for Roxy. (Note that, to these ears, the album never sparkled on vinyl, so I'd spend the extra money and get it on CD.)
Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars After a first break in their carreer, Roxy is back. The official band is reduced to four members now. Their last two studio efforts were great. So, what now ? It is said that there was a division in the album : East side (one) and West side (two). One for each continent : the old Europe (or old Roxy) and North America (supposedly the new Roxy).

Throughout the years, Roxy was accustomed to open their albums with a great number. The title track "Manifesto" will not fail the tradition. Gorgeous bass playing, fabulous crescendo mood. An hypnotic and long instrumental introduction (around three minutes) before Ferry recites his verses. The atmosphere of the song is pretty weird as well as the lyrics ("I am for the man who drives the hammer, To rock you 'til the grave"). Are we back in 1972 and their fantastic first album ? This song is definitely on par. IMO, it is one of their best ever.

On the contrary "Trash" (rather premonitory) is not a great track. Somewhat reminiscent to The Doors (this is not the reason why it is not a good track, don't get me wrong). Fortunately it is a very short one. It will be released as Roxy's come-back single but will only reach number forty (guess why).

"Angel Eyes" is a very pop oriented song but the band is superb in cohesion. The original album featured a rock version of this track. This is the one I prefer. It is really a great one. The single version will have a disco-ish mood which I am not really found of. It will be the third single out of "Manifesto". It will peak at the fourth spot in the UK.

"Still Falls the Rain" is a funky song of minor interest. Disco times man ! "Stronger Through the Years" has good vocals and a solid bass playing but a bit lenghty and too monotonuous. The last section is bizarre (like in the early days). In their Manifesto tour, it will be coupled with "Ladytron". We go on to next track "Ain't That So" : strange instrumental intro again. The beat is rather catchy and the mood is a mix of pop/disco/avant-guarde. More interesting after some spins.

Back to disco with "My Little Girl" (co-signed by Bryan and Phil). It was the B-side for "Angel Eyes" and was never played live. This is a nice "little" song. A pop / rock / disco ballad. Very good bass again. But this is not new for Roxy.

It is quite remarkable that Roxy never have had an "official" bass player. In an interview in 1976, both Manzarena and Jobson said that the disadvantages of having short-term bass player are more than outweighted by the advantages. It means, said Phil that "we can get the best bass player around whereas if we looked for someone to stay permanently we might not get someone as good". On this album, the bass will be hold by "Gary Tibbs (ex-Vibrators and ex- Adam & The Ants) !

"Dance Away" will be the best selling single from this album (number two in the UK charts). It is not really my fave one but it was in the mood of the time.

The last two numbers are rather dispensible.

This is of course not at a great Roxy album (only two great numbers), nor a must own. It combines the flavour of the early Roxy with the pop/disco sound of the late seventies.Were it not a Roxy album, it would have been a very good effort but since they are Roxy, I would say that it is just an average disco / pop album performed by a very influent band of the early mid seventies. Number seven in the UK charts. IMO it is their weaker effort so far. Two stars (five out of ten).

Review by Tom Ozric
3 stars During a lengthy break, Bryan Ferry had established a prolific solo career, and during 1979, the first Roxy Music album of new material, since 1975's 'Siren', had materialised in the form of this album, 'Manifesto'. The Roxy sound has now been inflicted with a good dose of 'New Wave' slickness, but also offered up some darker atmospheres and an even more polished musicianship, notably from future 'Adam And The Ants' Bass-player Gary Tibbs. His meandering Fretless work is intricate and tasteful. Other new-comers included Paul Carrack (Mike And The Mechanics) and Alan Spenner (?). Regular members still on board are Guitarist Phil Manzanera, Reedsman Andy Mackay and Drummer Paul Thompson, and of course Bryan F. Highlights include the title- song, which opens in true Roxy-of-old style - avante elements notwithstanding, those atonal/tri-tonal Horn squawks from Mackay are quite reminiscent of Van Der Graaf's David Jackson, surprisingly enough. After a few voiceless minutes, Ferry enters in grand fashion, with more 'bite' to his singing than usual. There's also some swirling Hammond Organ playing going on. 'Angel Eyes' is another surprise, kind of straight forward to begin with, but takes some off-kilter turns at times, with quite strange key changes, and Paul Thompson shows us he can do some interesting things on his kit. 'Stronger Through the Years', the longest track (6.13), is mysterious sounding, courtesy of the rather ethereal tone of the Piano (similar to Banks, or even Hammill) along with some busy and bouncy Bass-work, especially when the jammy bits are playing through. Strangely enough, these parts sound almost improvised. That's 3 excellent tunes out of 5 on Side 1 (East Side). So far so good. Side 2 (West Side) seems to offer up songs with an A.O.R. bent to them. 'Ain't That So' sports a nice groove, and I've always enjoyed the light- hearted 'My Little Girl', which is packed full of sweeter-than-sweet melodies, making it difficult not to smile when hearing this, even though we're now miles away from anything remotely Progressive. The successful Smash Hit 'Dance Away' won the band a whole new crowd (and possibly got them sports cars and condo's in St. Barts...). The rest of the songs are a little hum-drum - with 'Cry Cry, Cry' plummeting to the lowest of depths possible. 3 stars.
Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Manifesto" is the 6th full-length studio album by UK rock act Roxy Music. The album was released through E.G. Records in the United Kingdom, Polydor Records in Europe and Atco Records in the United States in March 1979. Itīs the first album from Roxy Music since "Siren" from October 1975, although the two studio albums are bridged by the 1976 "Viva!" live album. In the intermediate period various members of the band released solo albums, and worked on other projects.

The material on "Manifesto" is sophisticated pop/rock alternating between darker serious tracks like the opening title track and "Stronger Through the Years", and more lightweight humorous tracks like "Cry, Cry, Cry" and "Dance Away". The album is packed in a powerful, detailed, and well sounding production, which enhances the listening experience. So that part of the album plus the high level musicianship are definitely assets, while the often pale and shallow songwriting arenīt exactly positives. There simply arenīt enough tracks which stand out or are memorable beyond the album playing time. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
2 stars 2,5 stars, really. Four years after Siren, their last classic line up album, Bryan Ferry decided to reform his old band, since his solo career was not bringing him the success he was hoping for. This time it was basically the core members (Ferry, guitarist Phil Manzanera, saxophonist Andy MacKay and drummer Paul Thompson). Eddie Jobson was not asked to join this time (and by then leading UK with John Wetton and Bill Bruford, it is unlikely he would say yes if so anyway). Obviously the bass player would be someone different again this time (Roxy never really had a permanent one). So Paul Carrack (Ace) joined in playing keyboards and Gary Tibbs (Vibrators, Adam And the Ants) was recruited for the bass duties.

The result was not exactly what fans were expecting. Ok, the opener, Manifesto, was a great one. Fantastic bass lines, gorgeous keys and that marvellous mad guitar we all know and love. But the second one Trash gives you a hint of what was to come: ordinary pop tune and fine playing, nothing more. IÂīm still wondering why they chose such weak tune to be their first single. However it is easy to guess why it was not a hit! Angel Eyes is the track that made fans cringe: a pure pop/disco tune. You almost have to admire their nerve to release something so blatantly disco in a time disco was labelled as the worst possible sell out one could have come up with. Clearly Roxy was ahead of their time doing things New Romantics would soon were bound to produce with much greater success.

Manifesto had another fine track: Strong Through The Years. A six minute tune with a minimalist, hypnotic riff and a convincing performance by all musicians, especially Ferry. It could have been included on one of their classic albums. And I must say I like Dance Away very much: it has some clever lyrics, great melody and an interesting rhythm track (which would be later used again for FerryÂīs smash 80Âīs hit Slave to Love). Unfortunately the remaining tracks are just forgettable stuff. Nice, ok, well played too, but not on par with anything Roxy had released before.

Oddly enough, the album was a commercial success, reaching number 7 in the UK and going as high as number 23 in the US. Dance Away was also a number two hit and the Angel Eyes remix a top five hit. They were finally reaching the mainstream (the follow up, the slicker and even more polished Flesh + Blood would be even bigger, reaching number 1 in England)

In the end I guess this album is much weaker than anything they had released so far. it has some pleasant stuff on it, but the experimental/progressive side was almost completely wiped out. What was left were mostly well performed pop songs.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars TIn the second half of the seventies, Roxy Music took a break. Bryan Ferry released a couple of solo albums, where he continued his journey from quirky off-key front man to romantic crooner. Phil Manzanera released some nice albums with 801.

On this comeback album, Ferry seems to be driving the band more in his direction. While most of the basic Roxy Music feel from the past few albums is still there, the edginess is watered down. In fact, this is a mostly forgettable album, save for some nice bass lines (Gary Tibbs and Alan Spenner share this role, so I'm not certain who provided the better tracks), some fair Manzanera licks, and a few nice sax pieces from Andy Mackay.

Particularly, I like the bass and sax play in Stronger Through The Years. But the second side of this album is dismal. Mostly written by Ferry, side B opens with the fair . But it then deteriorates into pandering pop. The same stuff that caused me to sell Ferry's solo albums soon after I bought them

At least this group did provide an excellent live show.

Latest members reviews

4 stars There are some great songs on this album, very cool and fun. Especially, Still Falls the Rain, Ain't That So, and Spin Me Round. This is what I consider the "transitional" album between the early and the late Roxy Periods. Early being Country Life and its ilk and late being Flesh+Blood and A ... (read more)

Report this review (#66384) | Posted by | Monday, January 23, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I'm surprised to see Manifesto get high ratings (Great album, but not progressive at all) and this one not. I love this album; though poppy and trashy, it is an album that still fits in today. Commercial; yes, but great songs! For all the reasons Avalon gets highly rated, this one should be to ... (read more)

Report this review (#61788) | Posted by peter lensvelt | Monday, December 26, 2005 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Roxy Music goes Duran Duran! Manifesto contains some New Romantic songs and some slower, more atmospheric songs, but always with a dance beat around somewhere. There are some catchy melodies (Dance Away, Aint That So, Still Falls the Rain), but most of the songs sound alike and are a bit borin ... (read more)

Report this review (#34044) | Posted by harm s. | Sunday, May 22, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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