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ROXY MUSIC

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Roxy Music biography
A band Oscar Wilde would certainly have approved of: retro-chic extravaganza, a cross between sophistication and street-wise 20th century dandyism. Their music was scarcely anything more than well-dressed 70's pop, oozing with hollowed-out sensuality and presented via original artwork, stage shows and wild costumes that crystallized the hippest style of the day. Scratch beneath the glamour, however, and you find some very talented artists, some of whom went on to pursue highly successful (if not necessarily prog) solo careers. They were led by composer, singer and visual artist Bryan Ferry. Brian Eno (synths), Phil Manzanera (lead guitar), Andrew Mackay (sax and oboe), Graham Simpson (bass) and Paul Thompson (drums) completed the original line-up. Between 1972-82, they released 8 studio albums, 3 live cds and numerous compilation disks as well as a couple of box sets.

Of particular interest to prog fans are the eponymous "Roxy Music" and "For Your Pleasure", a sort of rock music potpourri with Ferry's 50's tinged vocals over distinctive 60's rhythms and 70's electronics. With the departure of Brian Eno, "Stranded" and "Country Life" became less experimental but still remained fairly adventurous. With "Siren", however, the band started abandoning their intoxicating blend of art rock and glam pop to concentrate on Ferry's suave, crooner persona. "Manifesto" and "Flesh and Blood", hardly deemed art-rock albums anymore, are mostly a series of concise pop songs with layers of stylish disco rhythms. With its romantic washes of synthesizers and Ferry's elegant, seductive croon, the band's last album, "Avalon", is a richly textured cd and a most graceful way to end the band's career. Among the live albums, consider "Viva Roxy Roxy Music" (76), a powerful document of the band at their peak featuring a cross-section of their best work, and "Heart Still Beating" (90) which features some of the best guitar solos from Phil Manzanera as a ROXY member.

For a colourful segment of the 70's glam rock phenomenon, the first four albums are a must for any art rock fan.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

: : : DISCOGRAPHY TO COMPLETE : : :
- Roxy Music (1972)
- For Your Pleasure (1973)
- Stranded (1973)
- Country Life (1974)
- Siren (1975)
- Viva! Roxy Music (live, 1976)
- Greatest Hits (anthology, 1977)
- Manifesto (1979)
- Flesh + Blood (1980)
- The First Seven Albums (box, 1981)
- Avalon (1982)
- The High R...
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Roxy Music official website

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ROXY MUSIC discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ROXY MUSIC top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.03 | 227 ratings
Roxy Music
1972
4.05 | 232 ratings
For Your Pleasure
1973
3.56 | 141 ratings
Stranded
1973
3.63 | 155 ratings
Country Life
1974
3.65 | 129 ratings
Siren
1975
2.75 | 98 ratings
Manifesto
1979
2.83 | 102 ratings
Flesh + Blood
1980
3.61 | 158 ratings
Avalon
1982

ROXY MUSIC Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.78 | 58 ratings
Viva! Roxy Music
1976
2.93 | 21 ratings
Heart Still Beating
1990
2.37 | 7 ratings
Concerto
2001
4.26 | 25 ratings
Live
2003

ROXY MUSIC Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.25 | 9 ratings
The High Road
1983
4.00 | 2 ratings
Total Recall
1989
4.86 | 3 ratings
Musikladen / BeatClub: Live 74-75
2001
4.29 | 16 ratings
Live At The Apollo
2002
3.52 | 6 ratings
The Thrill of It All - A Visual History 1972-1982
2007

ROXY MUSIC Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.35 | 19 ratings
Street Life: 20 Great Hits
1986
3.54 | 11 ratings
The Early Years
1989
4.08 | 12 ratings
The Thrill of it All*
1995
3.02 | 9 ratings
More Than This, The Best Of Bryan Ferry + Roxy Music
1995
3.73 | 11 ratings
The Best Of Roxy Music
2001
4.08 | 3 ratings
The Complete Studio Recordings
2012
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Studio Albums
2015

ROXY MUSIC Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

ROXY MUSIC Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Complete Studio Recordings by ROXY MUSIC album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2012
4.08 | 3 ratings

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The Complete Studio Recordings
Roxy Music Crossover Prog

Review by uduwudu

4 stars This box set is an excellent addition to a rock and a progressive rock collection.

The complete studio recordings give the indication of a band that were ahead and yet of it's time. The more avant garde approach of the first album; it's far more accessible successor and the understated styling of the next two (especially Siren) followed with a more mainstream approach but with still enough odd harmonies and sounds happening to continue what is clearly a subversive approach to music. The more overt abrasions give way to the occasional ones on later albums. But Phil Manzanera's guitar harmonies are so perfectly chosen and timed it is a real delight to go from Ladytron to Dance Away on these alone.

Roxy found a way of getting into people's music and quietly upsetting the apple cart in their own way. Like Bowie they knew a pop audience buys into an image; the music is second. Underlining this is the absence of the book that most box sets would have inside. I'm sure Ferry and Co know very well a book would be part of the overview; I think it's absence is a statement that Roxy Music were all about their music not the image. Perhaps the band are hoping either the image fans or detractors will get the idea that this superb outfit really is and was all about the music.

So what follows are what are "straight transfers" of the original tapes. N.B. There is a box set "5 Original Albums" that are a different mastering (Bob Ludwig). Some, like me, may find these more immediately enjoyable as they sit more suitably in a digital reproductive environment. But this box set is just fine audio wise, a few listens to adjust perhaps, not a problem. Perhaps the vinyl junkies from years ago (even your truly included there...) may appreciate the sound instantly which should do all record enthusiasts proud. Unless you really do want the sound of needles, dust and scratches. Not me though and these albums have never sounded so good as now.

Unlike the vinyl versions of these you get a 2 CD set of outtakes, B Sides and rare tracks. Details above and this set only with the box at least at this time of writing. Apparently 24 bit hi resolution audio versions were considered but subsequently vetoed; keep costs down perhaps? I do understand if the hi res might be the deciding factor but perhaps the surround options were not suitable. All I can say if you like the music, the albums then no matter that this is only superb 16 bit audio then this is a pretty good choice. If the set is going for a reasonable price (as determined by you) then it's worth it for the outtake set - provided you are familiar with Roxy Music. I do wonder how Love Is The Drug fans would get on with Sultanesque?

There is a lot of negative criticism about Roxy Music playing "pop" songs. Their more accessible material is very far from disposable. Well written, well played with exquisite taste and a hint of that smooth subversion ever present). Now, something more dance oriented may seem less demanding than the more intellectual offerings such as Out Of The Blue and Bogus Man to pick a couple of my all time favourites, but it may be that listener has fallen victim to the subversion that is Roxy Music. Odd and even harmonies along with graceful rhythms abound. Ferry sounds great from beginning to end.

New Zealand readers may, if they are unaware, note that the NZ band Netherworld Dancing Toys took their name from Tara finishing the elegant Avalon album. A very influential band in the world of rock and this is more the evidence. Roxy Music are to the old new wave, new romantics and even punk and some RIO oriented prog what Zeppelin are to hard rock, or Sabbath to metal.

The covers are all gatefolds some where none existed before (Jerri Hall in The Siren centrefold for example) or Country Life - none of this unreasonable approach to prurient censorship here. Great, no complaints from the cheap sets round here. They are all housed in the both stylish and sturdy box all reminiscent of the Led Zeppelin box set of CD albums (pre-latest remaster). The CD albums are in a case that slides out and has to be returned correctly or it won't fit. All very nice.

Possibly the next set will be a comprehensive reissue of the live albums CD / DVD / Video sets. I hope so.

If you are a Roxy Music fan then this should be five stars, rock and prog rock fans four stars. If you are wondering if Roxy Music has any value to you then I suggest a smaller (20 greatest hits perhaps) as your entre to the music.

I suppose if this box set were live albums inclusive, with DVDs, Hi Res, books etc then the removal truck delivering that huge set would demand 5 stars alone. Do I knock off a whole 1/2 star for Roxy Music daring to let their music stand on it's own. No. To me it's five, to my fellow mainstream prog fans 4 1/2 and be prepared to upgrade that rating. Perhaps 1 to 3 live albums should be there but they are not so too bad.

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 Viva! Roxy Music by ROXY MUSIC album cover Live, 1976
3.78 | 58 ratings

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Viva! Roxy Music
Roxy Music Crossover Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

2 stars In 1980 I went to a record shop and I saw this live album there. I also saw other ROXY MUSIC albums there, and they had in common the presence in the covers of very glamorous female fashion models and backing singers. But in the back cover of this live album there were listed in the credits two famous names from other Prog Rock bands: John Wetton and Eddie Jobson. At that time I was listening to the band U.K. and both Wetton and Jobson were members of that band, so I became a bit interested in listening to or in buying this live album one day...a thing I that never did. Why? Some bands like ROXY MUSIC are represented very much in their style of music by only looking to the covers of their albums. I never have been a fan of Glam Rock and for me this style of music was more a fad from the seventies, another attempt to do different things musically, but more influenced by sophisticated or excentric looks, very based in the make ups, posings and fashions of those days. For me, Bryan Ferry based his musical career in these sophisticated looks, fashions, poses and lifestyles. And I confirmed all these "suspicions" when finally years later I listened to this band in the radio with songs like "Avalon" and others and I finally watched to them playing on TV, with or without Brian Eno. So, more by their looks and fashions I never have liked artists like Roxy Music, Brian Eno, David Bowie, Duran Duran, Adrian Belew, and other similar artists. It is curious, but sometimes one really can "judge a book by its cover", and if one does not identify (at least in some way) with some lifestyles, one does not like the music of some artists. In the case of Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music I don`t identify myself with their music and looks because they are "artificial" in many ways. After all, Glam Rock was, in my opinion, a very "artificial" fad in music and looks. Not very authentic for my taste. Sorry. Too much posing, in my opinion.

Well. I finally listened to this album recently. The songs are not bad. All the musicians are very good. And I think that Ferry as a singer is not a bad singer, but i think that he really does not have a very "great" voice. But he sings with a lot of "theatrical" inlfuences. In fact, I think that most of his merits in the music business were and still are to create a very characteristic and personal style of singing and for composing songs (he is the main composer of the songs in this band). He really is very original in all these things. Maybe all these things made him have success in his musical career. But he is the main "star" in this band. Unfortunatley, despite being very good musicians, Thompson, Manzanera and Mackay never have had the same success on their own without being involved in some way with Ferry or with Roxy Music (a similar thing that happened with the musicians in the band called VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR with respect to their singer PETER HAMMILL). So, ROXY MUSIC is mainly Ferry and his music and artistic vision augmented by the contributions of very good musicians which really as a whole define the sound of this band.

I don`t know what Wetton and Jobson were doing in this band, really. Both are very good musicians to be in this band acting as Ferry`s backing musicians. Maybe they needed temporal jobs and they agreed to play with this band. Both sound very well in this band but their talents sound a bit "diluted", acting more like session musicians, but anyway doing very good jobs. Together some years later they founded U.K., a more Progressive Rock band than ROXY MUSIC. I really could not find very much Progressive Rock elements in this album apart from some very good improvisations by Jobson on his electric violin and keyboards. For the most part, the music in this album in my opínion is Pop Rock and Glam Rock. I don`t consider this band as Prog Rock in style.

For collectors and fans only.

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 Live by ROXY MUSIC album cover Live, 2003
4.26 | 25 ratings

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Live
Roxy Music Crossover Prog

Review by sinslice

5 stars One of the fundamental aspects of the live shows is to choose properly the list of songs, including the order. Actually, I believe that with skill Ferry and suitable companions made that selection. Throughout the concert, the group will generate a special atmosphere with its classic and others not so much.

The band sounds homogeneous and pure, with good chemistry. It has not lost any of its recognized energy. Ferry's voice and charisma still intact, obviously with more maturity. The sound quality is more than noticeable.

When announcing a meeting of this kind of group for a tour, we bow eyebrows. Looking at the result, I do not have anything but praise. One of the legendary bands that fortunately gave us music of the late previous decade, adding to its already extensive and excellent discography, the best legacy live on stage There is no song or section on or missing. And I find no compelling reason to not qualify this offer as great.

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 Avalon by ROXY MUSIC album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.61 | 158 ratings

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Avalon
Roxy Music Crossover Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars After reuniting for the rather limp Manifesto and Flesh + Blood, Roxy Music regrouped and reimagined themselves for this glorious swansong. The secret to the band getting their groove back was that they realised that the New Romantic crowd were a) looking back to the classic era of Roxy Music for inspiration and b) coming up with some damn fine ideas themselves.

In a way, Avalon is a sort of surrender - Bryan Ferry and his Knights of the Roxy Table passing on the sword to a new generation by embracing that generation's aesthetic and the smooth sophisti-pop tones whilst still creating a space for Ferry's emotive lyrics, Manzanera's guitar work (which is more complex and intricate on this album than you might imagine at a first listen, and Andy Mackay's soulful sax.

It's delicious enough on first listen, but both in the context of Roxy's own discography and the sophisti-synthpop sounds of the time, it feels rather overpolished and tamed - Roxy Music dancing to someone else's beat rather than blazing their own trail as they had from their debut up to Siren. It's not an embarrassing send-off, but it isn't a last-minute triumph either.

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 Siren by ROXY MUSIC album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.65 | 129 ratings

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Siren
Roxy Music Crossover Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The last album of Roxy Music's first incarnation (before a temporary split, a few mediocre comeback albums, and the swansong of Avalon) feels like it's a concept album in disguise; Bryan Ferry begins the album declaring that "Love is the Drug" for him, but by the end he's realised that it was "Just Another High". Although the band's art rock stylings begin to fray at the edges at some points, at other stages they're as strong as ever - Love Is the Drug is a great, muscular album over which manages to hide some fascinating twists and textures within an illusion of apparent simplicity, in particular - and if they'd never reunited at this point this would have been as good a last gasp as any.

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 Country Life by ROXY MUSIC album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.63 | 155 ratings

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Country Life
Roxy Music Crossover Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars If Roxy Music had proved that they could produce an interesting progressive-glam amalgam without Brian Eno on Stranded, they perfected it on Country Life. Bryan Ferry goes full crooner more often than on any previous Roxy Music album, but thanks to Eddie Jobson's more prominent contributions the band's art rock credentials never take a dent. And with the combination of tight compositions and genuine emotional resonance taking the place of the cool detachment of preceding albums, the band were clearly going places. Plus despite all, the band can still get weird; check out Prairie Rose, the album closer, for a perfect mix of new Roxy cool and old Roxy neurosis.

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 Country Life by ROXY MUSIC album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.63 | 155 ratings

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Country Life
Roxy Music Crossover Prog

Review by 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.

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 Country Life by ROXY MUSIC album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.63 | 155 ratings

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Country Life
Roxy Music Crossover Prog

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars I knew the band from the famous Bryan Ferry not from their music but from his consistent appearance in local music magazine, Aktuil, which was popular in the 70s in the small town where I lived, Madiun, East Java at that time. I did not have any cassette collection on this band because some friends told me that this band was weird and the music was not good. I could understand that especially by that time only Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and the like who were quite popular. And then I started to know Yes, Genesis and the like. I once listened to the cassette of Roxy Music and I was not impressed at all as the music was quite having a sort of rock'n'roll type to my ears.

This Country Life I only listened to it not a long time ago and I can understand now why I did not like Roxy Music kind of music as the style is quite different from the rest. But having been explored to many kinds of genres I can now understand how the music of RM is performed like this. This Country Life album resembles the combined music of pop, rock'n'roll with some progressive elements in it with the opening track The Thrill of It All (6:24). I can enjoy this type of music actually. One chief reason I could not like it at that time was the kind of vocal style that did not seem like a rockin' one compared to Ian Gillan and Robert Plat or David Byron. Nope, I did not expect something like them ...in fact Paul Rodgers never or seldom sung in high register notes but he was rockin' with his Bad Company. But Roxy Music is different, really.

The composition of this album is good as it demonstrates the different style of playing music compared to other heavy metal bands. Right here the musicians worked their talents on the basis of rock'n'roll music combined with the heavier part of rock - or in a way the music is somewhat similar with the kind of David Bowie even though not really alike. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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 Live by ROXY MUSIC album cover Live, 2003
4.26 | 25 ratings

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Live
Roxy Music Crossover Prog

Review by admireArt
Collaborator PSIKE Team

5 stars Oh yes! 5 perfectly earned stars to the pioneers of it all. The always- way ahead of their contemporaries and average audiences band: the great Roxy Music redifined and perfected Live at last!

Any follower of this band knows Roxy live albums suck! Why? at last we know. Opposite to their always painstaking studio labor; when live they rarely rehearsed (Manzanera himself speaking). Why? who cares I have never been a great fan of live albums.

So what is so fascinating about this work? Well Roxy is on top shape taking very seriously these gigs to be their last. So we have to go back to Roxy 1: Hell broke loose like never before in the underworld rock scene.

These guys were out of the radar (shamelessly they still are). It was not Rock nor Pop (Strand?), with spices of the worlds to come (Hi! Mr. Bowie, you kind sound like...?). They were Roxy Music as such; they made no compromises. (that will explain their lack of commercial success). Why? Because they saw themselves as artists more in a "another planet kind of way" but artists at last. So in "Roxy Planet" everything goes according to their own laws of existence. As I have reviewed; this band set the style of a 100 bands with each "For Your Pleasure" track. Sadly ten years before its time.

So planet Earth was just realizing there was this kind of Art-Rock and that it will sell (if properly marketed) like fresh bread.

Meanwhile these guys were just creating one of the most underrated and genuine bands of them all; and still got their way of not selling out; until they understood the "values" of this planet, and when so; they already had evolved into a perfectly 3 tight-piece unit that moved freely and mostly to Bryan Ferrys´s own quest for perfection and visions.

So this is not a "romantic" review for long-past heroes.This is the band that made the impossible possible and this is actual proof that they are still setting their own laws and rules with extreme accuracy and musical perfection.

Great trip through their musical history and historic because of the circumstances.

*****5 well deserved PA stars!

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 Roxy Music by ROXY MUSIC album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.03 | 227 ratings

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Roxy Music
Roxy Music Crossover Prog

Review by admireArt
Collaborator PSIKE Team

5 stars Way ahead of its time, personal and un-repeatable, Roxy Music's first release from the very beginning was out of tune and utterly unfashionable, yet stubbornly in your face, in comparison to their music field contemporaries, let them be musicians, composers or the soon to be invented "Roxy" followers or the abundant shameless plagiarists.

The main virtue of this first effort stands in its up-front, daring and defying proposal of a personal musical language, that honestly, had to do more with the "Art" world than the "Rock" world. So, somehow it ended up in this Prog's planet Crossover "district".

This album holds all the the Avant Garde, RiO "principles" as far as the "music composition without compromises with the established and dominant commercial markets" goes. They held no compromises with anyone, but themselves.

I won't fool you, this is not music for everyone, it is not the kind of record that could be compared to nothing then and now. Born "extremely crossover", Roxy Music sounds exactly like Roxy Music, and the overlooked "legend" began the same way, they created their unique brand from day one.

So expect no musical language close relatives, there could be some stylistic referentials, but oddly they are not found in their PA's sub-genre's neighbors.....Opposite to that, they influenced half of them there and everywhere.

A ****5 star PA masterpiece from any musical angle and conceptual point of view.

ORIGINAL and UNIQUE to the bone.

And the "Roxy Music Legend" begins.............

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