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Roxy Music - The High Road CD (album) cover

THE HIGH ROAD

Roxy Music

 

Crossover Prog

3.30 | 14 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars French concert from the Avalon period

"The High Road" concert finds Roxy Music in 1982 in France, being filmed on their "Avalon" tour. The show would be aired originally on the BBC and was near the close of this chapter in their career. Gone is powerhouse drummer Paul Thompson, replaced by the agile Andy Newmark who is very good but in a different way from Thompson's thunder. Newmark has a considerably lighter touch but a busier playing style and his enthusiasm was impossible to conceal-he's all smiles throughout the show. This show catches the band at the height of their slick phase when the pop music being played wasn't apologetic in the least. I figured this would be a bit of a low point between the band's early glories and their later redemption at the "Apollo" but instead I found it to be one hell of an enjoyable concert DVD. The band is definitely ceding ground to Ferry's larger-than-life image at this point but nevertheless everyone delivers the goods. The set list is quite good with rousing rockers like "Both Ends Burning" and "Do the Strand" balanced with the moody pop of "Avalon" and the dramatic "Song for Europe" which seemed to move Ferry emotionally. My personal favorite was a splendid version of "My Only Love" which just cooked. Also quite interesting was a cover of Neil Young's "Like a Hurricane" which was bound to pale in comparison to the original, and did, but some nice guitar work nonetheless. Roxy Music is a band I detested in my youth and it amazes me how our tastes change as we grow older and more patient. I can now see the great beauty in some of these songs that was lost on me in my twenties. I also notice how much more I like Roxy live than on the studio albums, they seem to pack much more gut and immediacy, as opposed to just more volume and theatrics like some acts. In terms of quality I have to give the slight edge to the "Apollo" show for the vastly superior audio quality and video production, and the extra goodwill that is obvious from the original band reuniting. But "The High Road" remains a very good and recommended document from this period. Every Roxy fan should see both this and the Apollo show but Avalon-era fans especially will enjoy the vibe of this one.

Finnforest | 3/5 |

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