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Roxy Music - Manifesto CD (album) cover


Roxy Music


Crossover Prog

2.77 | 130 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
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).

ZowieZiggy | 2/5 |


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