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ROXY MUSIC

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Roxy Music picture
Roxy Music biography
Formed in 1971 in London, UK - Hiatus 1976/1978 - Disbanded in 1983 - Reunited intermittently 2001/2011

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 : : :

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AvalonAvalon
Reissued · Remastered
Virgin 2000
$4.66
$2.97 (used)
The Best of Roxy MusicThe Best of Roxy Music
Virgin 2001
$4.89
$1.68 (used)
For Your PleasureFor Your Pleasure
Reissued · Remastered
Virgin 2000
$5.16
$5.49 (used)
5 Album Set5 Album Set
Box set
Emi International 2012
$15.99
$18.42 (used)
StrandedStranded
Reissued · Remastered
Virgin 2000
$5.15
$5.99 (used)
SirenSiren
Reissued · Remastered
Virgin 2000
$5.14
$2.61 (used)
Live: Roxy MusicLive: Roxy Music
Imports 2013
$12.68
$160.92 (used)
Country LifeCountry Life
Reissued · Remastered
Virgin 2000
$5.16
$6.39 (used)
Roxy MusicRoxy Music
Remastered
Virgin 2000
$5.10
$6.89 (used)
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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)

4.06 | 306 ratings
Roxy Music
1972
4.08 | 307 ratings
For Your Pleasure
1973
3.63 | 192 ratings
Stranded
1973
3.67 | 208 ratings
Country Life
1974
3.64 | 174 ratings
Siren
1975
2.76 | 128 ratings
Manifesto
1979
2.86 | 133 ratings
Flesh + Blood
1980
3.71 | 207 ratings
Avalon
1982

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

3.78 | 69 ratings
Viva! Roxy Music
1976
2.95 | 25 ratings
Heart Still Beating
1990
2.36 | 8 ratings
Concerto
2001
4.27 | 33 ratings
Live
2003

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

3.27 | 11 ratings
The High Road
1983
4.00 | 3 ratings
Total Recall
1989
4.86 | 3 ratings
Musikladen / BeatClub: Live 74-75
2001
4.30 | 17 ratings
Live At The Apollo
2002
3.56 | 7 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)

3.38 | 22 ratings
Street Life: 20 Great Hits
1986
3.54 | 11 ratings
The Early Years
1989
4.40 | 15 ratings
The Thrill of it All*
1995
3.04 | 10 ratings
More Than This, The Best Of Bryan Ferry + Roxy Music
1995
3.92 | 13 ratings
The Best Of Roxy Music
2001
3.00 | 2 ratings
The Collection
2004
4.93 | 5 ratings
The Complete Studio Recordings
2012
5.00 | 2 ratings
The Studio Albums
2015

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

5.00 | 1 ratings
Virginia Plain
1972
0.00 | 0 ratings
Do the Strand
1973
5.00 | 1 ratings
Pyjamarama
1973
0.00 | 0 ratings
Love Is the Drug
1975
0.00 | 0 ratings
Trash
1979
3.00 | 1 ratings
Angel Eyes
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
Dance away
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Same Old Scene / Lover
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
Oh Yeah
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
Take a Chance With Me
1982
3.00 | 1 ratings
More Than This
1982
0.00 | 0 ratings
Avalon
1982
0.00 | 0 ratings
The High Road
1983

ROXY MUSIC Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Country Life by ROXY MUSIC album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.67 | 208 ratings

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Country Life
Roxy Music Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

4 stars Released in 1974, "Country Life" was the album that was showing Roxy Music fitting into their glam rock style quite nicely. The addition of Eddie Jobson (Frank Zappa, UK) brought a smooth sound to the somewhat harsher and colder sounds of their previous albums (provided by Eno), and even though those albums were great of their own accord, this sound was bringing a new layer to the band. Bryan Ferry was becoming the crooner he would be known for, and his vocals were starting to feel like butter dripping off of a stack of syrup covered hot tamales. The music still had it's complexity, and some of the rough edges were still there, but the music was also acquiring some pop sensibilities.

On this album, Phil Manzanera's guitar work was spot on, still heavy when it needed to be, but also taking on that unique smoothness that he would become famous for. Andy Mackay's sax work also remained important to the overall sound, again taking on a certain smoothness, but also becoming unhinged from time to time, just like Manzanera's guitar. But everyone knew it was Ferry's vocals and keyboards that held it all together.

There was still room for Jobson's violin among all of this, and he got to shine especially on the track "Out of the Blue" especially in the crazily swirling climax of that song. It was a good foreshadowing of his work that would be coming up in the band UK. The happy, almost honky-tonk piano on "If It Takes All Night" also proved that Ferry was taking this band into different territory with this danceable rock and roll track. There were no tricky rhythms here, but there was still that almost over-the-top flamboyancy in the attitude of the song, all of the instruments and vocals sounding like they were barely balancing on the line of sanity. The more progressive song "Bitter Sweet" proved that there was still a huge creative edge still with the band. The track travels from a beautiful and emotional beginning on the verses which each time grows to a wild unhinged drumming sounding like polka on steroids and ending up with more unhinged guitar work, only to calm back down again. It's like a romantic evening with a madman.

Even though we started seeing hints to the future direction of the band here, it is still obvious that their feet were still firmly planted in the progressive sound. Just like the music of Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground, there was a certain appealing oddball-ness to the music. This is apparent in the version of "Casanova" on this album which is a sort of critique on the hollowness of the jet set. The music knows that it is criticizing the very sound that it is emulating, but again, there is a huge sense of unease about it all. Jobson's strings return on the pleading strains of "A Really Good Time", it is just what that track needed to pull it into the popular-yet-complex sound that band was shooting for.

The overall album is great, but not quite their best. However, it is an album I enjoy to an extent, still excellent enough and just challenging enough to be memorable. The new sounds are great, even if they are not quite as complex as before, there is still plenty of unhinged craziness to the more anchored tracks to help you know you are still listening to the same band. I love that living on the edge of insanity feeling that the music gives the listener, and that is why I still consider it an excellent album.

 The Thrill of it All* by ROXY MUSIC album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1995
4.40 | 15 ratings

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The Thrill of it All*
Roxy Music Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

5 stars For someone that owns all of the Roxy Music studio albums on vinyl, this is the perfect box set to have on CD. It has several tracks from each album on its first 3 CDs and one complete CD of rarities, b-sides and extended versions.

The First 3 CDs

The first CD has 6 of the 9 tracks from the debut album (excluding 'The Bob', 'Would You Believe' and 'Bitter's End'), 7 of the 8 tracks from 'For Your Pleasure' (excluding 'Gray Lagoons', and 3 tracks from 'Stranded'.

CD 2 has 3 more tracks from 'Stranded' meaning there are 6 of the 8 tracks from 'Stranded' on this box set (excluding 'Psalm' and 'Serenade'), 8 of the 10 tracks from 'Country Life' (excluding 'If It Takes All Night' and 'Triptych'), and 5 of the 9 tracks from 'Siren' (excluding 'End of the Line', 'Whirlwind', 'She Sells', and 'Nightingale').

CD3 has 6 of the 10 tracks from 'Manifesto' (excluding 'Still Falls the Rain', 'My Little Girl', 'Cry, Cry, Cry' and 'Spin Me Round'), 6 of the 10 tracks from 'Flesh + Blood' (excluding 'In the Midnight Hour', 'Eight Miles High', 'Rain, Rain, Rain', and 'Running Wild'), and 6 of the 10 tracks from 'Avalon' ('The Space Between', 'India', 'The Main Thing' and 'True to Life').

The 4th CD ('Rarities')

The fourth CD is going to have the most value for the die-hard fans in that there are several tracks here that are only available on other collections or out of print singles and etc. I said earlier that this is the best collection for those that have all of the albums on vinyl and want to have a good collection on CD for music on the go, and, short of getting all of the albums on CD, this is the best way to get a lot of their best tracks plus some harder to find tracks.

Starting off with a fairly well-known non-album single 'Virginia Plain' (though it was released on the US version of the debut album), you get that upbeat and somewhat noisy sound of early Roxy Music that is somehow very appealing. 'The Numberer' comes next, and is the b-side to 'Virginia Plain', also not available on any of the regular albums. It is all instrumental with a smart 50's sounding vibe and an excellent sax led track which later changes to a harmonica, but with all the RM traits of the art-dance vibe. 'Pyjamarama' is another well-known, non-album single, that has appeared on a few other collections. Ferry's vocals are more vulnerable on this one, but that leads to the song's appeal, and the sax hook and the later guitar solo are excellent. The b-side to this follows, 'The Pride and the Pain'. Again, this is an instrumental, but this time it is a slow, pensive, emotional and lovely track led by clarinet and later guitar, with various whip snapping effects and spoken vocals, later with almost rhapsodic piano and wordless vocals.

Now there are a series of b-sides that were not available on any of the albums. Next up is a re-make of the title track from 'Manifesto', which was originally the b-side to the single 'Over You'. It has a steadier beat to it than the original, making it a more danceable track. It really doesn't do much for the original. 'Hula Kula' was the b-side to 'Street Life', and features a Hawaiian sounding effect on the guitar, kazoos, and the island style strumming but done without a ukulele. It's a silly- sounding instrumental with some background spoken vocals. 'Trash 2' is the flip-side to the 'Trash' single. It features a slightly longer introduction before Ferry's vocals start. The beat is a more straight forward rhythm, but the melody itself is quite mediocre. But it is more danceable than the original 'Trash' at least. After these last 3 mediocre b-sides, things get much better.

'Your Application's Failed' was the b-side for the 'All I Want is You' single. It is an instrumental with a nice heavy back beat and sax, guitar and organ led melodies on the 'verses' and a much noisier, heavy 'chorus', but all quite listenable and well done with the RM signature sound. 'Lover' was the b-side for 'Same Old Scene'. It is a more mellow dance style with nice jazz influences and Ferry's vocals that are more restrained and laid-back, but in a similar style to the single that it supported. 'Sultanesque' is the b-side to 'Love is the Drug'. It is one of RM's more experimental tracks that is all instrumental. It begins with a strange, warbly guitar effect and ticking percussion. After a few minutes, electronic percussion and a warbly synth comes in over the guitar effect. In the background, there is a mid-eastern sound mixed low in the sound. After a while, a loud cymbal rolls in bringing in the guitar, and then that fades while the electronic theme continues.

Next it the extended version of 'Dance Away', taken from the 12' single. It expands wonderfully on the original track, making the song smoother, more danceable in a 'soft rumba' kind of way. I actually love this remix better than the original, with Ferry's lovely vocals and the infectious beat and melody. This remix takes away the progressive edge of the song, but quite honestly, it actually fares better because of this especially in regards to the lush and emotional vocals. The middle section features a percussion solo which retains the beat throughout. 'South Downs' was the b-side to the 'Oh Yeah single. It is a minimalist style track with a drone-like sound supporting a hazy synth, the entire track based off of 2 interchanging chords. 'Angel Eyes' is another extended remix that features a faster, almost disco style rhythm with a slapping guitar strum setting off the beat, the sax becoming more prominent with a cool riff, and Ferry's lush vocals again. Once again, this extended version improves on the original even with the steady beat. There are so many other instrumental riffs and layers that keep this track from getting stale.

'Always Unknowing' was the b-side to the 'Avalon' single. This non-album track follows in the beautiful lushness that was the recipe on the entire Avalon album, and why this was left off of the album is beyond me, it would have fit right in and enhanced the entire album, since it was a bit short anyway. It has the traits of the songs on that album with melodic sax, guitar, percussion and synths supporting it. Very nice track. Next there is another extended remix, this time of 'The Main Thing'. The track features a heavier beat that continues through the track, and this version relies on the synth and guitar riffs more to drive the track forward. It works okay, but tends to last a little too long. 'India' comes next, and is actually not a rare track, but is a short intermediary track from the album 'Avalon' and was also used as a b-side for 'More Than This'. The collection ends with an extended version of John Lennon's 'Jealous Guy'. This cover is an excellent cover of this song which I like even better than Lennon's version. It originally appeared on the EP 'The High Road' which was released after 'Avalon' to support the concert DVD of the same name.

For those of you who have a hard time locating Roxy Music's back catalogue, this is an excellent option. Sure it doesn't contain all of their songs, but it does contain about 2 / 3rds of their studio output. For those that do have their full catalogue, the 4th CD is all full of rare material, which is for the most part, essential and worth it. This collection will serve anyone interested in Roxy Music quite well. I find it perfect for my required RM collection, all vinyl copies and this box set on CD for when I want to take it with me. 5 star collection.

 Stranded by ROXY MUSIC album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.63 | 192 ratings

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Stranded
Roxy Music Crossover Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Brian Eno said that "Stranded" was his favorite Roxy Music's record. Paradoxical. But elegant to recognize that without him RM have produced a work of great quality. Is it really like that?

The first song, "Street Life" (rating 7) tries to trace that of the first two albums: a song in the upbeat, a rave up at great speed, but in this case the result is only passable. There is no genius of "Do The Strand" or "Re-make Re-model", there is a good rhythm but it is not as amazing as its predecessors, it lacks the sound orgasm, it lacks in fact almost everything. The second song, always following the scheme of the first two albums, is a piano ballad ("Just Like You", rating 7+), where we see the innate elegance of the composer and singer, who with his voice embellishes a piece that is musically quite trivial. But there is also a nice bass sound: the ex-Quatermass John Gustafson, a great talent, has arrived.

The third piece, "Amazona" (rating 8) is a syncopated pop-rock where the guitar treated by Manzanera (author with Ferry) produces experimental effects worthy of Brian Eno. Until now you don't miss Eno much: Instead, it is Mackay who misses you: where did your saxophone end up? The touch of class of his sound is so far the greatest loss of the record. The fourth piece arrives ("Psalm", rating 7,5), another piano ballad with a slow rhythmic progression, which stunted but ends in crescendo. And above all: finally you can hear Mackay. A good first side ends here. Good but definitely inferior to the excellent quality of the two previous albums.

The second side begins with a two-and-a-half-minute song at a sustained pace (Serenade, rating 7+), a rave up better than the initial track, but the song is too short and it is not as accomplished as "Virginia Plain". A surprise, after this start a bit 'defective, comes the absolute masterpiece that you don't expect: "Song for Europe" (authors Ferry and Mackay, rating 9,5). A dreamy, epic, romantic ballad, from German and French cabaret, where the voice of Ferry, the sound of the piano, the bombastic drums (Paul Thompson) combine to seal an evocative pathos of very high levels, especially when the saxophone of Makay arrives together with the part in French sung by Ferry (for a moment we also heard the violin played by Eddie Jobson). We are talking about a romantic song of evocative quality that few artists can hope to achieve. "Mother of Pearl" is another long track with a rave up beginning that fade away too soon in a ballad without real strength (rating 6,5). The last song, "Sunset" is a slow piano ballad with a beginning similar to "Sea Breezes". The song is too static and does not take off (rating 7). Here maybe you really miss Eno because there is a lack in the arrangements.

Eno ultimately was not right: it's not the best Roxy Music's album. The first two were masterpieces, this is "just" a good album, expecially thank to "Song For Europe".

Medium quality of the songs: 7,5. Rating album: 8+. Four Stars

 The Collection by ROXY MUSIC album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2004
3.00 | 2 ratings

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The Collection
Roxy Music Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars "Cult favorites, and perhaps the quintessential art rock band, who transitioned from hard-edged glam to sophisticated rock." So is ROXY MUSIC summarized by All Music Guide, and I hardly could have put it better. There are several compilations -- with and without Bryan Ferry's solo recordings included -- and this chronologically proceeding 12-track disc gives a fairly good picture of the band and its evolution from 1972 to 1982. Thumbs up for the lengthy essay by Michael Bracewell, plentitude of pictures and the source album info on the track list.

Most albums are represented by one song, some by two. Hits 'Virginia Plain' and 'Do the Strand' from the first two albums featuring Brian Eno are predictable choices. 'Street Life' from Stranded (1973) is also very hectic and edgy song, frankly not up to my taste. From the fourth album Country life (1974) comes 'The Thrill of It all' and 'All I Want Is You'. I would have chosen some calmer songs for a wider stylistic variety. Disco-flavoured 'Love is the Drug' from Siren (1975) is another predictable choice. Also their live album Viva! is represented, by 'Out of the Blue'. Excellent violin playing from Eddie Jobson!

Then followed a 1-year hiatus during which Ferry, Manzanera & co. focused individually on solo or other projects. The comeback album Manifesto (1979) offered a more accessible, sleek soul-pop. I haven't listened to that album; 'Ain't That So' is rather dull and repetitive as a composition per se, but there are cool sax and harmonica parts and a slight Steely Dan feel. The last four tracks on this compilation are more familiar to me. I enjoy the smoothness of the albums Flesh + Blood (1980) and Avalon (1982) much more than the early hectic art rock of Roxy Music. Two tracks from both albums here. I'd chosen something else than the monotonous Avalon track 'The Main Thing'. 'More Than This' is very enjoyable, like the whole Avalon album.

Not a perfect RM compilation, but not very bad either. 2 stars rounded up for nice lay-out.

 For Your Pleasure by ROXY MUSIC album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.08 | 307 ratings

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For Your Pleasure
Roxy Music Crossover Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

5 stars After the sensational debut, Roxy Music return with a more thoughtful and better produced album.

"Do The Strand" (vote 8.5) is the opener: another rave-up after the spectacular "Re-Make Re-Model" of the first album. This time, however, the rhythm is more pounding (thanks to the drums and the piano), the track is more dragged by the rhythm. It doesn't reach the class level of the previous one but it's very close to it. Mackay's left makes sublime numbers.

Repeating the formula of the first album, after the rave-up comes the high-class ballad ("Beauty Queen, vote 7,5) with refined instrumental pieces. Ferry imposes a new (high) standard on singers who want to try their hand at this art-rock. With respect to the first album, we begin to notice a greater conventionality in the rhythm of the songs and in the sound.

Again the sequence of the debut: after the relaxed ballad, comes the song full of melancholy and existential anguish sung divinely by Ferry. But this third song ("Strictly Confidential, vote 8) much shorter than its correspondent ("If There Is Something") doesn't reach the apexes of that of the debut, despite touching a considerable pathos thanks to Ferry and Mackay.

Fourth song of side A, with a very sustained rhythm, "Editions of You" (vote 7,5), in some ways recalls "Virginia Plain" but with more length and less variations. The piece proceeds alternating the solos of Manzanera (strident), Mackay (almost blues) and Eno at the synth (almost psychedelic). It could close the first side in crescendo, but it's followed by a languid and experimental piece: "In Every Dream Home A Heartache" (vote 7,5/8). Here end the similarities with the debut. The track represent a rhythmic pause and Ferry's voice, which is neurasthenic, sings over a carpet of keyboards for about three minutes, when the drums enters and finally the arrangement becomes experimental and paroxysmal, with Manzanera to weave oblique atmospheric sounds . The song fades in my opinion too early, then return with an instrumental tail. It would have been better, in my opinion, to avoid this detachment and to continue the paroxysmal progression.

With side B comes the longest and most discussed piece of the LP: "The Bogus Man" (nine and a half minutes, vote 8,5). It's a song with an exceptional rhythmic propulsion (great work by Paul Thompson and John Porter), almost tribal, which continues undeterred for almost 10 minutes. On the side of this rhythm there are dissonances with the saxophone, the guitar, and the devilries of Eno that, in truth, remained in the shadows in this second Lp of Roxy Music. The song is grotesque, almost Kafkaesque, it traces a threatening but demented atmosphere. In the middle the singing ceases, and only the rhythm and the dissonances remain, which continue without ever changing, without a solo, so in a very repetitive and alienating way until the end. Someone could bore such a great lack of variation, and in fact the song is ultimately repetitive and tends to reach a hypnotic and surreal atmosphere with a minimalist arrangement: it recall the theater of the absurd. I like it very much, it doesn't tire me, and it seems very courageous to me. The Bogus Man is also the great novelty of this LP, which so far had gone on repeating piece by piece the sequence of the debut album.

"Grey Lagoons" (vote 7+) is a piano ballad with a wonderful sax solo followed by Ferry's harmonica and Manzanera's guitar. A simple piece, from the compositional point of view, which is based on the performances of the musicians.

"For Your Pleasure" (almost seven minutes, vote 8) begins as an atmospheric ballad (along the lines of "Sea Breezes"), but soon the rhythm and the singing stop in front of an electronic carpet, marked by a nervous rhythm, where a great work by Eno and Manzanera creates a mysterious, repetitive atmosphere , which continues to the bitter end, as in "The Bogus Man", without a solo, without a variation, exasperating more and more the obsessiveness of the sounds. Only at the end the obsessive rhythm subsides to give way to a fading ending. Not a great masterpiece, but a brave experimental song.

However, it's not easy to repeat an innovative masterpiece like the debut album, but with this record Roxy Music consolidates the qualities of the debut, and don't limit themselves to reproduce the same music: on the second side they find a new, subtle, hypnotic identity, maintaining overall an excellent sound quality, inspiration and creativity. This second record is therefore only very little inferior to the previous one, and so it's a small masterpiece.

Medium quality of the songs: 7,875. Vote album: 9. Rating: Five Stars.

 Roxy Music by ROXY MUSIC album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.06 | 306 ratings

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Roxy Music
Roxy Music Crossover Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Roxy Music debut with the eponymous album was epochal. There had never been any pop songs with such a rate of artistic sophistication. The art-rock was born, which today we consider crossover prog. The band was a breeding ground of talent, as in the tradition of prog was composed by virtuosos: Bryan Ferry invented a decadent dandy singing, then taken up by the vocalists of glam rock and new wave groups, and he was an excellent pianist, as well as the composer of all the tracks. Brian Eno was an electronics pioneer. Phil Manzanera was a brilliant and extravagant guitarist. Andy Mackay was a real virtuos. Graham Simpson and Paul Thompson were a perfect rhythm session.

"Roxy Music" starts with "Re-Make/Re-Model" (vote 8,5/9), a manifesto song: it's a rave up with whimsical rhythm, where the singer and every instrumentalist are singing or playing as if they were soloists. One of the most striking incipits in the history of rock. The second song "Ladytron" (vote 7,5) continues with the sustained rhythm of the first, but in a more classical way: by ascending the instrumental incursions alternating with those of the singing.

The third, "If There Is Something" (vote 9+) touches one of the peaks of the music of 1972. It is an absolute masterpiece. Part like a catchy pop song, sung with mocking joy, and gradually becomes more and more melancholy and mournful thanks to instrumental solos (Mackay divine), and in fact the singing of Ferry gradually transforms, becomes an increasingly neurotic crooning and suffered. Absolute masterpiece that is worth, with its six and a half minutes, much more in terms of pure inspiration, creativity and pathos (I don't say in terms of compositional effort), of all or almost the suites of the great or minor prog rock band of 1972 (includes "Close To the Edge" and "Supper's Ready"). "Virginia Plain" (absent in the UK version, vote 8) is an experimental electronic song, where Eno shows his creativity as an electronic pioneer. But let's not forget to praise Bryan Ferry, who is the creator of all these pieces: he is the Roxy Music factotum, and he is an extremely gifted musician, who is often underestimated as an author and singer. "Virginia Plain" in its brevity is a brilliant and innovative song, due to the collaboration between Ferry and Eno. "2HB", which ends the first side of the album, is a more relaxed, almost resigned ballad (vote 7), which has its best moments in the instrumental parts. End a first side by applause.

Side B opens with "The Bob [medley]", almost six minutes: another experimental song (vote 8) with strange sound, rumours of war, cacophony. Then comes a catchy melody, to the rhythm of rave up, as in the first song, then the anguish returns. Cerebral song. The second track ("Chance Meeting", three minutes, vote 7+) immediately appears heartbreaking, poignant, and Ferry singing is imposed as one of the most characteristic of an era. The arrangement is minimal but very effective in emphasizing the pathos. Short but well-made song. There comes "Would You Believe" (vote 7,5) a happy and disengaged rhythm (I wonder, in fact: until Roxy Music manage to maintain such a high quality level?) which then unleashes another raveful rhythm, and the party starts again.

"Sea Breezes" (seven minutes) is a slow piece, absorbed, with excellent solos of Manzanera, a very raised bass, a more meditative development. It does not reach the peaks of the first side (vote 8+) but is more than good. The final "Bitter's End" (two minutes) is a goodbye song in chorus, as at a party, with the saxophone in evidence. A touch of lightness (vote 6,5).

The second side is slightly inferior to the first, and contains songs that hit less at first listen, on the whole more painful and sought. However, overall the album remains a must for its beauty and for its historical reach. The progressive has moved both in the direction of symphonic music (the suites) and in the direction of writing high-class pop songs, where, and this for me counts, the rate of theatricality, vocal interpretation, arrangements, helps to create deep emotions: like in this case.

Masterpiece. Medium quality of the songs (without Bitter's End): 7,94. Vote album: 9+. Rating: Five Stars.

 Avalon by ROXY MUSIC album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.71 | 207 ratings

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Avalon
Roxy Music Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

5 stars Roxy Music is one band that I loved through all of their line-ups and styles. In my opinion, they made all of their style adjustments in a sophisticated manner. From the extreme prog music of their early days, to their sophisticated, lush sounds at the end of their discography, I think their music rises above so many others that tried to adjust their sound to reflect the present day. Yes, it's true that the music on "Avalon" has got that certain "romantic, dance style" and inspired somewhat to the disco sounds of the time, they weren't satisfied to just make run of the mill dance music, they rose above it, perfected and improved on it. The end result is this near perfect album of mature, sophisticated rock, and it remains, in my opinion, deserving of the progressive rock status because of their ability to take a genre of music above the norm.

This album is simply beautiful music. "Avalon" is the perfect song, with the background vocals of Yanick Etienne, who they discovered when she was with her own band in the same studio. Ferry was so impressed with her vocals, that he knew her voice was exactly the thing needed to make that song perfect. She was added in at the last moment, not even understanding a word of English they completed the final recording the next day. Not only that, but the song "More Than This" is the perfect example of Roxy Music in their last days. A perfect album opener, introducing the listener to the lushness and rhythmic sound that this album has to offer. Other great highlights are "The Main Thing", "The Space Between", "While My Heart is Still Beating" and even the shorter, transitory tracks are even great. This is the perfect Progressive Pop.

The main lineup was down to 3 people for this album including Bryan Ferry, Phil Manzanera and his stylistic guitar layers and sounds, and Andy Mackay with his lush and never overbearing sax. Along with session musicians, they turned this into a beautiful experience, with all instruments and vocals working together to create not just music, but a feeling of sophisticated rock, with plenty of ambience and emotion that buries you into the sound. It makes you want to just float in the sound that is created.

I know there were a lot of Roxy fans that didn't like the new sound, and that is the risk that you run when you explore different sounds. But I find it just as inventive as their previous sounds. I absolutely hate disco music, but I love this album and all of their music that had that same style. Like I said, they perfected the sound and gave it personality and life. It's just so smooth. It's like it's own sub genre; sophisti-prog. If only more bands could have taken this cue to expand and improve on the sounds of the era, and yes there were a few, like "Icehouse" and "Talk Talk" that did so. I can't give this album anything less that a 5 star rating, essential in the fact that it inspired a lot of music made in the decade of the 80s and definite masterpiece in that it was the best in the style of music it inspired.

 More Than This by ROXY MUSIC album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1982
3.00 | 1 ratings

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More Than This
Roxy Music Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
3 stars It's more than two years since the latest Roxy Music review! I just added a bunch of singles into their discography, here's a look at one of them. Some think they were at their very best in the early, and, admittedly, more innovative Art Rock years (1972 -- ?), while music listeners such as me prefer the radio-friendly charm of the early 80's. I have enjoyed their succesful album Avalon since my teens; I was 12 or 13 when I must have heard my sister playing it.

This beautifully coated single (the original painting is by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, I presume) seems to contain two unedited tracks from Avalon. 'More Than This' opens the album, and what a charming pop song it is. The production is really the finest there were at the time. The song is relaxed, elegant and romantically airy. I don't mind if some think it's cheesy and yuppish.

'India' is a brief (1:45) instrumental built on a percussive riff. Nice, not spectacular. As a little anti-commercial study with arty nuances, it would be most interesting non-album B-sider on the New Wave era, but being an album track naturally doesn't make it worse. On Avalon it serves as a prelude to the seamlessly following melancholic song 'While My Heart Is Still Beating'.

 Roxy Music by ROXY MUSIC album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.06 | 306 ratings

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Roxy Music
Roxy Music Crossover Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars ROXY MUSIC had some interesting origins. It was, of course, founded by vocalist Bryan Ferry who lost his job while teaching ceramics and taking breaks to listen to record albums in class. After this he decided to find some musical mates and hooked up with bass player Graham Simpson. In 1970 he auditioned for lead vocalist in King Crimson to replace Greg Lake and although they didn't find Ferry's vocals suitable for their style, they nonetheless were impressed and helped him form ROXY MUSIC and got them an instant contract with E.G. Records. The name ROXY MUSIC along with the parade of high-class women posing on the early album covers symbolizes a ROXY, which is a showgirl name with plenty of moxie which perfectly sums up both the band's image and aggressive inventive entertaining energy.

The band hit it big time instantly as the public had never heard the perfect blend of glammy art rock mixed with proto-punk energy all laced with progressive rock touches. It was somewhere in the ballpark of David Bowie's catchy glam rockers but more aggressive and in-yer-face. Bryan Ferry's throwback to 50's rock'n'roll making me think of an anachronistic version of Elvis Presley who somehow emerged 20 years later laced with Phil Manzanera's rockin-the-house hard driving guitar riffs that are boosted by the groovy bass lines of Graham Simpson delivering strong and powerful hooks and rhythmic forces are the true ingredients that allow all those rock-n-roll fantasies to emerge. The aspects that really put the music over the top however is the inclusion of Andy Mackay's oboe and sax runs that give the overall sound of that good ole rock'n'roll retro feel from a previous era and of course the mind-blowing futuristic sounds of Brian Eno's VCS3 synthesizer attacks and tape loop effects that treat us to one of the most deliciously unique hybridizations of musical forces in all of rock history.

While the music is firmly rooted in the art rock / pop world with ridiculously catchy hooks and melodies to instantly reel in the listener, all of the subtle details are ever so brilliant as well. Brian Eno was famous for not only dishing out his duties as a straight-on musical performer but was also a pioneer in the art of operating the mixing desk which processed the band's individual parts with his VCS3 synthesizer and tape recorders as well as contributing backing vocals. The slides and effects may seem like they are an inherent part of the music but actually give the whole production value a much smoother "cool cat" feel than they would otherwise, all of which is amplified by Bryan Ferry's crooning charismatic vocal style. The net effect of the groovy bass and jazzy sax and oboe sequences mixed with the passionate vocals and guitar parts all coincide to produce some of the most unique sounds to emerge in the outrageously musically rich year of 1972. The only aspect of this music that doesn't blow me away is the lazy keep-the-beat-and-not-much-else drumming style of Paul Thompson. However while he may not blow me away, he does the adequate job as percussionist-in-chief and allows the focus to remain on the melodic aspects of the music.

There was magic afoot on this one! It's one of those perfectly executed albums where all the elements are in cahoots with super-strong songwriting leaving a steadfast and enduring impression. The album has actually had different versions over the years with the Top 10 UK hit "Virginia Plain" not appearing on the original LP releases but is pretty much included on US releases and subsequent pressings. I was a latecomer to this debut because i didn't care for some of the later releases but once you lay ears on this magnificent debut it is apparent what all the fuss is about. Masterpiece! A good ten years ahead of their time before all the post-punk and new wave bands flooded the 80s. All that inspiration began with this single release but nothing i've ever heard surpasses the innovation and perfect execution delivered here.

 The Complete Studio Recordings by ROXY MUSIC album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2012
4.93 | 5 ratings

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The Complete Studio Recordings
Roxy Music Crossover Prog

Review by uduwudu

5 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.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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