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Roxy Music

Old 02-05-03, 02:24 PM
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Roxy Music

I would like to proclaim my enthusiasm for one of the greatest unsung bands (at least in the US) of all time. IMO, they are the definitve British band of the 70's. Purveyors of retro-futurism. Masters of propulsive but left-field rock. Suave as James Bond, sensitive as Alan Alda, cool as Fonzi, Continental as a Citroen.

Bryan Ferry, from whose musical loins sprang Damon Alburn, Jarvis Cocker, Simon Le Bon, Richard Butler and every other Anglo guy who ever looked good in a tuxedo while singing in a rock band, is one of the greatest front men of all time. Effete yet manly, nostalgic yet forward-looking he posseses both a soaring falsetto and a strong tenor. He (along with Bowie) set precedents every day and showed how complicated a "lead singer" could be.

Brian Eno, the godfather of all 80s British rock, was on hand for their first two albums. The tension between him and Ferry produced their best album: "For Your Pleasure" which is truly one of the strangest, and best, albums ever to go multi-platinum.

The music is beautiful. It's European without being flaky. It rocks with dignity and properness, but is not afraid of chaos and noise. It's boldly adventurous with driving drums, honking saxes and the king of glam-guitar, Phil Manzanara, ripping off flaming leads. It's funky in a Jaguar-driving-to-the-casino-in-Monte-Carlo kind of way. It's got elements of proto-punk, art-rock, jazz and electronica deeply engrained.

The lyrics have the both the biting sarcasm that morrissey would later try to copy and the ability to evoke desperate beauty that's just out of reach. Listen to "Mother of Pearl" or "Is there Something". Ferry was striving for something perfect, but was unable to attain it. It's one hell of a trip listening to him try, though.

IMHO, this is the greatest British band since the Who started to suck. They set the tone for much that was to follow. I recommend that you buy every single one of their albums, they never made a bad one.

Last edited by Hiro11; 02-05-03 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 02-05-03, 02:37 PM
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I would love to get into Roxy, because everything I've heard from them or the people who used to be in the band was consistently interesting and/or brilliant. Where do you recommend to start? (I think a boxset was recently released but I don't have the means for that now.)
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Old 02-05-03, 03:04 PM
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Hiro, I'm not real familiar with Roxy Music (aside from Avalon), but I wonder if you would recommend Ferry's latest "FRANTIC"?

A hi-res, multichannel/stereo version of that album is out on both SACD and DVD-A (which itself is unusual), and I was considering picking up the SACD "blind", as it were (or perhaps "deaf" is the operative term here). FWIW, I love Bowie's latest album, "HEATHEN", and I'm also a fan of Brian Eno. I seem to think I'd really dig "FRANTIC", but I just need a push from someone who knows...
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Old 02-05-03, 07:36 PM
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I love Roxy Music. For Your Pleasure, Stranded, & Siren are 3 of my all time favorite albums. I'm not sure which would be the best to start with though. Siren has Love is the Drug, which is the only Roxy song I've ever heard on the radio. Avalon & their self-titled first album are also excellent. I'd say the rest can be skipped.

As for Frantic...hmm. Tough call. It's at least half good. It took me a few listens to get into & then it sort of became a background album. The 2 Dylan covers are surprisingly good, & its got Eno on it, but it also has a few songs that I usually skip over. My favorite Bryan Ferry albums are probably Boys & Girls & The Bride Stripped Bare.
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Old 02-05-03, 08:31 PM
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I also have many of their albums. For the uninitiated the compilation disc "Street Life" is wonderful.
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Old 02-09-03, 01:35 AM
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A good place to start is their most excellent live album "VIVA!" Side 1 of what was the LP is brilliant live music.
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Old 02-09-03, 11:27 AM
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The High Road is also a very good collection of songs and great performance. I am not sure if it is available on CD, but the video is worth watching so people interested should seek out either the VHS or LD.
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