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Roxy Music

Evolving from the late-'60s art-rock movement, Roxy Music had a fascination with fashion, glamour, cinema, pop art, and the avant-garde, which separated the band from their contemporaries. Dressed in bizarre, stylish costumes, the group played a defiantly experimental variation of art rock which vacillated between avant-rock and sleek pop hooks. During the early '70s, the group was driven by the creative tension between Bryan Ferry and Brian Eno, who each pulled the band in separate directions: Ferry had a fondness for American soul and Beatlesque art-pop, while Eno was intrigued by deconstructing rock with amateurish experimentalism inspired by the Velvet Underground. This incarnation of Roxy Music may have only recorded two albums, but it inspired a legion of imitators -- not only the glam-rockers of the early '70s, but art-rockers and new wave pop groups of the late '70s. Following Eno's departure, Roxy Music continued with its arty inclinations for a few albums before gradually working in elements of disco and soul. Within a few years, the group had developed a sophisticated, seductive soul-pop that relied on Ferry's stylish crooning. By the early '80s, the group had developed into a vehicle for Ferry, so it was no surprise that he disbanded the group at the height of its commercial success in the early '80s to pursue a solo career.

The son of a coal miner, Bryan Ferry (vocals, keyboards) had studied art with Richard Hamilton at the University of Newcastle before forming Roxy Music in 1971. While at university, he sang in rock bands, joining the R&B group the Gas Board, which also featured bassist Graham Simpson. Ferry and Simpson decided to form their own band toward the end of 1970, eventually recruiting Andy Mackay (saxophone), who had previously played oboe with the London Symphony Orchestra. Through Mackay, Brian Eno joined the band. By the summer of 1971, the group -- had originally been called "Roxy" but a name change was necessary after the discovery of an American band called Roxy -- had recruited classical percussionist Dexter Lloyd and guitarist Roger Bunn through an ad in Melody Maker; both musicians left within a month, but they did record the group's initial demos. Another ad was placed in Melody Maker, and this time the group landed drummer Paul Thompson and guitarist Davy O'List, who had previously played with the Nice. O'List left by the beginning of 1972 and was replaced by Phil Manzanera, a former member of Quiet Sun. Prior to recording their first album, Simpson left the band. Roxy Music never replaced him permanently; instead, they hired new bassists for each record and tour, beginning with Rik Kenton, who appeared on their eponymous debut for Island Records.

Produced by Peter Sinfield of King Crimson, Roxy's self-titled debut climbed into the British Top Ten in the summer of 1972; shortly afterward, the non-LP single "Virginia Plain" rocketed into the British Top Ten, followed by the non-LP "Pyjamarama" in early 1973. While Roxy Music had become a sensation in England and Europe due to their clever amalgamation of high and kitsch culture, they had trouble getting a foothold in the United States. Both the first album and the follow-up, 1973's For Your Pleasure (recorded with bassist John Porter), were greeted with enthusiasm in the U.K., but virtually ignored in the U.S. Frustrated with Ferry's refusal to record his compositions, Eno left the band after the completion of For Your Pleasure. Before recording the third Roxy Music album, Ferry released a solo album, These Foolish Things, which was comprised of pop/rock covers.

Released in December of 1973, Stranded became the band's first number one album in the U.K. Stranded was recorded with new Roxy member Eddie Jobson, a multi-instrumentalist who previously played with Curved Air; it was also the first record to feature writing credits for Manzanera and Mackay. The album received a warmer reception in the U.S. than its two predecessors, setting the stage for the breakthrough of Country Life in late 1974. Sporting a controversial cover of two models dressed in see-through lingerie -- the cover was banned in several stores, and it was eventually replaced with a photo of a forest in the U.S. -- Country Life was the first Roxy album to break the U.S. Top 40 and became their fourth British Top Ten album. Following a tour with bassist John Wetton, the group recorded Siren. Featuring their first American Top 40 hit, the disco-flavored "Love Is the Drug," Siren was another British Top Ten hit; in the U.S., it was moderate hit, peaking at number 50. Following the tour for Siren, the band members began working on solo projects -- Manzanera formed the prog-rock group 801, and Mackay and Ferry both began recording solo albums -- and announced in the summer of 1976 that they were temporarily breaking up. The live album Viva Roxy Music! was released shortly after the announcement of the group's hiatus.

Roxy Music regrouped in the fall of 1978 after spending 18 months on solo projects. Ferry, Manzanera, Mackay and Thompson added former Ace keyboardist Paul Carrack to the band's lineup and hired Gary Tibbs, formerly of the Vibrators, and ex-Kokomo Alan Spenner as studio bassists; Jobson and Wetton, who were not asked to rejoin the band, formed UK. Roxy Music's comeback effort, Manifesto, was released in the spring of 1979, and it boasted a sleek, disco-influenced soul-pop sound that was markedly different from and more accessible than their earlier records. Manifesto confirmed their British popularity, reaching the Top Ten, and became their highest-charting U.S. record, peaking at number 23 on the strength of the single "Dance Away." Roxy Music supported the album with an international tour that featured Carrack and Tibbs; prior to the tour's start, Thompson left the band after breaking his thumb in a motorcycle accident. Flesh + Blood, the follow-up to Manifesto, was recorded just by Ferry, Manzanera and Mackay, and a host of studio musicians. Released in the summer of 1980, Flesh + Blood became Roxy's second British number one album on the strength of the Top Ten single "Over You"; in America, the album reached the American Top 40. In the spring of 1981, the band's non-LP cover of John Lennon's "Jealous Guy," recorded as a tribute to the slain singer, became the group's only British number one single.

Nearly two years later, Roxy Music returned in the summer of 1982 with Avalon. Marking a new level in the group's production and musical sophistication, Avalon became their biggest album, spending three weeks at the top of the British charts and 27 on the U.S. charts, generating the British hits "More Than This" and "Take a Chance With Me." It became the group's only American gold album, and over the years, it worked its way to platinum status. Following a successful supporting tour for Avalon, the group released the live EP Musique/The High Road in the spring of 1983. The Avalon tour turned out to be Roxy Music's final activity as a group. Ferry began to concentrate on his solo career, beginning with 1985's Boys and Girls. Manzanera and Mackay formed a band called the Explorers in 1985; the pair would record under a variety of guises, as well as pursue solo careers, over the next 15 years. The compilation Street Life: 20 Great Hits, which also featured Ferry's solo hits, was released in 1989. A year later, Heart Still Beating, a live album documenting a 1982 concert, was released. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Complete Studio Recordings

Disc 1

2. Ladytron

3. If There Is Something

4. 2 H.B.

5. The Bob (Medley)

6. Chance Meeting

7. Would You Believe?

8. Sea Breezes

9. Bitters End

Disc 2

1. Do The Strand

2. Beauty Queen

3. Strictly Confidential

4. Editions Of You

5. In Every Dream Home A Heartache

6. The Bogus Man

7. Grey Lagoons

8. For Your Pleasure

Disc 3

1. Street Life

2. Just Like You

3. Amazona

4. Psalm

5. Serenade

6. A Song For Europe

7. Mother Of Pearl

8. Sunset

Disc 4

1. The Thrill Of It All

2. Three And Nine

3. All I Want Is You

4. Out Of The Blue

5. If It Takes All Night

6. Bitter-Sweet

7. Triptych

8. Casanova

9. A Really Good Time

10. Prairie Rose

Disc 5

1. Love Is The Drug

2. End Of The Line

3. Sentimental Fool

4. Whirlwind

5. She Sells

6. Could It Happen To Me

7. Both Ends Burning

8. Nightingale

9. Just Another High

Disc 7

1. In The Midnight Hour

2. Oh Yeah

3. Same Old Scene

4. Flesh And Blood

5. My Only Love

6. Over You

7. Eight Miles High

8. Rain Rain Rain

9. No Strange Delight

10. Running Wild

Disc 8

1. More Than This

2. The Space Between

3. Avalon

4. India

5. While My Heart Is Still Beating

6. The Main Thing

7. Take A Chance With Me

8. To Turn You On

9. True To Life

10. Tara

Disc 9

1. Virginia Plain

2. The Numberer

5. The Pride And The Pain

7. Hula Kula

8. Your Application's Failed

12. Sultanesque

15. Trash 2

Disc 10

2. Manifesto (Remake)

3. South Downs

4. Lover

5. Jealous Guy

9. Always Unknowing

x

Track List: The Best Of Roxy Music

1. Avalon

2. More Than This

3. Jealous Guy

4. Over You

5. Same Old Scene

6. Oh Yeah

7. Angel Eyes

8. Dance Away

9. Both Ends Burning

10. Love is the Drug

11. Out Of The Blue

12. All I Want Is You

13. Mother of Pearl

14. Street Life

15. Do The Strand

16. Pyjamarama

17. Virginia Plain

18. Re-Make/Re-Model

x

Track List: Heart Still Beating (Live)

1. India (Live)

2. Can't Let Go (Live)

3. While My Heart Is Still Beating (Live)

4. Out Of The Blue (Live)

5. Dance Away (Live)

6. Impossible Guitar (Live)

7. A Song For Europe (Live)

8. Love Is The Drug (Live)

9. Like A Hurricane (Live)

10. My Only Love (Live)

11. Both Ends Burning (Live)

12. Avalon (Live)

13. Editions Of You (Live)

14. Jealous Guy (Live)

x

Track List: Avalon

1. More Than This

2. The Space Between

3. Avalon

4. India

5. While My Heart Is Still Beating

6. The Main Thing

7. Take A Chance With Me

8. To Turn You On

9. True To Life

10. Tara

x

Track List: Flesh + Blood

1. In The Midnight Hour

2. Oh Yeah

3. Same Old Scene

4. Flesh And Blood

5. My Only Love

6. Over You

7. Eight Miles High

8. Rain Rain Rain

9. No Strange Delight

10. Running Wild

x

Track List: Siren

1. Love Is The Drug

2. End Of The Line

3. Sentimental Fool

4. Whirlwind

5. She Sells

6. Could It Happen To Me?

7. Both Ends Burning

8. Nightingale

9. Just Another High

x

Track List: Country Life

1. The Thrill Of It All

2. Three And Nine

3. All I Want Is You

4. Out Of The Blue

5. If It Takes All Night

6. Bitter-Sweet

7. Triptych

8. Casanova

9. A Really Good Time

10. Prairie Rose

x

Track List: Stranded

1. Street Life

2. Just Like You

3. Amazona

4. Psalm

5. Serenade

6. A Song For Europe

7. Mother Of Pearl

8. Sunset

x

Track List: For Your Pleasure

1. Do The Strand

2. Beauty Queen

3. Strictly Confidential

4. Editions Of You

5. In Every Dream Home A Heartache

6. The Bogus Man

7. Grey Lagoons

8. For Your Pleasure

x

Track List: Roxy Music

1. Re-Make/Re-Model

2. Ladytron

3. If There Is Something

4. Virginia Plain

5. 2 H.B.

6. The Bob (Medley)

7. Chance Meeting

8. Would You Believe?

9. Sea Breezes

10. Bitters End

x

Track List: Live

Disc 1

1. Remake / Remodel

2. Street Life

3. Ladytron

4. While My Heart Is Still Beating

5. Out of the Blue

6. A Song for Europe

7. My Only Love

8. In Every Dream Home a Heartache

9. Oh Yeah

10. Both Ends Burning

11. Tara

Disc 2

1. More Than This

2. If There Is Something

3. Mother of Pearl

4. Avalon

5. Dance Away

6. Jealous Guy

7. Editions of You

8. Virginia Plain

9. Love Is the Drug

10. Do the Strand

11. For Your Pleasure

x

Track List: Love Is The Drug (Todd Terje Disco Dub) (Single)

1. Love Is The Drug (Todd Terje Disco Dub)

2. Avalon (Lindstrom & Prins Thomas Version)

x

Track List: Manifesto

1. Manifesto

2. Trash

3. Angel Eyes

4. Still Falls The Rain

5. Stronger Through The Years

6. Ain't That So

7. My Little Girl

8. Dance Away

9. Cry, Cry, Cry

10. Spin Me Round

Comments

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Love it but there is still a couple of elements missing the biggest one of all European rock collection part 3 for an example pulsar jane barclay james harvest, atoll triumpverat
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This station needs to be split in two. One half the avant gardre, the other half the crooning.
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sharon501c3
Awesome show in Philly a few weeks ago at the Kimmel Center! Wow, electric! An entourage of 10 musicians on stage + Bryan!
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Bryan Ferry's music has been with me through every love and every break-up. Thanks for getting me through it all Bryan and RM!
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I discovered them this year and fell in love forever.
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Such a smooth sound pulls you in
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sherenity4li f e
��
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Good music, but the LP cover? Okay, let's be friends..... . . . . . . . . .
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They did create some great music and great record covers!
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Love that echoey downward slide on the guitar when the band kicks in. Smooth and slick as oil.
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One of the greatest glam bands ever...and were able to evolve into New Wave. And still sound relevant 40 years on. Besides, Ferris Bueler had a Roxy Music poster in his room...
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G
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Roxy was the beginning of a great thing.
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Amazing song and sound.
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Thompson Twins were unique when I was in my 20's
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Sometimes it takes me back in 1994
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Avalon is my favorite but its my name
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Totally unique band whose best songs just hook you
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great song
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Best band that ever was or will be.
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Sorry it was back in he 80's. Luv ya Brian & Roxy. Listening to your music now.
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I went to see you at Madison Square Garden back n the day and that's when I have been a fan forever.
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SAILS full FRIENDS n ROXY MUSIC WERRR GROOOVN MATES
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XOXOXOXOXOXO X O X O X O X
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THE VERY FIRST TIME I HEARD HIS MUSIC , IT WAS SO MAGICAL TO ME !!!! AFTER ALL THESE YEARS IT ONLY GETS BETTER. �� TIMELESS
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Kiss my sugar lips.....
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jack_in_the_ b o x 6 3
Love this album!
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First time I heard Roxy Music, I was mesmerized. Then and today they still take me away. So smooth and practically mystical Awesome
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Smashing pumpkins my fav
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Love this!
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Damn! That voice...it's oh so sexy!
Brings back great memories
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Roxy music! DON'T GET SULTRY SEXY AND SET THE MOOD BETTER OR WHAT?
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Roxy started it all for me new music
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taniahalaby1 2
Hhjjf
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taniahalaby1 2
Blue
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Eno and ferry perfect pop
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pay absolutely NO attention to bobonnit He claims to have written reviews for bands back in the stone ages some bands GOOD some NOT SO GOOD and discredits The RollingStone Mag all together Regardless everyone is entitled to their opinion but this SFB is a narrow minded moron who ONLY gives props to musicians he likes and can't and doesn't appreciate music from any other genre no matter how good they may be Basically.If Boob don't like,day suck D-Ughhhh. Don't EVER let anyone tell you otherwise!
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Smoooooth & classy!
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tabalkru
Just saw Bryan Ferry in Milwaukee, September, 2014. What an amazing show! 40 years of really great music performed by such an iconic figure. I can only say that I am grateful -- his music transcends.
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Roxy Music/ Bryan Ferry were ahead of their time, love the lyrics , go Fezza
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This live (song) moves at a quicker tempo
I like the recorded version better
The recorded song flows very mellow and accompanies BF voice well
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I love rosy music
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artour0
Totally sensuous , Bryan Ferry
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Mick jagger stole his girl, that hit him real hard........ . . . .
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chfcharles33 3
Meant to say roxys greatest
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chfcharles33 3
Rocks greatest hits what a grippy edgy piece of rock
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chfcharles33 3
What a trip so catchy listening with my fried bill in his fiat high as a kite this song at deafening levels. What Memories
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Can't wait to see him in Seattle in a week!
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OHH Man, I LOVE Roxy / Ferry/ Amazing!
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suave!
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