ARTIST: Roxy Music
TITLE: Roxy Music
YEAR RELEASED: 1972
CHART ACTION: #10 UK
SINGLES: Virginia Plain (#4 UK) (not on original pressing, but on US and future UK pressings)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Re-Make Re-Model / Ladytron
LINEUP: Bryan Ferry, Brian Eno, Andy Mackay, Phil Manzanera, Paul Thompson, Graham Simpson. Rik Kenton replaced Simpson on bass for Virginia Plain.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Arty-glam-progressive rock which turned a lot of heads thanks to Eno’s weird soundscapes and Ferry’s cool vocals.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The first album of Roxy Music is definitely a trip for those who remember their more danceable incarnation, or even their mid-70’s hits. It definitely was…something.
What was the same was Ferry’s cool vocals, the trappings of style and glamour and the musicianship. What was different? Eno and his crazy synths, and Mackay had pretty much carte blanche with his woodwinds as well.
The style of the band was inspiring to glams and punks alike, as well as the notion that you could craft anything into your songs and make music bend to your whims. Some of the indulgences are a bit much, and they do take away from the flow of the album. It may not be the best place to start your Roxy Music experience (well, maybe “Virginia Plain” is a good intro) but it’s quite interesting for all of its idiosyncrasies.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: When they recorded this album, they didn’t have a contract, and so their management paid for it. When they were signed, they recorded “Virginia Plain” for a single. That single helped move the album on the charts, even though it wasn’t on the album at first. That’s how it worked in the UK.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Kinda, the US version and all subsequent versions have “Virginia Plain”.
GRADE: B: It’s a definite benchmark in glam and all kinds of UK music in the 70’s, but sometimes the weird stuff gets in the way of the songs and the sequencing. I like about half of it, really.