Roxy Music intoxicated its listeners with a cool cocktail of fashion, romance, nostalgia, and futurism. Now, the art-rock pioneers are reissuing their first two albums on vinyl.
Bryan Ferry, Brian Eno, Andy Mackay, Phil Manzanera, and Paul Thompson were massively influential from their look and sound to their overall concept. At once adventurous, bewildering, suave, sexy, and beguiling, many have imitated but none have successfully been able to perfectly recapture the unique fusion of pure style comprising Roxy Music’s monumental talent and vision. They were glamourous; they were debonair; they were witty and raw. Ferry’s romantic croon tied their sound to the earth as the rest took their sound to, at times, alternate dimensions. Ferry and Eno went on to blaze new trails with their respective solo careers.
The self-titled, Roxy Music made its debut in 1972, peaking at #10 in the UK Albums Chart. Appearing in the thick of prog rock and psychedelia, the collective took their sound down a multitude of paths – their influences being less about space/time, and more a jaunt through a history of 19th- and early 20th-century arts, cherry-picking all the while. They sounded like everyone and no one at all. The opening track “Re-Make/Re-Model” is an amalgamation of postmodernist allusions, spanning from The Beatles’ “Day Tripper” to Wagner’s “Ride of The Valkyries to” Duane Eddy’s version of “Peter Gunn”. “If There Is Something” plays up the lively rustic twang of Country-tinged Americana. On “2HB”, Ferry famously quotes the smooth Humphrey Bogart’s classic line from Casablanca, “Here’s looking at you, kid.”
Eno called it quits after the following release, For Your Pleasure, but not before the album came in at #4 on the UK Albums chart. Getting more experimental and elaborate, the band was the first album with their longtime producer Chris Thomas. Ferry wrote a notoriously wry poetic ode to a blow-up doll “(In Every Dream Home a Heartache)”—channeling, it seems, Eric Burdon of The Animals. The album even sports a cameo by Dame Judi Dench, who provides a spoken word couplet of “You don’t ask. You don’t ask why” on the title track.
Roxy Music and For Your Pleasure will make their reappearance on April 1, 2022 via Virgin/UMe. They were mastered in half-speed mastering at Abbey Road Studios by Miles Showell.
Order Roxy Music here, and For Your Pleasure here.