Roxy Music
Roxy Music


4.5
superb

Review

by Major Tom CONTRIBUTOR (139 Reviews)
May 8th, 2011 | 23 replies


Release Date: 1972 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Re-Making/Re-Modeling rock...

Roxy Music’s 1972 debut is a stunning arrival of a band that, even here in its baby steps, explored the boundaries of rock and began on a trail of classic albums that would inspire many, over the years. Its incredibly confident and assured for a debut - already knowing what stamp it wanted to make on the music biz and doing an equally stellar job at carving out its stylistic portrait. Roxy’s portrait couldn’t be made much clearer than the scantily clad glamour model posing on the front cover of the album. The images of provocative women decorating the covers of Roxy’s albums would become a recurring trait, and its not just a clever marketing gimmick to reel in male eyes, but also a succinct way of portraying a glimpse of what the band were about - kitschy glamour and avant-garde, art rock experimentation.

Right from the get go, its clear that Roxy aren’t your standard glam rock fare, but rather oddball art rockers that wanted to make rock music in their own, unique (and sometimes bizarre) way. Take the opener, ‘Re-Make/Re-Model’ for instance - a 5 minute glam rock tune whose individual elements are so well realised that they simultaneously mould together into one, yet seem distinctive as individual instruments, at the same time. This is what Roxy did so well - create songs that had so many intriguing touches in them - and most of the time, every element was executed so well it evolved into one extremely satisfying cocktail. Its hardly inexplicable when you consider the talent at play - be that Bryan Ferry’s much-imitated croon, the subtle, synthesised textures courtesy of Mr. Brain Eno, MacKay’s sax work that would sweep from catchy simplicity to wailing, flourishing yelps of noise (like on the brilliant ‘If There Is Something’), Simpson and Thompson’s appropriately paced bass and drums and Manzanera’s effective guitar riffs that could do smooth and rough as well as the other.

There’s a lot of variety and ambition at play, even in this 10 track debut. Sleek, glam pop tunes like ’Virginia Plain’ and ‘2HB’ sit comfortably aside heterogeneous, moving numbers like ‘If There Is Something’. The latter is particularly thrilling, with what starts out as a pleasant enough, simple glam rock melody soon spiralling into a melodramatic, weeping sweep of achingly beautiful guitar and sax, as Ferry wails his way through the desperate lyrics, to exhilarating effect. Eno gets to play around with his electronic textures more, on tracks like ‘The Bob (medley)’ with its eerie, jagged purr, or on ‘Sea Breezes’, where the samples of crashing waves echo the song title, appropriately. There’s not a single duff track on the record - sure, some satisfy more than others but its really down to taste. In addition to those already mentioned, a few other worthwhile tracks include the lively ‘Ladytron’ and the dark classic ‘Chance Meeting’.

Quite simply, Roxy Music, with this eponymous debut album, demonstrated what they were all about in one eclectic, impressive sweep. Perhaps its not as amazing as later albums, but when you consider the wealth of brilliant material on offer at this; the starting point of their career, who really cares? Roxy would return a year later with another classic record, but for the time being, what’s left is a stunningly, self-assured debut from a group of art rockers that wouldn’t have to wait very long to become legends.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Voivod
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2011


6151 Comments


Now that's a band i definitely want to get into as well in the near future...

will read the review later in the day.

Digging: Sumerlands - The Guardian (demo)

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
May 8th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Ok, Voivod. Hope you enjoy.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2011


6151 Comments


Brian Ferry's voice is so coooooool...

I have listened to certain songs in the radio, but not a complete record.

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
May 8th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Haha, yeah. So many people were inspired by this band and a few probably tried to copy his voice a bit. Guess its testament to the quality.

Kaleid
May 8th 2011


711 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Another good one, Tom. I don't rate is as much as you do, but it was very influential. Good to see another Roxy review.

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
May 8th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Cheers, Kaleid, good to hear from you. Listening to this right now, actually. I love 'If There Is Something' - probably my favourite from this album.

Jethro42
May 8th 2011


12456 Comments


This review reminds me I've always wanted to investigate their whole discog. Up to now, 'Out of the Blue' is probably ma favorite song of theirs. Great review.

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
May 8th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Cheers, Jethro42.


Jethro42
May 8th 2011


12456 Comments


Oopsss It looks like I pos'd the other review instead of yours. Fixed!

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2011


6151 Comments


Superb review written in superb english, have a pos.

Btw, are you brit, Tom?

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
May 8th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thanks Jethro42 and Voivod.

Voivod - You must be psychic! I'm from England. Why?

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2011


6151 Comments


Roxy’s portrait couldn’t be made much clearer than the scantily clad glamour model posing on the front cover of the album.

That's the phrase that "betrayed" you my friend :-)

Also your superb english was a good hint.

The word "clad" is the archaic English word for "clothed" so... Only a brit could possibly know and use that word.

And myself, of course : P : P : P : P because I'm a huge fan of an obscure English metal band called "Skyclad", a synonym word for "naked".

:P

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
May 8th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Wow, you've got a fine eye for detail, i have to admit. Where are you from, btw?

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2011


6151 Comments


I'm from Hellas (aka Greece).

acorncheese
May 8th 2011


7119 Comments


awesome review, awesome band

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
May 8th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Voivod - Cool, i've never been there, but i know its the opposite of the 24/7 rain i endure here in the UK : (

acorncheese - Thanks, man.


acorncheese
May 8th 2011


7119 Comments


i've only heard for your pleasure and stranded. love them. gotta check this one out.

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
May 8th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

acorncheese - I really love 'If There Is Something' from this album. It completly changes moods after about 2 minutes, into a rather dramatic, but beautiful melody.


Voivod
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2011


6151 Comments


24/7 rain i endure here in the UK




As peculiar as it may seem, The 2011 spring in Hellas fits your description aptly.

I really don't know if summer is actually coming.............

The temperature here is like 10 degrees Celcius and it's FUCKING MAY, for the love of god......

In usual conditions, after work, i was supposed to lie on a beach every afternoon these days.....

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
May 8th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Haha. "10 degrees Celcius" - that's considered sun cream weather, where i'm from, lol. ; P



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