Roxy Music
Country Life


5.0
classic

Review

by Major Tom CONTRIBUTOR (139 Reviews)
June 4th, 2011 | 36 replies


Release Date: 1974 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The thrill of it all...

They say a picture paints a thousand words, and no where is that notion truer than on the cover art of Roxy Music’s 4th LP, 'Country Life'. The contemporaneously outrageous image of two naked beauties, whose modesty is saved only by carefully placed hands and skimpy lingerie, is, although apparently blunt and simplistic; also incredibly clever and succinct. With one sultry photograph Roxy managed not only to catch the eyes of virtually every male customer cluttering record stores in early seventies Britain with the striking cover art, but also offered a candid glimpse of what their avant-garde, glam rock encapsulated - kitschy glamour, uncompromising boundary pushing and a portal to the exciting world of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. To cut a long story short, on 'Country Life', Roxy executed their modus operandi to a supremely satisfying standard, with the ten tracks surmounting to a position in the bands stellar catalogue that could genuinely be labelled 'greatest'.

Starting with the thrilling (pun intended) 'The Thrill of It All', the album just moves from strength to strength, switching styles and flavours at every juncture, never letting the fear of cohesion or boundary spoil its artistic excess. 'Country Life' moves from pure glam rock glory like on the opening track, to obscure, avant-garde speckles of noise like 'Triptych' and 'Bitter-Sweet', to almost anywhere else you could envision. In their finest moments Ferry and co. swap moods or genres in one single song, as evidenced by the fantastic 'Out of the Blue'. If anyone else changed direction so unexpectedly like Roxy did on said track, it would likely seem misguided and botched, but Roxy just had a knack for pleasantly surprising their listeners, not to mention the right tools for the job - the 'tools' being the wonderful musicians playing behind king crooner, Bryan Ferry’s voguish lyrics. It seemed everyone was just in tip-top shape - McKay’s sax work is gorgeous on numbers like 'Three and Nine', Manzanera’s guitar riffs are as inventive and splendid as expected throughout (but especially so on highlights like 'All I Want is You') and the rest of the band are consistent as ever, despite the succession of fresh bass players passing through Roxy’s ranks. The thing that makes 'Country Life' particularly enthralling is that, whatever the venture into different styles and moods, here, Roxy delivered the goods track after track, providing an eclectic swirl of stylish, arty glam rock that thrills and delights like few others.

'Country Life' also captures the final showing of the early Roxy style, i.e. before funk and soul elements seeped into the mix more and more until the group gradually became a vehicle for front-man Ferry’s seductive crooner persona to run wild with romantic glimmer and enticing, silky soft rock tunes (something that would become fully realised with Roxy‘s final outing, the brilliant 'Avalon'). As such, the record is simply all that was great about the art rock sound of early Roxy, but taken to the extreme and its natural, satisfying succession point. A truly phenomenal album, 'Country Life' enraptured and influenced an innumerable amount of listeners, and with glistening gems such as 'The Thrill Of It All', 'All I Want Is You', 'Out Of The Blue' and 'Prairie Rose' being just a few of the high points, its not very difficult to understand why. No matter the taste preference for a certain time period or style in the bands eclectic discography, 'Country Life' is undoubtedly one of the best Roxy albums, and some would say (with great reason), the best.



Recent reviews by this author
Metronomy Love LettersTemples Sun Structures
Bombay Bicycle Club So Long, See You TomorrowOasis Dig Out Your Soul
Oasis Don't Believe the TruthOasis Heathen Chemistry
user ratings (88)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
June 4th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

For some bizare reason my last review before this, for 'Roxy Music - Siren', got a hell of a lot less views than all my other stuff.
I think i may have posted it at a wierd time or something, anyway, shameless plug, but if you enjoy my reviews or you're into to Roxy, it'd be cool if you checked it out:

http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/43701/Roxy-Music-Siren/

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
June 4th 2011


6451 Comments


Great read as always Tom; pos'd

Digging: Thom Yorke - Tomorrow's Modern Boxes

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
June 4th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

clercqie - Thanks, dude, and thanks for the pos - i always appriciate it.


bloc
June 4th 2011


34872 Comments


Always liked the cover

KILL
June 4th 2011


71856 Comments


no shit

Digging: A Guy Called Gerald - Black Secret Technology

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
June 4th 2011


6146 Comments


great review, pos'd.


Please review Stranded as well, whenever you can.

Digging: Raven Throne - ???????? ?????????

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
June 4th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

bloc - Who doesn't, mate : )

Voivod - Thanks, buddy, and i'll be sure to review Stranded soon, keep checking my profile so you dont miss it : )


LepreCon
June 4th 2011


4109 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Boobies

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
June 4th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

LepreCon - haha, a sure fire way to make any album 100% better.


LepreCon
June 4th 2011


4109 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

True, and its a cool album to begin with

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
June 4th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

LepreCon - Absolutely.


Jethro42
June 4th 2011


12456 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

More people need to hear some Roxy Music. Out of the Blue is a classic. Casanova is also a pure bliss. Good review, I pos'd

Winsomniac
June 5th 2011


7972 Comments


This looks good.




Looks.

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
June 5th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Jethro42 - Thanks, man. True, that, more need to check out Roxy - so much great music in their releatively short career


Winsomniac - It sounds even better.


WhiteNoise
December 22nd 2011


3166 Comments


I imagine this would be the best starting point for these guys?

christopherwood
April 10th 2012


2 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The best starting point for roxy music is the begining and they are all amazing until after Siren and even after Siren they are still awesome just not as flawless as Selftitled through Siren in my opinion

Oathbreaker
July 19th 2012


1649 Comments


Out of the blue is so brilliant.

ViperAces
October 9th 2012


12439 Comments


Arty cover.
LepreCon - Isnt there another user with the same picture?

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 9th 2012


16026 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

love this

Digging: iamthemorning - Belighted

QuestionableScum
December 25th 2012


93 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So very good.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy