Friday, 1 June 2018

Roxy Music - For Your Pleasure (1973)


Released March 1973

Recorded at Air Studios, London

Roxy Music's second album, released in early 1973, ironed out just a few of the rough edges of their otherwise stunning debut album with this, another offering of experimental, innovative "art rock" meets fifties rock'n'roll meets glam. It was the last to feature synthesiser and sound specialist Brian Eno.


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

There are three great "glam" upbeat tracks in "Do The Strand", "Editions Of You" and the Andy Mackay (saxophone) dominated "Grey Lagoons". The first two appeared as a US double "A" side single. Surely it would have been a huge hit if released in the UK. Instead, we had the quirky, somewhat short "Pyjamarama" which charted but not as high as I am sure "Do The Strand" or "Editions Of You" would have. All these tracks follow in the footsteps of Roxy’s first, ground-breaking huge hit, “Virginia Plain”.

"Beauty Queen" and "Strictly Confidential" are quintessential Ferry slow numbers that eat into your consciousness, as indeed does the extended, insistent, at times almost funky,  "The Bogus Man". Apparently about a sexual stalker, Eno has since said he was influenced on this track’s creation by the “krautrock” band, Can.

The title track is a somewhat bizarre lengthy fade out to the album which has served well as a live show closer, with band members departing one by one. It is dominated by Eno’s messing around with tape loops which, on this track, goes on a few minutes too long, to be honest.

Then there is "In Every Dream Home A Heartache", Ferry's love song to an inflatable sex toy. How did he get away with that in those days? “I blew up your body - but you blew my mind”. The track is also notable for Phil Manzanera's blistering guitar solo at the song's climax.

Personally, I prefer "Stranded", but this is right up there as a example of Roxy Music's best work. It was a perplexing, challenging album in all ways, musically, lyrically and stylistically. Indeed, at the time, American rock critic Paul Gambaccini stated that that "the bulk of “For Your Pleasure”  is either above us, beneath us, or on another plane altogether." Quite. Roxy Music at this time really were quite unique. 


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