Friday, 1 June 2018

Roxy Music - Manifesto (1979)


Released March 1979

Recorded at Basing Street, Studios, London

For many people, this is Roxy Music's worst album, many finding it introspective and possibly, at times, a bit more like a Bryan Ferry solo album. In some respects I agree, but there are also good points to be found on this album.


1. Manifesto
2. Trash
3. Angel Eyes
4. Still Falls The Rain
5. Stronger Through The Years
6. Ain't That So
7. My Little Girl
8. Dance Away
9. Cry, Cry, Cry
10. Spin Me Round

Released in 1979, when Roxy Music reconvened after a four-year hiatus, Roxy Music "Phase Two" were a radically different beast to the art-rock experimentalists of 1972 and 1973. The emphasis was far more on a polished, adult-oriented rock sound, as I alluded to earlier, much like a Bryan Ferry solo album. Certainly tracks like "Ain't That So" and "Still Falls The Rain" fit that particular bill. The title track, however, is impossible to categorise, a mysterious slow burner that is all the better for it. "Stronger Through The Years" is just a great track whoever it is. For many, the album falls down a bit because the two well-known tracks, "Angel Eyes" and "Dance Away" do not appear here in their single formats. "Angel Eyes", in particular, suffers from a much denser, grungier mix. "Trash" is similar - a gritty two minute thrash and "Cry, Cry, Cry" treads a similar path. "My Little Girl" is not one of their better tracks, however, and "Spin Me Round" is atmospheric enough, I guess, but doesn't really get anywhere.

Post-punk was starting to make its presence felt and there are definitely hints of it here in tracks like "Trash". In many ways, this was an album suited to the zeitgeist. Punk's anger was fading and arty post punkers were having their moments in the sun. Many of those people were quite amenable to this album. I have to admit, so am I. It is always worth a listen, even now.


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