Sunday, 14 October 2018

Roxy Music - The Best Of Roxy Music


In 1972, Roxy Music came from, well, nowhere, seemingly. Who were Roxy Music? No-one really knew. They looked like Teddy Boys, 50s revivalist members of Sha Na Na, and dressed in bacofoil suits like Dr. Who extras. They were both retrospective and futuristic both visually and musically. Rock and roll saxophone mixed with tape loops and weird synthesiser noises. Powerhouse drumming behind Bryan Ferry's bizarre voice, the like of which had not been heard before. Take their non-album first single, “Virginia Plain” and its strange lyrics too -

"Far beyond the pale horizon
Some place near the desert strand
Where my Studebaker takes me
That's where I'll make my stand, but wait
Can't you see that Holzer mane?
What's her name?
Virginia Plain...."

Exactly. What was that all about. I bought that single in 1972 and was hooked. I remain so. I have everything they ever did, including this bite-sized sample of their excellent singles releases. Firstly, it proves just what a truly outstanding singles band they were and, secondly, shows the somewhat perverse nature of the band, in that this compilation, slightly bizarrely, runs in reverse chronological order, beginning with the sumptuous "Avalon", through their slick, lounge-bar "Roxy Music Phase Two" material, to their ground-breaking "art rock" singles of the 1972-1975 "Roxy Music Phase One" period. 

Highlights are the afore-mentioned "Avalon"; the melodic "Over You"; the underrated "Oh Yeah"; the atmospheric "Love Is The Drug"; possibly their rockiest single in "All I Want Is You"; the beguiling glammy pop of "Street Life" and, of course, "Virginia Plain". There is also an excellent album track in the vibrant "Re-Make Re-Model" and the perplexing non-album follow-up to "Virginia Plain" in the quirky "Pyjamarama". "Out Of The Blue" and "Mother Of Pearl" are superb album cuts too. 

The tracks are taken from the 1999 HDCD remasters, and although some people do not seem to like these remasters, personally, I have always loved them, so no problem there.

Seminal stuff from a seminal band.


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