Roxy Music

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Roxy Music
Roxy Music - TopPop 1973 06.png
Roxy Music on TopPop in 1973. Left to right: Eddie Jobson, Paul Thompson, Phil Manzanera, Bryan Ferry, Sal Maida, Andy Mackay
Background information
OriginNewcastle upon Tyne/London, England
Genres
Years active1970–1976, 1978–1983, 2001–2011
Labels
Associated acts
  • The Explorers
  • 801
Website roxymusic.co.uk
Past members Bryan Ferry
Phil Manzanera
Andy Mackay
Paul Thompson
Brian Eno
Graham Simpson
Eddie Jobson
John Wetton
John Gustafson
David O'List
Rik Kenton
Roger Bunn
Dexter Lloyd
Gary Tibbs

Roxy Musicwere an English rock band formed in 1970 by Bryan Ferry, who became the band's lead vocalist and chief songwriter, and bassist Graham Simpson. Alongside Ferry, the other longtime members were Phil Manzanera (guitar), Andy Mackay (saxophone and oboe) and Paul Thompson (drums and percussion), and other former members include Brian Eno (synthesizer and "treatments"), Eddie Jobson (synthesizer and violin), and John Gustafson (bass). Although the band took a break from group activities in 1976 and again in 1983, they reunited for a concert tour in 2001, and toured together intermittently between that time and their break-up in 2011. Ferry frequently enlisted members of Roxy Music as session musicians for his solo releases.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on black musical genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Bryan Ferry English musician

Bryan Ferry CBE is an English singer and songwriter. His voice has been described as an "elegant, seductive croon". He also established a distinctive image and sartorial style; according to The Independent, Ferry and his contemporary David Bowie influenced a generation with both their music and their appearances. Peter York described Ferry as "an art object" who "should hang in the Tate".

Graham Simpson was a founding member and bassist of Roxy Music, and friend of Bryan Ferry. On their eponymous first album (1972), his bass notes made distinctive contributions to the tracks "Ladytron" and "Chance Meeting". However, not long after the album was released, Simpson, who was suffering from depression following the death of his mother from cancer, was given an open-ended choice to remain with or take a hiatus from the band by Ferry. Simpson chose to leave the band and never returned to the line-up. He used his band royalties to travel the world learning about different cultures and religions, particularly Sufism, returning to London in 1982.

Contents

Roxy Music became a successful act in Europe and Australia during the 1970s. This success began with their debut album, Roxy Music (1972). [6] The band pioneered more musically sophisticated elements of glam rock while significantly influencing early English punk music, [7] and provided a model for many new wave acts while innovating elements of electronic composition. The group also distinguished their visual and musical sophistication through a preoccupation with glamorous fashions. [1] Ferry and co-founding member Eno have had influential solo careers. The latter became one of Britain's most significant record producers of the late 20th century. Rolling Stone ranked Roxy Music No. 98 on its "The Immortals – 100 The Greatest Artists of All Time" list, though it dropped the group from its updated list in 2011. [8]

<i>Roxy Music</i> (album) album by Roxy Music

Roxy Music is the debut studio album by the English glam rock band of the same name. It was released on 16 June 1972.

Glam rock is a style of rock music that developed in the United Kingdom in the early 1970s performed by musicians who wore outrageous costumes, makeup, and hairstyles, particularly platform shoes and glitter. Glam artists drew on diverse sources across music and throwaway pop culture, ranging from bubblegum pop and 1950s rock and roll to cabaret, science fiction, and complex art rock. The flamboyant clothing and visual styles of performers were often camp or androgynous, and have been described as playing with nontraditional gender roles. "Glitter rock" was another term used to refer to a more extreme version of glam.

Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed in the mid-1970s in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in 1960s garage rock and other forms of what is now known as "proto-punk" music, punk rock bands rejected perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. Punk bands typically produced short or fast-paced songs, with hard-edged melodies and singing styles, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY ethic; many bands self-produce recordings and distribute them through independent record labels and other informal channels.

The band's final studio album was Avalon (1982), which became platinum-certified in the United States. [9] In 2005 the band began recording a new studio album, which would have been their ninth, and would have been their first record since 1973 with Brian Eno, who wrote two songs for it and also played keyboards. [10] However, Bryan Ferry eventually confirmed that material from these sessions would be released as a Ferry solo album, with Eno playing on "a couple of tracks", [11] and that he doesn't think they'll ever record as Roxy Music again. [12] The album ultimately became Ferry's 2010 solo album Olympia , which featured contributions from Eno, Manzanera and Mackay (amongst many other session players.)

<i>Avalon</i> (Roxy Music album) 1982 Roxy Music album

Avalon is the eighth and final studio album by English rock band Roxy Music. Released in May 1982, it was recorded in 1981–82 at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahamas, and is generally regarded as the culmination of the smoother, more adult-oriented sound of the band's later work. It was the band's most successful studio album, reaching No. 1 in the UK and staying on the album charts for over a year. Although it only peaked at No. 53 in the United States, Avalon endured as a sleeper hit and became the band's only million-selling record in that country, ultimately receiving a RIAA platinum certification.

<i>Olympia</i> (Bryan Ferry album) album by the British singer Bryan Ferry

Olympia is the thirteenth studio album by the British singer Bryan Ferry, released by Virgin Records on 25 October 2010. Co-produced by Ferry and Rhett Davies, Olympia is Ferry's first album of predominantly original material since 2002's Frantic.

Roxy Music played a series of 40th anniversary shows in 2011, but has since become inactive as a performing entity. [13] In 2018, Roxy Music were nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and were subsequently announced as inductees for the 2019 class. [14] [15]

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Hall of fame located on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, located on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, recognizes and archives the history of the best-known and most influential artists, producers, engineers, and other notable figures who have had some major influence on the development of rock and roll. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation was established on April 20, 1983, by Atlantic Records founder and chairman Ahmet Ertegun. In 1986, Cleveland was chosen as the Hall of Fame's permanent home.

History

Formation and early years (1970–1971)

In November 1970, Bryan Ferry, who had just lost his job teaching ceramics at a girls' school for holding impromptu record listening sessions, [16] advertised for a keyboard player to collaborate with him and Graham Simpson including Alan Lewis, a bass player he knew from his Newcastle art college band, the Gas Board, and with whom he collaborated on his first songs. In early 1970 Ferry had auditioned as lead singer for King Crimson, who were seeking a replacement for Greg Lake. Although Robert Fripp and Pete Sinfield decided that Ferry's voice was unsuitable for King Crimson's material, they were impressed with his talent and helped the fledgling Roxy Music to obtain a contract with E.G. Records.

King Crimson British art rock band

King Crimson are an English progressive rock band formed in London in 1968. King Crimson have been influential both on the early 1970s progressive rock movement and numerous contemporary artists. The band has undergone numerous formations throughout its history of which 22 musicians have been members; since October 2017 it has consisted of Robert Fripp, Jakko Jakszyk, Tony Levin, Mel Collins, Pat Mastelotto, Gavin Harrison, Jeremy Stacey and Bill Rieflin. Fripp is the only consistent member of the group and is considered the band's leader and driving force. The band has earned a large cult following. They were ranked No. 87 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. Although considered to be a seminal progressive rock band, they have often distanced themselves from the genre: as well as influencing several generations of progressive and psychedelic rock bands, they have also been an influence on subsequent alternative metal, hardcore and experimental/noise musicians.

Greg Lake English bassist, guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and producer

Gregory Stuart Lake was an English bassist, guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer. He gained prominence as a founding member of the progressive rock bands King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP).

Robert Fripp English guitarist, composer and record producer

Robert Fripp is an English guitarist, composer and record producer. As a guitarist for the progressive rock band King Crimson, Fripp has been the only member to have played in all of King Crimson's line-ups from their inception in the late 1960s to the present. He has also worked extensively as a studio musician, notably with singer David Bowie on the albums "Heroes" and Scary Monsters , Brian Eno, David Sylvian and contributed sounds to the Windows Vista operating system. His complete discography lists more than seven hundred releases over four decades.

Andy Mackay replied to Ferry's advertisement, not as a keyboard player but a saxophonist and oboist, though he did have a VCS3 synthesizer. Mackay had already met Brian Eno during university days, as both were interested in avant-garde and electronic music. Although Eno was a non-musician, he could operate a synthesizer and owned a Revox reel-to-reel tape machine, so Mackay convinced him to join the band as a technical adviser. Before long Eno was an official member of the group. Rounding out the original sextet were guitarist Roger Bunn (who had issued the well-regarded solo album Piece Of Mind earlier in 1970) [17] and drummer Dexter Lloyd, a classically trained timpanist. The group's name was partly an homage to the titles of old cinemas [18] and dance halls, and partly a pun on the word rock.[ citation needed ] Ferry had named the band Roxy originally, but after learning of an American band with the same name he changed the name to Roxy Music.

Andy Mackay British musician

Andrew "Andy" Mackay is an English multi-instrumentalist, best known as a founding member of the art rock group Roxy Music.

Brian Eno English musician, composer, record producer and visual artist

Brian Peter George St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno, RDI is an English musician, record producer, and visual artist. He is best known for his pioneering work in ambient music and contributions to rock, pop, electronic, and generative music. A self-described "non-musician", Eno has helped introduce a variety of conceptual approaches and recording techniques to contemporary music, advocating a methodology of "theory over practice, serendipity over forethought, and texture over craft" according to AllMusic. He has been described as one of popular music's most influential and innovative figures.

Revox business

ReVox is a brand name, registered by Studer on March 27, 1951, for Swiss audio equipment.

Roxy played live through 1971, and recorded a demo tape of some early compositions. In the spring of '71, Lloyd left the band, and an advertisement was placed in Melody Maker saying "wonder drummer wanted for an avant rock group". [19] Paul Thompson responded to the advertisement and joined the band in June 1971.

Bunn left the group at the end of the summer of 1971, and in October, Roxy advertised in Melody Maker seeking the "Perfect Guitarist". The successful applicant was David O'List, former guitarist with The Nice. [20] Phil Manzanera -- soon to become a group member -- was one of about twenty other players who also auditioned. Although he did not initially make the band as a guitarist, the group were impressed enough with Manzanera that he was invited to become Roxy Music's roadie, an offer which he accepted.

The band's fortunes were greatly increased by the support of broadcaster John Peel and Melody Maker journalist Richard Williams. Williams became an enthusiastic fan after meeting Ferry and being given a demonstration tape during mid-1971, and wrote the first major article on the band, featured on Melody Maker's "Horizons" page in the edition of 7 August 1971. This line-up of Roxy Music (Ferry/Mackay/Eno/Simpson/Thompson/O'List) recorded a BBC session shortly thereafter.

First two albums (1972–1973)

In early February 1972, guitarist O'List quit the group abruptly after an altercation with Paul Thompson, which took place at their audition for David Enthoven of EG Management. When O'List didn't show up for the next rehearsal, Manzanera was asked to come along, on the pretext of becoming the band's sound mixer. When he arrived he was invited to play guitar and quickly realised that it was an informal audition. Unbeknownst to the rest of the group, Manzanera had learned their entire repertoire and as a result, he was immediately hired as O'List's permanent replacement, joining on 14 February 1972. Manzanera, the son of an English father and a Colombian mother, had spent a considerable amount of time in South America and Cuba as a child, and although he did not have the same art school background as Ferry, Mackay and Eno, he was perhaps the most proficient member of the band, with an interest in a wide variety of music. Manzanera also knew other well-known musicians, such as David Gilmour, who was a friend of his older brother, and Soft Machine's Robert Wyatt.

Two weeks after Manzanera joined the band, Roxy Music signed with EG Management. [21]

Roxy Music perform on TopPop in 1973. Left to right: Jobson, Manzanera (back), Ferry (front), Thompson, Maida, Mackay Roxy Music - TopPop 1973 13.png
Roxy Music perform on TopPop in 1973. Left to right: Jobson, Manzanera (back), Ferry (front), Thompson, Maida, Mackay

With this team, EG Management financed the recording of the tracks for their first album, Roxy Music , recorded in March–April 1972 and produced by King Crimson lyricist Peter Sinfield. [18] Both the album and its famous cover artwork were apparently completed before the group signed with Island Records. A&R staffer Tim Clark records that although he argued strongly that Island should contract them, company boss Chris Blackwell at first seemed unimpressed and Clark assumed he was not interested. A few days later however, Clark and Enthoven were standing in the hallway of the Island offices examining cover images for the album when Blackwell walked past, glanced at the artwork and said "Looks great! Have we got them signed yet?" [22] The band signed with Island Records a few days later. The LP was released in June to good reviews and became a major success, reaching No. 10 on the UK album chart in September 1972. [6]

During the first half of 1972 bassist Graham Simpson became increasingly withdrawn and uncommunicative, which led to his leaving the band almost immediately after the recording of the debut album. He was replaced by Rik Kenton. [23]

To bring more attention to their album, Roxy Music decided to record and release a single. Their debut single was "Virginia Plain", which scored No. 4 in the British charts. The band's eclectic visual image, captured in their debut performance on the BBC's Top of the Pops , became a cornerstone for the glam trend in the UK; the TOTP clip of "Virginia Plain" was later parodied by the British comedy series Big Train . The single caused a renewed interest in the album. Soon after "Virginia Plain", Rik Kenton departed the band, which would never again have a permanent bass player.

The next album, For Your Pleasure , was released in March 1973. It marked the beginning of the band's long, successful collaboration with producer Chris Thomas, who worked on all of the group's classic albums and singles in the 1970s. The album was promoted with the non-album single "Pyjamarama"; no album track was released as a single. At the time Ferry was dating French model Amanda Lear; she was photographed with a black jaguar for the front cover of the album, while Ferry appears on the back cover as a dapper chauffeur standing in front of a limousine. John Porter (credited as a guest) played bass on the record, while Sal Maida played bass for subsequent live shows. [24]

Stranded, Country Life, Siren, and solo projects (1973–1977)

Soon after the tour to promote For Your Pleasure ended, Brian Eno left Roxy Music amidst increasing differences with Ferry. [25] [26] The other members of the band are reported to have shared some of Eno's concerns about Ferry's dominance, but they elected to remain. Also, John Gustafson became the band's permanent bass player for the next three studio albums, but not always for live shows; though he toured with Roxy on certain dates in 1973 and 1975, other live Roxy bassists of this period (1973–1976) included Sal Maida, John Wetton and Rick Wills. [27]

Eno, meanwhile, was replaced by a 19-year-old multi-instrumentalist Eddie Jobson, formerly of progressive rockers Curved Air, who played keyboards and electric violin. Although some fans lamented the loss of the experimental attitude and camp aesthetic that Eno had brought to the band, the classically trained Jobson was an accomplished musician. Eno himself later acknowledged the quality of the two albums that followed his departure, Stranded (1973) and Country Life (1974), and they are widely regarded[ citation needed ] as being among the most original and consistent British rock music albums of the period. Rolling Stone referred to the albums as marking "the zenith of contemporary British art rock". [28]

Roxy Music, 1974 Roxy Music band.jpg
Roxy Music, 1974

The songs on these albums also cemented Ferry's persona as the epitome of the suave, jaded Euro-sophisticate. Although this persona undoubtedly began as a deliberately ironic device, during the mid-1970s it seemed to merge with Ferry's real life, as the working-class miner's son from the north of England became an international rock star and an icon of male style.

On the first two Roxy albums, all songs were written solely by Bryan Ferry. Beginning with Stranded, Mackay and Manzanera began to co-write some material. Gradually, their songwriting and musicianship became more integrated into the band's sound, although Ferry remained the dominant songwriter; throughout their career, all but one of Roxy's singles were written either wholly or jointly by Ferry (Manzanera, Mackay and Thompson did individually write a few of the band's B-sides). Stranded was released in November 1973, and produced the top-10 single "Street Life".

The fourth album, Country Life, was released in 1974, and was the first Roxy Music album to enter the US Top 40, albeit at No. 37. Country Life was met with widespread critical acclaim, with Rolling Stone referring to it "as if Ferry ran a cabaret for psychotics, featuring chanteurs in a state of shock". [28] Their fifth album, Siren , contained their only US hit, "Love Is the Drug". (Ferry said the song came to him while kicking the leaves during a walk through Hyde Park.)

After the concert tours in support of Siren in 1976, Roxy Music disbanded. Their live album Viva! was released in August 1976. During this time Ferry released two solo records on which Manzanera and Thompson performed, and Manzanera reunited with Eno on the critically acclaimed one-off 801 Live album.

Final albums and hiatus (1978–1983)

Roxy Music reunited during 1978 to record a new album, Manifesto , but with a reshuffled cast. Jobson was not present, and was reportedly not contacted for the reunion. (At that time, Jobson was touring and recording with his own band, UK.) The sleeve of Manifesto indicated that the revived Roxy Music line-up consisted of Ferry, Manzanera, Mackay, and Thompson, along with Paul Carrack (keyboards), Alan Spenner (bass), and Gary Tibbs (bass); despite this all other media pointed to Roxy Music being a quartet (and a trio following the 1980 departure of Thompson), with the latter three musicians being regular collaborators of the band.

Three singles were spun off from Manifesto, including the major UK hits "Angel Eyes" (UK No. 4), and "Dance Away" (UK No. 2). Both these tracks are significantly different from the album versions, as "Dance Away" was remixed for single release, and "Angel Eyes" was entirely re-recorded.

After the tour and before the recording of the next album, Flesh + Blood (1980), Thompson broke his thumb in a motorcycle mishap and took a leave from the band. Soon afterward he left permanently, due to musical differences with Ferry. [29]

At this point, Ferry, Mackay and Manzanera became the only permanent members of Roxy Music, and were supplemented by a variety of session players over the next few years including Tibbs, Spenner, Carrack, Andy Newmark and Neil Hubbard. The trio's 1980 album Flesh + Blood became a huge commercial success in their homeland, as the album went to No. 1 on the UK charts, and spun off three UK hits: "Oh Yeah" (UK No. 5), "Over You" (UK No. 5), and "Same Old Scene" (UK No. 12).

However, the changed cast reflected a distinct change in Roxy's musical style. Gone were the unpredictable elements of the group's sound, giving way to smoother musical arrangements. Rolling Stone panned Manifesto ("Roxy Music has not gone disco. Roxy Music has not particularly gone anywhere else either" [30] ) as well as Flesh + Blood ("such a shockingly bad Roxy Music record that it provokes a certain fascination" [31] ), while other sources praised the reunion. Melody Maker said, of Manifesto, "...reservations aside, this may be the first such return bout ever attempted with any degree of genuine success: a technical knockout against the odds." [32]

In 1981, Roxy Music recorded the non-album single "Jealous Guy". A cover of a song written and originally recorded by John Lennon, Roxy Music recorded "Jealous Guy" as a tribute to Lennon after his 1980 death. The song topped the UK charts for two weeks in March 1981, becoming the band's only No. 1 single.

Later, with more sombre and carefully sculpted soundscapes, the band's eighth—and final—studio album, Avalon (1982), recorded at Chris Blackwell's Compass Point Studios, was a major commercial success and restored the group's critical reputation [33] and contained the successful single "More Than This". The album also included several Roxy Music classics, such as "Avalon", "The Main Thing", "The Space Between", "True to Life", and "To Turn You On". The trio (augmented by session players) toured extensively until 1983, when Bryan Ferry dissolved the band and band members devoted themselves full-time to solo careers.

Reunions and final dissolution (2001–2011)

Ferry, Manzanera, Mackay, and Thompson re-formed in 2001 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the band and toured extensively. A festival performance in Portugal and a short tour of the United States followed in 2003. Absent was Brian Eno, who criticised the motives of the band's reunion, saying, "I just don't like the idea. It leaves a bad taste". [34] Later Eno remarked that his comment had been taken out of context. Manzanera and Thompson recorded and toured with Ferry on his 2002 album Frantic . Eno also contributed to Frantic on the track "I Thought".

During 2002, Image Entertainment, Inc., released the concert DVD Roxy Music Live at the Apollo featuring performances of 20 songs plus interviews and rehearsal footage.

In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked the group No. 98 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. [8]

Roxy Music gave a live performance at the 2005 Isle of Wight Festival on 11 June 2005, their first UK concert since the 2001–2002 world tour. On 2 July 2005, the band played "Jealous Guy", "Do the Strand", and "Love is the Drug" at the Berlin contribution to Live8; "Do the Strand" is available on the 4-disc DVD collection, whereas "Love Is the Drug" can be found on the Live 8 Berlin DVD.

In March 2005, it was announced on Phil Manzanera's official site [35] that the band, including Brian Eno, had decided to record an album of new material. The project would mark the first time Eno worked with Roxy Music since 1973's For Your Pleasure. After a number of denials that he would be involved with any Roxy Music reunion, on 19 May 2006 Eno revealed that he had contributed two songs to the new album as well as playing keyboards on other tracks. He did, however, rule out touring with the band. [36] Had the record been released as a Roxy Music album, it would have been the first album since Manifesto on which original drummer Paul Thompson performed.

Roxy Music on stage during concert at London's ExCeL Exhibition Centre, July 2006 RoxyMusicExCelCentre2006.jpg
Roxy Music on stage during concert at London's ExCeL Exhibition Centre, July 2006

During early 2006 a classic Roxy track, "The Main Thing", was remixed by Malcolm Green and used as the soundtrack to a pan-European television commercial for the Opel Vectra featuring celebrated football referee Pierluigi Collina. In July that year, the band toured Europe. They concentrated mostly on places they had never visited before, such as Serbia and Macedonia. Roxy Music's second drummer, Andy Newmark, performed during the tour, as Thompson withdrew due to health issues, and Oliver Thompson (guitar) made his first appearance with the band.

In a March 2007 interview with the Western Daily Press, Ferry confirmed that the next Roxy album was definitely being made, but would not be vended for another "year and a half", as he had just released and toured behind his twelfth studio album, Dylanesque , consisting of Bob Dylan covers. [37] In June 2007, the band hired a Liverpool-based design agency to develop a website supporting their new album. Early in the year, Manzanera revealed that the band were planning to sign a record contract. In an October 2007 interview, Ferry said the album would include a collaboration with Scissor Sisters. [38]

Over the summer of 2010, Roxy Music headlined various festivals across the world, including Lovebox at London's Victoria Park, Electric Picnic in Stradbally, Co. Laois, Ireland, and Bestival on the Isle of Wight. Owing to illness, Thompson was replaced on three dates of the tour by Andy Newmark, but returned for the Bestival set. [39]

Roxy performed seven dates around the UK in January and February 2011, in a tour billed 'For Your Pleasure', to celebrate the band's 40th anniversary. They toured Australia and New Zealand between February and March for a further eight shows. [40] These are the final Roxy Music live performances to date.

In 2012, Virgin released a box-set entitled Roxy Music: The Complete Studio Recordings 1972–1982, celebrating 40 years since the release of the band's debut in 1972. [41]

In a Rolling Stone interview on 3 November 2014, Manzanera stated that Roxy had been inactive since 2011 and were unlikely to perform together again. [42] Of a new album, he told Classic Rock , "We all listened to it and thought, 'We can't do this. It's not going to be any good. Let's just bin it.' And so it's just sitting there on our personal computers. Maybe one day it'll get finished. But there's no point in putting it out if it's not great." [43]

Style

The early style and presentation of Roxy Music was influenced by the art school backgrounds of its principal members. Ferry, Mackay and Eno all had studied at prominent UK art colleges during the mid-to-late 1960s, when these institutions were introducing courses that avoided traditional art teaching practice, with its emphasis on painting, and instead focused on more recent developments, most notably pop art, and explored new concepts such as cybernetics. As writer Michael Bracewell notes in his book Roxy: the band that invented an era, Roxy Music was created expressly by Ferry, Mackay and Eno as a means of combining their mutual interests in music, modern art and fashion.

Ferry studied at Newcastle University in the Sixties under renowned pop artist and educator Richard Hamilton, and many of Ferry's university friends, classmates and tutors – e.g. Rita Donagh and Tim Head – became well-known artists in their own right. Eno studied at Winchester School of Art and although his iconoclastic style became apparent early and caused some conflict with the college establishment, it also resulted in him meeting important artists and musicians including Cornelius Cardew and Gavin Bryars. His interest in electronic music also resulted in his first meetings with Andy Mackay, who was studying at Reading University and who had likewise developed a strong interest in avant garde and electronic music.

The three eventually joined forces in London during 1970–71 after meeting through mutual friends and decided to form a rock band.

Roxy Music was one of the first rock music groups to create and maintain a carefully crafted look and style that included their stage presentation, music videos, album and single cover designs, and promotional materials such as posters, handbills, cards and badges. They were assisted in this by a group of friends and associates who helped to sculpt the classic Roxy Music 'look', notably fashion designer Antony Price, hair stylist Keith Mainwaring, photographer Karl Stoecker, the group's "PR consultant" Simon Puxley (a former university friend of Mackay's) and Ferry's art school classmate Nicholas De Ville. Well-known critic Lester Bangs went so far as to say that Roxy represented "the triumph of artifice". [44]

The band's debut album, produced by King Crimson's Pete Sinfield, was the first in a series of increasingly sophisticated album covers, art-directed by Ferry in collaboration with his friend Nick De Ville. The album artwork imitated the visual style of classic "girlie" and fashion magazines, featuring high-fashion shots of scantily clad models Amanda Lear, Marilyn Cole and Jerry Hall, each of whom had romances with Ferry during the time of their contributions, as well as model Kari-Ann Muller who appears on the cover of the first Roxy album but who was not otherwise involved with anyone in the band, and who later married Mick Jagger's brother Chris. [45] The title of the fourth Roxy album, Country Life , was intended as a parody of the well-known British rural magazine of the same name, and the visually punning front cover photo featured two models (two German fans, Constanze Karoli—sister of Can's Michael Karoli—and Eveline Grunwald) [46] clad only in semi-transparent lingerie standing in a forest. As a result, in many areas of the United States the album was sold in an opaque plastic wrapper because retailers refused to display the cover. Later, an alternative cover, featuring just a picture of the forest, was used.

Legacy

In 2005, Tim de Lisle of The Guardian argued that Roxy Music are the second most influential British band after the Beatles. He wrote, "Somehow, in a landscape dominated by Led Zeppelin at one end and the Osmonds at the other, they managed to reach the Top 10 with a heady mixture of futurism, retro rock'n'roll, camp, funny noises, silly outfits, art techniques, film references and oboe solos. And although their popularity has ebbed and flowed, their influence has been strikingly consistent." [9]

Madness are among the artists that have cited Roxy Music as an influence. [47] They paid tribute to Bryan Ferry in the song "4BF" (the title is a reference to the song "2HB", itself a tribute to Humphrey Bogart from the first Roxy Music album).

In 1997, John Taylor of Duran Duran produced the tribute album Dream Home Heartaches... Remaking/Remodeling Roxy Music. The compilation features Taylor as well as Dave Gahan (Depeche Mode) and Low Pop Suicide, among others.

The earliest incarnation of the band that would eventually become Sex Pistols was called The Strand, after "Do The Strand", the opening song from Roxy Music's second album, For Your Pleasure.

The electronic band Ladytron took their name from the title of a song from Roxy Music's debut album. [48]

An antagonist character in the videogame Final Fight named Roxy (a female acrobatic fighter) is named after the band, as well as other enemy characters in the game that pay homage to someone or something related to music, like her identical partner Poison. [49]

Members

Timeline
Roxy Music

Discography

Studio albums

Notes

  1. 1 2 "((( Roxy Music > Biography )))". Stephen Thomas Erlewine. Allmusic. Accessed 3 March 2010.
  2. Boyd, Brian (23 May 2014). "And on the seventh day, Eno released a not-very-good album. Hallelujah!". The Irish Times . Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  3. Michael Ray, ed. (2012). Disco, punk, new wave, heavy metal, and more: Music in the 1970s and 1980s. Rosen Education Service. p. 107. ISBN   978-1615309085.
  4. Lester, Paul (11 June 2015). "Franz and Sparks: this town is big enough for both of us". The Guardian .
  5. Reynolds, Simon."Roxy Music: The Band That Broke the Sound Barrier." The Guardian . 1 September 2012.
  6. 1 2 Prendergast, Mark (2001). The Ambient Century: From Mahler to Trance: The Evolution of Sound in the Electronic Age. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 119. ISBN   1-58234-134-6.
  7. More Than This: The Story of Roxy Music, Eagle Rock, October 2009.
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Related Research Articles

<i>Country Life</i> (Roxy Music album) album by Roxy Music

Country Life is the fourth album by the English rock band Roxy Music, released in 1974 and reaching No. 3 in the UK charts. It also made No. 37 in the United States, their first record to crack the Top 40 there. The album is considered by many critics to be among the band's most sophisticated and consistent. Jim Miller in his review for Rolling Stone wrote "Stranded and Country Life together mark the zenith of contemporary British art rock." Band leader Bryan Ferry took the album's title from the British rural lifestyle magazine Country Life.

<i>Flesh and Blood</i> (Roxy Music album) Roxy Music album

Flesh and Blood is the seventh studio album by the English rock band Roxy Music. Released in late May 1980, it was an immediate commercial success peaking at No. 1 in the UK for one week in June and then returned to the summit in August for another three weeks, in total spending 60 weeks on the albums chart in the United Kingdom. The album also peaked at No. 35 in the United States and No. 10 in Australia.

Phil Manzanera British guitarist

Phil Manzanera is an English musician and record producer. He was the lead guitarist with Roxy Music, 801, and Quiet Sun. In 2006 Manzanera co-produced David Gilmour's album On an Island and played in Gilmour's band for tours in Europe and North America. He wrote and presented a series of 14 one-hour radio programmes for station Planet Rock entitled The A-Z of Great Guitarists.

<i>For Your Pleasure</i> album by Roxy Music

For Your Pleasure is the second album by the English rock band Roxy Music, released by Island Records in 1973. It was their last to feature synthesiser and sound specialist Brian Eno, who would later gain acclaim as a solo artist and producer.

Paul Thompson (musician) English drummer, born 1951

Paul Thompson is an English drummer, who is best known as drummer for the rock band Roxy Music. He was also the drummer for the Oi! band, Angelic Upstarts and the American alternative rock band Concrete Blonde. He is a member of Andy Mackay's project with the Metaphors and joined the reformed Lindisfarne in 2013.

<i>Manifesto</i> (Roxy Music album) Roxy Music album

Manifesto is the sixth studio album by the English rock band Roxy Music. It was released in March 1979 by E.G. in the UK, Polydor in Europe and by Atco Records in the US.

<i>Viva!</i> (Roxy Music album) 1976 live album by Roxy Music

Viva! Roxy Music was the first live Roxy Music album. It was released in August 1976 and was recorded at three venues in the United Kingdom between 1973 and 1975. The recordings were from the band's shows at the Glasgow Apollo in November 1973, Newcastle City Hall in October 1974 and the Wembley Empire Pool in October 1975.

<i>Concerto</i> (Roxy Music album) album by Roxy Music

Concerto is a live album by Roxy Music. All tracks were recorded during the group's "Manifesto Tour" at the Rainbow Music Hall, Denver, Colorado on April 12, 1979, except for Mother of Pearl and Editions of You, which were recorded earlier that month at the Oakland Auditorium, Oakland, California. The album was released in 2001; three years after it was previously released as Concert Classics in 1998. It was released again under the title Ladytron on August 19, 2002 on Superior Records. Roxy Music had no input to this album as it is not an official Roxy Music release but released under license.

<i>Stranded</i> (album) album by art rock band Roxy Music

Stranded is the third album by English rock band Roxy Music, released in late 1973. It reached number one on the UK album charts. The cover shows Bryan Ferry's then girlfriend and 1973 Playmate of the Year, Marilyn Cole. It was the first Roxy Music album on which Ferry was not the sole songwriter as multi-instrumentalist Andy Mackay and guitarist Phil Manzanera also contributed to the album. Though it was also the first without Brian Eno, who had left the group after For Your Pleasure, Eno nonetheless later rated it as Roxy Music's finest record. Despite this praise, the album only reached number 186 in the Top Pop Albums charts in the US.

Virginia Plain 1972 single by Roxy Music

"Virginia Plain" is a song by English rock band Roxy Music, released as their debut single in August 1972. Written by Roxy frontman Bryan Ferry, the song was recorded by the band in July 1972 at London's Command Studios. Backed with "The Numberer", an instrumental composed by Andy Mackay, as a single the song became a Top 10 hit in the UK, peaking at number four.

Do the Strand 1973 single by Roxy Music

"Do the Strand" is the first song from English rock band Roxy Music's second album, For Your Pleasure. In contrast to the songs from Roxy Music's eponymous debut album, this song starts suddenly without any instrumental fanfare.

"Street Life" is the opening track of English rock band Roxy Music's third album Stranded, their first album with Eddie Jobson, who replaced Brian Eno. It was released as a single in the UK in November 1973 and reached number 9 on the charts. Its non-LP B-side "Hula Kula", a Hawaiian-like instrumental composed by Phil Manzanera, was re-released on "The Thrill of It All" boxset.

<i>The Best of Roxy Music</i> compilation album by Roxy Music

The Best of Roxy Music is the tenth compilation album by English art rock band Roxy Music, released in 2001. The album includes songs from their studio albums Avalon, Flesh and Blood, Manifesto, Siren, Country Life, Stranded, For Your Pleasure and Roxy Music.

<i>Diamond Head</i> (Phil Manzanera album) album by Phil Manzanera

Diamond Head is the first studio album by the rock artist Phil Manzanera. It was released in 1975, originally on Island Records in the UK and in the US on Atco Records. The sound quality on the US album was deemed to be worse than the UK album, so the UK import became a popular seller in the speciality record shops who sold Roxy Music and other UK bands.

<i>Live</i> (Roxy Music album) double live album by Roxy Music

Live is a double live album by English art rock band Roxy Music, released in 2003. Their fourth official live album, it contains performances from a variety of venues on their 2001 reunion world tour, and represents the entire set list from those concerts. Live was packaged in a Digipak case, with "Both Ends Burning" featured as an enhanced visual element.

Pyjamarama (song) single by Roxy Music

"Pyjamarama" is a song by English rock band Roxy Music, released as a single in March 1973, to promote their For Your Pleasure album, though it was excluded from the album itself. The song was written by Bryan Ferry and was backed by an instrumental non-LP track called "The Pride and the Pain" written by Andrew Mackay.

"Both Ends Burning" is a single by English rock band Roxy Music taken from their 1975 album Siren. The version released as a single edited the intro and the ending compared to the album version. The B-side of the single was a version of their song "For Your Pleasure" recorded live at the Empire Pool Wembley in October 1975, at one of the concerts from which the Viva! album was composed. The single version is on The Complete Studio Recordings 1972-1982 but was not included on their 1977 album Greatest Hits.

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