Virginia Plain

Last updated
"Virginia Plain"
Roxy music-virginia plain.jpg
Single by Roxy Music
B-side "The Numberer"
Released4 August 1972 (UK)
Recorded10–12 July 1972 at Command Studios, 201 Piccadilly, London W1
Genre Glam rock [1]
Length2:58
Label E.G. WIP6144
Songwriter(s) Bryan Ferry
Producer(s) Peter Sinfield
Roxy Music singles chronology
"Virginia Plain"
(1972)
"Pyjamarama"
(1973)

"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.

Contents

The song was not included on the band's original UK debut album, Roxy Music , having not even been recorded when the album was released. After the success of the album in the UK, it was included on later re-issues. In 1977, it was re-released as a single, together with "Pyjamarama", originally the second Roxy Music single, to promote the Greatest Hits album, and reached number 11. Both "Virginia Plain" and "The Numberer" can be found on the 1995 The Thrill of it All boxset.

"Virginia Plain" features bass guitarist Rik Kenton, who joined after Graham Simpson left the band. It begins with a deceptively quiet introduction, followed by an instant increase of volume as soon as the vocals come in on the first verse.

Former art student Ferry took the title "Virginia Plain" from one of his own paintings, featuring an image of cigarette packaging - "Virginia Plain" is a variety of cigarette tobacco. Ferry later said in an interview:

It was a watercolour or a painting on paper. It was just like a surreal drawing of a giant cigarette packet, with a pin-up girl on it. I liked that phrase Virginia Plain…so it later became the title of the first single I put out with Roxy Music – with a slightly imponderable lyric... [2]

The name "Robert E. Lee" refers to music industry lawyer Robert Lee, practising at London law firm Harbottle & Lewis at the time. [3] Warhol superstar Baby Jane Holzer is also referenced in the lyrics "Baby Jane's in Acapulco / We are flying down to Rio" and "can't you see that Holzer mane?".

Phil Manzanera's guitar solo was improvised. He later claimed he played the first thing that came into his head. [4]

Musicians

Related Research Articles

Roxy Music English art rock band formed in 1970

Roxy Music were an English rock band formed in 1970 by Bryan Ferry—who became the band's lead singer and main songwriter—and bass guitarist Graham Simpson. The other longtime members were Phil Manzanera (guitar), Andy Mackay, and Paul Thompson. Other members included Brian Eno, Eddie Jobson, 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 over the next few years. Ferry frequently enlisted band members as session musicians for his solo releases.

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".

<i>Flesh and Blood</i> (Roxy Music album) 1980 studio album by Roxy Music

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 Musical artist

Phillip Geoffrey Targett-Adams, known professionally as 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> 1973 studio album by Roxy Music

For Your Pleasure is the second album by 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.

<i>Roxy Music</i> (album) 1972 studio album by Roxy Music

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

Andy Mackay Musical artist

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

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.

"In Every Dream Home a Heartache" is a song written by Bryan Ferry, originally appearing on his band Roxy Music's second album, For Your Pleasure.

"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.

Angel Eyes (Roxy Music song) 1979 single by Roxy Music

"Angel Eyes" is a song by the English rock band Roxy Music. It was released in August 1979 as the third single from their album Manifesto, and peaked at No. 4 in the UK.

Oh Yeah (Roxy Music song) 1980 single by Roxy Music

"Oh Yeah", also known as "Oh Yeah " or "Oh Yeah " on certain releases, is a hit single by the English rock band Roxy Music. It was taken from their 1980 album Flesh and Blood. The song is featured prominently in the fifth episode of the Stephen Merchant comedy series Hello Ladies.

Same Old Scene 1980 single by Roxy Music

"Same Old Scene" is a 1980 song recorded by English rock band Roxy Music and written by lead singer Bryan Ferry. The song was taken from the group's number one album Flesh and Blood, and was released as a single in late 1980. It peaked at #12 on the UK Singles Charts and #35 in Australia.

<i>Greatest Hits</i> (Roxy Music album) 1977 greatest hits album by Roxy Music

Greatest Hits is a compilation album by the English band Roxy Music. It was released in 1977, when the band were on hiatus.

Avalon (Roxy Music song) 1982 single by Roxy Music

"Avalon" is a 1982 song by the English rock band Roxy Music. It was released as the second single from their album Avalon. The single, with its B-side, "Always Unknowing", charted at No. 13 in the UK.

Pyjamarama (song) 1973 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. It reached a peak of #10 on the UK Singles Chart after a twelve week charting stint. The song was written by Bryan Ferry, and the first one he wrote with the guitar as his instrument. and was backed by an instrumental non-LP track called "The Pride and the Pain" written by Andrew Mackay.

"All I Want is You" is a single by English rock band Roxy Music, written by Bryan Ferry, and taken from their 1974 album Country Life. It reached a peak of #12 on the UK Official Singles Chart, in an eight week stint on the charts. The single is also notable for its B-side, an instrumental track called "Your Application's Failed", which is the only track to date written by drummer Paul Thompson. The track was re-released on The Thrill of It All boxset.

"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. In the US and Canada, the song was the B-side of the "Love Is the Drug" single. The single version is on The Complete Studio Recordings 1972-1982 but was not included on their 1977 album Greatest Hits.

Trash (Roxy Music song) 1979 single by Roxy Music

"Trash" is a single by English rock band Roxy Music taken from their 1979 album Manifesto, their first after the comeback that followed the three years hiatus. It peaked at number 40 in the UK charts. "Trash" was backed by a softened arrangement of the same song, called "Trash 2", which was made available on the box set of The Thrill of It All.

Over You (Roxy Music song) 1980 single by Roxy Music

"Over You" is a hit single by the English rock band Roxy Music. The release date of the single, in early May 1980, preceded the release date of their album Flesh and Blood in mid May 1980. The single reached #5 on the UK Singles Chart, as next single "Oh Yeah" would do. Phil Manzanera recalls: “"In 1979, I had just built my first recording studio and I rang up Bryan and asked if he’d like to check it out. We decided to have a jam together, Bryan on bass and me on guitar with a rhythm box. Within five minutes we had written this track and it reached number three in the charts."”

References

  1. Savage, Jon (1 February 2013). "The 20 best glam-rock songs of all time". The Guardian . Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  2. "Virginia Plain – Part 2". 14 March 2017. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  3. "FIRM PROFILE: Lee & Thompson - The Lawyer | Legal News and Jobs | Advancing the business of law The Lawyer | Legal News and Jobs | Advancing the business of law". The Lawyer. Retrieved 2016-10-07.
  4. "Virginia Plain by Roxy Music Songfacts". Songfacts.com. 2009-06-28. Retrieved 2016-10-07.
  5. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-10-10. Retrieved 2008-06-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)