Roxy Music were at the forefront of the British Glam Rock movement in the early ’70s alongside acts like T. Rex and David Bowie. They were also pioneers of stylish Art Rock and synthesized Pop music.
Formed 1971, London, Greater London, United Kingdom
Bryan Ferry (piano, keyboards, synthesizer, vocals), Andy Mackay (saxophone, oboe), Graham Simpson (bass, 1971-72), Brian Eno (synthesizer, 1971-73), Dexter Lloyd (drums, 1971), Roger Bunn (guitar, 1971), Paul Thompson (drums, 1971-80, 2001-11, 2022-present), Davy O’List (guitar, 1971-72), Phil Manzanera (guitar, 1972-present), Rik Kenton (bass, 1972-73), John Porter (bass, 1973), Sal Maida (bass, 1973-74), Eddie Jobson (violin, synthesizer, 1973-76), John Gustafson (bass, 1973-76), Rick Wills (bass, 1973-75), John Wetton (bass, 1974-75), Gary Tibbs (bass, 1978-80), Paul Carrack (keyboards, piano, 1978-80), Alan Spenner (bass, 1978-83), Andy Newmark (drums, 1980-83, 2006)
Bryan Ferry, who was an art student and teacher at the University of Newcastle, started to form the band early in 1971 with Graham Simpson, Andy Mackay and Brian Eno. Early members also included classical percussionist Dexter Lloyd and session guitarist Roger Bunn. Lloyd was soon replaced by Paul Thompson and the band was joined by guitarist Davy O’List, who had been a member of The Nice. After a short stint, O’List was replaced by Quiet Sun’s Phil Manzanera.
In 1972, their self-titled debut album and the “Virginia Plain” single both made the top ten in the UK. A second top ten hit in 1973 was followed by the release of For Your Pleasure. Eno’s departure to pursue a solo career would soon follow. 1973’s Stranded earned the band their first #1 album in the UK, but interest in the United States was fairly minimal until the release of their fourth album, Country Life, which crept into the US Top 40 in 1974. John Wetton joined later that year, as can be heard on the live album Viva! Roxy Music.
In 1975 Roxy Music released Siren, arguably their most commercial album to date. The album featured Ferry’s then girlfriend, Jerry Hall, on the sleeve and the anthemic “Love Is the Drug”, which charted at #2 in Britain and became a Top 30 hit in America. After succesful tours of the United States, Europe, Japan and Australia, the group disbanded.
After multiple solo and collaborative releases from the Roxy alumni, the band reformed in 1978 and released Manifesto, which became their most successful album in the U.S. In 1981, on the back of a plethora of John Lennon tributes, they released a cover of “Jealous Guy” that became their most successful single in many territories, including #1 slots on both the British and Australian charts. Avalon followed in 1982, but the band would dissolve again soon after.
In 2001, the group reformed to tour internationally. A live album was also released shortly afterwards.
“In the early 70’s, if you wanted your music to be a bit more ambitious than pop, but were turned off by progressive rock, Roxy Music were one of a select number of groups available to you. They dressed like aliens and made music that dressed its emotional density up in a conceptual approximation of sophisticated cool. Their long players were like tightly woven mazes, but they also understood perfectly the thrill to be had from a 7 inch single. In Roxy’s hands, dystopian decadence assumed a glamorous aspect. Always ahead of the game, they introduced playful irony into a music scene burdened by the weight of its own utopianism. Their music seemed to have travelled backwards through time, yet came laden with signifiers looted wholesale from the past. If the mark of a great band is the ability to produce three consecutive classic LP’s, then Roxy Music’s first four within the space of three years must put them a step ahead of most. After a fifth and a couple of years apart, they reformed in 1978 to produce three more long players pioneering the kind of production aesthetics the 1980’s would become (in)famous for in the guise of coffee table music, years before there were CD’s to leave lying around on random items of furniture. Unpardonable you might think, but a darkness always lurked beneath Roxy’s sophistication that lesser lights could never hope to attain.”
2HB, A Really Good Time A Song For Europe, Ain’t That So All I Want Is You, Amazona Angel Eyes, Avalon, Beauty Queen,Bitter Sweet Bitters End Both Ends Burning, Can’t Let Go Casanova Chance Meeting, Could It Happen To Me? Cry Cry Cry Dance Away, Do The Strand,Editions Of You, Eight Miles High, End Of The Line, Flesh And Blood, For Your Pleasure, Grey Lagoons, If It Takes All Night, If There Is Something, Impossible Guitar In Every Dream Home A Heartache, India, Jealous Guy, Just Another High, Just Like You Ladytron, Like A Hurricane, Love Is The Drug, Manifesto More Than This, Mother Of Pearl,My Little Girl My Only Love, Nightingale No Strange Delight, Oh Yeah, Out Of The Blue, Over You, Prairie Rose Psalm Pyjamarama, Rain Rain Rain, Re-Make/Re-Model, Running Wild Same Old Scene, Sea Breezes, Sentimental Fool, Serenade, She Sells, Spin Me Round, Still Falls, The Rain Street Life, Strictly Confidential Stronger Through The Years Sunset,Take A Chance With Me Tara The Bob (Medley), The Bogus Man, The Main Thing The Midnight Hour, The Space Between, The Thrill Of It, All Three And Nine, To Turn You On Trash, Triptych, True To Life, Virginia Plain, While My Heart Is Still Beating, Whirlwind, Would You Believe?
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