Roxy Music - Album of the week

Their first album, recorded quickly at the beginning of 1972, less than three years after the Beatles quit. Yet if you listen to the album all the way through (now with the unnecessary addition of Virginia Plain) it is on a completely different musical planet. It's an album that is predictive of the next 30 years of music, but they did not know that at the time did they?

Listening to it then was a strange experience. In many ways I had to re-learn how to listen to music. Brian Ferry was eclectic in his tastes, but cited, among others, Frank Sinatra's "Songs for Swingin' Lovers" and Lotte Lenya as influences. His voice was new and strange. Was he singing out of key? What was that he was doing with it? Phil Manzanera and Andy McKay have of course been the mainstay of many sessions over the years and are artists in their own right, but you cannot mention early RM without reference to Brian Eno. Here was someone who was willing and able to take on the challenge of those early synthesisers. Since leaving Roxy Music after the first album he has become one of the most prolific and influential producers of other people's material as well as his own work.

It is part of that Theatrical tradition of rock, that includes Bowie, Alex Harvey and Alice Cooper. You were being sold a style, a look, a cocktail with a little umbrella in it.

Today the eye make up and the silver lame are packed away but music stands out as fresh, melodic and as a whole, mesmerising. The album is best appreciated as a whole, but I suppose 2HB is a favourite, and of course Ladytron

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