Manifesto (Roxy Music album)

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Manifesto
Studio album by Roxy Music
Released 1 March 1979 (1979-03-01)
Recorded 1978 (1978)–1979 (1979), Ridge Farm Studio, Rusper, England; Basing Street Studios, London
Genre Art rock, disco, new wave
Length 42:33 (LP)
42:12 or 42:43 (CD)
Label E.G./Polydor/Atco (original LP)
E.G./Polydor/Reprise (original CD)
EMI/Virgin (remastered CD)
Producer Roxy Music
Roxy Music chronology
Roxy Music Greatest Hits
(1977)
Manifesto
(1979)
Flesh + Blood
(1980)
Singles from Manifesto
  1. "Trash"
    Released: February 1979 (1979-02)[1]
  2. "Dance Away"
    Released: April 1979 (1979-04)[1]
  3. "Angel Eyes"
    Released: August 1979 (1979-08)[1]

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

Following an almost four-year recording hiatus, Manifesto was Roxy Music's first studio album since 1975's Siren. The first single from Manifesto was "Trash", which barely made the UK top 40.[2] However, the second single, the disco-tinged "Dance Away", returned the band to the top 3, beaten to no.1 for two weeks from 26 May 1979 by Blondie's "Sunday Girl". Regardless, it became one of the band's biggest hits and was also the 9th best-selling single in the UK in 1979. The song was also released as a 12" extended version (running at six and half minutes), a format that had started to become popular in the late 1970s. The third single from the album was a re-recorded version of "Angel Eyes", which was far more electronic and "disco" in nature than the power-pop album version. An extended 12" mix was also released. The single also made the UK Top 5 in August.[2]

The album itself peaked at no. 7 in the UK.[2] The cover design which featured a variety of mannequins (a concept also used for the covers of the singles from the album), was created by Bryan Ferry with fashion designer Antony Price amongst others. The picture disc version of the album featured a version of the design in which the mannequins are unclothed. The cover's typography, as well as the album's title, were inspired by the first edition of Wyndham Lewis's literary magazine Blast.

Release history[edit]

On the original vinyl release, Side One was labelled "East Side" and Side Two was labelled "West Side".

European vinyl issues from 1980 on (including the UK picture disc edition) and all first CD issues replaced the original version of "Angel Eyes" with its single version. Later copies (including early CDs) also replaced "Dance Away" with its single version. Both original versions were included on The Thrill of It All box set in 1995. The 1999 remastered version restored the original "Angel Eyes" but kept the single version of Dance Away, presumably by mistake. Both original versions were included as part of the Manifesto album in the box set The Complete Studio Recordings in 2012.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[4]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[5]
Robert Christgau A−[6]
Pitchfork Media (7.5/10)[7]
Smash Hits 8/10[8]

"Manifesto" was positively received by critics but not as well regarded as previous Roxy Music albums. Melody Maker's review of the album stated "Manifesto" is a worthwhile attempt to make both form and content match its own internal preoccupations. It speaks of Ferry's continuing personal dilemma (which, put coarsely, boils down to the eternal choice between leather or tweed, between women who dare and women who care), and it wishes to satisfy those who bought "Virginia Plain" while making genuflections to present-day American radio culture. Is it compromised by its emphasis on this double-schizophrenia? Certainly it pulls some punches. But, reservations aside, this may be the first such return bout ever attempted with any degree of genuine success: a technical knockout against the odds."[9] Max Bell of the NME gave it a lukewarm review "Ultimately, I found it hard to work up much enthusiasm for Manifesto and a replay of "Would You Believe" and "Sea Breezes" indicates why. In many ways the band have come full circle without evolving anything dramatically new – at least -not according to those initial standards ... Perhaps greater familiarity with Manifesto will reveal hidden magic. At present it merely comes across over like an assured modern dip into friendly territory – an entertaining, pleasant album."[10] Similarly, Robert Christgau wrote 'This isn't Roxy at its most innovative, just its most listenable—the entire "West Side" sustains the relaxed, pleasantly funky groove it intends, and the difficulties of the "East Side" are hardly prohibitive. At last Ferry's vision seems firsthand even in its distancing—he's paid enough dues to deserve to keep his distance. And the title track is well-named, apparent contradictions and all."[11] Greil Marcus in his Rolling Stone review of the album "So the record has its moments – moments few bands even know about – but as with the brazenly (and meaninglessly) titled "Manifesto," they add up to little. Ferry announces he's for the guy "who'd rather die than be tied down"; he's rarely traded on such banality, and he mouths the lyrics as if he hopes no one will hear them. The sound may be alive, but the story is almost silent. It's not that Ferry has given it up. He began making solo albums long before Roxy called it a day – starting with his outrageous collection of oldies covers, These Foolish Things, and continuing through last year's astonishing The Bride Stripped Bare — and on those LPs, the tale of a man struggling to find himself behind his mask, and a lover behind hers, goes on. It's a tale couched in melodrama but driven by terror and compassion: what it has is the intensity Manifesto never reaches for."[12] It was ranked 30th in the Village Voice's Pazz & Jop critics poll of the best albums of 1979.[13] The 1991 Rolling Stone Album Guide gave the album three and half stars and says "the regrouped Roxy seems better for the rest: deftly blending fresh rhythms into its signature sound, shortening the musical passages and concentrating more on song craft.[14]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Bryan Ferry except as noted.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Manifesto" (Ferry, Phil Manzanera) 5:29
2. "Trash" (Ferry, Manzanera) 2:14
3. "Angel Eyes" (Ferry, Andy Mackay) 3:32
4. "Still Falls the Rain" (Ferry, Manzanera) 4:13
5. "Stronger Through the Years"   6:16
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "Ain't That So"   5:39
2. "My Little Girl" (Ferry, Manzanera) 3:17
3. "Dance Away"   3:46
4. "Cry, Cry, Cry"   2:55
5. "Spin Me Round"   5:15

Personnel[edit]

Additional personnel[edit]

Technical personnel[edit]

  • Rhett Davies – recording engineer
  • Jimmy Douglass – engineer
  • Phill Brown – engineer
  • Randy Mason – engineer

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Year Chart Peak
Position
1979 UK Albums Chart 7[2]
1979 Billboard Pop Albums 23[15]

Single[edit]

Year Single Chart Peak
Position
1979 "Trash" UK Singles Chart 40[2]
1979 "Dance Away" Billboard Pop Singles 44[16]
1979 "Dance Away" UK Singles Chart 2[2]
1979 "Angel Eyes" UK Singles Chart 4[2]

Certifications[edit]

Organization Level Date
BPI – UK Gold 4 June 1979 (1979-06-04)[17]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Strong, Martin C. (2006). The Essential Rock Discography. Edinburgh]: Canongate Books. p. 931. ISBN 1-84195-860-3. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "UK Top 40 Hit Database". Retrieved 30 August 2008. 
  3. ^ "VivaRoxyMusic.com Fansite". Retrieved 27 January 2012. 
  4. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "allmusic ((( Manifesto > Review )))". Allmusic. Retrieved 17 March 2010. 
  5. ^ Brackett, Nathan. "Roxy Music". The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. November 2004. pg. 705, cited 17 March 2010
  6. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Roxy Music". robertchristgau.com, Retrieved on 17 March 2010.
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ Starr, Red. "Albums". Smash Hits (May 3-16 1979): 25. 
  9. ^ http://www.vivaroxymusic.com/articles_289.php
  10. ^ http://www.roxyrama.com/articles/reviews/albums/1979_03_00_manifesto_nme.shtml
  11. ^ http://www.robertchristgau.com/get_artist.php?name=roxy+music
  12. ^ http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/manifesto-20021018
  13. ^ http://www.robertchristgau.com/xg/pnj/pjres79.php
  14. ^ DeCurtis, Anthony. "Roxy Music". Rolling Stone Album Guide. 1992. pg. 607
  15. ^ "allmusic (((Manifesto > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums)))". Retrieved 30 August 2008. 
  16. ^ "allmusic (((Manifesto > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles)))". Retrieved 30 August 2008. 
  17. ^ "BPI Certified Awards". Retrieved 30 August 2008.