Roxy Music (album)

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Roxy Music
Studio album by Roxy Music
Released 16 June 1972 (1972-06-16)
Recorded 14 March 1972 (1972-03-14) – 29 March 1972 (1972-03-29) at Command Studios, London
Genre Glam rock, art rock, progressive rock
Length 45:37
Label Island, Polydor (UK)
Reprise, Atco (US)
Producer Peter Sinfield
Roxy Music chronology
Roxy Music
(1972)
For Your Pleasure
(1973)
Singles from Roxy Music
  1. "Virginia Plain"
    Released: July 1972 (not included on original pressings of album)

Roxy Music is the debut studio album by art rock band Roxy Music. It was released on 16 June 1972. It was generally well received by contemporary critics and made it to number 10 in the UK Albums Chart.[citation needed]

Music and lyrics[edit]

The opening track, "Re-Make/Re-Model", has been labelled a post-modernist pastiche, featuring solos by each member of the band echoing various touchstones of Western music, including The Beatles' "Day Tripper", Duane Eddy's version of "Peter Gunn", and Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries"; the esoteric "CPL 593H" was supposedly the license number of a car spotted by Bryan Ferry that was driven by a beautiful woman. Brian Eno produced some self-styled "lunacy" when Ferry asked him for a sound "like the moon" for the track "Ladytron". "If There Is Something" was covered by David Bowie's Tin Machine, and was later featured quite extensively, almost as a central figure, in the British film Flashbacks of a Fool.

Several of the album's songs were thematically linked to movies. "2HB", with its punning title, was Ferry's tribute to Humphrey Bogart and quoted the line "Here's looking at you, kid" made famous by the 1942 film Casablanca; "Chance Meeting" was inspired by David Lean's Brief Encounter (1945). "The Bob" took its title from Battle of Britain (1968) and included a passage simulating the sound of gunfire.

Discussing the music, Andy Mackay later said "we certainly didn't invent eclecticism but we did say and prove that rock 'n' roll could accommodate – well, anything really".[citation needed]

Production and cover art[edit]

The band had been rehearsing and re-working the songs for a couple of months before they finally found a recording place, after which the entire album was recorded in the space of a single week. This was necessary because there was no record deal as yet, and their managers at EG were financing the sessions themselves.[citation needed] The album was produced by King Crimson's lyricist Peter Sinfield, who had recently left that band. In May 1972, a few weeks after the recording sessions, a contract was signed with Island Records and in June the album was released.

The band's penchant for glamour was showcased both in the lyrics and in the 1950s-style album cover. The photographer Karl Stoecker shot the cover, featuring model Kari-Ann Muller, who later married Chris Jagger, brother of Mick Jagger. The album was dedicated to Susie, a drummer who auditioned for Roxy Music in the early days.[citation needed]

Release[edit]

Roxy Music, particularly the album's LP incarnation, has been released in different packages over the years. The album's original cover, as issued in 1972 by Island Records, featured a gatefold sleeve picturing the band (including original bass guitarist Graham Simpson) in stage attire designed by Antony Price,[1] and did not include the track "Virginia Plain". The album's original US release, in late 1972 on Warner Bros. Records' Reprise subsidiary, included "Virginia Plain", which had since been issued as a single in the UK. The original US release also featured a gatefold sleeve, but replaced Simpson's photo with that of Rik Kenton, who played bass on "Virginia Plain" following Simpson's departure from the group.

US distribution of Roxy Music was transferred from Reprise to their affiliated company Atco Records in 1976, and back to Reprise in the mid-1980s. LP editions of the album pressed in these timeframes were without the gatefold sleeve and band photographs, instead providing liner notes on the rear album cover.

The original LP release did not contain any singles. In July 1972, a few weeks after the contract was signed, Roxy Music recorded two more songs, "Virginia Plain" and "The Numberer", that were released as a single. It peaked at No. 4 in the UK Singles Chart[citation needed] and helped push sales of the album, which itself went to No. 10.[citation needed] In most later repressings of the album, including CD versions, the song "Virginia Plain" has been included.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[2]
BBC Music very favourable[3]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[4]
Robert Christgau B+[5]
Pitchfork Media 8.9/10[6]

In the Q magazine Special Edition issue Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock, the album came number 31 in its list of "40 Cosmic Rock Albums".[7]

Ferry was quoted around the time of their 3rd album, "Stranded" that he did not like the odd production of the first LP, and was re-recording many of the tracks. Ferry eventually re-recorded "Re-Make/Re-Model", "2HB", "Chance Meeting" and "Sea Breezes", and released them as B-sides to some of his solo singles between 1973 and 1976, collecting them together on his 1976 solo album Let's Stick Together.

In 1994, Roxy Music was ranked number 57 in Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums. He described it as "totally original and a breath of bizarre air", stating: "[the album] put Brian Ferry and Eno at the forefront of the art-rock movement."[8] In 2003, Rolling Stone picked the album as number 62 in its list of the best debut albums of all time, stating "In England in the early Seventies, there was nerdy art-rock and sexy glam-rock and rarely did the twain meet. Until this record, that is."[9]

Track listing[edit]

Original UK release

All songs written and composed by Bryan Ferry

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Re-Make/Re-Model"   5:10
2. "Ladytron"   4:21
3. "If There Is Something"   6:33
4. "2 H.B."   4:34
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "The Bob (Medley)"   5:48
2. "Chance Meeting"   3:00
3. "Would You Believe?"   3:47
4. "Sea Breezes"   7:00
5. "Bitters End"   2:02
US release
Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Re-Make/Re-Model"   5:14
2. "Ladytron"   4:26
3. "If There Is Something"   6:34
4. "Virginia Plain"   2:58
5. "2 H.B."   4:30
Side two
No. Title Length
6. "The Bob (Medley)"   5:48
7. "Chance Meeting"   3:08
8. "Would You Believe?"   3:53
9. "Sea Breezes"   7:03
10. "Bitters End"   2:03

Personnel[edit]

Roxy Music
Production

References[edit]

  • David Buckley (2004). The Thrill of it All: The Story of Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music. 

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Paul Stump (1998). Unknown Pleasures: A Cultural Biography of Roxy Music. Quartet (UK)/Thunder's Mouth (U.S.). p. 48. ISBN 1-56025-212-X. 
  2. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Roxy Music". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  3. ^ Daryl Easlea (18 April 2007). "Roxy Music Roxy Music Review". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Nathan Brackett (November 2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. p. 705. 
  5. ^ Robert Christgau. "Roxy Music". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  6. ^ Tom Ewing. "The Complete Studio Records 1972–1982". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  7. ^ Q (Q Classic: Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock). July 2005. 
  8. ^ Larkin, Colin (1994). Guinness Book of Top 1000 Albums (1 ed.). Gullane Children's Books. p. 26. ISBN 978-0-85112-786-6. 
  9. ^ "The 100 Best Debut Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2014-06-23. 

External links[edit]