Country Life (Roxy Music album)
|Studio album by|
|Released||15 November 1974|
|Recorded||July 1974 – August 1974|
|Studio||AIR Studios, London|
|Roxy Music chronology|
|Singles from Country Life|
Country Life is the fourth album by English rock band Roxy Music, released in 1974 by Island Records. It was released by Atco Records in the United States. The album is considered by many critics to be among the band's most sophisticated and consistent.
Country Life peaked at number three on the UK albums chart. It also charted at number 37 in the US, becoming their first record to crack the top 40 in the country. The album includes Roxy Music's fourth hit single, "All I Want Is You", which, backed with the B-side "Your Application's Failed", reached number 12 on the UK singles chart. An edited version of "The Thrill of It All", with the same B-side, was released in the US.
Style and themes
The opening track, "The Thrill of It All", is an uptempo rocker that builds on the style of previous Roxy Music songs such as "Virginia Plain" (1972) and "Do the Strand" (1973); it includes a quote from Dorothy Parker's poem "Resume": "You might as well live". Eddie Jobson's violin dominates the heavily-flanged production of "Out of the Blue", which became a live favourite. Esoteric musical influences are betrayed by the German oom-pah band passages in "Bitter-Sweet", the Elizabethan flavour of "Triptych" and the lighthearted, boogie-blues, Southern rock edge to "If It Takes All Night".
"Three and Nine" has been likened to the whimsical fare of Ray Davies, with Ferry looking back nostalgically to a time of watching the moving pictures in cinemas in his youth, for the pre-decimalization price of 3 shillings and ninepence.
"Casanova" was singled out for praise by a number of critics as a more cynical and hard-rocking number than the usual Roxy Music fare. Like the earlier "In Every Dream Home a Heartache" (1973), it was seen as a critique of the hollowness of the contemporary jet set, and contained further instances of Ferry's idiosyncratic word association ("Now you're nothing but / Second hand in glove / With second rate"). A re-recorded version, more mellow than the original, appeared on Ferry's 1976 solo album Let's Stick Together.
Shot by Eric Boman, the Country Life cover features two scantily-clad models, Constanze Karoli (sister of Can's Michael Karoli) and Eveline Grunwald (who was also Michael Karoli's girlfriend). Bryan Ferry met them in Portugal and persuaded them to do the photo shoot as well as to help him with the words to the song "Bitter-Sweet". Although not credited for appearing on the cover, they are credited on the lyric sheet for their German translation work.
The cover image was controversial in some countries, including the United States, Spain, and the Netherlands, where it was censored for release. As a result, early releases in the US were packaged in opaque shrink wrap; a later American LP release of Country Life (available during the years 1975–80) featured a different cover shot. Instead of Karoli and Grunwald posed in front of some trees, the reissue used a photo from the album's back cover that featured only the trees. Author Michael Ochs has described the result as the "most complete cover-up in rock history".
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
|Spin Alternative Record Guide||9/10|
|The Village Voice||B+|
In 2003, Country Life was ranked number 387 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. It was one of four Roxy Music albums that made the list (For Your Pleasure, Siren and Avalon being the others).
All tracks are written by Bryan Ferry, except where noted.
|1.||"The Thrill of It All"||6:24|
|2.||"Three and Nine" (Ferry, Andy Mackay)||4:04|
|3.||"All I Want Is You"||2:53|
|4.||"Out of the Blue" (Ferry, Phil Manzanera)||4:46|
|5.||"If It Takes All Night"||3:12|
|1.||"Bitter-Sweet" (Ferry, Mackay)||4:50|
|4.||"A Really Good Time"||3:45|
|5.||"Prairie Rose" (Ferry, Manzanera)||5:12|
- Bryan Ferry – vocals, keyboards, harmonica
- John Gustafson – bass
- Eddie Jobson – strings, synthesizer, keyboards (credited as 'Edwin Jobson')
- Andy Mackay – oboe, saxophone (credited as 'Andrew Mackay')
- Phil Manzanera – guitar
- Paul Thompson – drums
Note: On the 1999 CD reissue of Country Life, Manzanera and Thompson's respective credits are erroneously reversed.
|Australian Albums (Kent Music Report)||26|
|Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)||10|
|Canada Top Albums/CDs (RPM)||47|
|German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)||38|
|New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)||8|
|Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)||15|
|UK Albums (OCC)||3|
|US Billboard 200||37|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Gold||100,000^|
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
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