Do the Strand

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"Do the Strand"
Do the Strand cover.jpg
Single by Roxy Music
from the album For Your Pleasure
B-side"Editions of You"
ReleasedJuly 1973
RecordedFebruary 1973 at AIR Studios, London
GenreArt rock, glam rock
Length4:04 (album)
3:19 (single)
Songwriter(s)Bryan Ferry
Producer(s)Chris Thomas, John Anthony, Roxy Music
Roxy Music singles chronology
"Do the Strand"
"Street Life"

"Do the Strand" is the first song from English rock band Roxy Music's second album, For Your Pleasure. In contrast to the songs from Roxy Music's eponymous debut album, this song starts suddenly without any instrumental fanfare.

As with the rest of the album, the song was recorded at AIR Studios, Oxford Street, London.


In the mode of early 1960's "dance craze" songs such as "The Twist", the song tries to convince the listener to dance "The Strand", which takes its name from a film noir advertisement for Strand cigarettes. The lyrics include, as is typical for early Roxy Music, references to notable art, including The Sphinx, the Mona Lisa, Lolita and Picasso's Guernica. Bryan Ferry described his idea for "The Strand" as "the ‘dance of life’ – thus bringing to mind earlier dance phenomena, such as the avant garde passion and exuberance of both The Ballets Russes and the controversial Jazz Age dance craze, ‘The Charleston’." [1]

The song gives no instructions on how The Strand should be danced. Simon Puxley, writing in 1973, suggested that the dance was "indefinable" and best thought of as "where it's at, whatever turns you on. The buzz, the action, the centre, the quintessence, the energy."[2]


"Do the Strand" was released as a single in 1973 in some countries but not in the UK. That same year, however, the band performed the song on the UK television music show The Old Grey Whistle Test.[3] It was released as a single in the UK in 1978 to promote Roxy Music's Greatest Hits album, but it failed to chart. Despite this, the song remains one of the most popular amongst the band's fans, especially at live concerts.


The German synthpop band, Alphaville, recorded a cover version of "Do the Strand" for their 2003 album, CrazyShow.

The American pop band Scissor Sisters recorded another cover version of the song for the War Child charity's 2009 charity album War Child Presents Heroes.



  1. ^ Ferry, Bryan. "History: Beginnings". Archived from the original on 2016-04-18.
  2. ^ Puxley, Simon (1973). "Do the Strand Explained". Archived from the original on 2007-10-14.
  3. ^ The Old Grey Whistle Test (DVD). Warner Home Video. 2003.

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