Manifesto (Roxy Music album)

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Roxy music-manifesto.jpg
Studio album by
Released16 March 1979 (1979-03-16)
Recorded1978 (1978)–1979 (1979)
StudioRidge Farm Studio, Rusper, England; Basing Street Studios, London
  • 42:33 (LP)
  • 42:12 or 42:43 (CD)
ProducerRoxy Music
Roxy Music chronology
Roxy Music Greatest Hits
Flesh + Blood
Singles from Manifesto
  1. "Trash"
    Released: 9 February 1979[1]
  2. "Dance Away"
    Released: 13 April 1979[1]
  3. "Angel Eyes"
    Released: August 1979[1]

Manifesto is the sixth studio album by the English rock band Roxy Music. It was released in March 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", peaked at no.2, beaten to no.1 for three 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 and American TV actress Hilary Thompson 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".

After the song became a hit, the second pressings of the album substituted the original version of "Dance Away" with its single remix. Later on, the LP version of "Angel Eyes" was also replaced by the more popular re-recorded version released as a single. The original CD versions of the album used the revised track list, until the LP version of "Angel Eyes" was restored in the 1999 remaster. Manifesto was finally released on CD in its original version on The Complete Studio Recordings box in 2012.[3] The first LP version ‘Angel Eyes’ first appeared on the U.S. compilation CD “The Atlantic Collection” while the first LP version of “Dance Away” appeared on CD for the first time in 1995 on The Thrill of It All box set.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars[4]
Christgau's Record GuideA–[5]
Pitchfork Media(7.5/10)[7]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[6]
Smash Hits8/10[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 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, Village Voice critic 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."[5]

Greil Marcus wrote in Rolling Stone:

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."[11]

It was ranked 30th in the Village Voice's Pazz & Jop critics poll of the best albums of 1979.[12] The 1992 Rolling Stone Album Guide gave the album four 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.[13]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Bryan Ferry except as noted.

Side one - "East Side"
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 - "West Side"
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


Roxy Music

Additional personnel

Technical personnel



Year Chart Peak
1979 UK Albums Chart 7[2]
1979 Billboard Pop Albums 23[14]


Year Single Chart Peak
1979 "Trash" UK Singles Chart 40[2]
1979 "Dance Away" Billboard Pop Singles 44[15]
1979 "Dance Away" UK Singles Chart 2[2]
1979 "Angel Eyes" UK Singles Chart 4[2]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Netherlands (NVPI)[16] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[17] Gold 7,500^
United Kingdom (BPI)[18] Gold 100,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  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. ^ " Fansite". Retrieved 27 January 2012.
  4. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "allmusic ((( Manifesto > Review )))". Allmusic. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
  5. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: R". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved 12 March 2019 – via
  6. ^ Brackett, Nathan. "Roxy Music". The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. November 2004. pg. 705, cited 17 March 2010
  7. ^ "Roxy Music: Roxy Music: The Complete Studio Recordings 1972-1982 | Album Reviews". Pitchfork. 13 August 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  8. ^ Starr, Red. "Albums". Smash Hits (May 3-16 1979): 25.
  9. ^ "Roxy Music – Articles, Interviews and Reviews". 3 March 1979. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  10. ^ "Welcome –". Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  11. ^ Marcus, Greil (18 October 2002). "Roxy Music Manifesto Album Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  12. ^ "Pazz & Jop 1979: Critics Poll". Robert Christgau. 28 January 1980. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  13. ^ DeCurtis, Anthony. "Roxy Music". Rolling Stone Album Guide. 1992. pg. 607
  14. ^ "allmusic (((Manifesto > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums)))". Retrieved 30 August 2008.
  15. ^ "allmusic (((Manifesto > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles)))". Retrieved 30 August 2008.
  16. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Roxy Music – Manifesto" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 11 June 2019. Enter Manifesto in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  17. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Roxy Music – Manifesto". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  18. ^ "British album certifications – Roxy Music – Manifesto". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 11 June 2019. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Manifesto in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.