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Siren (Roxy Music album)

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Studio album by
Released24 October 1975 (1975-10-24)
RecordedJune – September 1975
StudioAIR (London)
ProducerChris Thomas
Roxy Music chronology
Country Life
Singles from Siren
  1. "Love Is the Drug"
    Released: September 1975[1]
  2. "Both Ends Burning"
    Released: December 1975[1]

Siren is the fifth studio album by the English rock band Roxy Music, released in 1975 by Island Records. It was released by Atco Records in the United States.[1]

Siren produced the singles "Love Is the Drug" and "Both Ends Burning", which peaked at numbers two and 25 respectively on the UK Singles Chart. "Love Is the Drug" became Roxy Music's highest-charting single in the US, reaching number 30 on the Billboard Hot 100.[2] In 2003, Siren was ranked number 371 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

Cover art[edit]

The cover features band member Bryan Ferry's then-girlfriend, model Jerry Hall, on rocks near South Stack, Anglesey. Graham Hughes, working during August 1975, took the cover photo directly below the central span of the bridge on a south-side slope. He worked from sketches produced by Antony Price, with photography featuring Hall striking various poses. The idea for the location was Bryan Ferry's, after he saw a TV documentary about lava flows and rock formations in Anglesey, in which South Stack was heavily featured.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[6]
Spin Alternative Record Guide10/10[7]
The Village VoiceA−[8]

In a contemporary review of Siren for Melody Maker, critic Allan Jones praised it as "a superb album, striking the listener immediately with a force and invention reserved only for the most special musical experiences".[9] He noted a "crispness and vitality" in Chris Thomas's production, which he felt showcased "the sense of adventure and cavalier spirit which marked their early recordings, an impetuosity which has lately been absent from their work."[9] Rolling Stone writer Simon Frith highlighted the album's more "focused" lyrical imagery and streamlined production, noting "less synthesized clutter, fewer sound effects, more straight solo trading."[10] Robert Christgau of The Village Voice found the album's more pop-leaning sound to be revelatory: "Of course, Roxy Music albums have always had hooks, but 'Street Life' and 'Virginia Plain' never told us as much about Roxy's less accessible music as 'Love Is the Drug'".[8] He ranked it the 11th best album of 1975 in his year-end "Dean's List".[11] Siren placed at number 13 on The Village Voice's 1975 Pazz & Jop critics' poll.[12]

Critic Greil Marcus included Siren in the appendix of his 1979 book Stranded: Rock and Roll for a Desert Island, with the following accompanying write-up: "Don Juan Faces Life: With the band hitting the limits of the music that grew from Rubber Soul, Ferry dismantled his lounge lizard act bit by bit, until all that was left was what his entire career had meant to hide: 'an average man', but one with enough emotion to record for Motown."[13]


Siren remains one of Roxy Music's most critically acclaimed albums. Critic Dave Marsh described Siren in 1983 as "Roxy's masterpiece, calling the listener back by virtue of its finely honed instrumental attack and compelling lyrical attitude".[14] In a retrospective review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote that Roxy Music's unabashed embrace of dance and pop music on Siren, while resulting in their distinctive "artier tendencies" being toned down, produces "a thematic consistency that works in [the album's] favor" and elevates it "into the realm of classics".[3] Rob Sheffield refers to Siren as "the first Roxy Music album without any failed moments" in 2004's The New Rolling Stone Album Guide.[6] Simon Reynolds was less receptive in a 1999 article for Uncut. He acknowledged that Siren continued to be "universally" held in high regard, particularly by American critics, but considered it and its predecessor Country Life to be "conventional and tame" compared to the band's earlier output.[15]

Rolling Stone ranked Siren at number 371 on its 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time,[16] and at number 374 on a 2012 version of the list.[17] Vibe included it in its list of the 100 essential albums of the 20th century, describing it as a fusion of "the esoteric murk of early Roxy" and "the aching, ardently romantic tone that defines their later work".[18]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Bryan Ferry, except where noted

Side one
1."Love Is the Drug"Ferry, Andy Mackay4:11
2."End of the Line" 5:14
3."Sentimental Fool"Ferry, Andy Mackay6:14
4."Whirlwind"Ferry, Phil Manzanera3:38
Side two
1."She Sells"Ferry, Eddie Jobson3:39
2."Could It Happen to Me?" 3:36
3."Both Ends Burning" 5:16
4."Nightingale"Ferry, Phil Manzanera4:11
5."Just Another High" 6:31
Total length:42:30

On cassette tapes (e.g. Island ZC19344) "Whirlwind" and "Just Another High" (the last track of each side) are swapped, presumably for optimum tape length.


Roxy Music


  • Steve Nye – recording engineer
  • Ross Cullum – assistant engineer
  • Michael Sellers – assistant engineer
  • Bob Ludwig – remastering engineer (1999)



Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[28] Gold 100,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ a b c Strong, Martin C. (2006). The Essential Rock Discography. Edinburgh: Canongate Books. p. 930. ISBN 1-84195-860-3.
  2. ^ "Roxy Music Chart History (Billboard Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  3. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Siren – Roxy Music". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
  4. ^ Ewing, Tom (13 August 2012). "Roxy Music: Roxy Music: The Complete Studio Recordings 1972–1982". Pitchfork. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  5. ^ "Roxy Music: Siren". Q. No. 156. September 1999. pp. 122–23.
  6. ^ a b Sheffield, Rob (2004). "Roxy Music". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 705–06. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  7. ^ Sheffield, Rob (1995). "Roxy Music". In Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig (eds.). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. pp. 336–38. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  8. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (22 December 1975). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
  9. ^ a b Jones, Allan (5 October 1975). "Roxy Music: Siren". Melody Maker. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  10. ^ Frith, Simon (1 January 1976). "Siren". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  11. ^ Christgau, Robert (29 December 1975). "Pazz & Jop 1975: Dean's List". The Village Voice. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  12. ^ "The 1975 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll". The Village Voice. 29 December 1975. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  13. ^ Marcus, Greil (2007). "Epilogue: Treasure Island". In Marcus, Greil (ed.). Stranded: Rock and Roll for a Desert Island (revised ed.). Da Capo Press. p. 290. ISBN 9780306815324.
  14. ^ Marsh, Dave (1983). "Roxy Music". In Marsh, Dave; Swenson, John (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Record Guide. Random House/Rolling Stone Press. p. 437. ISBN 0-394-72107-1.
  15. ^ Reynolds, Simon (September 1999). "Roxy Music: Roxy Music / For Your Pleasure / Stranded / Country Life / Siren". Uncut. No. 28. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  16. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time: Siren – Roxy Music". Rolling Stone. 11 December 2003. Archived from the original on 20 December 2010. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  17. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. 31 May 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  18. ^ "The Vibe 100 – Siren, Roxy Music". Vibe. Vol. 7, no. 10. December 1999 – January 2000. p. 164. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  19. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  20. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 4163b". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  21. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Roxy Music – Siren" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  22. ^ "Charts.nz – Roxy Music – Siren". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  23. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Roxy Music – Siren". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  24. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Roxy Music – Siren". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  25. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  26. ^ "Roxy Music Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  27. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Album 1975". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
  28. ^ "British album certifications – Roxy Music – Siren". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 8 October 2020.