Remembering Roxy Music – Musicians
From the avant-garde sounds of the late 1960’s to the grungier tunes of the new millennium, Roxy Music has continually established itself as a band that refuses to be pigeon-holed with one particular style.
During the early 1970s, Roxy Music was anchored by the creative angst of Bryan Ferry and Brian Eno, who each pulled the band in separate directions that coincided with their respective musical vision. For Ferry it was art rock, for Eno it was experimental jib-jab. They managed to find a happy mid-way point that lasted about 2 years with the same number of albums, but after 1973’s “For Your Pleasure”, Eno hit the high road, and Bryan Ferry probably had what he always wanted anyway; a vehicle to drive home his musical version of nirvana which revolved around a sophisticated, seductive soul-pop that relied on Ferry’s stylish crooning.
“For Your Pleasure” was enthusiastically greeted in the U.K., but virtually ignored in the USA. That would change with their next effort, 1974’s “Country Life”, which was the first Roxy album to break the U.S. Top 40. Following a tour with bassist John Wetton, the group recorded Siren, which featured their first American Top 40 hit, the disco-flavored “Love Is the Drug.”
A series of lackluster albums led to a break which in turn led to Roxy Music’s comeback effort, “Manifesto”, which was released in the spring of 1979. Boasting a sleek, disco-influenced soul-pop sound that was markedly different from and more accessible than their earlier records, Manifesto confirmed their British popularity, reaching the Top Ten, and became their highest-charting U.S. record, peaking at number 23 on the strength of the single “Dance Away.”
And then came the big time. Roxy Music returned in the summer of 1982 with Avalon. Marking a new level in the group’s production and musical sophistication, Avalon became their biggest album ever, spending three weeks at the top of the British charts and 27 on the U.S. charts, generating the British hits “More Than This” and “Take a Chance With Me.” It became the group’s only American gold album, and over the years, it worked its way to platinum status. Following a successful supporting tour for Avalon, the group released the live EP Musique/The High Road in the spring of 1983. The Avalon tour turned out to be Roxy Music’s final activity as a group.
Like a lot of groups that reach “superstar” the principal players seek out greener pastures. Such was the case with Roxy Music. Bryan Ferry began to concentrate on his solo career, an effort that spanned over 20 years with mixed success.
Roxy Music regrouped in 2005 and embarked on a world tour that has been extremely successful as it hits the halfway point of 2006. A new album — as yet untitled — is underway.