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‘Hey Good Looking Boy’: Roxy Music in the 1970s
08:51 am


Bryan Ferry
Roxy Music

Even after all these years, listening to those early albums produced by Roxy Music is like hearing music from an as yet to be imagined future. The shocking originality of their debut single “Virginia Plain” through to “Pyjamarama,” “Street Life,” “Do the Strand,” “In Every Dream Home a Heartache,” and “Mother of Pearl” are fresher and better than nearly everything pumped out today.

At the heart of Roxy Music is Bryan Ferry, the chief song-writer and lead singer, a working class lad, born in Washington, Tyne and Wear in the north of England. His father was from a farm and his mother from the town, and as he once explained in an interview with the Nottingham Post, his father:

“...used to court [his mother] on a plough horse for ten years before they got married. It was very old-fashioned.”

Music was just a noise to his father, but to his mother it was a passion. She had her favorites and a liking for some rock ‘n’ roll, even taking her young son to see Bill Haley and The Comets in the 1950s. But Ferry preferred jazz and soul, and after hitch-hiking from his home town in 1967 to see Otis Redding perform in London, he decided that he had to become a singer.

At school Ferry had felt that he was “an oddity” but wasn’t until he started studying Fine Art at Newcastle University that his creative ambitions came into focus. Under the tutelage of noted British Pop artist Richard Hamilton, Ferry became more confident in his own talents and began writing songs. These were at first influenced by Hamilton’s pop aesthetic, best heard in songs like “Virginia Plain” which was inspired by a painting Ferry had made of a packet of cigarettes (Virginia Plain was a brand of cigarette).

After a few false starts with The Banshees and then Gasboard, Ferry formed Roxy Music with friend Graham Simpson in 1970, being quickly joined by saxophonist/oboist Andy Mackay and Brian Eno on tapes and synthesiser. By the summer of 1972, Roxy Music had their first top five single, and Ferry’s teenage hopes of pop success were sealed,

This compilation of concerts from German TV’s Beat Club and Musicladen captures Roxy Music at their height of their powers in the mid-1970s, with the suave tuxedoed Bryan Ferry leading the band through hits like “Street Life,” “Virginia Plain” and “Mother of Pearl.” Close you eyes and you’ll think this is tomorrow calling…


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Like a Hurricane: Roxy Music take ‘The High Road’
01:52 pm


Roxy Music

Confusingly, Roxy Music have used “The High Road” as the title of two different live releases with the exact same cover art.

In 1982, the group was on a major world tour in support of their Avalon album. The show taped for the four song EP titled The High Road was a performance at The Apollo, Glasgow August 30, 1982, whereas the one on the home video release also titled The High Road was shot in the Côte d’Azur in Fréjus, France, three days earlier on August 27th.  I always wondered why the version of Neil Young’s “Like a Hurricane” was different on the VHS. Now I know.

To make matters even more confusing, just the soundtrack from the video was released as Heart Still Beating on CD in 1990. The High Road DVD, which you could think of as Heart Still Beating with newly added picture if you didn’t know any better, I suppose, was re-released in 2004.

Set list:
1. The Main Thing
2. Out Of The Blue
3. Both Ends Burning
4. A Song For Europe
5. Can’t Let Go
6. While My Heart Is Still Beating
7. Avalon
8. My Only Love
9. Dance Away
10. Love Is The Drug
11. Like A Hurricane
12. Editions Of You
13. Do The Stand
14. Jealous Guy

Bryan Ferry on vocals; Phil Manzanera on guitar; Andy Mackay - saxophone and oboe; Neil Hubbard - guitar; Andy Newmark on drums; Alan Spenner - bass; Jimmy Maelen - percussion; Guy Fletcher on keyboards and Fonzi Thornton, Michelle Cobbs and Tawatha Agee on backing vocals.

The Avalon tour would be the last time Roxy would perform together for eighteen years.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Roxy Music: Live in Concert, Stockholm 1976

Packaged highlights of Roxy Music in concert at Konserthuset, Stockholm, as recorded by Swedish Television on January 27th, 1976.

Track Listing:

01. “The Thrill Of It All”
02 “Mother Of Pearl”
03. “Nightingale”
04. “Out Of The Blue”
05. “Street Life”
06. “Diamond Head”
07. “Wild Weekend”
08. Band Introduction
09. “The In Crowd”
10. “Virginia Plain”
11. “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”

This concert was available as a bootleg within days of its performance, and has been a staple of the unauthorized Roxy catalog ever since. The concert was considered solid and workman-like at the time, but now it looks bloody marvelous.

Bonus…Bryan Ferry on his latest album ‘The Jazz Age’, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Editions Of You’: Roxy Music (w/ Brian Eno) live at Montreux, 1973
09:24 am


Brian Eno
Roxy Music

Insanely great live Roxy Music performance from Montreux at the Golden Rose Festival, April 29, 1973. Even if the sound is a little ropey (and Eno’s microphone does not appear to be working at all) this is a pretty worthwhile clip for Roxy fans, as they’re really putting their back into it, here.

Like much European TV of the era, the camera operators hardly know where to point their gear, but eventually you do get a glimpse of Eno at work during the number’s crazed synth solo.


Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Happy Birthday Bryan Ferry

Happy Birthday to Bryan Ferry, who was born today in 1945.

Ferry may have looked the epitome of the suave, sophisticated nightclub singer, sipping cocktails in evening suit and slick-backed hair, but he was one of the most revolutionary and original musicians and song-writers of past 4 decades.

Take a look at his song book and you will realize Ferry has written some of the most breath-taking, beautiful and exciting songs of the seventies and eighties, both with Roxy Music and as a solo artist.

Add to this Ferry’s uncanny ability to produce seemingly timeless tracks that are as startling today as when first heard. You can hear this in songs as diverse as “Virginia Plain”, “The Thrill of It All”, “All I Want”, “Out of the Blue” “Mother of Pearl”, “A Song for Europe”, and “In Every Dream Home a Heartache”, through to the series of solo albums he produced, in particular In Your Mind and The Bride Stripped Bare.

Here is Mr Ferry at his best on a Japanese TV show, The Young Music Show, recorded at NHK 101 Studio in June 9th, 1977.

The band consisted of Paul Thompson (Drums ); John Wetton (Bass); Chris Mercer, Martin Drover, Mel Collins (Horn Section ); Ann Odell (Keyboards); Chris Spedding, Phil Manzanera (Guitars); and Bryan Ferry.

Track Listing

01. “Let’s Stick Together”
02. “Shame, Shame, Shame”
03. “In Your Mind”
04. “Casanova”
05. “Love Me Madly Again”
06. “Love is the Drug”
07. “Tokyo Joe”
08. “This Is Tomorrow”
09. “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”
10. “The Price of Love”

Happy Birthday Bryan Ferry!


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Roxy Music own ‘Musikladen’: 20 minutes of pure exhilaration from 1973


Roxy Music own the stage at the Musikladen studios, as they showcase 3 songs from For Your Pleasure, and one from their self-titled first album.

There is a book to be written on how Roxy Music are a key component to so many teenage evolutions (my own included), and the touchstone for so many bands, from Chic to Siouxsie and the Banshees. There’s also a major tome to be written on Bryan Ferry, that suave, sophisticated, cool-as-fuck genius who progressed through so many musical styles yet always maintained essentially true to his own vision.

Add to that the fact Roxy’s music is a fresh and as vital today, as it was forty years ago.

Track listing:

01. “Do the Strand”
02. “Editions of You”
03. “In Every Dream Home A Heartache”
04. “Re-Make/Re-Model”

Previously on Dangerous Minds

‘The Thrill of It All’: The Roxy Music Story


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
A film about Graham Simpson, co-founder and original bass guitarist for Roxy Music

Here’s a short but very compeling “artistic profile” on Graham Simpson, the original bassist and co-founder of Roxy Music.

After the release of the band’s debut album in 1972, Simpson left Roxy Music to deal with his depression (“mental fatigue”), which eventually led to a trip to India to study Sufism. Though he had not closed the door on a return to Roxy Music, he never did approach the band about future collaborations.

The last words Bryan (Ferry) said to me where “get well and come back” but I never did. I ran out of imagination but Bryan never did”

Bryan Ferry on Simpson:

He was one of the most interesting people I ever worked with. He was crucial to my development as a musician, and in those early years he was a pillar of strength and inspiration. He was a great character…think Jack Kerouac and ‘On The Road’.  I liked Graham, and Roxy Music would never have happened without him”

It is somewhat shocking that Simpson’s contribution to the genesis of Roxy Music is as little known as it is. Perhaps, his own behavior was the cause. He seemed unsuited to the glare of the spotlight and apparently made every effort to avoid fame. But this doesn’t excuse history from giving credit where credit is due. In Jonathan Rigby’s well-regarded book on Roxy Music, “Both Ends Burning,” Simpson is hardly mentioned and among the book’s many photographs of Roxy Music in its infancy, there’s not a single shot of Simpson. A recent documentary on Roxy Music that we featured here on Dangerous Minds made no mention of Simpson at all.

Filmed by Simpson’s neighbor and film maker Sara Cook, this video is a teaser for a planned feature-length documentary on Simpson called Nothing But The Magnificent.

I, for one, am keeping my fingers crossed that Ms. Cook will be able to complete Nothing But The Magnificent. Graham Simpson’s life seems quite fascinating and as a founder of one of the great rock bands of all time his story is far more than just an historical footnote.

Graham Simpson died this past April at the age of 68.

Thanks Peter Holsapple.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
The Thrill of It All: The Roxy Music Story

Hard to believe but it’s forty years since Roxy Music released their debut single “Virginia Plain” and made an unforgettable appearance on Top of the Pops. It was a moment that influenced a generation, the same way David Bowie had earlier the same year, when he seductively draped his arm over Mick Ronson’s shoulder as they sang “Starman” together. It was a moment of initiation, when millions of British youth had shared a seminal cultural experience by watching television.

Of all the programs on air in 1972, by far the most influential was Top of the Pops., and Roxy Music’s arrival on the show was like time travelers bringing us the future sound of music. 

Listening to “Virginia Plain” today, it hard to believe that it wasn’t record last week and has just been released.

This documentary on Roxy Music has all the band members (Ferry, Manzanera, MacKay, Eno, etc) and a who’s who of musicians (Siouxsie Sioux, Steve Jones, and Roxy biographer, Michael Bracewell), who explain the band’s importance and cultural relevance. Roxy Music have just released The Complete Studio Recordings 1972-1982 available here.

Previously on Dangerous Minds

Roxy Music live in 1972, the full radio broadcast

Bonus clip of ‘Virginia Plain’, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Happy Birthday Brian Eno

Happy Birthday Brian Eno, who is a Beatles song today.

Born Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno on the 15th May, 1948, Eno almost has a job description for every one of his names as a musician, a composer, a producer, a visual artist, a writer, a collector of pornography and an innovator of different musical forms. But Eno is more than the sum of his parts, he is a great inspiration to go take a-hold of life and do as much is as is possible. As he suggested in the documentary Another Green World:

“All of the encouragement from modern life is to tell you to pay attention to yourself and take control of things.”

Though he does go on to say we can also surrender, get by, and transcend, I prefer to opt for the starring role, rather than being an extra in the crowd scene or exiting stage left, chased by a bear. And so should we all, for this is your movie, and you are its star.

For me, that’s what I like best about Eno - he’s a concept to do better, to try different, to learn more. And perhaps to be a little nicer on the side.

Brian Eno: Another Green World is a profile of Eno, made for the BBC’s Arena series.

From the schoolboy who would cycle to the seashore to look for fossils, Eno has been driven by the search for the connections between things. Here, he gives an insight into his fascinating and unique take on the nature of music today. Eno discusses what music means to him, and how he uses it to create an alternate reality, as well as the influences of modern technology in changing the way we are able to understand and develop both music and sound.

You’ll learn bits and bobs from this documentary, though it never really seems to get much further than dusting the surface of this complex and talented man.

Bonus clip of Brian Eno interviewed on ‘The Tube’ from 1986, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Roxy Music live in 1972, the full BBC radio broadcast
06:45 pm


Roxy Music

Here’s a 35 minute recording of Roxy Music playing live at the Paris Theatre, London in 1972, which was broadcast on BBC radio in September of the same year.

Thanks to Vibracobra23 for the upload, and author and musician Stephen Thrower, who adds that:

[this was] previously available only on dreadful, tinny bootleg LPs but is now in pristine sound quality, and with an extra track - a fantastically intense version of The Bob (Medley.)


1. The Bob (Medley)
2. The Bogus Man Part 2
3. Sea Breezes
4. Virginia Plain
5. Chance Meeting
6. Re-Make/Re-Model

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Roxy Music ‘Love Is the Drug’ (Todd Terje remix)
09:02 am


Roxy Music
Love is the Drug
Todd Terje

Norwegian DJ Todd Terje remixed Roxy Music’s “Love Is the Drug,” without overdoing it. This is one of those things you’re either going to completely dig or absolutely hate.

I especially enjoyed the Giorgio Moroder-ness towards the end.


Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Roxy Music Live On British TV, July 16 : ‘Virginia Plain’ And ‘Love Is The Drug’

Roxy Music performing Virginia Plain and Love is The Drug on the last edition of British television’s Friday Night With Jonathan Ross, which aired on July 16. Bryan Ferry, Andy Mackay, Phil Manzanera, and Paul Thompson all sound terrific. But, where’s Eno? 

Roxy is touring Europe, but no US dates are currently scheduled.

Bryan Ferry/Jonathan Ross, separated at birth.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Roxy Music - In Every Dream Home A Heartache
08:51 am


Brian Eno
Roxy Music

An amazing Eno-era live version of the For Your Pleasure LP classic that I’d never seen before. And our man Brian is a delight here, heavily treating Manzanera‘s epic guitar solo by rhythmically altering the VSO on the tape decks he’s running the guitar through. Good shit ! Ferry is also in ultra-fine form, though he seriously muffs the lyric at 3:16, it’s kind of endearing. Jah bless a You-tube !

gracias Jeff Copas !

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
Amanda Lear: Hot Tranny Mess

Model, painter, disco diva and the absolute fiercest of the pioneering transsexuals (along with Candy Darling), Amanda Learwas born Alain Tap in Saigon, 1939. Or it could have been Paris. Or Hong Kong. The year might have been 1941, 1945 or as she now claims 1948. There is much competing information about her parents, none of it conclusive. In general, not much is known for sure about the early life of Amanda Lear and she would like to keep it that way. She claims to have been educated in Switzerland and she eventually made her way to Paris in 1959, taking the stage name Peki d’Oslo, performing as a stripper at the notorious drag bar, Le Carrousel.
The story goes that the gangly, yet exotic Eurasian beauty Peki had a nose job and sex change in Casablanca paid for by Salvador Dali, who frequented Le Carrousel, in 1963. Amanda, as she is now known, then makes her way to London to become a part of the swinging Chelsea set where she is rumored to have had a relationship with Rolling Stone, Brian Jones. She models for Yves St. Laurent and Paco Rabanne and is a constant muse for the Divine Dali, but her career is held back by rumors that she was born a man.
Roxy Music front man Bryan Ferry sees Lear on the runway during an Ossie Clarke fashion show and invites her to be the model for Roxy’s For Your Pleasure album cover walking a black panther on a leash. They had a fling and that image has become iconic. Lear also has a yearlong affair with David Bowie who sings Sorrow to her in his 1980 Floor Show (broadcast here on the Midnight Special in 1974). Bowie helped Lear launch her musical career and by the late 70s she had become a best selling disco singer and television personality in Europe with hits like Queen of Chinatown and I Am a Photograph. She collaborated with Eurodisco duo La Bionda (who Tara is nuts about and has posted here about them)

Her autobiography, My Life With Dali came out in 1985 and it begins when she would have been approximately 24 or 25 years of age. No mention is made of her life before arriving in London in 1965. When Dali biographer Ian Gibson confronted her on camera about the gender of her birth, Lear angrily—and not at all convincingly—stonewalled him. She has always vehemently denied that she was a transsexual despite it being a well-established fact. She even posed nude for Playboy and sunbathed naked on beaches to dispel the rumors. All this really proved was that she had a kickin’ bod!
Amanda Lear still looks amazing and continues to perform She has a thriving side career as a painter.

Modeling in the 60s with Patti Boyd Harrison and Karianne Muller (later a Roxy Music cover girl herself):

Bonus: Another incredible performance of Queen of Chinatown

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Brian Eno’s 77 Million Paintings
02:30 pm


Brian Eno
Roxy Music
77 Million Paintings

Coming soon to some not so far away beach, Brian Eno.  If you happen to be in Long Beach this fall (Sept. 12—Dec. 13), try to catch, in its SoCal debut, Brian Eno’s 77 Million Paintings:

Using sophisticated computer software and audio boom boxes, 77 Million Paintings features constantly changing images and musical compositions, which challenge the notion that the artist must be in control.  Eno?

Posted by Bradley Novicoff | Leave a comment