Roxy Music “Roxy Music” 1972. Today, May 15th, is Roxy Music synth-player Brian Eno’s 70th birthday (b. 1948). He left Roxy Music in ‘73, going on to prolifically record solo projects, collaborate spectacularly (David Bowie, Depeche Mode, ) become an über-producer on albums by U2, Talking Heads, Devo, Coldplay and many others, and explore multimedia artforms with video and light installations.
Roxy Music, the band’s first album, hit #10 in the UK. Our copy is the US version; the original UK release did not include the track “Virginia Plain,” which Roxy Music recorded after the initial release (along with “The Numberer”) and then included it on the US album. They released “Virginia Plain” as a single and it went to #4 in the UK. Allmusic says, “Falling halfway between musical primitivism and art rock ambition, Roxy Music’s eponymous debut remains a startling redefinition of rock’s boundaries. Simultaneously embracing kitschy glamour and avant-pop, Roxy Music shimmers with seductive style and pulsates with disturbing synthetic textures. Although no musician demonstrates much technical skill at this point, they are driven by boundless imagination – Brian Eno’s synthesized ‘treatments’ exploit electronic instruments as electronics, instead of trying to shoehorn them into conventional acoustic patterns. Similarly, Bryan Ferry finds that his vampiric croon is at its most effective when it twists conventional melodies, Phil Manzanera’s guitar is terse and unpredictable, while Andy Mackay’s saxophone subverts rock & roll clichés by alternating R&B honking with atonal flourishes. But what makes Roxy Music such a confident, astonishing debut is how these primitive avant-garde tendencies are married to full-fledged songs, whether it’s the free-form, structure-bending “Re-Make/Re-Model” or the sleek glam of “Virginia Plain,” the debut single added to later editions of the album. That was the trick that elevated Roxy Music from an art school project to the most adventurous rock band of the early ‘70s.”