Founded in 1970-71, they could be considered an Oldies band. Roxy Music has always been made up by bits of the past mixed with bits of the future. Their edgy, well crafted music has influenced Progressive, Glam, Art Rock and even Punk.
Art School grad Bryan Ferry ( vocals, and lyrics ) placed the original advert to find musicians. Graham Simpson, the bassist from Ferry's Art School band was already on board. The ad was answered by Andy Mackay, sax and oboe player, and Brian Eno, painter, and non musician / sound sculptor, Phil Manzanara on guitar, and in 1971 ( The Great ) Paul Thompson joined on Drums.
Roxy were always a mix of high art and low brow culture. They reveled in dynamic time shifts, clever wordplay, and unconventional orchestration.Crooner vocals, with Doo Wop back up singers,muscular bass, and minimal guitar lines melted into to searing, distorted and spaced out leads. Processing and undefinable noises by Eno on synthesizer.
The first two albums, Roxy Music, and For Your Pleasure, are the classics.The debut album became a Top 10 hit. Eno would leave after the second album, replaced by Edie Jobson on synth and electric violin.
Between 1974 and 1977 Roxy Music produced 3 more albums-Stranded, Country Life, and Siren. These continued the eclectic mix of styles, adding Gospel, funk elements, and early Disco. Country life was the first of their albums to enter the US top 40, and Siren contained the big US hit " Love is the Drug". Ferry cultivated his semi-ironic, Lounge Lizard persona, which started to make Roxy Music seem more like a backing band for Ferry's Cabaret act than a rock band. This may be part of what lead to their break up in 1976.
Reforming in 1978, they made Manifesto, and in 1980 Flesh + Blood. Manifesto showed a radical change in the Roxy sound. These albums stripped away the creative mix of styles, and left soft jazz and standard pop cliches. 3 core members remained, and the albums were overloaded with session musicians. The former anarchic power of the debut album was gone. Flesh + Blood is considered by many to be Roxy's weakest effort.
1982 produced the final Roxy album, Avalon. Mostly synthetic, it has a shimmering, mystical appeal, and it became a major success. Avalon also contains their final hit, More Than This.
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