Sunday, 27 September 2020

The Finest Roxy Music Album? - #FruitfulSeptember #11

 On my recent walks I have been listening to a lot of Roxy Music. Today my music player on my Google Pixel 2XL stopped working so I applied another , it sounded fine but it was listing songs on albums in alphabetical order with the option of shuffling. Songs are meant to be in the album order , but so many apps default to alphabetical order, which is plain stupid. It's ok if you are looking at all the songs on a device but not within an album. There is no option to sort by album song number, but luckily the file date sorted them into the correct order.

Anyway back to the point of the post, I've decided that "For Your Pleasure" is Roxy Music's best album. The have made a lot of great albums, and "Stranded" , "Country Life" and the debut are close behind , plus "Avalon" is an amazing soundscape and the rest of the albums have their highpoints but "For Your Pleasure" everything just falls into place.

The cover features Amanda Lear , a jaguar and Ferry as a chauffeur , Ferry being the only band member to feature on the outer cover although they are all on the inner one.

Originally a vinyl release (which I have as well as the CD) , listening now it's in two distinct parts with the strident opener "Do The Strand" sounding contrived but excellent followed by "Beauty Queen" with the superb instrumental break going into "Strictly Confidential" introverted and sullen, before "Editions of You" closes the first part but not the side.

That falls to "In Every Dreamhome A Heartache" one of the creepiest songs to ever hit the mainstream, and it delivers in spades , close the side with swirling guitars and leaving the listener at least a little unnerved.

Side Two opens with "The Bogus Man" with the band almost in Can / Bertolt Brecht territory , and this was the direction Brian Eno wanted the band to go in , although he acknowledged it was Bryan Ferry's vision and band. This goes into "Grey Lagoons" (also known as "The Bogus Man Part Two") which is grand rock and roll with a stunning Andy Mackay saxophone solo before the grand finale of the title track complete with Eno piano treatment and the hypnotic fade.

Although this is their finest album , their finest song is the wonderful "Mother of Pearl" on "Stranded" the follow up the "For Your Pleasure" with Eno replaced by Eddie Jobson from Curved Air.

So that's two posts today, obviously influenced by my afternoon walk, but what to do about #FruitfulSeptember ? Roxy Music have no fruit related songs, or so I thought. Then I found this:

"The Wild Prairie Rose is not only known for its beauty but also for its medical and food uses. The rise hips and roots are used to treat inflammation of the eye. The fruit can be eaten raw or made into jellies. The stems and leaves are used in teas."

So we hit Roxy Music's fourth album "Country Life" for "Prairie Rose" , another great song. 

Basically their first four studio albums, and the first live album "Viva" are all essential , after that they are a little patchy but with some gems in there. The albums below are the essential ones plus an excellent compilation that contains most of the first four albums plus rarities.

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