Published on January 30th, 2018 | by Gerry Galipault


The Roxy Music Album Discography

Of the three most influential British glam-rock acts of the 1970s, only David Bowie is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The other two left stranded? T. Rex and Roxy Music.

T. Rex, fronted by Marc Bolan, took glam to new heights in the U.K., where between 1970 and ’73, they had 11 straight Top 10 hits. Even Bowie name-called them in “All the Young Dudes.” They were hugely groundbreaking, inspiring such artists as The Jam, The Smiths, Joy Division, The Slits, The Pixies, to name a few.

Roxy Music didn’t have the level of mass hysteria that T. Rex generated in their homeland, but they were just as influential.

In 2005, The Guardian’s Tim de Lisle went as far to call Roxy Music the second most influential British band after The Beatles: “Somehow, in a landscape dominated by Led Zeppelin at one end and The Osmonds at the other, they managed to reach the Top 10 with a heady mixture of futurism, retro rock ‘n’ roll, camp, funny noises, silly outfits, art techniques, film references and oboe solos. And although their popularity has ebbed and flowed, their influence has been strikingly consistent.”

This week, Virgin is reissuing Roxy Music’s 1972 self-titled debut album in deluxe-edition form, featuring a second CD, “The BBC Sessions.” It’s also available in a Super Deluxe Edition, featuring the original album, demos and outtakes.

For the thrill of it all, let’s revisit the legacy of Bryan Ferry, Phil Manzanera, Andy Mackay, Brian Eno, Graham Simpson, Paul Thompson and Co.

This is for your pleasure!

Roxy Music (Reprise, 1972)

The band set out early on to be original, and with their first album, Ferry and Eno were front and center of the art-rock movement in the early 1970s. Their debut was produced by King Crimson co-founder and lyricist Peter Sinfield.

Producer: Peter Sinfield

Highlights: “Virginia Plain,” “2HB, “Re-Make/Re-Model”

For Your Pleasure (Warner, 1973)

Creative differences between Ferry and Eno fueled their second album. Eno liked to experiment with sounds, while Ferry preferred accessible rock/pop. Despite the tension, they put together a brilliant sophomore album (no slump at all). Eno, however, left the band before the album was finished.

Producers: Chris Thomas, John Anthony, Roxy Music

Highlights: “Do the Strand,” “Editions of You,” “In Every Dream Home a Heartache”

Stranded (Atco, 1973)

Gone was Brian Eno’s synthesizers; in came more of a group effort. Ferry didn’t carry all the songwriting load like before; guitarist Phil Manzanera and multi-instrumentalist Andy Mackay both contributed songs. Roxy didn’t miss a beat; they shot straight to No. 1 in the U.K., while U.S. commercial success continued to elude them.

Producer: Chris Thomas

Highlights: “Street Life,” “Mother of Pearl,” “A Song for Europe,” “Amazona”

Country Life (1974)

By now, Roxy Music had perfected the art of sophisticated rock; “Country Life” was one of four Roxy albums that landed on Rolling Stone’s 2003 list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The sexy cover photo was censored in the U.S., eventually replaced with a photo of trees. The controversy finally brought Roxy some notoriety in the U.S.: “Country Life” was their first album to reach the Billboard Top 40.

Producers: Chris Thomas, John Punter, Roxy Music

Highlights: “The Thrill of It All,” “All I Want Is You,” “Out of the Blue,” “Casanova”

Siren (1975)

Their fifth album was a masterpiece, centered around the pulsating “Love Is the Drug” and Ferry’s ever-shifting persona. He could be slick and romantic, then move to funky and soulful. Roxy made its commercial breakthrough in the U.S. with “Love Is the Drug”; their signature song cracked the Top 30 (and reached No. 2 in the U.K.).

Producer: Chris Thomas

Highlights: “Love Is the Drug,” “Both Ends Burning,” “She Sells,” “Sentimental Fool”

Viva! (1976)

The first live Roxy Music album was recorded at three venues in Britain between 1973 and 1975.

Producer: Chris Thomas

Highlights: “Do the Strand,” “If There Is Something,” “Out of the Blue”

Manifesto (1979)

Between Roxy albums, Bryan Ferry maintained a solo career, beginning with “These Foolish Things” in 1973, then “Another Time, Another Place” (1974), “Let’s Stick Together” (1976) and “In Your Mind” (1977). He dabbled in smooth cover versions and re-recordings of Roxy originals. “Manifesto” was Roxy’s first studio album since “Siren,” and even though they enjoyed one of their biggest U.K. hits (“Dance Away”), for the first time critics didn’t lavish the band with praise.

Producer: Roxy Music

Highlights: “Dance Away,” “Angel Eyes,” “Trash”

Flesh + Blood (Atlantic, 1980)

And then there were three … drummer Paul Thompson departed, leaving Roxy down to Ferry, Mackay and Manzanera. There were hints of Roxy magic (especially the swoonful “Over You”), but for the most part, critics were not impressed.

Producers: Rhett Davies, Roxy Music

Highlights: “Over You,” “Oh Yeah,” “Same Old Scene,” “In the Midnight Hour”

Avalon (Warner, 1982)

Though this was their eighth and final album, they went out on top: “Avalon” spent nearly a full year on the Billboard chart, becoming their only million-seller in the U.S. It went No. 1 in the U.K. and six other countries. A whole new audience was attracted to their brand of sophisti-pop. In short, it is considered one of the best albums of the 1980s, period.

Producers: Rhett Davies, Roxy Music

Highlights: “More Than This,” “Avalon,” “Take a Chance With Me,” “The Main Thing”

The High Road (1983)

This long-out-of-print live EP was recorded at the Apollo in Glasgow during the band’s Avalon tour in 1982. Two songs are covers (John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy” and Neil Young’s “Like a Hurricane”) and two originals (“Can’t Let Go” and “My Only Love”).

Producers: Rhett Davies, Robin Nash, Roxy Music

Street Life: 20 Great Hits (1986)

This compilation features a selection of Roxy Music classics and Bryan Ferry solo hits.

The Complete Studio Recordings 1972-1982 (Virgin, 2012)

The 10-CD box set includes eight Roxy Music albums, plus two discs of previously unreleased material.

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About the Author

Gerry Galipault debuted Pause & Play online in October 1997. Since then, it has become the definitive place for CD-release dates — with a worldwide audience.

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