SD 36-133 Roxy Music
Produced by Peter Sinfield
Released on June 1972
UK CHART POSITION #10
Find it at GEMM
SD 36-133 cover  

Roxy Music started out by subverting rock & roll’s classic stereotypes: the romantic vocals, the guitar/sax solos, the predictable arrangements. Their debut is contrived to be confrontational, which is perhaps why this music was tagged as “art” rock. Pop art is probably the better term, since Roxy Music clearly delights in twisting mundane musical devices into works with much wider implications. At the center of this musical storm is Bryan Ferry, his voice oddly affecting in its mix of parody and pathos, the lone straight man in a mob of musical comedians. Whether he’s affecting the pose of the slick Casanova on “Ladytron” or the desperate lover with nothing left to lose on “If There Is Something,” Ferry remains the focal point. Saxophones squeak from the corners, synthesizers swirl under the surface, guitars spike out from the speakers and through it all Ferry stands firm, aware that the cacophony is right on cue. Personally, this is one of my favorite Roxy Music albums; they weren’t holding anything back here, from the kitchen sink approach of “The Bob (Medley)” to the grotesque solos of “Re-make/Re-model.” Yet their debut is a prickly pear compared to some of their later albums; even the most romantic moments have a certain gothic chill to them, like Phil Manzanera’s bone-rattling guitar on “Chance Meeting” or the pale atmosphere generated by Eno on “2 H.B.” Imagine a crooner lost in the chaos of Limbo, where spatial relationships are distorted and emotions unreasonably intensified, and you’ll have a pretty good picture of the first Roxy Music album. Note that reissues from the mid-70s onward appended the single “Virginia Plain” to this record, the sort of succinct and sped-up raver that found wider commercial success with rock fans.

SD 36-133 back cover 4-26039 front cover
SD 36-133 back cover 4-26039 front cover

TRACK LISTING

    June 1976 Atco reissue...
  1. RE-MAKE/RE-MODEL    5:10
  2. LADYTRON    4:21
  3. IF THERE IS SOMETHING    6:33
  4. *VIRGINIA PLAIN    2:50
  5. 2 H.B.    4:30
  6. THE BOB (MEDLEY)    5:48
  7. CHANCE MEETING    3:00
  8. WOULD YOU BELIEVE?    3:47
  9. SEA BREEZES    7:00
  10. BITTERS END    2:02

    All songs by Bryan Ferry

CREDITS

ENO -- synthesizer and tapes
BRYAN FERRY -- voice and piano
ANDREW MACKAY -- oboe and saxophone
PHIL MANZANERA -- guitar
GRAHAM SIMPSON -- bass guitar
PAUL THOMPSON -- drums
Rik Kenton -- bass guitar (4)
Andy Hendriksen -- engineer

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REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK June 1972 Island LP/CS 9200 gatefold cover
US June 1972 Reprise LP/CS MS-2114 gatefold cover
US June 1976 Atco LP SD 36-133 not gatefold w. extra track (*)
UK February 1977 Polydor LP/CS 2302 048 gatefold cover w. extra track (*)
GER   Island LP 88370 XOT  
US 1984 Reprise CD/CS 26039  
UK August 27, 2001 Virgin CD 847 448 ltd. ed. HDCD remaster
US March 2000 Virgin CD 47447  
JPN October 3, 2001 Toshiba CDLE TOCP-65822 ltd. ed. digital remaster

 

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