W2 26043 Siren
Produced by Chris Thomas
Released on October 1975
UK CHART POSITION #4 . . . US CHART POSITION #50
(charted Nov. 29, 1975 for 20 weeks)
Find it at GEMM
W2 26043 cover  

R olling Stone called it the band’s “masterpiece.” Vibe (no, really) ranked it among their 100 Essential Albums. All of which begs the question: Do these guys even own a copy of Country Life? It’s not that I don’t like Siren, but I don’t love it the way I do Country Life, For Your Pleasure, even their first album. Maybe it’s the banality of “Love Is The Drug” or the rushed arrangements, perhaps the knowledge of what would come makes me twinge at the traces of disco, but to me Siren feels less like a culmination than a commercialization. Mind you, I like almost every song on here, and that’s by design. The hooks are punched up, the pathos played up, and (voila!) we go from Greta Garbo to Marilyn Monroe in two easy payments. So we come to the conclusion that Siren lacks subtlety rather than passion. Garbo is an acquired taste, Monroe universal. “Casanova” and “Mother of Pearl” put up some resistance, “Sentimental Fool” and “Just Another High” are easy. It’s when Siren sounds most like Country Life that I’m happiest: “Prairie Rose” blooming anew in “Whirlwind,” “If It Takes All Night” spilling over into “End of the Line,” “Nightingale” following the manic tailwinds of “All I Want Is You.” But Ferry never returns to his old, cryptic self; it’s as if he went from solo album to Siren without making the requisite costume change. The love songs are simply that, the European cafes replaced by late-night discos, the hero vulnerable and human. Obviously, that’s exactly what some folks were looking for, but a masterpiece? One of the world’s top 100 albums? I’d be surprised if Roxy fans rated this among the band’s top 5 albums (Avalon and Viva! Roxy Music might give it a run for its money).

SD 36-127 front cover SD 36-127 back cover
SD 36-127 front cover SD 36-127 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. LOVE IS THE DRUG    (Bryan Ferry/Andrew Mackay)    4:09
  2. END OF THE LINE    (Bryan Ferry)    5:18
  3. SENTIMENTAL FOOL    (Bryan Ferry/Andrew Mackay)    6:16
  4. WHIRLWIND    (Bryan Ferry/Phil Manzanera)    3:37
  5. SHE SELLS    (Bryan Ferry/Eddie Jobson)    3:40
  6. COULD IT HAPPEN TO ME?    (Bryan Ferry)    3:35
  7. BOTH ENDS BURNING    (Bryan Ferry)    5:16
  8. NIGHTINGALE    (Bryan Ferry/Phil Manzanera)    4:12
  9. JUST ANOTHER HIGH    (Bryan Ferry)    6:37

CREDITS

BRYAN FERRY -- voices & keyboards
JOHN GUSTAFSON -- bass
EDDIE JOBSON -- strings, synthesizer, keyboards
ANDREW MACKAY -- oboe & saxophone
PHIL MANZANERA -- guitar
PAUL THOMPSON -- drums
Steve Nye -- engineer
Jerry Hall, Bryan Ferry, Graham Hughes, Anthony Price, Nicholas de Ville, Bob Bowkett, Celine, Adrianne Hunter -- cover

return to ROXY MUSIC discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK October 1975 Island LP/CS ILPS/ZC1 9344  
US November 1975 Atlantic LP/8T SD/TP 36-127  
AUS'L 1975? Island LP L35668  
JPN   Polydor LP MPF 1103  
JPN   Polydor LP 20MM-9110  
MEX 1975 Island LP LA 009  
UK 1977 Polydor LP 2302 052 reissue
UK   Polydor CS 3100 352 reissue
GER   Polydor LP 2344 090 reissue
YUG   Jugoton LP LSI 70797  
US 1984 Reprise CD/CS 26043  
EUR 1986? EMI CD 86960  
UK 1987? EG Records LP EGLP20 reissue
US March 2000 Virgin CD 47455  
UK 2001? Virgin CD ROXYCD5 digital remaster
UK August 27, 2001 EMI CD 847 456 HDCD remaster
JPN   Virgin CD TOCP-65826 HDCD remaster

 

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