Thursday, September 13, 2012

Roxy Music - their story: And Manifesto

Roxy Music - the finest band from the UK, ever?  Or from anywhere.  In my book they have to be in the conversation.  Over on my Vinyl Record Collectors group on LinkedIn  Check it out.  If you read or like this blog - that Linkedin Group is a cool place for more vinyl record discussion.  And I posted this today there:  Not that I ever need a reason to play records, but to see how their music holds up, I spun some Roxy last night down in the record room/Man Cave. Angel Eyes off Manifesto, Same Old Scene from Flesh+Blood, and To Turn You On - Avalon. Those are their last 3 records, spanning 1979-82. But none of it sounded dated nor pegged to an era. Verdict is in: 8 albums over a relatively short 10 year period = one of the finest catalogues of any band. More important, is how influential RM was and continues to be.   Manifesto is the sixth studio album by Roxy Music, and was released in 1979 by E.G. in the UK, Polydor in Europe and by Atco Records in the U.S.   To some - it was their "comeback" album since it had been 4-5 years since their previous studio album (Siren) was released.  The guys I know who know Roxy better then I do think Manifesto is their best work.  I don't think they have a best album.   So, following this almost four-year recording hiatus, Manifesto comes out.  The first single was Trash, which barely made the UK top 40.  However, the second single, the disco-tinged "Dance Away", returned the band to the top 3, beaten to no.1 for two weeks from 26 May 1979 by Blondie's "Sunday Girl". Regardless, it became one of the band's biggest hits and was also the 9th best-selling single in the UK in 1979. The song was also released as a 12" extended version (running at six and half minutes), a format that had started to become popular in the late 1970s.  The third single from the album was a re-recorded version of "Angel Eyes", which was far more electronic and "disco" in nature than the power-pop album version.  An extended 12" mix was also released of Angel Eyes - which I am dying to have.  That single also made the UK Top 5 in August.  The album itself peaked at no. 7 in the UK.  The cover features a variety of mannequins (a concept also used for the covers of the singles from the album), was created by Bryan Ferry with fashion designer Antony Price amongst others. The picture disc version of the album featured a version of the design in which the mannequins are unclothed. The cover's typography, as well as the album's title, were inspired by the first edition of Wyndham Lewis's literary magazine BLAST.

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