Roxy Music’s Music Debut Is a Masterpiece

More Roxy Music / More Bryan Ferry

More Roxy Music – Roxy Music

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  • Outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides – this is some of the most dynamic sound the band achieved
  • Andy Hendriksen’s engineering (over the course of a week!) is superb in all respects and practically faultless
  • A Top 100 album, the band’s Masterpiece, and truly a Must Own Desert Island Disc of Glamorous Arty Rock
  • “Falling halfway between musical primitivism and art rock ambition, Roxy Music’s eponymous debut remains a startling redefinition of rock’s boundaries. Simultaneously embracing kitschy glamour and avant-pop, Roxy Music shimmers with seductive style and pulsates with disturbing synthetic textures.”

Folks, this is a true Demo Disc in the world of Art Rock. It’s rare to find a recording of popular music with DYNAMICS like these.

In both music and sound, this is arguably the best record the band ever made. Siren, Avalon and Country Life are all musically sublime, but the first album has the kind of dynamic, energetic, POWERFUL sound that their other records simply never show us. And we’ve played them by the dozens, so there’s a pretty good chance we will never find copies with the abundant richness and power we find here.

We hope you will agree with us that it was entirely worth the wait, as this album is a MASTERPIECE of Art Rock, Glam Rock and Bent Rock all rolled into one.

AMG calls Roxy Music the “most adventurous rock band of the early ’70s” and I’m inclined to agree with them. Roxy are certainly one of the most influential and important bands in my growth as a listener and audiophile, along with the likes of Supertramp, Ambrosia, 10cc, Steely Dan, Yes, Bowie and others, groups of musicians dedicated to exploring and exploding the conventions of popular music.

Technology

With all the latest technological advances in playback I can tell you that this record sounds a whole lot better than I ever thought it could. What an amazing recording. I had always assumed it was Chris Thomas who produced it, since he had produced the rest of their albums (and engineered The Beatles and Badfinger and mixed Dark Side of the Moon and on and on), but the production duties fell to Peter Sinfield (King Crimson), using an engineer I have been unable to find out much about, Andy Hendriksen.

I thought Chris Thomas was behind the superb sound because the album has many of his trademark qualities: an enormous, 3-Dimensional soundstage; tons of bass; tremendous dynamics; and energy to rival anything around. The engineering is superb in all respects and practically faultless. It’s just not Chris Thomas’s.

What excellent sides such as these have to offer is not hard to hear:

  • Bigger, more immediate staging in a large acoustic space
  • More Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1972
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the good weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional space of the studio

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is of course the only way to hear all of the above.

The Seventies – What a Decade!

This is some of the best High-Production-Value rock music of the ’60s and ’70s. The amount of effort that went into the recording of this album is comparable to that expended by the engineers and producers of bands like Supertramp, The Who, Jethro Tull, Ambrosia, Pink Floyd and far too many others to list. It seems that no effort or cost was spared in making the home listening experience as compelling as the recording technology of the day permitted.

Big Production Tubey Magical British Art Rock just doesn’t get much better than Roxy Music’s debut.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Re-make / Re-model 
Ladytron 
If There Is Something
2 H.B.

Side Two

The Bob (Medley) 
Chance Meeting 
Would You Believe? 
Sea Breezes 
Bitters End

AMG Review

Falling halfway between musical primitivism and art rock ambition, Roxy Music’s eponymous debut remains a startling redefinition of rock’s boundaries. Simultaneously embracing kitschy glamour and avant-pop, Roxy Music shimmers with seductive style and pulsates with disturbing synthetic textures.

Although no musician demonstrates much technical skill at this point, they are driven by boundless imagination — Brian Eno’s synthesized “treatments” exploit electronic instruments as electronics, instead of trying to shoehorn them into conventional acoustic patterns.

Similarly, Bryan Ferry finds that his vampiric croon is at its most effective when it twists conventional melodies, Phil Manzanera’s guitar is terse and unpredictable, while Andy Mackay’s saxophone subverts rock & roll clichés by alternating R&B honking with atonal flourishes.

But what makes Roxy Music such a confident, astonishing debut is how these primitive avant-garde tendencies are married to full-fledged songs, whether it’s the free-form, structure-bending “Remake/Remodel” or the sleek glam of “Virginia Plain,” the debut single added to later editions of the album. That was the trick that elevated Roxy Music from an art school project to the most adventurous rock band of the early ’70s.

The Evolution of an Audiophile 

AMG calls Roxy Music the “most adventurous rock band of the early ’70s” and I’m inclined to agree with them. Roxy are certainly one of the most influential and important bands in my growth as a music lover and audiophile, along with the likes of Supertramp, Ambrosia, 10cc, Steely Dan, Yes, Bowie and others, musicians and bands who seemed to me dedicated to exploring and exploding the conventions of popular music.

My equipment was forced to evolve in order to be able to play the scores of challenging recordings issued by these groups in the ’70s. You could say that the albums of Roxy Music and others informed not only my taste in music but the actual stereo I play that music on. I’ve had large scale dynamic speakers for the last four decades, precisely in order to play records like this, containing the kind of music I fell in love with all those years ago.

For me, a big speaker guy with a penchant for giving the old volume knob an extra click or two, it just doesn’t get any better than this.