This album is a MASTERPIECE of Art Rock, Glam Rock and Bent Rock all rolled into one. Spacious, dynamic, present, with HUGE MEATY BASS and tons of energy, the sound is every bit as good as the music. (At least on this copy it is. That’s precisely what Hot Stampers are all about.)
Strictly in terms of recording quality, For Your Pleasure is on the same plane as the other best sounding record the band ever made, their first.
Siren, Avalon and Country Life are all musically sublime, but the first album and this one are the only two with the kind of dynamic, energetic, POWERFUL sound that Roxy’s other records simply cannot show us (with the exception of Country Life, was is powerful but a bit too aggressive).
The super-tubey keyboards that anchor practically every song on the first two albums are only found there. If you want to know what Tubey Magic sounds like in 1972-73, play one of our better Hot Stamper Roxy albums. Roxy and their engineers and producers manage to capture a keyboard sound on their first two albums that few bands in the history of the world can lay claim to.
I love the band’s later albums, but none of them sound like these two. The closest one can get is Stranded, their third, but it’s still a noticeable step down.
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, musicians 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 thirty-five years, precisely in order to play records like this one, the kind of record I fell in love with back then.
Chris Thomas and John Punter
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. Chris Thomas produced side one; he produced the rest of their albums (and engineered The Beatles and Badfinger and mixed Dark Side of the Moon and on and on).
The album has many of his trademark qualities: an enormous, 3-Dimensional soundstage; tons of bass; tremendous dynamics; and energy to rival anything around. John Punter’s engineering is superb in all respects and virtually faultless.
What to Listen For (WTLF)
Here are some of the things we specifically listen for in a ’70s Art Rock record.
Our hottest Hot Stamper copies are simply doing more of these things better than any of the other copies we played in our shootout.
The best copies have:
- Greater immediacy in the vocals (most copies are veiled and distant to some degree);
- Natural tonal balance (many copies are at least slightly brighter or darker than ideal; those with the right balance are the exception, not the rule);
- Good solid weight (so the bass sounds full and powerful);
- Spaciousness (the best copies have wonderful studio ambience and space);
- Tubey Magic, without which you might as well be playing a CD;
- And last but not least, transparency, the quality of being able to see into the studio, where there is plenty of musical information to be revealed in this sometimes simple, sometimes complex and sophisticated recording.
Do the Strand
Editions of You
In Every Dream Home a Heartache
The Bogus Man
For Your Pleasure
AMG 5 Star Rave Review!
On Roxy Music’s debut, the tensions between Brian Eno and Bryan Ferry propelled their music to great, unexpected heights, and for most of the group’s second album, For Your Pleasure, the band equals, if not surpasses, those expectations.
However, there are a handful of moments where those tensions become unbearable, as when Eno wants to move toward texture and Ferry wants to stay in more conventional rock territory; the nine-minute “The Bogus Man” captures such creative tensions perfectly, and it’s easy to see why Eno left the group after the album was completed.
Still, those differences result in yet another extraordinary record from Roxy Music, one that demonstrates even more clearly than the debut how avant-garde ideas can flourish in a pop setting. This is especially evident in the driving singles “Do the Strand” and “Editions of You,” which pulsate with raw energy and jarring melodic structures.
Roxy also illuminate the slower numbers, such as the eerie “In Every Dream Home a Heartache,” with atonal, shimmering synthesizers, textures that were unexpected and innovative at the time of its release. Similarly, all of For Your Pleasure walks the tightrope between the experimental and the accessible, creating a new vocabulary for rock bands, and one that was exploited heavily in the ensuing decade.
Pitchfork Media 10/10
Rolling Stone 5/5 stars
In 2000 Q magazine placed it at number 33 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever.
In 1973, Paul Gambaccini of Rolling Stone gave it a mixed review, and wrote that “the bulk of For Your Pleasure is either above us, beneath us, or on another plane altogether.” However, by 2003, the album was ranked number 394 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. It was one of four by the group that made the list (Country Life, Siren and Avalon being the others).
It placed at 87 on Pitchfork Media’s Top 100 Albums of the 1970s. The citation notes that Morrissey told the British press that “he could ‘only think of one truly great British album: For Your Pleasure.”
The group was able to spend more studio time on this album than on their debut, combining strong song material by Bryan Ferry with more elaborate production treatments. For example, the song “In Every Dream Home a Heartache” (Ferry’s sinister ode to a blow-up doll) fades out in its closing section, only to fade back in again with all the instruments subjected to a pronounced phasing treatment.
The title track fades out in an elaborate blend of tape loop effects. Brian Eno remarked that the eerie “The Bogus Man” displayed similarities with contemporary material by the krautrock group Can.
Of the more upbeat numbers on the album, “Do the Strand” and “Editions of You” were both based around insistent rhythms in the tradition of the band’s first single “Virginia Plain”. “Do the Strand” has been called the archetypal Roxy Music anthem, whilst “Editions of You” was notable for a series of ear-catching solos by Andy Mackay (sax), Eno (VCS3), and Phil Manzanera (guitar).
Eno is very present in the final song from the album, “For Your Pleasure” making it unlike any other song on the album. The song ends with the voice of Judi Dench saying “You don’t ask. You don’t ask why” amid tapes of the opening vocals (‘Well, how are you?’) from “Chance Meeting” from the first Roxy Music album. A live recording of the song has been used in 1975 as a B-side to “Both Ends Burning”.