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 Post subject: Re: Roxy Music schism - looking back
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 5:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 6:27 pm
Posts: 154
Strange to jump ahead to Olympia - some mention of the gorgeous 'I Thought' would've been more than appropriate for this article ...


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 Post subject: Re: Roxy Music schism - looking back
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 7:23 pm
Posts: 1276
True2Life wrote:
I have always looked upon Roxy less as a democracy and more as a benevolent dictatorship. As the late great Nottingham Forest football manager Brian Clough said, and I paraphrase him here, we all sit around and have a discussion and then everyone agrees that I was right. Perhaps Roxy was the same?


Hipsters,
Mais oui.
True2Life is correct but surely all great creative endeavours are like this.
Otherwise, you set out to design a horse and finish up with a camel !
Salutations,
W2


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 Post subject: Re: Roxy Music schism - looking back
PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:08 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:58 am
Posts: 80
Smudge wrote:
I've always thought of In Your Mind as "the Roxy album that never was", whereas Avalon could easily have been issued under BF's name, as it has more in common with Boys And Girls than with the Roxy back catalogue.


Hi Smudge,

Agree with you to a certain extent, but to me IYM was an excellent album mainly because of Chris Spedding's magnificent contribution. By now folks here should know that I am a HUGE fan of PM, but CS brought along something very different - a rare masterstroke by BF I think.


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 Post subject: Re: Roxy Music schism - looking back
PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:13 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:58 am
Posts: 80
UKRichard wrote:
Quote:
After Eno left IMHO Stranded, Country Life and Siren were good albums, but Manifesto flattered to deceive and then came the decline when Paul left the band.

As W2 says, the debate around the two or three phases of Roxy will always continue amongst fans. When it comes to the final three albums, which seem to divide even more than the pre-/post- Eno era, what puzzles me is precisely what those who knock them would have expected instead? The music and lyrics were mellowing and maturing long before they came back with Manifesto so, aside from the odd faux pas (Cry, Cry, Cry), the album sits reasonably comfortably alongside Siren. Similarly the two albums that followed - OK, we weren't accustomed to Roxy albums containing covers, but F&B contained some outstanding songs and Avalon is flawless.
No one can possibly know how things might have been different had there not been a break, the personnel / dynamic had been different etc. The band made eight exemplary albums. Who knows, had they turned left instead of turning right at some point we might not even have got that.


Hmm...what could we have expected, well something a bit more exciting perhaps? And Avalon flawless - I'm speechless. No TGPT, not much of Phil and Andy???


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 Post subject: Re: Roxy Music schism - looking back
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 6:50 am 
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Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 7:23 pm
Posts: 1276
Roger wrote:
Smudge wrote:
I've always thought of In Your Mind as "the Roxy album that never was", whereas Avalon could easily have been issued under BF's name, as it has more in common with Boys And Girls than with the Roxy back catalogue.


Hi Smudge,

Agree with you to a certain extent, but to me IYM was an excellent album mainly because of Chris Spedding's magnificent contribution. By now folks here should know that I am a HUGE fan of PM, but CS brought along something very different - a rare masterstroke by BF I think.


Hipsters,

Is W2 alone in not understanding this desire to separate our hero from his own work ?

“But to me IYM was an excellent album mainly because of Chris Spedding’s magnificent contribution” and that his involvement was “ A rare masterstroke by BF”, it reads like somebody trying to separate Michelangelo from painting the Sistine chapel.

‘IYM’ is a great album because Bryan Ferry conceived, wrote and directed every aspect of it. Including the cover art. He wasn’t a roaming troubadour dragged in to lay down stray vocals on genius tracks dreamt up by session musicians.

This is true of every album he has ever released as either BF or, as his alter ego ‘Roxy Music’

Credit where credit is due. Il faut dire la verite n’est-ce pas ?

Bon unlock a tous,

Windswept.


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 Post subject: Re: Roxy Music schism - looking back
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 3:59 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:26 am
Posts: 998
I can't speak for Roger, but my point was simply that IYM could easily have been released under the Roxy banner, while Avalon was far smoother and more akin to the albums released under BF's own name in the 80s and 90s.

I accept WS2's point about BF having complete control over IYM, but where it differs from his other earlier "solo" albums (i.e. those released under his own name) is that he wrote all the songs and chose to record them under his own name rather than that of Roxy.

(TFT, most of ATAP and half of the LST "compilation" were covers and even TBSB, which followed IYM, contained some "ready mades".)

I think you could make a case for the gradual phasing out of the Roxy brand having started with that IYM decision in '76.

I don't know whether BF regards Roxy Music as his nom de plume, but I hope not, as it would shine insufficient light on the contributions of the other band members, not least of all Graham Simpson, whose early assistance BF has acknowledged as invaluable.

Indeed the others might wonder whether their influence and contributions might have been more widely acknowledged, for example in the song writing credits; BF was a lyricist par excellence, but were Andy, Phil & Paul really presented with all their sax/oboe, guitar & drum parts/solos as finished articles?

As for Spedding, I agree wholeheartedly with Roger's view of his huge contribution to IYM; I suspect that BF would too. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Roxy Music schism - looking back
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:20 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 7:23 pm
Posts: 1276
Smudge wrote:

I don't know whether BF regards Roxy Music as his nom de plume, but I hope not, as it would shine insufficient light on the contributions of the other band members, not least of all Graham Simpson, whose early assistance BF has acknowledged .......

As for Spedding, I agree wholeheartedly with Roger's view of his huge contribution to IYM; I suspect that BF would too. :)


Hipsters,

W2 doesn’t think our hero would undervalue the contribution of any musicians and as a fan, neither would Windswept.

Without dancing on the head of a pin, this isn’t remotely the point.
What galls is the tendency for ‘the feather boa’ brigade to try and detach BF from his own work.

Of course ‘Roxy Music’ is Bryan’s ‘non de plume’ - without him Roxy would never have existed. It isn’t overly complicated n’est-ce pas ?

Mais oui, that Silver Fox ‘Spedding’ is an axe man sans beaucoup of peers. That’s why our hero has him in HIS band.

Salutations a tous et bon unlock.

Windswept.


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 Post subject: Re: Roxy Music schism - looking back
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 5:31 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:40 am
Posts: 408
Location: Merseyside
I've never really thought of it before, but there's never been a BF album where the record company and the man himself hasn't lauded the stella lineup and great playing of the musicians but that was very rarely the case with Roxy. Maybe it's because Roxy were well established as a group and the core members at least were readily identifiable, whereas on his solo records pretty much everyone was a guest.

As for IYM, save for a brace of songs, I've always considered it a weak album and that extends to the production values. I remember reading at least once how much BF disliked the album himself. To me it sits neither comfortably alongside Siren, nor as the segway between BF's first two outings (plus the LST collection) and the vastly superior TBSB. It's pretty hard to say with conviction that IYM was a rip-roaring success and with the abject failure of TBSB, I'd argue we have the reformed Roxy - however much some may have disliked it - to thank for BF's subsequent longevity.


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 Post subject: Re: Roxy Music schism - looking back
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:08 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:25 pm
Posts: 438
Location: Kempten
First of all I am very disappointed that Bryan and his tour band won't play in my region in 2021. Will I ever see him on stage again?

The discussion whether Bryan is only the joint inventor of Roxy Music or even the dictator of his band is not new. To me the truth lies somewhere in between:

After the worldwide success of Avalon in 82/83 Roxy Music disbanded. In 85 we saw two interesting new records: 1. The Explorers (Manzanera/Mackay/Wraith). The songs were not bad IMHO (Venus De Milo etc.), but Wraith wasn't Ferry - the album flopped. 2. Bryan Ferry - Boys And Girls. The sound was close to Avalon but despite prominent players (Gilmour, Knopfler), many fans missed Manzanera + Mackay. Slave To Love was a single hit but the album wasn't as successful as Avalon.

To me that's the problem until nowadays. Roxy is not Roxy without Ferry and Ferry is not Roxy without Manzanera + Mackay (although his tour band consists of first class musicians). Yesterday I listened to Olympia and was very pleased but I couldn't keep from thinking about this album being Roxy Nr. 9 ...

In Your Mind showed Bryan's skill as a songwriter (All Night Operator, One Kiss, Party Doll etc.) but it never sounded Roxy-like because of the background choir and a very dense (over-)arrangement. The Bride Stripped Bare sounded more like Roxy (Sign Of The Times, What Goes On).


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 Post subject: Re: Roxy Music schism - looking back
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2020 11:42 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:58 am
Posts: 80
Perhaps one thing that we have all missed is the change in recording technology from the early days of Roxy to the "Boys and Girls" era and beyond, particularly with regard to the number of tracks available. On "Boys and Girls" I find it frustrating that David Gilmour etc play on the album, but due its production/mixing are often hard to pick out (I think 32 tracks were used).

BF said himself around the time of IYM that he could make a record sound like Roxy without the rest of the band, which I think he did on "This is Tomorrow" although TGPT and John Wetton played on it which helped! If you know enough about music structure it can be done - just look at Iva Davies/Icehouse.

Pianoman - yes I think that there were some pretty good songs on the Explorers album, in particular "Ship of Fools" and "Prussian Blue" - I think they could have been Roxy songs. I'm also a big fan of the Manzanera/Mackay album which came later - I wonder why?

I guess that this debate could go on forever and that we all have different opinions. Guy Pratt made a point in one of his recent videos that BF was a tinkerer when it came production, but then followed that up by saying that is why BF produces so many good things.

For me the second big change in Roxy (1st one Eno leaving) was the sad departure of TGPT and the introduction of Neil Hubbard (and I mean no disrespect to him). Changes that were probably made in an attempt to crack the American market and for me RM were never the same after that.


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