My first introduction to Roxy Music was Avalon, their last album as group from 1982. The title track, "Avalon," was actually played on adult contemporary stations, so I probably first heard it in my mom's car while she was dropping me off somewhere. Some of my favorites bands were near the end or their musical careers when I first heard them. It all just depends what age you are when you first hear a band. You can't help what year you are born and many of us end up liking music from past musical decades. Much of my favorite music comes from the 80's and early 90's but there is a good amount of music that I like that was being made when I was 3 years old back in the 70s too. I imagine it must be a little weird for somebody who is now 20 to only like 70s or 80s music -- music that was made well before they were born. A 20 year old could have been born in 1990! But I guess this is not any different than someone in the 80s being only into early soul music, or the millions of people who only listen to jazz or classical music made decades before they were born. By the time Roxy Music put out Avalon, I am sure they had lost many of their fans, or at least the fans of their earlier albums were not exactly jumping up for joy for the band's new softer, more adult contemporary sound. But I was not among them -- I loved Avalon. I loved the album cover. I loved the songs. When I was younger I was really drawn to album covers. They were much more important back then. It was often what first made me pick up certain albums. A really good album cover was really all that I needed to convince me to pick up an album. I probably didn't first pick up this album until the late 80's. The cover reminded me of some of my favorite movies at the time like Clash of the Titans or Ladyhawke. I was intrigued. Years later I would go back and discover the genius of early Roxy Music. The self titled album from 1972 and For Your Pleasure from 1973 are two of my favorites, and "Love is the Drug" from the 1975 album Siren remains one of my favorite songs of all time.
Bryan Ferry would go on to a very long solo career after Avalon and I have been obsessed with him ever since. Boys and Girls and Bete Noire are two of my favorite albums of the 80's. Brian Eno, on the other hand, worked on the first couple of Roxy Music albums but he has had an amazingly long career as a solo artist as well. Bryan Ferry has just released a new solo album called Olympia. This was initially going to be a new Roxy Music album and it really still sort of is one, even if it is credited just to Bryan Ferry. Former Roxy Music members Brian Eno, Phil Manzanera, and Andy Mackay are all featured on the new album. It features "You Can Dance," which I think is one of the best Bryan Ferry songs in a while. I actually heard it on the radio for the first time. I thought it was kind of appropriate since this is how I first discovered Roxy Music so many years ago. I am always excited to have Bryan Ferry back in my life. The man has an awesome voice and I can never get enough of him. He is one of those singers that I think can appeal to a teen into new wave music and a suburban housewife into Michael Bolton. There is really nobody like him and there is never any mistaking a Bryan Ferry song!
Brian Eno has also released a new solo album. He has found a new home with the label Warp Records, which is perfect for him. The new album is called Small Craft on a Milk Sea. I have been listening to this album a lot that last couple of weeks. It is mostly a typical Brian Eno ambient sort of record but there are also some darker and more intense moments than you might expect -- imagine some Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze mixed up with some Aphex Twin. Brian Eno is clearly one of the most brilliant musicians around, but I really didn't know what to expect with this new album, and it turns out it's really fantastic! I always need an album like this -- it balances out all the other music I listen to. It sort of grounds me and mellows me out. The album has some typical ambient songs that could easily be movie score stuff and would fit into a Twin Peaks episode but it also has some darker, more Aphex Twin type moments. \
also out 10/25...
Special Affections by Diamond Rings
Bureaucratic Desire for Extra-Capsular Extraction... by Earth
Olympia by Bryan Ferry
Effective Disconnect by Brian McBride
New Chain by Small Black
Fast Trains & Telegraph Wires By Trembling Blue Stars
The Fool by Warpaint
also out 11/2...
Small Craft on a Milk Sea by Brian Eno
All Night by Houses
Love Remains by How To Dress Well
Sidewalks by Matt & Kim
Nothing by N.E.R.D.
An Introduction to... by Elliott Smith
Death to False Metal by Weezer