Released for the first time on vinyl on the occasion of the group’s reunion, the main merit of this compilation is its inclusiveness. Unlike its golden disc predecessor, The best of is a simple collection of singles (not Mother of pearl, in every dream home a heartache or Song For Europe here), with only Redo/Remodel there to represent Roxy Music’s distant debut album.
The main quirk of the collection is that – as with Bowie Nothing has changed and those of Bananarama the biggest – it presents the hits in reverse chronology, from Avalon at Virginia Plain.
In doing so, it emphasizes Roxy’s later years, the finesse of ’80s mega-hits like Avalon and Jealous guyon the sharper pop rock of All I want is you and street life (and leave out Trash canboo).
It also has the effect of reversing the polarity of Bryan Ferry’s 10-year plan: this version of Roxy Music’s career sees the band become less hard-hitting and romantic in the stadiums, dropping the finesse of Oh yes and angel eyesand, as time goes back from 1982 to 1972, amplifying the Cole Porter and the Noel Coward, until the end, which is also their beginning, on songs like Make the strand and pajamaramaRoxy Music are funny again.