Roxy Music & Bryan Ferry’s 10 Best Songs, Ranked



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24 April 2019, 18:07

Bryan Ferry in 1974.

Photo:
Getty


Roxy Music is one of the most fascinating bands of all time, thanks to their genre shifts and very fluid frontman Bryan Ferry.

The group reunited for a special performance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2019, where they performed a mix of some of their greatest songs of all time.

We’ve now categorized our favorite songs, in case you need a perfect introduction to Roxy:

  1. ‘I’ve cast a spell’

    Bryan covered this Screamin ‘Jay Hawkins classic for his 1993 album Taxi, which was largely made up of cover versions.

    The sultry version of Bryan reached number 18 on the UK charts, and it remains one of the biggest adaptations of a haunting song.

  2. “Let us be united”

    Originally by Wilbert Harrison and made famous by Canned Heat, Bryan Ferry recorded his own rock version in 1976.

    He then released a remixed version in 1988, which earned him another UK Top 20 hit.

  3. “Plain of Virginia”

    If you want full-fledged Roxy Music glam rock, this is the track for you.

    Roxy’s first single in 1972, former art student Bryan took the song title from one of his own paintings, depicting a cigarette wrapper image, as “Virginia Plain” is a variety of cigarette tobacco. .

    He later said, “It was a watercolor or a painting on paper. It was just like a surreal drawing of a giant pack of cigarettes, with a pin-up girl on it. I liked that Virginia Plain line… so it later became the title of the first single I released with Roxy Music – with slightly imponderable lyrics. “

  4. ‘Angel eyes’

    Of their Manifesto album in 1979, this gave Roxy a number four hit, and it was also the first time they had recorded a music video for a track.

    The single version was actually a re-recorded disco-tinged edition of the album track, which has a more rock sounding sound.

    Not to be confused with ABBA’s “Angeleyes”, which coincidentally was a hit the same year.

  5. ‘Love is the drug’

    From Roxy’s fifth album Mermaid in 1975 it was a UK number two hit and one of their most famous.

    The song started out as an instrumental track from Andy Mackay, but later got lyrics from Bryan Ferry, who said the song came to him as he was walking and kicking in Hyde Park in London.

    He then spawned cover versions of Grace Jones and Kylie Minogue.

  6. ‘Jealous guy’

    John Lennon first recorded this thoughtful song for his iconic To imagine album in 1971.

    After Lennon’s death in 1980, Roxy Music added their own version to their live set while touring Germany, which they recorded and released in February 1981.

    The single was released soon and gave them their only UK number one hit.

  7. ‘Slave of love’

    Easily Bryan Ferry’s greatest solo track, it was recorded for his 1985 album. Boys and girls.

    The album featured many brilliant guitarists including Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, Nile Rodgers of Chic and Bryan Adams guitarist Keith Scott.

  8. ‘Avalon’

    It was the title song of the Roxy Music seminal Avalon album in 1982.

    The song’s famous backing vocals were performed by Haitian singer Yanick Etienne, whom Bryan Ferry discovered after hearing it in the adjacent studio, and invited her in.

  9. ‘More than this’

    Also from Avalon, this song was the last hit of Roxy Music’s UK Top 10, reaching sixth place in 1982.

    Bryan Ferry later said he started writing songs for Avalon while on the west coast of Ireland, which he says led to the album’s melancholy sound.

    Bill Murray famously sings a karaoke version of the song in the movie Lost in translation.

  10. “Dance away”

    Another number two hit for Roxy, it was also one of the top 10 selling songs in the UK in 1979.

    Originally written by Bryan Ferry for his 1977 solo album In the head, he didn’t make the final cut. It was then planned for his 1978 album The bare bride, but was ultimately detained for Roxy Music’s Manifesto.


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