Roxy Music plays ‘Virginia Plain’ on Top of the Pops, 1972

Undoubtedly one of the most influential bands of the ’70s, the charm of Roxy Music is often attributed to their dynamic lead singer, Bryan Ferry. And while that’s certainly true, the adventurous spirit of the band came from the other Brian.

A moment for the band that will go down in musical history was their performance of the new single, ‘Virginia Plain’ on the BBC pillar. The top of the pops in 1972. This would be the time when Brian Eno introduced electronic music to the general public.

Roxy Music frontman Bryan Ferry may have wowed fans with a flash of his glowing eyes, but it’s the musical genius of his backing band, and most notably Brian Eno, who will cement the group as what influential power they are.

Musicians and aficionados jumped on the Roxy Music bandwagon for a while before their single “Virginia Plain” was released and heralded a new era of rock and roll. But that was their performance of their first single on The top of the pops who introduced their swashbuckling sound to the general public.

The song was written by Ferry and was recorded in the summer of 1972, the lead singer said a few years later of the song’s inspiration: “It was a watercolor or a painting on paper. It was like a surreal drawing of a giant pack of cigarettes, with a pin-up girl on it. I liked that line Virginia Plain… so it later became the title of the first single I released with Roxy Music, with slightly imponderable lyrics.

The track remains one of the most important moments in the glam rock movement, it was imbued with the sexual energy of Ferry and perhaps, more importantly, the technical prowess of Brian Eno. Much of the song’s charm stems from Ferry’s mind and the wires connected to the wooden box that Eno plays in the video below.

This was one of the first times electronic music was in the spotlight on a mainstream TV show, and it rightfully returns to avant-garde bouncy disco rock and roll purists, Roxy Music, from to be the pioneers.

Watch Roxy Music play ‘Virginia Plain’ on The top of the pops in 1972. For an extra early ’70s moment, also keep an eye out for futuristic graphics.

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