The Search For Vinyl Gold: Roxy Music’s Transitional Album


Get Roxy Music and Bryan Ferry vinyl and collectibles at the Goldmine store

By Joe Matera

First to emerge from the glam rock scene of the early 1970s, English art-pop rockers Roxy Music continued to explore the limits of sonic experimentation throughout the decade. By 1980 they had reached the point in their career where their almost decade-long electronic twiddling and mishmash had morphed into a concisely structured and much smoother format. At the time of the band’s seventh album Flesh + Blood in 1980, Roxy Music had firmly set the atmospheric, synth-pop template for what was to follow two years later with their hugely commercially successful swan song. Avalon.

flesh and blood ushered in a transition point for Roxy Music in terms of what had come before and what was to come, mixing elements of disco with the emerging synth-pop sounds of the New Romantics. Their approach to music had also evolved. With an ear always looking to the future, the band were one of the first artists to use the new LinnDrum introduced the same year, which was to offer the band a different approach to music creation.

The making of the album also coincided with Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera, who has just had his own studio built. Aptly named The Gallery Studio, it set the stage for work to begin on the next album.

Phil Manzanera and Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music perform on stage during the Flesh And Blood tour in Ahoy, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, June 7, 1980.

“We got used to having my studio as a base and using the equipment almost like new instruments,” Manzanera recalls today. “It became easier to experiment and we could all play in the control room which was huge. As the Linn drum hand was just invented it helped with the tracks because at that time Paul (Thompson, drummer) had left the band.

With Thompson’s departure, the band now consisted of the core trio of Manzanera, Bryan Ferry and saxophonist Andy Mackay. The ride also featured a range of interchangeable session musicians, including Paul Carrack on piano and organ, Andy Newmark and Allan Schwartzberg on drums, Alan Spenner Neil Jason and Gary Tibbs on bass, Simon Phillips on percussion and Neil Hubbard helping. on additional guitar duties.

With the writing and recording process, the core trio built the songs from the ground up by putting all of their ideas together. “It was a mixture of the same method of all the previous albums of Failed explains Manzanera. “We had Andy and I demos, which had music for Bryan to write his lyrics to. And Bryan also had some with chords and a melody idea but no lyrics. We then built them with session musicians playing bass and drums. Some were made in New York and others in my new studio, The Gallery.

Besides the band’s originals, the band also chose to record two covers; “In The Midnight Hour” by Wilson Pickett and “Eight Miles High” by The Byrds. “‘In The Midnight Hour’ was my idea,” Manzanera explains of why the band decided to include both covers. “Kenny Everett (English TV presenter and radio DJ) had asked us to play a track from his New Years TV show, so I chose that one. And because we all loved Motown and also some songs from the early Psychedelic period, Bryan suggested “Eight Miles High”, which was always one of my favorite songs and showed the two sides of the 60s that we loved.

The album opens with a soulful cover of Wilson Picket’s “In The Midnight Hour” where Ferry sings and rocks. The track echoes a lot of his later work. “Oh Yeah” is a majestic slice of synth-pop while the loaded, delayed synth hits of “Same Old Scene” would prove influential on bands such as Duran Duran who followed in Roxy Music’s footsteps with guitar hits. punctuating the track backed by a killer bass groove that echoes the Roxy of yesteryear. The title track “Flesh and Blood” with its sharp guitar and bass vamp, is a cool mid-tempo rocker. The “My Only Love” engine shapes and morphs before some beautiful and tasteful guitar lines from Manzanera elevate it to the next level and close out the A-side.

Side kicks off with the radio staple “Over You” — with Manzanera on the guitar and bass dual duties — and it’s Roxy Music at its most melodic best. The cover of “Eight Miles High” mixes new wave with a disco beat and a psychedelic guitar wig. In particular, discover the main motif of the song played by Manzanera on guitar and Andy Mackay on sax in union together. “Rain Rain Rain” is a moody slow burner, while the sparse funky “No Strange Delight” builds to a crescendo before the lush “Running Wild” brings the album proper to a magnificent close.

Released on May 23, 1980, the album was commercially successful in the UK, reaching number one for a total period of four weeks and spending 60 weeks on the UK charts, giving the band their first number 1 since 1973. Failed album. In the US, it was a different story, however, as the album only managed to climb to No. 35. Four singles were released from the album, the first “Over You ‘b/w’ My Only Love” was released in July (in the UK it was released on May 9 before the album was released on May 23 and peaked at No. 5) and peaked at No. 80 on the Billboard Top 100, earning the group their third Top 100 and also their last.

“Oh Yeah” b/w “Rain Rain Rain” followed as the second single number and it also peaked at number five in the UK chart, but failed to chart in the US, as did the third single “Same Old Scene” released in October (a #12 in the UK). A fourth and final single, “In The Midnight Hour” b/w “Flesh and Blood” was released in November.

The band embarked on a tour in support of the album beginning May 29, 1980, and finished the tour in February 1981. When the tour ended, the band would later regroup and start working on what was to come. become their eighth and final studio release. , Avalon.

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LIST OF TRACKS

Roxy Music Side A

IN FRONT OF

At the midnight hour

Oh yes

Same old scene

flesh and blood

My only love

Roxy Music "flesh and blood" on red vinyl

Roxy Music “Flesh and Blood” on red vinyl

Roxy Music Side B

B-SIDE

On you

eight miles high

Rain Rain Rain

No weird fun

Run wild

Roxy Music "flesh and blood" Half Speed ​​Vinyl

Roxy Music “Flesh and Blood” Half Speed ​​Vinyl

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