The stories behind the Roxy Music album covers

The leader of Roxy Music Bryan Ferry has long enjoyed a reputation as one of rock’s most successful female men – in large part thanks to The groupClever illustrations from, which injected a bit of fashion glamor into rock album covers. (It didn’t hurt that Ferry was romantically linked to many Roxy Music models…) Their eight studio albums remain classics, with works that remain iconic to this day. But who were the beauty queens on the Roxy Music album covers?

Roxy Music (1972)

Born in Cornwall, Kari-Ann Muller was a former Bond girl (she appeared in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) paid £ 20 to appear on the cover of Roxy Music – a good deal for the then unknown group, whose debut album would define 70s art-rock. Evoking classic glamor shots of the 40s and 50s, the Roxy Music Illustrations set the pattern for all future Roxy Music album covers, though Muller retired from modeling to become a yoga teacher. She retains ties to the rock world, however, as she married Chris Jagger, whose brother has been leading a popular beat combo since the ’60s.

At your service (1973)

By the time she met Bryan Ferry, Amanda Lear was dating Brian Jones (inspiring The rolling stones‘1967 song “Miss Amanda Jones”) and served as Salvador Dalí’s muse and confidante. A brief romance with Ferry coincided with her photo on the front of At your service, holding a panther on a leash. (The photoshoot took place in south London, with a panther so asleep on Valium that she couldn’t move; her eyes and teeth had to be added to the image in post-production.)

Roxy Music For Your Pleasure 730 Web Album Cover

Failed (1973)

Another Playboy star to enjoy a romantic banter with Bryan Ferry, Marilyn Cole caught the attention of the Roxy Music singer when she was crowned Playmate Of The Month in January 1972, subsequently finding herself gracing the Failed album cover. Most recently a journalist, Cole now writes on professional boxing, among other topics.

Roxy Music Stranded web 730 album cover

Country life (1974)

A glance at the Country life artwork and you’d be hard-pressed to believe that Ferry didn’t enjoy an adventure with Constanze Karoli and Eveline Grunwald, the two German Roxy Music fans who were only too happy to take a few layers off for Ferry and co. After meeting the singer at a bar in Portugal, where Ferry had scampered off to write the lyrics for the album, they also helped him translate part of the song “Bitter-Sweet” into German. Arguably the most controversial of Roxy Music’s album covers, the Country life the illustration turned out to be too racy for the American market, which released the album with an image of the foliage, without models.

Roxy Music Country Life 730 web album cover

Mermaid (1975)

A sign of Roxy Music’s growing status in just three years, they were able to encourage world-renowned model Jerry Hall to pose as a mermaid on the cover of their fifth studio album. Still the charmer, Bryan Ferry reportedly held an umbrella over Hall during filming, to make sure his blue body paint didn’t fade. In love, Hall became engaged to Ferry in early 1976, though she left him the following year for Mick Jagger, subsequently inspiring the Stones song, “Miss You,” and becoming the third model for the cover story. ‘Roxy Music albums to connect the band to Jagger. and co.

Roxy Music Siren Web 730 album cover

Manifesto (1979)

Perhaps struggling to outdo Jerry Hall, when Roxy Music returned after a four-year hiatus, they threw a mock party with a collection of mannequins – some apparently designed with the Roxy Music cover star in mind, Kari-Ann Muller. Look closely at the background and you can see two human models: a pair of twins who were longtime fans of the group.

Roxy Music Manifesto web 730 album cover

Flesh + Blood (1980)

Roxy Music went for gold with Flesh + Blood, which reached No. 1 on the UK charts in June 1980. The models, staged to look like high school athletes competing in a sports day javelin competition, were chosen and photographed by Peter Saville, best known for his design for work for Factory Recordings.

Roxy Music Flesh And Blood 730 web album cover

Avalon (1982)

After spending the 70s dating the stars of Roxy Music’s album covers, Bryan Ferry finally made a long-term commitment to one of them in 1982, when he married Lucy Helmore, 22, (14 years younger than Ferry); the couple had a three-decade marriage that produced four children. The Avalon the album cover was shot at dawn, on a lake at Helmore’s parents’ house in Ireland, with Helmore wearing a medieval helmet and carrying a hawk – designed to evoke Kin Arthur’s journey to Avalon, his last abode and the mythical land where his sword, Excalibur, was forged.

Roxy Music Avalon album cover

Listen to the best of Roxy Music on Apple Music and Spotify.

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