Who: Roxy Music
What: Roxy Music
When: June 1972
I’ve been trying to get into Roxy Music for a while, and well, why not start at the beginning? I’m glad I did. This is a truly enjoyable album. Weird and wonderful and all things excellent, it shows their boldness and willingness to experiment, and the goofy grin I sport while listening to this album pretty much rules out listening to it in public (despite the sounds of it, that’s a good thing).
Opening with the stunning Re-Make/Re-Model, it doesn't disappoint. I always welcome the presence of a saxophone, and it appears to me that Roxy Music love it as much as I do. What fun. It starts with what sounds like cocktail party conversation, then it takes right off, exuberant and excited about, from what I can gather, his feelings for a female robot (“CPL 593H”). All the band work through their party pieces, there’s drum solos and everything, it’s such fun.
They follow that with the almost completely different, Ladytron, which is ice cold and stunning, synth and oboe combine to form a truly enveloping atmosphere, alternating between a quite sad verse melody with a rather more upbeat chorus that sounds like it shouldn’t work, but it absolutely does.
The whole thing feels so “druncle at a wedding” it’s great! See Virginia Plain, their first single, I’m told, and a properly slick pop tune, along with 2 H.B which has a cool moody verse, a great electric piano and some nice sax atmosphere. Then If There Is Something switches gears entirely — it starts out a wee bit like Hotel California, then Eno's synthesizer kicks in and the song changes completely. It goes from being all bright and sunny to dark and uncertain in a matter of seconds, spiraling down into huge, aching guitar (and more sax!) lines that are quite intriguing.
I realise I’ve not covered the second half of the album at all, but it’s just as great, some tracks are more likely to appeal than others, but all-in-all this is one hell of a fun time.