My Legends of Pop Music – Part Twenty – Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music

If get this right, there will be many cover versions by future bands. I shall try and link live versions if they exist from the tellybox or a film, the sound quality may not be the best, but there is nothing like watching a real talent live.

So, in a sort of chronological order, my twentieth legends are Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music.  Some tunes here are either Bryan Ferry, or him with Roxy Music.  I expect apart from the musical genius that is Brian Emo, few will know any of the band members.  Bit like Blondie really!

Curtesy of Wiki:

Roxy Music were an English rock band formed in 1970 by Bryan Ferry who became the band’s lead singer and main songwriter—and bass guitarist Graham Simpson. The other long time members were Phil Manzanera (guitar), Andy Mackay (saxophone and oboe), and Paul Thompson (drums and percussion). Other members included Brian Eno (synthesizer and ‘treatments’), Eddie Jobson (synthesizer and violin), and John Gustafson (bass). Although the band took a break from group activities in 1976 and again in 1983, they reunited for a concert tour in 2001, and toured together intermittently over the next few years. Ferry frequently enlisted band members as session musicians for his solo releases.

Roxy Music became a successful act in Europe and Australia during the 1970s. This success began with their self-titled debut album in 1972. The band pioneered more musically sophisticated elements of glam rock while significantly influencing early English punk music, and provided a model for many new wave acts while innovating elements of electronic composition. The group also conveyed their distinctive brand of visual and musical sophistication with their focus on glamorous fashions.  Ferry and co-founding member Eno have had influential solo careers. Eno became one of the most significant British record producers of the late 20th century.

Roxy Music’s final studio album was Avalon (1982), which was certified Platinum. in the United States.  In 2005, the band began recording what would have become their ninth studio album and their first album with Eno since 1973 (he wrote two songs for it and also played keyboards). However, Ferry eventually announced that the material from these sessions would instead be released as a Ferry solo album, with Eno playing on “a couple of tracks”, and that he believed the group would never again produce a record as Roxy Music.  The album was released in 2010 as the Ferry solo album Olympia. It featured contributions from Eno, Manzanera, and Mackay (amongst many other session players).

In 2011, Roxy Music played a series of 40th-anniversary shows, but since then they have been inactive as a performing entity. In 2019, Roxy Music were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Bryan Ferry CBE (born 26 September 1945) is an English singer and songwriter. His voice has been described as an “elegant, seductive croon”. He also established a distinctive image and sartorial style; according to The Independent, Ferry and his contemporary David Bowie influenced a generation with both their music and their appearances.

Ferry came to prominence as the lead singer and main songwriter with the glam art band Roxy Music, achieving three no. 1 albums and 10 singles which reached the top 10 in the UK between 1972 and 1982. Their singles included “Virginia Plain“, “Street Life“, “Love Is the Drug“, “Dance Away“, “Angel Eyes“, “Over You“, “Oh Yeah“, “Jealous Guy“, “Avalon“, and “More Than This“.

Ferry began his solo career in 1973, while still a member of Roxy Music. His early solo hits include “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall“, “Let’s Stick Together” and “This Is Tomorrow“. Ferry disbanded Roxy Music following the release of their best-selling album Avalon in 1982 to concentrate on his solo career, releasing further singles such as “Slave to Love” and “Don’t Stop the Dance” and the UK no. 1 album Boys and Girls in 1985. When his sales as a solo artist and as a member of Roxy Music are combined, Ferry has sold over 30 million albums worldwide.

As well as being a prolific songwriter himself, Ferry has recorded many cover versions of other artists’ songs, including standards from the Great American Songbook, in albums such as These Foolish Things (1973), Another Time, Another Place (1974), Let’s Stick Together (1976) and As Time Goes By (1999), as well as Dylanesque (2007), an album of Bob Dylan covers. In 2019,

A full list of the songs of Bryan and of Roxy Music are here: Discography – Bryan FerryRoxy Music

The featured song “Let’s Stick Together” is in my top 5 tunes of all time.  Once it comes on a big smile comes to my face and my feet start taping away.  Here are some of what I think are the best:

Roxy Music – Virginia Plain – Top of The Pops – 24th August 1972.  I was in my last year at secondary school when this, their first hot came on the radio.  Mind blown.

Bryan Ferry & Roxy Music – Do the Strand – The Isle Of Wight Festival 2005

Roxy Music – Street Life.  From Top of the Pops 22 November 1973

Roxy Music –  All I Want Is You. ToTP in 1974

Roxy Music – Dance Away – From 1982 – promo video.

Roxy Music – Angel Eyes – from 1979

Roxy Music – Over You  From 1980

Roxy Music – Avalon (Live 1982)

Roxy Music Midnight Hour – TV Performance from a Kenny Everett special.

Roxy Music – More Than This –  From the 2019 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Roxy Music – Love Is The Drug  – Live 8 (German concert) in 2005

Bryan Ferry – A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall (live 1977, great cover this)

Bryan Ferry – Smoke Gets in Your Eyes – From a 2007 concert in London.  I have always enjoyed this song, be it the original from The platters and several other artists who have covered it.

Bryan Ferry – Slave To Love – From the Live Aid concert in 1985

Bryan Ferry – The Times They Are A-Changin’ (Dylanesque Live. The London Sessions 2007)

Singalong, enjoy and be happy!

Links to previous Legend articles:

1-Buddy Holly 2-Elvis Presley 3-Everly brothers 4-Cliff Richard 5-Joe Brown
6-Gerry and the Pacemakers 7-Roy Orbison 8-The Seekers 9-The Hollies 10-The Rolling Stones
11-Beach Boys 12-The Monkees 13-Rod Stewart 14-T-Rex 15-Slade
16-10CC 17-Pussycat 18-The Kinks 19-Blondie 20-Bryan Ferry/Roxy Music

Featured Image: “Country Life – Roxy Music” by oddsock is licensed under CC BY 2.0

© Phil the ex test manager 2021