An experiment that envisioned the future of rock and roll
Roxy Music added elements of modern fashion, cinema, art, and the avant-garde into rock and roll, and pushed listeners’ perceptions about the essence of pop music. An experiment that envisioned the future of rock and roll and, in doing so, changed the course of music.
When Bryan Ferry and Graham Simpson formed Roxy Music in 1970 they weren’t creating just any rock and roll band. Their now famous 1971 Melody Maker magazine ad looking for a new guitar player for their “Avant Rock Group” asked for someone original, creative, adaptable, and scary. That description was accurate considering they sat somewhere between David Bowie, King Crimson, and the Velvet Underground. Their intentions were clear on “Re-make/Re-model,” the opening track of their 1972 debut album, which added elements of modern fashion, cinema, art, and the avant-garde. They pushed listeners’ perceptions about the essence of pop music – and just when you figured them out, they changed. Everyone has a favorite Roxy record: the art work intrigued you, the songs floored you.
The first two albums built an experimental rollercoaster ride on the back of glam rock guitar chords. Brian Eno’s revolutionary synthesizer sounds poke through the fabric, while Ferry’s soulful, detached vocals pull you close. Songs like “The Bob (Medley)” are postmodern trips into cinematic rock and roll dreams, while “Do the Strand” became their first hit.
Stranded (1973) and Country Life (1974) saw multi-instrumentalist Andy Mackay and guitarist Phil Manzanera join the songwriting team while Eddie Jobson’s keyboards created a more polished sound. Their album Siren (1975) spawned the worldwide hit “Love is the Drug” – since featured in countless video games, TV shows, and movies. The drums and bass of Paul Thompson and John Gustafson build a soulful, funky beat – it’s easy to understand how a young Nile Rodgers was inspired to form Chic after seeing Roxy Music. Other artists, including the Talking Heads, U2, and Duran Duran also paid attention and Roxy Music soon became the catalyst that sparked the New Romantic and New Wave movements.
Roxy Music’s final album Avalon (1982) saw the band end on a high with a pop tune laden, chill lounge album filled with vast musical landscapes equally cerebral and emotional. Roxy Music was an experiment that envisioned the future of rock and roll and, in doing so, changed the course of music.
“Re-Make/re-Model,” “Ladytron,” “The Bob (Medley),” Roxy Music (1972) • “Virginia Plain” (1972) • “Do The Strand,” “The Bogus Man,” For Your Pleasure (1973) • “Street Life,” “A Song for Europe,” Stranded (1973) • “All I Want is You,” Country Life (1974) • “Love Is the Drug,” Siren (1975) • “Angel Eyes,” “Dance Away,” Manifesto (1979) • “Oh Yeah,” “Over You,” Flesh + Blood (1980) • “More Than This,” “Avalon,” “The Main Thing,” Avalon (1982)
Beginning October 9 and continuing through 11:59 p.m. EST on December 9, 2018, fans can cast votes for who they believe to be most deserving of induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
The top five artists, as selected by the public, will comprise a “fans’ ballot” that will be tallied along with the other ballots to choose the 2019 inductees. Fans will need to login to vote. Voting is capped at one ballot per day.