Roxy Music: Graham Simpson (bass instrument); Andy Mackay , Paul Thompson , Phil Manzanera, Brian Eno, Bryan Ferry.
Personnel: Bryan Ferry (vocals, piano, keyboards); Phil Manzanera (guitar); Andy Mackay (oboe, saxophone); Brian Eno (keyboards, synthesizer, tapes); Rik Kenton, Graham Simpson (bass guitar); Paul Thompson (drums).
Liner Note Authors: Kaz Akaiwa; Simon Puxley.
Recording information: Command Studios, London, England (03/1972).
Photographer: Karl Stoecker.
Arranger: Roxy Music.
The self-titled first Roxy Music album opens with what seems to be a ambient recording from a cafe--glasses clinking, low talking, and so on. It sets up a mood of casual elegance that the band explored throughout their career, from sophisticated glamour all the way through decadence. The first song, "Re-Make/Re-Model" becomes, after the cafe introduction, a punchy rock track that mixes an insistent rhythm section, Andrew Mackay's saxophone playing, and Bryan Ferry's unmistakable voice into a cultured warble (the song's "chorus," by the way, is "CPL 593H," the license plate number of a car).
Roxy Music's early work is a strange hybrid of glam rock, cocktail jazz, and English music hall. The band has a joke at the expense of each, and is clearly enjoying themselves. Other standouts include the classics "Virginia Plain" and "2HB." The first was the band's first single and arguably the most successful song from their early period, with catchy lyrics, a fabulous bridge section, and a beat you can dance to. The second is a ballad inspired by the film CASABLANCA featuring a bubbling synthesizer and saxophone under Ferry's "Here's looking at you, kid" chorus. This is a must-own.
Q (9/99, pp.122-3) - 5 stars (out of 5) - "...difficult, innovative, unlikely, provocative, daring and successful....Roxy Music turned heads with 1972's eponymous debut....this is rock'n'roll before and after science, it's licks laced with futurism....a masterpiece unwithered by age..."