The Roxy Music thread reminded me of Trash, a single with a video that’s fallen off the radar completely. 100k YouTube views compared with over 11million for Avalon.
Sometimes these forgotten cuts can shed more light on a band than some of their well known songs. A song that’s not a hit by a band that is used to having hits, can expose that band’s set of tricks or way of working a lot better than a track that is hugely familiar and successful. I have a low grade obsession with Queen’s Hot Space album. The video for Calling All Girls throws the band into the mix of a ridiculous Sci-Fi premise wherein they are the stars. The video is a damp squib, however they repeated the MO with the very next video they made: Radio GaGa. There’s a fine line between clever and stupid.
So any more of these parallel universe tracks?
My first sighting of Roxy Music was on Top Of The Pops in Autumn 1972. I recall being impressed with Paul Thompson’s beefy muscles, Bryan Ferry’s small microphone and unusually perfect teeth and Andy MacKay’s oboe. What a glorious noise they made! They didn’t look like normal human beings and they didn’t make normal human sounds. I didn’t buy the single because I bought the LP. Virginia Plain wasn’t even on it. It marked my final purchase of 1972, following on from Electric Warrior, Telegram Sam, Metal Guru, Slade Alive!!, Rock And Roll Parts 1 & 2, Sylvia’s Mother, School’s Out, Hunky Dory and All The Young Dudes, most of which were acquired second-hand from deals with friends or acquaintances. I felt I was becoming sophisticated.
Roxy Music, simply, got better. Over the years, they released sixteen singles in the UK, every one of which is pearl, all very different, yet recognisably Roxy Music. The quality never wavers below superb. Even the cover version, Jealous Guy, their only number one, exudes class, a fitting tribute to a fallen hero, with amazing whistling.
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David Enthoven was an interesting man. He discovered and/or managed King Crimson, Marc Bolan, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Roxy Music.
In the early days their records were licensed to Island but in the 70s Enthoven, together with his partner John Gaydon, founded the great EG record label which became home to Eno, Crimson, Roxy and others.
After drug and drink problems Enthovan dropped out of sight in the mid-70s and EG was sold to Virgin. He re-emerged in the 80s as manager of, er, Robbie Williams.
David Enthoven died this week aged 72.
In 2010, Claude Nobs – Montreux Festival supremo – knew John McLaughlin and his old Mahavishnu cohort Billy Cobham were both in the vicinity. He also knew that that night’s opening act for Roxy Music were stuck in traffic hundreds of miles away. Would Le Mahavishneux care to jam with Monsieur Cobham? Why not…
Using a borrowed guitar, this was the first time the pair had played in around 26 years, since a fall-out during an attempted Mahavishnu rebrand/renaissance (John, Billy + others) in 1984. There have been a couple of shaky cameraphone clips online before but this terrific quality audio has just appeared. Bryan Ferry and the lads (much as I love Roxy) surely must have realised that there was nothing more than this…
In architecture, a folly is a building constructed primarily for decoration, but either suggesting through its appearance some other purpose, or merely appearing to be so extravagant that it transcends the normal range of garden ornaments or the class of building to which it belongs.
Ed is planning to put one in the back garden of number ten.
Now, I’m n danger of being perceived as entirely anti-Ed, which isn’t true. So, let’s open this out. Any other memorable follies Afterworders can think of, political or otherwise?
Here is the title song for the TV series Rock Follies. Andy MacKay made more money for the soundtrack than anything anyone had earned from Roxy Music up to that point. It was a big hit!