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Og Oggilby "Og Oggilby" (North London)
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Live At The Apollo ( CD + DVD) [2008]
Live At The Apollo ( CD + DVD) [2008]
Dvd ~ Sight & Sound
Price: 5.99

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reformed Roxy Heart Still Beating..., 25 Jan 2010
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This is a top value DVD / CD set. Firstly, the live DVD boasts fine production values, with plenty of the onstage action, a well as sounding great. In many ways, the more mature sound of the refomed, 21st Century Roxy Music is actually better than in their original incarnation. The advance of technology in thirty years means that they can do full justice to the original recordings, and the addition of quality backing musicians, such as the excellent MD, Colin Good (who adds a lyrical piano intro to the epochal 'A Song For Europe') just adds more lustre to the rich Roxy sound palette. Of course, the purpose of such reformations is to earn big bucks for the band, but, away from such venal concerns, the music herein is top value for money. It's a little annoying, in some ways, that Ferry is so reticent about going the whole hog with a brand new Roxy album - it's obvious that much of the same dynamism and that spark that made them so unique is still very much there. It's not as if his recent solo efforts have been huge commercial successes, even though they are enjoyable in their own way. It's just that the Roxy whole is so much greater than the sum of its parts.


Avalon
Avalon
Price: 8.87

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Roxy Do Ethereal..., 21 Jan 2010
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This review is from: Avalon (Audio CD)
When Roxy Music re-convened in 1979, many fans of longstanding expected the band to simply pick up where they left off with 'Siren' back in 1975 - the stylishness remained, but the bravura, devil-may-care combination of seemingly diffuse elements was not. To some, it was a case of 'leaders turned followers'. Some critics claim they'd blanded out, had succumbed to appropriating then-hip disco and dance music styles, and that the furious innovation of yore had disappeared. However, the benefit of three decades or so, has shown that this assumption was fatally flawed. With 'Avalon', the last Roxy Music album to date (apart from live efforts), what you get is a fine, fine record. On initial plays, you could admire the craft inherent in it whilst perhaps not being overly impressed by the content. However, repeated listenings reveal a highly layered sound beneath the smooth surface. It truly is a 'less is more' record. Compared to the furious 'busy-ness' of earlier records, there's superficially less going on, but the exploration of nuance, mood and tone shows that the core Roxy trio were still capable of delivering music of lasting worth. Take the title track, for instance; the immaculate blending of guitars, synth pads and sax fits Ferry's soulful croon as comfily as his bespoke suits. It's an album of pastel shades, not vivid primary colours, and it's deceptively edge-free sound shouldn't put you off exploring a deeply satisfying and consistently-rewarding collection.


Don't Tell A Soul (Expanded & Remastered)
Don't Tell A Soul (Expanded & Remastered)
Price: 6.63

5.0 out of 5 stars DO Tell a Soul...Or Three, 20 Jan 2010
Inevitably, given that the Replacements' reputation had been based on raucous Punk-inspired power-pop, heavily booze-fuelled, the more subtle charms of 'Don't Tell A Soul' did much to alienate fans of longstanding. Trouble is, by softening the style, if you don't woo new fans, then you're liable to end up with very much of an audience at all. That was the case with this album, which is very good, and has worn very well indeed. Lead songwriter Paul Westerberg was no longer the check-shirted hooray of yore; his songwriting was maturing and developing. 'Rock & Roll Ghost' is one of his most touching and elegaic compositions, and the edgy 'Talent Show' nearly as good. The follow-up album, 'All Shook Down' saw the band As We Knew It just about disappear. This is simply a very good, ruminative and thoughtful record.


As Time Goes By (Limited)
As Time Goes By (Limited)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ferry Does Tin Pan Alley..., 20 Jan 2010
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Bryan Ferry's inconsistent solo career is liberally peppered with albums that see him constructing what he calls 'readymades' - covers, in other words. This album of ballads and tin pan alley classics from the early part of the twentieth century is one of his better efforts. A perusal of the track listing almost reads like the playlist from David Jacobs' Radio 2 show, but, in terms of the arrangements and Ferry's assured vocals, it never strays more than ankle-deep in schmaltz. Ferry's voice is growing mellow as he gets older - he's long since abandoned the heavy vibrato of his early Roxy Music days, but his less is more approach is deeply appealing. His ear for details - including old fashioned 'surface noise' and the spareness of the arrangements allow Ferry to play the role of a thirties crooner with some verve, and he definitely sounds like he's enjoying himself. Light years removed from 'Mother of Pearl' or 'For Your Pleasure', of course, but not without charm, classiness, or a certain understated elegance. My octogenarian mother likes it - and why wouldn't she - as one of the lyrics goes : "moonlight and love song, never out of date..." - what's not to like?


The Music 1972-2008
The Music 1972-2008
Price: 17.41

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timely Collection of Manzanera's Career High Spots, 20 Jan 2010
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This review is from: The Music 1972-2008 (Audio CD)
Incredible to think that, in a couple of years time, it'll be four decades since the release of the first Roxy Music album. How time flies, etc. As well as introducing the world to one of the most innovative and exciting bands in history, it also presented the talents of Phil Manzanera, a guitarist whose musical contributions to the band were a key element of their sound. This beautiful, extremely tastefully-packaged three disc collection (two CDs and a DVD) is a marvellous selection of the man's musical high points of his career. Including such classics as his Bryan Ferry co-write 'Amazona', from the 'Stranded' album, as well as 'Needles In A Camel's Eye', recorded with Eno, and such solo triumphs as 'Diamond Head', plus an illuminating DVD documentary, this is essential, to me, and lovers of melodic, exploratory rock music will love it.


The Early Years
The Early Years
Price: 5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, but you still need to buy all of Roxy's albums in their entirety..., 19 Jan 2010
This review is from: The Early Years (Audio CD)
This attractively-priced collection forms a very useful entree into the work of one of Rock music's most original, innovative and hugely entertaining bands. Also worth noting is that this comp is (apparently) one of the only places where you can obtain the original seven-inch single mix of their second forty-five, 'Pyjamarama'. Interesting that, as Punk and New Wave went overground in 1977 / 78, Bryan Ferry's solo career was in something of a doldrums, although Roxy's stock was high - apparently, Siouxsie & The Banshees formed at a Roxy Wembley show, for example, and The Sex Pistols rated Roxy very highly indeed.

Roxy Music were unique insofar as everything about them - their frequently breathtakingly original musical amalgam of avant-garde, experimental music, Ferry's idiosyncratic voice, the often savage guitar work of Phil Manzanera and Andy Mackay's inventive reeds work, as well as Eno's synth decor and the powerhouse drumming of the great Paul Thompson also came wrapped up in an agenda - they were a work of art as much as makers of wonderful music. Their first three albums represent a trio of some of the finest albums ever. The Glam Rock tag was a convenient, lazy journalistic hook that did the band no justice whatsoever, and the music contained on this disc is utterly timeless, multi-faceted, and will be listened to and appreciated for as long as music will exist. Absolutely no excuse for picking this up!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 28, 2013 4:15 PM GMT


Bryan Ferry - Dylanesque Live - The London Sessions [DVD] [2007]
Bryan Ferry - Dylanesque Live - The London Sessions [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Bryan Ferry
Offered by collectorsheaven
Price: 6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing Ferry / Dylan DVD, 18 Jan 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bryan Ferry's solo work is often inconsistent and frustrating - some of it is anodyne, bland even, but now and then he will come up with a concept that he can really make work for himself. 'Dylanesque' is one such project. Ferry is no stranger to covering Dylan, of course; his first solo hit was a cover of 'A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall', and he has returned to Dylan's catalogue intermittently through the years. This filmed-in-the-studio DVD, whilst not being particularly visually dynamic, sees Ferry fronting a fine band and investing a lot of the material with some soulful vocalising and his own (pretty good) harmonica work. The more stripped-down stuff works best, but the guitar work of Jonny Greenwood and Chris Spedding adds colour and atmosphere to the song arrangements. The interviews add some illumination to Ferry's song choices and interpretations - his reworking of 'Positively Fourth Street' in particular recasts the song away from the splentic put-down of the original to being a more considered and regretful version. However, the take on 'The Times They Are A Changin' is nearly pub-rock, and could have benefitted from a more radical approach. Overall, though, the DVD highlights Ferry's artistry, and his interpretive skills are remarkably effective. Well worth the money, to me.


Country Life
Country Life
Price: 6.48

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learn To Love It...I Did!, 13 Jan 2010
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This review is from: Country Life (Audio CD)
When 'Country Life' was first released back in 1974, like several of the reviewers here, I was disappointed. In an incredibly fertile couple of years, the band had released three magnificent albums - their self-titled first, 'For Your Pleasure', and 'Stranded', emerging seemingly from nowhere to being one of Britain's most innovative, stylish and important bands, yet 'Country Life' just didn't make it for me. However, thirty-odd years later, 'Country Life' now sounds, to these ears, every bit as good as those first three albums. The opening track, 'The Thrill Of It All', is supremely atmospheric, and songs such as 'Out Of The Blue' are lyrically and musically out of the top Roxy drawer. The hit single, 'All I Want Is You', opens with massive, cathedral like Manzanera guitar chords, and the song lyric - almost an exercise in using pre-Beatles pop cliches - works brilliantly. It also contains weird Roxy anomalies like 'Trytych' - a song I bet that they never performed live - that's like an attempt to write a piece of 'early music' - it could've come from a Tudor costume drama - yet it works wonderfully. 'Bitter Sweet' always sounded like a bit of an inferior cousin of 'Stranded's' 'Song For Europe', but with it's German verse, now sounds to me like a fine song in its own right. Then there's things like the old-school neo-boogie(!) of 'If It Takes All Night' - one of the straightest of songs, musically speaking, that the early Roxy recorded, which swings mightily. Add in ' A Really Good Time', one of Ferry's most acid-tongued of lyrics ("you're well-educated, with no common sense"), and the rather sweet 'Three And Nine', and you have one of Roxy's most well-rounded, multi-faceted and absorbing albums. Plus, there's always THAT sleeve - it got banned in the USA at the time!


The Northumbria Anthology - from Tees to Tyne
The Northumbria Anthology - from Tees to Tyne
Offered by vinylandcds
Price: 11.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth Hearing Just For Bryan Ferry in Full On Geordie Mode, 7 Jan 2010
This collection of traditional Tees, Wearside and Tyneside songs is worth hearing for the opening track, in which international Jet Setter and Lounge Lizard Bryan Ferry reveals an unexpected return to his Washington (Co Durham, that is) roots, with an enjoyable recital through the venerable 'Lambton Worm'. The other tracks are no less appealing, though, and this is an enjoyable collection.


Starz (+ Bonus)
Starz (+ Bonus)

4.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Slab of Mid-70's Hard Rock, 6 Jan 2010
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This review is from: Starz (+ Bonus) (Audio CD)
There were high hopes for Starz when they debuted in 1976. Managed by the same company that shot Kiss to fame, Starz were way more musically accomplished than Gene Simmons & co, could craft a hard rocking tune (with an addictive chorus), and were apparently great live. Lead singer Michael Smith was part Steve Tyler, part Mick Jagger, and a little bit of David JoHansen of the New York Dolls, but fates conspired against them. Legend has it that their record label, Capitol, didn't quite know how to market them, and their emergence just as Punk was starting to make headway in the UK meant that their profile over here was never even visible. The UK division of Capitol blew most of their Starz promo bill sponsoring a car with the band's logo at some motor racing event (What were they thinking of?). This album, their debut, is probably their best - everything motors along at a terrific clip, apart from the heavy blues of 'Pull The Plug', which excited some attention owing to it's somewhat tasteless subject matter (turning off the singer's comatose girlfriend's life support machine, would you believe). Buy this and their second album 'Violation' (a concept album of sorts which bears an uncanny resemblance to the story in the Queen musical 'We Will Rock You' - talk about being ahead of your time), and you've got two classy hard rocking platters that remain two of the most underrated albums of the late 1970s.


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