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4.8 out of 5 stars74
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 15 July 2003
Superlatives have become such a way of life that it's easy to disregard anyone who resorts to using them. That would be a mistake here; this new SACD edition of "Avalon" is an incredible release that deserves nothing but the highest praise. It's so good in fact that it should single-handedly convince anyone who's been debating whether or not to invest in SACD to get off the fence and run to the store.
Because the original producer and engineer were able to utilize the original multi-track recordings, this release sounds incredibly fresh. The clarity of separation for instruments just HAS to be heard; it's so good it puts many other releases of more recent titles to shame. The 5.1 mix neatly utilizes every speaker in a natural style rather than resorting to gimmicky discrete channel effects. It's a completely natural mix and obscures the fact that the original recording is more than 20 years old!
This is a hybrid disc that will play in regular CDs (except for the bonus track "Always Unknowing", which is available only in the m/c version). But this surround mix is so amazing that you'd really be cheating yourself if you listened only to the stereo CD version! And to think that this is available (so far) only in Europe!
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on 27 March 2004
This is an absolute must buy even if you have the CD.
The multichanel mix is amazing. It is like the music is given an other dimention. I listen quit a lot to multichanel music and must admit that very few come even close to the quality of this one. Every time you listen to it, it just blows you away.
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As if the album wasn't stunning enough on the power of the songs, bryan ferrys voice and great production..this sacd takes the album to another dimension!

i am a huge sacd fan and have bought nearly a hundred of them...however a lot leave a lot to be desired!

this has to be in my top 5...for the way it has been carefully remastered so the sound fills every corner of the room! they could be playing in the room!

there is not a bad song on the album to start with, but old favourites like "more than this" and "take a chance on me" sound stunning and the classic title track was crying out for sacd and it sounds amazing!

i would review each track but the review would be the same for each!

the bonus track "always unknowing" is a slow heavenly sounding track that could have made the original album

if you like bryan ferry and roxy music or just a fan of sacd's this is a must (as is propaganda "secret wish")
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VINE VOICEon 9 December 2010
Many Roxy fans from the Eno era probably look down on the later albums as they are mainstream offerings, but within that context they are among the classiest, most distinct pop albums of any age. 'Avalon' is proof that they adapted effortlessly to the changing recording values of the 1980s, a rarity among bands plying their trade in the early 1970s. In any case, they were revered by most of the latest pop generation of that age, such as Duran Duran.

'Avalon' has the richest collection of hit singles of any of their albums. 'Take A Chance With Me', with its folky descending scales wrapped in cutting edge cool, is gorgeous, yet languishes in the shade of the giddy 'More Than This' and the showstopping title track. The whole album is recorded beautifully, boosting even the less memorable material. 'The Space Between' and 'The Main Thing' are great dance tracks, while the usual cut glass guitar and swooning bass converse throughout. A fitting end to a great catalogue.
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on 13 April 2000
Every nuance is cared for in this superbly produced (but not over-produced) album. Frankly, words could not spell out the score, but I'll give it a go. It is wonderfully lush, romantic, incisive. It is also a remarkably cohesive album. Although there is variation between tracks, particularly rhythmically, the overall musical feel and the lyrical feel are both quite lucid and they are perfectly matched.
The album begins with 'More Than This' which lays down the very high standard of the album, with no instrument dominating but marvellous little sequences coming in at just the right time, most notably from the guitar and the keyboards. The vocals are also used cleverly, as more than a voice - as an instrument in itself with peaks in the middle of lines creating a sweeping effect in the verses, like the tide washing in and out, to which the lyrics refer. The second verse is a gentle gaining of understanding from the first and the track moves onward to its serene departure. You could say I kinda like it.
Next is 'The Space Between', lyrically a suggestion of moving beyond friendship and characterised by some marvellous percussion. The highlight of the title track is the stunning background vocal with pitch perfect high notes. Next (on the original sequence at least) follows a short instrumental which maintains the flow with refined touches in both foreground and background, then comes the heartfelt 'While My Heart Is Still Beating' (the lyric including "My heart has flown away now, will it never stop bleeding?").
Strong rhythm pulses through 'The Main Thing' then comes the moody opening to the Bryan Ferry/Phil Manzanera composition, 'Take A Chance With Me' which goes on to plead "All the world, even you, should learn to love the way I do", clearly depicting love as the maker and breaker of lives. 'To Turn You On' is a superb love song, the singer again committed to his emotions for better or worse. 'True To Life' maintains both mood and theme and features some evocative vocal effects, then the album finishes with another instrumental and the tide washing in again.
It is no wonder Roxy split after this as the only way would have been down, as Ferry's over-produced solo attempts to recapture this have proven. This album may not be the best of all-time (there - I've admitted it!) but it is my personal favourite.
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on 24 January 2009
I agree with all that has been said about this wonderful SACD. The mix is brilliant and the surround sound is so involving. I just adore Avalon in multichannel! What a huge mistake the major record labels have made by not getting the launch of SACD right and giving us the titles we want and supporting this amazing format which increases listening pleasure so much. SACD mulitchannel releases like this disc are the things to purchase not the continual reissue of remastered titles where there is little that is new or added value, which SACD truly gives and is a worth investment. Fab disc, played an awful lot!
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on 14 February 2013
Avalon is that Roxy Music staple I just can't seem to discard. (Have the same track record with Appetite for Destruction and Joshua Tree, two other CDs that regularly get tossed and repurchased.) The cover art evokes a misty Camelot ... the ten tracks (two of which are instrumentals), however, are smooth and sensual, yet contemporary. More Than This and Take a Chance With Me tease and hypnotize with their slow rhythms. Bryan Ferry's vocals are suave, gauzy, and nearly beg for the ear to bend closer to the player, then the sax, guitar, and synthesizers spin a smoky lounge ambience. It's a siren's croon. Only a matter of time before I purchase Bete Noire (again!) ... Seven Deadly Sins with David Gilmour (shh!) lending his guitar skills to the sway is the clincher.
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on 30 November 2012
I spent my late teens and early twenties trying to look as effortlessly cool and aloof as Bryan Ferry - I had the height, the build, the dark hair and owned a couple of nice suits. That is as far as I got and one day I found that in trying to get "The BF Look", I inadvertently looked like I had just had a stroke. How ridiculous was I? No replies required it was a rhetorical question.

As my title suggests this original sounding and ultra cool album was my first purchase and I have fond memories of taking it to play in art lessons at school on Monday mornings, hoping one or two girls would like it.

Many words down the subsequent years have been printed or said about how wonderful this iconic album is, and it's all true. Many other bands and singers, very pale imitators - you know who they are, copied the look the sounds and made fortunes. They proved very commercial successes without having the real musical talent or songwriting ability to ever have the gravitas the way Roxy had. "Avalon" was every bit as original and innovative as the early Roxy albums in that every new romantic band in the early '80s wanted to follow the sound and look that Roxy inspired. I haven't typed about individual songs on this brilliant album because others have done a sterling job of that in earlier reviews. Just take their word for it. Forget the other bands who merely followed, because as Bryan once sang in "The In Crowd" - "Other guys imitate us, but the original is still the greatest." Indeed.
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on 6 August 2010
Like ABC's "Lexicon of Love" or Human League's "Dare", Avalon is just pure pop perfection. The early 1980's really did produce some incredible albums. Flesh & Blood was almost perfect but Avalon just took it to another level. Forget the fact that you would probably buy this cd for the spellbinding "More Than This" alone, the rest of the songs are just as strong. Whenever I play this cd, it's always from start to finish and my only gripe is that I wish it was longer. But what perhaps makes it stand out even more is that it is a timeless piece of music that if released today, would probably be as big a hit now as it was then. The production is inspiring, fresh, and overflowing with genius. But it only works because of the strength of songs and Brian Ferry's unique smooth voice. Roxy Music produced some of the most original music of the 1970's, but Avalon was their pinnacle achievement.
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on 27 May 2016
Roxy Music's 8th and final studio release is a high quality, valedictory effort containing 3 effortlessly smooth singles ( 'Avalon', 'More Than This' and 'Take A Chance With Me' ) and a number of beautifully crafted tracks including the catchy 'The Space Between', the very classy 'While My Heart Is Still Beating' and the crunchy 'The Main Thing' which features a clever introductory section. As ever, Bryan Ferry delivers some lovely vocals whilst Phil Manzanera (guitar) and Andy Mackay (saxophone) provide superb support from the wings. Although fans of early Roxy (myself included) will probably find some of this album a little too formulaic, it's hard to complain about Ferry's ability to write great original material. This is definitely worth picking up again for a competitive price.
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