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Articles Home » 1979 Articles » Roxy Music - 1979 Manifesto
Roxy Music - 1979 Manifesto

ARTIST: Roxy Music
ALBUM: Manifesto
LABEL: Polydor
SERIAL: 2310 651
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 1999, Virgin Records, ROXYCD7, 7243 8 47458


LINEUP: Bryan Ferry - lead vocals, keyboards, harmonica * Phil Manzanera - guitars * Andy Mackay - oboe, saxophone * Paul Carrack - keyboards * Alan Spenner, Gary Tibbs - bass

Additional Musicians: Steve Ferrone, Rick Marotta - drums * Richard Tee - piano

TRACK LISTING: 01 Manifesto * 02 Trash * 03 Angel Eyes * 04 Still Falls The Rain * 05 Stronger Through The Years * 06 Ain't That So * 07 My Little Girl * 08 Dance Away * 09 Cry, Cry, Cry * 10 Spin Me Round


Easy on the eyes actress Keira Knightley was recently quoted 'I Love Roxy Music. It sounds so decadent'. Indeed. When Roxy Music arrived on the UK scene in 1972 change was in the air. Pop music had become stagnate and bell bottom dull with the inevitable bloating of progressive rock already within earshot. Released two weeks after Glam's opening salvo 'The Rise Of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars'; the self-titled debut was like nothing seen or heard before. With its eye-popping cover photograph and inner sleeve showing the band in strange retro-futuristic stage gear to its stunning musical mixture of modern art, 50's rock, bizarre electronics and a vocal stylist like no other in Bryan Ferry; the album was Art Rock's ground zero. And yet following 1975's 'Siren' the band seemed to be on repeat and lacking the glitzy energy of their early work. Four years of quality solo releases from Ferry and Phil Manzanera followed and in 1978 a re-tooled version of the band set to work in the studio with the end result released in March, 1979.

The Songs
With just three original members, 'Manifesto' was not a return to the Roxy sound of old. In the years since their forced sabbatical, Punk's deconstructionist bomb landed in the middle of the industry and it was no longer business as usual from a songwriting standpoint. Spinning out of New York's Gay clubs, Disco was now in the mainstream and at its peak of popularity and both styles now informed the new Roxy Music. There's a moody and a strange Middle Eastern feel on the title track's first two minutes while 'Trash', the album's first single has a fun new wave/Elvis Costello-ish vibe. Catchy and featuring Andy Mackay's trademark sax, 'Angel Eyes' was a top 10 hit in the UK and I always thought this was one of the band's finest tune's and its aged well. 'Still Falls The Rain' is unusual, alternating between brooding rock and upbeat disco but it's the glittery 'Dance Away' that's the LP's mirror ball. A simple and steady disco beat and narrative with an undeniably grand hook, it's no wonder it was one of the best-selling singles in the UK that year and even got air play in the U.S. where they never got significant traction despite heavy touring.

In Summary
Following up in 1980 with 'Flesh + Blood' and an ensuing tour which found many future superstars of the embryonic 'New Romantic' movement in attendance and taking notes; the band had one masterpiece left in them, 1982's 'Avalon' after which they called it a day. Although many have tried their formula with varied degrees of success (Duran Duran, Japan etc.); there will never be another Roxy Music.

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#1 | gdazegod on February 10 2015 12:54:55
I think 'Avalon' and 'Flesh + Blood' should follow suit.. lemme see what I can do..
#2 | Jez on February 10 2015 15:26:14
Superb stuff and along with 'Flesh And Blood' and 'Avalon' my favourite Roxy albums, although I do like the earler stuff aswell. Great great band featuring one of my favourite vocalists of all time.
#3 | Explorer on February 10 2015 18:19:06
Could never really get to grips with this version of Roxy Music, whereas their first 2 albums, along with Cockney Rebel, Be Bop Deluxe,MTH and of course Queen were very much part of the soundtrack of my life back in the early 70's.
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