Bryan Ferry - vocals, keyboards; Andy Mackay - saxophone, oboe; Phil Manzanera - guitar; Alan Spencer - bass; Andy Newmark - drums; Neil Hubbard - guitar; Jimmy Maelen - percussion; Guy Fletcher - keyboards; Fonzi Thornton, Michelle Cobbs, Tawatha Agee - backing vocals
This performance by Roxy Music at the Arena in Frejus, France was captured for the King Biscuit Flower Hour and is quite special because they play material from their entire catalog. They open up with "The Main Thing" from their final album and burst straight into the classic "Both Ends Burning" from 1975's Siren. The group comfortably shifts from record-to-record throughout the 10-song set, and it really shows what a wealth of material they have and how consistently they wrote great, exciting tracks.
Bryan Ferry cuts the figure of a confident, engrossing frontman, and his voice is just as powerful as it always was. One of the discs highlights, "Love Is The Drug," is a perfect demonstration of that, as Ferry leads the group through the funky jam. "Editions of You" is also a rollicking highlight that features some hair-raising sax playing from Andy Mackay.
This recording is a must for any Roxy Music fan, in part because the of the group's expansive catalog. It is a treat to hear the way they developed throughout their career, while hearing the signature sound that they carved out.
London's Roxy Music will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the most influential art-rock bands in music history. The group, formed by vocalist/keyboardist Bryan Ferry, enjoyed a successful run through the '70s and early '80s, crafting a sound that was all their own. The original line-up was rounded out by Phil Manzanera (guitars), Andy Mackay (oboe, saxophone), Paul Thompson (drums), and Brian Eno (synthesizer). Eno would leave the band after only two years, and go on to become one of the foremost producers and composers of ambient music.
They first exploded on to the scene with their 1972 self-titled debut album. The progressive debut was the sound of a group challenging the constraints of pop music. The LP was lauded by critics and popular among fans, peaking at No. 4 on the U.K. album charts and is peppered with Ferry's surrealistic lyrics and the group's constantly shifting music. From there, they recorded 1973's For Your Pleasure—their last disc with Eno—at London's legendary AIR Studios. The album was another smashing success and it includes some of their best-loved songs, like "In Every Dream home a Heartache"—a sparse meditation by Ferry on the drawbacks of living in an excessive, materialistic world.
After Eno's departure, the group didn't miss a beat, continuing to release albums until their brief hiatus in 1976. In that time, they released three of the finest discs of their career, including the back-to-back classics 1974's Country Life and 1975's Siren, both of which have been included on many magazine's "Greatest of All-Time" lists. After two years away, the group reformed, sans Eno, in 1978 to release three more albums, Manifesto (1979), Flesh and Blood (1980) and Avalon (1982), until they finally split up in 1983.
Thirty years after they formed, Ferry, Manzera, Macakay, and Thompson re-formed the group and continue to play concerts all over the world.