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Alternative Weekend: Focus on ‘Roxy Music'


Introducing #alternativeweekend. Post an article that highlights THREE great songs that are either progressive or alternative and use the tag #alternativeweekend or use the ‘Focus on’ series if you like. There are no rules, just make your own!

If you have a short story or something to offer regarding an opinion on your songs, then share it with us!


It seems forever since I wrote an Alternative Weekend, and there’s a reason for this.

'...I’m simply out of bands to write about...'

Stretching into my memory bag of ancient music material I find Roxy Music, a band of two halves.

I say this because they enjoyed two definitive periods of success; the glam rock of the early seventies and the more mellow material a decade later.

I discovered them somewhere in between and hoped they would resurface. They did but not in the manner I would have hoped. I always preferred their edgy earlier songs, filled with amazing synth sounds courtesy of Brian Eno.


I listened to Synth Britannia last night as it just happened to be on TV for the umpteenth time and noted that like Eno, Martyn Ware of The Human League was told he was no longer in the band.

According to the Wikipedia page, ‘Brian Eno left Roxy Music amidst increasing differences with Ferry’.

Such is the power struggles of bands and musicians, but did they lose their most creative influence?


Roxy Music – Virginia Plain (Roxy Music – 1972)

1972, Christ! I was still at infants school and barely aware of music at all.

A year later, a well-educated school-kid friend of mine was into all this ‘weird music', including Roxy, Pink Floyd, and Uriah Heap, but never musically introduced it to me at the time.

I was more into the standard glam rock crap of the day such as Suzi Quattro, Slade and Garry Glitter (shudder).

They made a music video of Virginia Plain and does it look dated now. Just look at those outfits, it was so hip at the time. The music is still great though and really takes me back.


Roxy Music – Out of the Blue (Country Life – 1974)

Years later, I figured my old school friend did have some good taste and mine during those old times had been mostly a load of old crap!

I bought Country Life from one of those rambling second hand records stores most likely due to the album cover! I never really got the grips with all the album tracks but Out of the Blue really stuck out.

Having been always a sucker for those strobing synth sounds, used somewhat in The Doobie Brothers, Listen to the Music, and to some degree Donna Summer's, I Feel Love, this one struck a chord.

Like some other seventies sounds, it does sound a little dated in today's world.

Keep it going to the end, it gets much better as it ends up quite progressive and psychedelic.


Roxy Music – Both Ends Burning (Siren – 1975)

Oh, how I loved this song that was just a minor hit right at the end of Roxy Music's first half of fame.

Were these guys the trendsetters of synth music? From the first note, we are besetted with a strong string type overlay that persists throughout the song.

Maybe this song was a little early for the public to take in. Mix in some Andy Mackay saxophone and you have an intoxicating track which is probably a little too long to be a regular single.

At around 4 minutes, Phil Manzanera unleashes his electric guitar which combining with Ferry's soaring vocals, sends me to musical heaven!


In 1979, Roxy Music were back with a single named, Trash which I blindly bought. Jeez, it certainly was trash too, I was so disappointed.

The crap music didn't last as we then got Dance Away and Angel Eyes which were both hits, decent but much different than I was expecting.

I would be lying if I said I really got into the latter Roxy Music. it was all a little poppy, smooth and silky but suited it's time rather well at the turn of the decade.

Roxy Music – Angel Eyes (Manifesto – 1979)

Angel Eyes I remember well as I was working at a certain supermarket who played those tapes of unoriginal artists on repeat to incessantly torment the staff in an attempt to make us insane.

Nonetheless, I don't dislike this tune but always longed for the older Roxy Music to come back. It never happened.



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