INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Audiophile Audition NOVEMBER 14, 2009 - by Ethan Krow
THE STORY OF ROXY MUSIC: MORE THAN THIS
Debunking the myth.
Certain myths prevail despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. One of those myths is that the only good Roxy Music albums are the first two, featuring Brian Eno. It is suggested by some that these albums, Roxy Music and For Your Pleasure respectively, are exciting and experimental glam pastiches, while the other albums are soft-rock fluff. This could not be further from the truth, and Eagle Vision's excellent release, The Story Of Roxy Music: More Than This, should confirm this for any remaining non-believers.
This documentary chronicles the rapid rise of Roxy Music in the early '70s, the artistic and personnel changes which occurred over their eight albums and their reunion in 2006. The segment about the band coming together and the recording of the first album is especially interesting, featuring interviews with all of the members of the band about their days in art school, including Brian Eno. Hearing from Eno, easily one of the most important figures in modern music, and seeing footage of him working on his earliest experimental music, is an amazing treat for any Eno fan.
The documentary contains tremendous footage of Roxy performing, both live and in music videos, including one of this critic's favorite performances of all time, Roxy's 1972 appearance on the BBC's The Old Grey Whistle Test performing Virginia Plain and Ladytron. Unfortunately, the documentary does not feature the entirety of these performances, but the musical and aesthetic power of the performances shines through.
Members of the band openly and frankly address the changes that Roxy Music went through over the eight albums it released. Phil Manzanera, the guitar player who was one of the only members of the band to be in from start to finish, says that he believes that Roxy Music was "deluding ourselves" on later albums as Bryan Ferry moved the band away from a live rock and roll band sound to a more lush dance music sound characteristic of bands like Chic that were influencing Ferry.
The later albums speak for themselves, however. Footage from videos and live performances of Roxy's hits like Angel Eyes, Oh Yeah, and More Than This demonstrate the quality of the later recordings. Not only are the studio arrangements simultaneously decadent and idyllic, but on later albums Ferry finds his niche as a vocalist, and becomes one of the best singers of that period in rock history.
Aside from all this, the DVD also features interviews with musicians from U2, Chic, Duran Duran, The Human League, and much more, who discuss the influence Roxy Music had on their work and what it was like hearing Roxy Music albums when they first debuted. This DVD is a treat for true believers and will hopefully silence the naysayers forever.