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- John Sugar
Jarvis Cocker celebrates Roxy Music, hears from key band members, showcases the songs and reflects on the Roxy legacy.
Evolving from the late-60s art-rock movement, Roxy Music epitomized fashion, glamour and innovative music. Through the 70s and 80s, the band released a string of ground-breaking albums, culminating with the 1982 classic Avalon. Programme two begins in the punk era, as the band regroups in 1978. Ferry, Manzanera, Mackay and Thompson added former Ace keyboardist Paul Carrack to the band's line-up and hired Gary Tibbs, formerly of the Vibrators, and ex-Kokomo Alan Spenner as studio bassists.
Their comeback album sounded more dance orientated, with a soul-pop sound that was markedly different from than their earlier records. Manifesto confirmed their British popularity, and single Dance Away charted worldwide. The follow-up, Flesh & Blood, became Roxy Music's second number one album and charted in America, thanks to the infectious single Over You. In the spring of 1981, the band's cover of John Lennon's Jealous Guy, recorded as a tribute to the slain singer, became the group's only British Number 1 single.
Roxy Music returned in the summer of 1982 with Avalon, which marked a new level in the group's production and musical sophistication and became their biggest album worldwide. It's a rich, textured album, with romantic washes of music and Bryan Ferry's vocals sounding elegant and seductive on More Than This, Take a Chance With Me, While My Heart Is Still Beating, and the title track.
After their last tour, Mackay, Manzanera and Ferry all released solo albums and Avalon was to be Roxy Music's studio swansong. But now Roxy Music are back, with a 40th anniversary tour, and it seems an opportune moment to celebrate this influential group. The Thrill of It All features new interviews with key band members: Bryan Ferry, Andy Mackay, Phil Manzanera, and Paul Thompson. Other contributors include producers Chris Thomas and Rhett Davies.