The Vinyl Sessions - Roxy Music: Roxy Music

The Vinyl Sessions - Roxy Music: Roxy Music

2nd October 2022

What category does it fall into? Is it art school rock, avant-pop, glam rock? That’s lazy journalism, failing miserably to pigeon-hole one of the most ground-breaking debut albums of all time.

‘Roxy Music’ by Roxy Music continues to define everything that was, and still is, genuine about innovative music. The album embodied postmodernism a full decade before the idea of moving through styles and genres entered the mainstream. 

Recorded in March 1972 and released in June of that year to a largely unaware UK market… unless, of course, you’d caught them live on the college circuit or heard them on John Peel’s radio show, as versions of all nine tracks of the UK album were recorded by the BBC between January and May 1972. The album was recorded without the support of a record label (the sessions were financed by their management EG), with Island Records finally signing them in May.

Produced by Peter Sinfield (who’d recently departed King Crimson), the album featured 9 tracks. Brian Eno’s experimentalism and atmospherics perfectly suited the novel feel of the songs, and fitted their often peculiar construction. Bryan Ferry’s vocals and tangential lyrics added to the ramshackle uniqueness, with snippets of quaint balladeering, old-school rock ’n’ roll and doo-wop cropping up when least expected.

On its release, ‘Roxy Music’ catapulted the group from being cultish outsiders and into the mainstream. Though future albums would outsell it, when it came to a forward-thinking, truly progressive fusion of diverse ideas, eclectic style and unnerving bravado, the band would rarely be as challenging or inventive.

Suffice to say, early punk innovators, keen to look further than superficial “bricklayers in eyeliner” glam rock, were taking note.

Although the album did not contain any singles, in July 1972 Roxy Music recorded two more songs, "Virginia Plain" and "The Numberer”, which were released as a single. It peaked at no. 4 in the UK Singles Chart and helped push sales of the album, which itself went to no. 10 in the UK Album Chart.

The band’s ‘Top of the Pops’ debut performance of “Virginia Plain” is indeed an iconic moment indelibly stamped on the memory of those of a certain age.

Discussing the music, saxophonist Andy Mackay later said "We certainly didn't invent eclecticism but we did say and prove that rock 'n' roll could accommodate – well, anything really".

The session will be curated by Chris Andrews.

The album playback will be followed by a Q&A session After a short break, we'll follow the album with our usual ‘Dead Wax’ session. Bring along a 7” of your choice and hear it played through the Arts Centre PA. This can be anything you like, for any reason – the more ‘out there’ the better. The bar will be open throughout.

£3 Admission.
Doors open 12pm, session starts at 12.30pm.
Buy tickets
Share on Facebook