Please excuse my Frankenstein’s monster of a post title – I have lost all self-control, apparently. Since I started this blog about my love of music, my mind turns to each long-cherished song with the passion of a brand-spanking-new lover, as if I’ve taken some kind of musical hormone therapy drug. But, in fact, we know that love itself is the drug. Which leads me, of course, to Roxy Music.
Roxy Music weren’t all that well known here in Lynyrd Skynyrdsville. In fact, I was completely unaware of them until “Love is the Drug” started to be played on the radio circa ’75-’76. I was so intrigued by the unique sound of that song that I asked the music gurus down at the local record shop the name of the band that did it. They did more than answer my question – they played “In Every Dream Home a Heartache” over the store speakers, and I walked away loaded down with Roxy Music. How fresh, how different was their sound – the way they changed moods and styles multiple times in each song; the cryptic lyrics; the drama and theatricality! There’s just nothing like early Roxy Music. Of course, ultimately, practically everyone tried to sound like Roxy Music it seems. All those new wave bands of the eighties just sounded like pale, neutered imitations of Roxy Music to me, and sadly, eventually even Roxy Music started to sound like a pale, neutered imitation of Roxy Music.
It all started going awry, I think, when Bryan Ferry’s lounge lizard suit stopped being tongue-in-cheek and ironic and became his actual preferred form of dress and a symbol of his professional persona. But let’s not think about that now. I have a long list of favorites from Roxy Music, but here’s a couple of standouts – both of these clips are of incredible performances.
Here’s a man and his mate…I mean doll. I just love the creepy keyboards and the increasingly cracked lyrics; the tension building until we reach the orgasmic release of Phil Manzanera’s solo…
This song has probably been stuck in my head more than any other Roxy Music song over the years…Oh, mother of pearl, I wouldn’t trade you for another girl…
And here’s a little bonus…a cool dub version of “Love is the Drug” by Todd Terje and amazing video by Ferry Gouw which I found on Bryan Ferry’s YouTube channel. If you want to read more about Roxy Music and Bryan Ferry, fellow blogger Greg K. over at seventies music has a great, detailed post and the original version of this song. Here’s almost seven minutes of delicious Ferryesque musical hormone therapy…enjoy!
Questions? Comments? Please share!