Best Tracks: If There Is Something; Chance Meeting; Bitters End
Imagine the sound a pigeon might make if it sprayed bullets from its beak like a machine-gun. This is the best way I can describe Bryan Ferry’s vocal style. His version of Jealous Guy appalled me to my very core and put me off listening to the much celebrated Roxy Music for years.
When I did eventually pluck up the courage to dip my toe in Roxy’s waters (starting with their debut), I found Ferry’s voice to be the highlight of an excellent album. Amongst these songs, his vibrato singing oozed with passion, vulnerability, and, as demonstrated brilliantly toward the end of If There Is Something; desperation and urgency.
Recorded in 1972, Roxy Music flirts with the sound of similar era Stones (Rock ‘n’ Roll piano, crunching guitars, and Saxophones), but nearly always spirals off before we get the chance to settle. As much as I adore The Rolling Stones, Roxy Music demonstrates experimental production and lyrical depth they could only dream about. And, I’m very surprised to hear myself say, Roxy’s playing is as impressive and tight as Sticky Fingers.
My Ferry reservations now put to bed, I can’t wait to get stuck into Roxy’s back catalogue. If the rest of their albums are as good as this, then I’m in for a treat.