Tag Archives: Bryan Ferry

T.G.I.F. – Ten From Roxy Music

I do enjoy documentaries, especially music documentaries, and I guess there are more people out there because they keep making them. More Than This isn’t a great expose about Roxy Music, and even the uninitiated won’t learn much (Roxy diehards looking for insight might be bored senseless). But it does capture and present the band as pioneers, successful in an age when so many others tried to be original and failed miserably. The program combines interview clips, partial songs and a career overview that sometimes blazes by touchstone moments (Siren is given about a nanosecond).

Although the running time is short, I did enjoy listening to comments from band members past and present; all show a great sense of pride in their accomplishments, and I came away with a new respect for Brian Eno as a person as well as a musician. Bryan Ferry was appropriately pensive, Phil Manzanera funny, Andy Mackay resolute and Paul Thompson straightforward and blue-collar honest. Additional voices like Siouxsie Sioux, John Taylor and Sex Pistol axeman Steve Jones (‘we wuz awwl Rawk-zee fanz“) echo what we already knew, but testimonials are always fun. (And no, Sioux and Jones did not mention Bill Grundy’s name…)

But it was enjoyable to watch and listen to, and my first reaction was to pull their catalogue off the shelf and wallow in it. And if that’s the emotion that resulted, maybe it’s a pretty decent film after all. It’s certainly reasonably priced and I think well worth a purchase and a spin. God, what a great band.

So for this week’s TGIF I offer you Ten From Roxy Music. Enjoy!

(01) – “Do The Strand” (live in France – w/fireworks!)

(02) – “Avalon

(03) – “Remake/Remodel” (live at Musikladen)

(04) – “Love Is The Drug

(05) – “Mother of Pearl” (live in Sweden 1976)

(06) – “Dance Away” (extended Bob Clearmountain mix)

(07) – “Virginia Plain” (live at The Apollo)

(08) – “Both Ends Burning” (eyepatch version!)

(09) – “Oh Yeah

(10) – “Over You” (original single version)

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Under The Radar – Neil Leyton

Blame Canada…

I was first turned on to Neil Leyton through the fabulous Changes One mailing list, a UK-based discussion group that had an eclectic and fanatical drive for honest, uncompromising rock and roll artists. Leyton fits the bill, and I’m ashamed that I don’t pull his stuff off the shelf more often than I do. Or that I never knew about his Canadian glam band Conscious Pilate

The Brighter Side of Her Midnight Sun is a seventeen-track melting pot of rock, folk, glam and spoken word, and for the most part it both stands together and holds up well for a seven-year old release. The track listing is split into two sides with verbose titles that are at once intriguing and foreboding:

  • The Insufferable Permanent Ennui of The Soul side, and
  • The Permanent Damage & Unimaginable Consequence side

Occasionally irresistibly earworm and sometimes simply jarring to the senses, you can almost tell by the song titles when things are going to get pensive and murky (“The Confraternity of The Faithless”) and when you could probably parse a track for a pop mix tape (“Once Upon A Yesterday”, “Whispers”).

Sample a few tracks here

Dedicated to his “chess playing Communist grandfather”, the album is rampant with political and social commentary, but with few exceptions not at the expense of the music. Hell, there’s enough between song chatter, interludes and reprises galore tying the whole thing together that a second and third listen expose new turns of phrase, more musical nuances. I most often got a David Bowie-meets-Bryan Ferry vibe, but that’s because Leyton is an expressive vocalist and many of the tracks are deeply rooted in glam. Besides the aforementioned tracks, I really like “Staring”, “Nine” and the epic nine-minute closer, “Twilight of the Gods”.

Maybe it’s not for everyone, but what is?

Neil’s done a bunch more before and since, including walking the walk as a vocal advocate regarding the paradigm shift in music distribution; his label Fading Ways being a forerunner. And as for Changes OneGood on yer, Ian Tunstull, wherever ye are.

Fading Ways website

Neil Leyton website and Wiki page.

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