Tag Archives: Roxy Music

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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New Album! The Hot Rats

So...what are the other two Supergrassians doing?

I love tribute albums more than I should, and when a band tosses a well placed cover into their set or onto their own album it can often be a real treat. And while playing the song straight can be reverential, adding your own flavor to the stew can often be far more rewarding. On Turn Ons we get both from The Hot Rats. While that latter name may call to mind one of Frank Zappa‘s greatest albums, it is also what two famous UK pop stars call their fun side project. 

Gaz Coombes and Danny Goffey of Supergrass have teamed up with producer Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, Beck, Travis) for an album of well-chosen covers of some of their favorite artists including The Kinks, Squeeze, The Doors, Gang of Four, Elvis Costello and David Bowie among others. While some of the songs (i.e. the Lou Reed stomper “I Can’t Stand It”) are made for the stripped down thumping, you will be amazed at how they approached songs by The Sex Pistols and The Beastie Boys

Despite the limited instrumentation, the versatility on the album separates The Hot Rats from the pack of bands flailing to surf the wake of The White Stripes. Simplicity merely repeated gets monotonous, but The Hot Rats wisely employed Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich to add his brush to their canvas, and the result is an exciting and surprising collaboration. At its core it’s brimming with the exuberance and fearlessness of a garage band, and with twelve tracks in just over half an hour, one is left wanting more

Read my full review in Blurt Online.

And yes - grab this too!

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Blast From The Past: Velvet Goldmine

In a response to one of the posts about bubblegum music, a reader states that glam is like “bubble gum with pubes”. Vile, yes. Disgusting? Absolutely. But not a bad analogy.

Glam is bubblegum’s older brother/sister, more streetwise, more decadent, more overtly sexual, but at its core it’s still pop music with gigantic hooks. Aural glitter, if you will. These songs don’t hope to catch your attention with a wink of an eye; that would be far too subtle. Glam is zippers and bulges and leering innuendo – wham bam thank you ma’am.

Many films tried to accurately portray the scene; few succeeded. Velvet Goldmine not only had a great storyline – think Eddie and the Cruisers but starring Bowie and Iggy – but a killer soundtrack that still holds up today. I heard the soundtrack prior to seeing the film, and it only accelerated my desire to do so. Faith rewarded in both media.

Todd Haynes co-wrote and directed the film, which featured a stellar cast including Christian Bale, Ewan McGregor and Eddie Izzard, among others. But the music…ahh, the music.

My thoughts from 1998, first printed in TransAction Magazine


I confess up front that I havent seen the movie, although that has not been a deterrent to appreciating soundtrack records – they usually have little to do with the plot anyway. But I know good glam punk when I hear it. Shudder To Think does Bowie incarnate with “Hot One”; Placebo gives Bolan a workout with their version of “20th Century Boy”.

Also included are some great turns by Teenage Fanclub (“Personality Crisis”), Thom Yorke and star Ewan McGregor (a ripping version of “TV Eye” backed by Ron Asheton, Mike Watt and Thurston Moore, among others!). Plus how can you go wrong with Eno, Lou Reed, Roxy Music and Pulp?

And for those who forgot Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel in Mott’s wake, heres a reason to dig out your vinyl. God, the energy, the passion, the feeling!  So tell me again how the pulse of the music world had its balls shrink into raisins over the past few years?

Velvet Goldmine soundtrack

Velvet Goldmine film

Clip: Placebo rocking “20th Century Boy”

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