Sunday, January 16, 2011

1000 SONGS DAY 21 - SONG # 41

Day 41 - A song from your favourite band

Growing up, during puberty, roughly from 1972-1976, Roxy Music has been my favourite band - at least, this is how I reconstruct my youth today. Not to be misunderstood: I do not like "Avalon". MY ROXY is the ROXY of the FIRST FIVE ALBUMS, two of them featuring Brian Eno. For those not acquainted to that wonderful British band, it has to be mentioned, that crooner/rocker/poseur/dandy or whatever front-man Bryan Ferry (whose solo efforts I also like - to a certain degree) stems from a northern England miner's (working-class) family.
As at least the first two RM albums are among my favourite albums, there will be other songs among the 1000 songs I do like most or so to be posted here. For the moment I am content with one song each from the first five albums. I will try do add songs that are not the ones that everybody knows already, and that can show the stylistic diversity of RM during its (imo) creative years. As some critic sometimes somewhere has credited RM (or BF) for having introduced "Hollywood" to Rock Music, my first choice is "2HB" (meaning: to Humphrey Bogart), from the first RM LP, simply called Roxy Music. The girl on the cover is Kari-Ann Muller, later to become the wife of Chris Jagger, brother of Mick.


The second RM album was the first that I did own; after having not listened to it for about 10 years I re-bought it in the beginning of the 90ies, put it on my record player and knew all the words from the first line of the first to the last line of the last song. First song on side 2 is "THE BOGUS MAN". I remember to have read in an interview with Ferry, that they tried to re-create "that Dr. John-New-Orleans-sound" with that one, whilst, according to Wikipedia, Eno remarked that the eerie "Bogus Man" displayed similarities with contemporary material by the krautrock group Can. Great, anyway. Girl on the cover is Amanda Lear, having been friend of people like Brian Jones and Salvadore Dali, at that time short time girl-friend of Bryan. Soon thereafter becoming the disco queen.


The third RM album, released only a few months after "For Your Pleasure", the first RM record after Brian Eno quit the band with then 19 year old pianist and violinist Eddie Jobson as a substitute for Eno, is the first one to feature tracks co-written by other members than Ferry, as AMAZONA, which seems to have been written by guitarist Phil Manzanera (I guess the lyrics are Ferry's). This is a rhythmically difficult track, at least, for the drummer (at least, for me..). It starts as a normal 4/4, than it has an interlude (from approximately. 0:52 to 2:05), which is in 14/4 (4 times ¾ and 1 time 2/4), after that there is a short reminiscence of the introductory phrase followed by a guitar-solo to be accompanied in a very fast 16th-notes 4/4 only to end as it has begun; I have always thought of Paul Thompson as being a really great drummer (they used to call him "The Great Paul Thompson"). The cover girl is then BF girl-friend Marylin Cole


To show, that this is not so easy to perform, here is a live rendering of that one:

I have always thought, that the 4th RM album features exercises in different musical styles. For example, there is "Prairie Rose", a song about a girl from Texas, obviously dedicated to Jerry Hall, a girl from Texas, the then girl-friend of Bryan Ferry, later to become the wife of Mick Jagger, brother of Chris (husband to Kari-Ann Muller from the first RM-album cover). Nevertheless, the album does not star Jerry on the cover, but the lesser known German models Constanze Karoli (obviously of Hungarian ancestors) and Eveline Grunwald. They are also said to have helped Ferry with the German part of the lyrics of the song "Bitter-Sweet" (in a totally different musical style than "prairie rose"):
Nein - das ist nicht das Ende der Welt / Gestrandet an Leben und Kunst / Und das Spiel geht weiter wie man weiß / Noch viele schönste Wiedersehn
BITTER SWEET was co-written by Andy MacKay, who plays the saxophone and the oboe on all of these recordings. As a trained theologian, I really aprpeciate that Andy, according to Wikipedia, from 1988 to 1991, largely abandoned music to take a three-year Bachelor of Divinity course at King's College London.


Last not least, we have Siren, featuring Jerry Hall as a cover girl. The song I chose was
co-written by Eddie Jobson. I think it is a musically rather complex tune


No comments:

Post a Comment