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For Your Pleasure - Roxy Music

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Genre: Rock - Classic Rock / Artist: Roxy Music / Original recording remastered / Audio CD released 1999-09-13 at Virgin

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

    1 Review
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      14.07.2008 12:34
      Very helpful



      The Best Roxy Music album ever!

      Lately, I've been rebuilding my original record collection and this one easily makes my all time top ten albums. It is the tale of two Brian's travelling in opposite directions who briefly collided producing two albums of stunning originality, variety and elegance. For Your Pleasure is my favourite album and today it sounds every bit as good as when I first bought it.

      When I look back at the video footage of the group at the time I'm struck by the remarkable vigour, vibrance and unusualness of the group. If they brought this album out today, it would soon be topping the charts.

      First, some background information on the group. I've called it a Tale of Two Brian's because I believe these are the two critical elements that create the tension between contrasting styles and aspirations but this should not diminish the contribution of the other band members who provided an incredibly solid platform from which to work and added a diverse input into what was already a pretty weird outfit. Rock on Tommy!

      Here are Roxy Music;

      Bryan Ferry - Vocals, Piano. Mellotron, Hohner Pianet

      Brian Eno - VCS3 Synthesizer, Backing Vocals

      Andy Mackay - Saxophone. Oboe, Farfisa Electric Organ

      John Porter - Bass Guitar

      Phil Manzanera - Electric Guitar

      Paul Thompson - Drums.

      Now the Track Breakdown

      Track 1 Do The Strand 10/10

      Do the Strand is arguably the group's best song ever - it has everything. It is as kitch and camp as you like with high melodrama and caustic humour. With Latinesque rhythm and cartoon keyboards, Ferry holds a dialogue with some imaginary person who is tired and weary of every dance craze but a new exciting alternative is offered in 'The Strand.'

      A remarkable range of dances is referenced in a series of hysterical questions asked with a nonchalance worthy of Noel Coward. Each question is franked by Andy Mackay's searing sax and when the rest of the band kick in, it's full speed ahead towards rock city. There's room too for Eno with his synth and oscillator to provide a sonic layer somewhere high in the stratosphere above the song. If you are still any doubt, then you must watch The Old Grey Whistle Test performance featured on You Tube. (Skip over the pompous introduction of OGWT producer). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWfXqae1NzA

      The performance is faultless. The band look like a bizarre collection of exotic animals, Phil Manzanera looks like he's escaped from Hawkwind and there is more leopardskin, lame, sequins and make up on show than Bette Lynch on a girl's night out to Come Dancing.

      Bored with the Beguine?

      The Samba's not your scene?

      Weary of the Waltz?

      Mash Potato Shmultz!

      Track 2 Beauty Queen 9/10

      What a little gem of a track! To be honest, it's one I didn't remember by the title but now that I've played it again it all comes flooding back.

      It is a straightforward piano ballad and must be Swiss Toni's favourite track for it is an unashamed homage to feminine beauty. Ferry croons, swoons and billy goats through the song in a style that almost mocks his extreme vocal affectation yet the delicious and ostentatious romanticism is totally seductive. I have deducted one point from the track for an instrumental section that doesn't seem to fit. It's quite racy and in fact has a slightly trippy Stones Roses feel and some nice revving guitar sounds. I just find it intrusive in what is a very tender and private love song.

      One thing we share
      Is an ideal of beauty

      Treasure so rare
      That even devil's may care

      Your swimming pool eyes
      In sea breezes they flutter

      The coconut tears
      Heavy-lidded they shed

      Track 3 Strictly Confidential 7/10

      For me. this is the weakest track of the album although it's still enjoyable to listen to. There is almost a touch of folk about it and Andy Mackay swaps his sax for the oboe to good effect. The percussion is also interesting showing that this is a band with talent in every department.

      Track 4 Editions of You 10/10

      This is a high tempo, up beat track that from the first snare drum beat has you fully committed. Similar in construction to Do The Strand, the song features Ferry's distinctive electric piano style - which I fear may have influenced Supertramp (somebody must be to blame). Once again we are treated to Ferry's interesting lyrical approach and still more distinctive intonation.

      Boys will be boys, will be boyoyoys!

      It just wouldn't work with any other accent. Another clear winner.

      Track 5 In Every Dream, Home a Heartache 9/10

      Easily the darkest track on the album, this is a desolate tale of a man obsessed with his inflatable doll (well, it seemed to make sense at the time). It symbolises the vacuousness and loneliness of modern life. The vocals are a little more clipped than usual and bordering on robotic. The song is stark with a bleak minimal Lurch like keyboard accompaniment. The song carries on in this vein for quite a while until - Bam! Phil Manzanera and the boys take over as if to say, 'OK Brian, that's enough of the arty stuff, let's play some rock now.' The second half of the track thrashes out a Lynyrd Skynyrd like guitar solo with all the trimmings. You wouldn't think that the two parts would fit together but somehow it works.

      Track 6 The Bogus Man 9/10

      The Bogus Man sees minimalism and the avant-gard dominate. The story is built around a single repeating theme and the guitar work is deliberately monophonic. The rhythmic and percussive elements of the song are built up from fragments which feel a little automated and Germanic. This is punctuated by a kind of chanting that sounds like a children's demonic skipping rhyme. However each verse develops a more fluid and eerie melodic vocal line above the chugging machine whilst Eno's synth tracks the melody note for note. Only Andy Mackay is let free to slash the darkness with discordent, oblique interjections. This is not a track for small children or people of a nervous disposition. It's no pop song and For Your Pleasure is a deeper piece of work for it's presence. Turn the lights off. Play it in the dark and spook yourself. Watch out! Here Comes the Bogus Man!

      Track 7 Grey Lagoons 8/10

      This is probably the straightest track on the album but good fun all the same. It starts off in usual mode with Ferry's, sweetest, syrupy voice but it feels like it's Friday night and what the band reallly want to do is play some real Roxy rock and roll. It's a great showcase for Andy Mackay who despite his versatility always seems really at home when he's honking. Ferry reveals his love of traditional blues with some credible harmonica playing and not to be outdone, Phil Manzanera tidies up with some hot, rocking licks. The track finally returns to the original theme and style just to remind you that it's Roxy Music and not the E -Street Band that you're listening to. A great live track but the studio version also rocks.

      Track 8 For Your Pleasure 8/10

      As the title track, it is perhaps not the strongest but provides an interesting finale to the album. It starts off simply enough with the guitar introducing the main motif in clear, vibrato almost worthy of the Shadows. Ferry joins in on the vocals and we have a few verses of normality. However, as the track progresses, the instruments fade away and we are left with a bare voice in as empty a space as you could find.

      Old Man

      You Watch Me walk Away

      Tara, Tara

      Fade in the instruments and cue the tape loop. What follows is what Paul Gambaccini described as four mintes of wasted track space. Given that he backed Kajagoogoo, I think his judgement was flawed. Maybe the band went to the pub thinking that the album was completed and Eno sneaked back into the studio to add his finishing touches. In this instance, he had the last word, leaving his mark on the album and indicating where his destiny lay. It would be his last contribution.


      Every once in a while, something truly remarkable occurs and For Your Pleasure is such an event. As a piece of work it is original, varied, funny and dark and it's legacy is enduring.

      Ferry's smooth vocals, image and melodies would influence the New Romantic movement and groups such as Japan, Spandau Ballet, Visage and Pulp. Eno's experimentation and interest in minimalism would see him form interesting partnerships with the likes of Robert Fripp, David Byrne and David Bowie.

      Manzanera and Mackay have also had credible post Roxy careers in performance, writing and production. Yet despite all of this, the most important point is that this album stands up as a great piece of work. For a magical moment all these great talents combined to produce an album that can only be For Your Pleasure.


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    • Product Details

      Disc #1 Tracklisting
      1 Do The Strand
      2 Beauty Queen
      3 Strictly Confidential
      4 Editions Of You
      5 In Every Dream Home A Heartache
      6 Bogus Man
      7 Grey Lagoons
      8 For Your Pleasure

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