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Ambient - Released January 1, 2005 | EG Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
When listening to Music For Airports for the first time, fans of the glam-Brian Eno from the Roxy Music period and his album Here Come The Warm Jets must have been blown away… Goodbye bowiesque sounds, hello the experiments of Terry Riley, Steve Reich, John Cage, LaMonte Young and other wisemen who were mad about minimalist music. In 1978, Eno (ahead of his time) conceived four long tracks of instrumental music each over 10 minutes long. Sounding like movies soundtracks, these explorations to the borders of new age and these climatic developments of an astonishing sensuality prefigure an entire part of what the electronic music will sound like a few years later, and ambient music in particular. All that’s left is to listen to the atmospheric masterpieces in airports… © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Ambient - Released January 1, 2004 | EG Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
When listening to Music For Airports for the first time, fans of the glam-Brian Eno from the Roxy Music period and his album Here Come The Warm Jets must have been blown away… Goodbye bowiesque sounds, hello the experiments of Terry Riley, Steve Reich, John Cage, LaMonte Young and other wisemen who were mad about minimalist music. In 1978, Eno (ahead of his time) conceived four long tracks of instrumental music each over 10 minutes long. Sounding like movies soundtracks, these explorations to the borders of new age and these climatic developments of an astonishing sensuality prefigure an entire part of what the electronic music will sound like a few years later, and ambient music in particular. All that’s left is to listen to the atmospheric masterpieces in airports… © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Rock - Released January 1, 2001 | EG Records

Released to herald a reunion of the band and superseding several out-of-print predecessors, The Best of Roxy Music is an excellent summary of the group's hits and album highlights between 1972 and 1982. There are really two editions of Roxy Music, the glam rock unit that achieved widespread U.K. success from 1972 to 1975, and the more polished one that was a broader international success from 1979 to 1982. The compilers have dealt with the dichotomy and the more lasting popularity of the later recordings by presenting the compilation in reverse chronological order, so that soft rock hits like "Over You" and "Dance Away," which scored in America, come before U.K.-only hits like "Street Life" and "Virginia Plain," which rock much harder. But all the major hits are here (only a couple of less-successful British singles chart entries are missing), augmented by memorable album tracks like "Do the Strand" and "Mother of Pearl." In print or not, this is the best single-disc collection of Roxy Music, since it is more complete than earlier compilations like the 1977 Greatest Hits and 1983 The Atlantic Years (1973-1980) LPs, and, unlike later best-ofs such as Street Life: 20 Great Hits (1986), The Ultimate Collection (1988), and More Than This: The Best of Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music (1995) (the latter two U.K. releases), it is not divided between Bryan Ferry solo tracks and Roxy Music ones. © William Ruhlmann /TiVo

Rock - Released January 1, 2000 | EG Records

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When Slave to Love: The Best of the Ballads was released in 2000, there hadn't been a true Roxy Music compilation in print for years. Street Life and More Than This were both grab bags of Roxy Music singles and material from Bryan Ferry's solo career. While it's logical to assume that fans of one artist would certainly be interested in the other, the approach never made for a unified compilation -- Roxy Music's sound shifted quite a bit over the years, and their earlier, edgier singles never sat well next to the smooth balladeering of Ferry's companion career. However, Slave to Love is the first Ferry/Roxy grab bag to make internal sense, because it's thematically limited to the Roxy material that most resembles Ferry's crooning solo style. By the time of 1982's Avalon, the gap between the two had narrowed so much as to be virtually indistinguishable, and this compilation captures the elegantly romantic sound that came to be inextricably linked to Ferry. Slave to Love shouldn't be taken as comprehensive, even in this narrower vein (there are several excellent late-period Roxy Music singles missing), but as an encapsulation of one specific part of their appeal, it makes for a strong listen. © Steve Huey /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 1999 | EG Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Flesh + Blood suggested that Roxy Music were at the end of the line, but they regrouped and recorded the lovely Avalon, one of their finest albums. Certainly, the lush, elegant soundscapes of Avalon are far removed from the edgy avant-pop of their early records, yet it represents another landmark in their career. With its stylish, romantic washes of synthesizers and Bryan Ferry's elegant, seductive croon, Avalon simultaneously functioned as sophisticated make-out music for yuppies and as the maturation of synth pop. Ferry was never this romantic or seductive, either with Roxy or as a solo artist, and Avalon shimmers with elegance in both its music and its lyrics. "More Than This," "Take a Chance with Me," "While My Heart Is Still Beating," and the title track are immaculately crafted and subtle songs, where the shifting synthesizers and murmured vocals gradually reveal the melodies. It's a rich, textured album and a graceful way to end the band's career. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 1999 | EG Records

When Jerry Hall, front-cover model on Roxy's Siren, left Ferry for Mick Jagger, his response was this interesting album, not a full success but by no means a washout. In part Ferry returned to the model of his solo work before In Your Mind, with half the tracks being covers of rock and soul classics. Thus, Sam and Dave's "Hold On (I'm Coming)," Al Green's "Take Me to the River" (which arguably sounds like a strong influence on Talking Heads' near contemporaneous version) and even the Velvet Underground's "What Goes On," among others, take a bow. Unfortunately Ferry's backing performers, mostly drawing on studio pros like Waddy Wachtel, don't seem to have the real affinity for the material like his earlier solo-effort cohorts did. If anything, though, there's also the sense of Ferry channeling his romantic gloom through a number of the songs, giving them a strong personal bite. The guitar and bass-only version of the traditional folk tune "Carrickfergus" works best of all, its lovelorn sentiments and slow pace connecting just right. As for Ferry's originals, his sentiments are all the more clear, right from the abbreviated charge of the opening "Sign of the Times," its fractured sentiments of disturbed, vicious romance matched by the clipped punch of the music and Ferry's own brisk delivery. The other originals don't cut quite so bloodily, but the sense of loss and confusion is all there, from the opening line "Well I rush out blazin'/My pulse is racin'" on "Can't Let Go" to the lonely sense of mystery on "This Island Earth," the album's conclusion. © Ned Raggett /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 1999 | EG Records

Recorded live in France in 1982 but not released on CD in the U.S. until 1990, Heart Still Beating isn't quite in a class with Roxy Music's first live album, Viva, but nonetheless gives us a lot to be excited about. Lead singer Bryan Ferry and guitarist Phil Manzanera sound quite inspired much of the time, and Manzanera delivers some excellent solos. Longtime Roxy devotees will want to savor engaging versions of "Out of the Blue" and "Both Ends Burning" (both of which were heard on Viva), as well as such favorites as "Dance Away," "Avalon" and the clever "Love Is the Drug." Roxy comes closer to a mainstream rock sound on enjoyable interpretations of Neil Young's "Like a Hurricane" and John Lennon's "Jealous Guy," but even then, the distinctive band's quirky art-rock tendencies remain. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 1999 | EG Records

With Roxy Music set aside for the time being, Ferry took the solo plunge with an album of totally original material. As such, the underrated In Your Mind makes a logical follow-on from Roxy's Siren, especially since usual suspects -- Thompson, Manzanera, Wetton, and many more -- assist him in the brief eight-song effort. While lacking early Roxy's long-gone freakouts In Your Mind still burns more fiercely than both the later solo and group albums, at least on certain tracks - like Siren, it balances between rockier and smoother paths, most often favoring the former. Ferry's lyrics remain in his own realm of intelligent, romantic dissipation, and are some of his best efforts. The strong opener "This Is Tomorrow" starts with Ferry and keyboards before moving into a big, chugging full band arrangement and a wistful chorus: "This is tomorrow callin'/Wish you were here." When Ferry aims for a calmer mood, rather than stripped-down melancholia, he lets everyone play along. Sometimes the arrangements almost swamp the songs, but "One Kiss'" combination of female backing vocals, sax, and straight-up rock for instance, make it a great woozy, end-of-the-night singalong before the bars close. There are a few blatant misfires -- "Tokyo Joe" has the chugging, dark funk/rock beat down cold, but the lyrics play around too much with Asian stereotypes (and let's not mention the opening gong and all too obvious attempts at "atmosphere" via the strings). On balance, though, In Your Mind remains the secret highlight of Ferry's musical career, an energetic album that would have received far more attention as a full Roxy release. © Ned Raggett /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 1996 | EG Records

The Penguin Cafe Orchestra was one of those delightfully unclassifiable groups. Not really classical, not really jazz; sort of minimalist, and decidedly not new age (despite their usual classification), the PCO blended the first three of those ingredients into a quirky, beautiful, and timeless music that sounds like no one else. Lots of strings, piano, harmonium, bass, and ukuleles are the main instruments, and the music they produce is pretty, humorous, and utterly unique. Preludes, Airs & Yodels is a collection (one couldn't really use the term "Greatest Hits" for the PCO) that features many of their best-loved tunes like the "Penguin Cafe Single," "Air à Danser," and "Telephone and Rubber Band" (What? No "Ecstasy of Dancing Fleas?"). "Music for a Found Harmonium" actually appears three times: the original version by the PCO, a version by the traditional Irish band Patrick Street, and an electronicized version whipped up by pioneering electronica act the Orb. To be honest, the Orb remix doesn't really fit into the flow of the album all that well, but the point they make about the wide-ranging appeal of the group is well-taken (and it's easy enough to program out). The remastered sound is a marked improvement over their individual albums (as of 2004), and this compilation could serve as the perfect entry point for the curious. Once you hear it, you'll probably want to pick up the four-CD box, History, which contains the rest of their recordings along with various unreleased outtakes and live performances. This is great stuff. © Sean Westergaard /TiVo
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Rock - Released November 20, 1995 | EG Records

Album-rock artists like Roxy Music always make a difficult subject for comprehensive, multi-disc box sets. Frequently, their albums were designed as a cohesive whole and the idea of individual singles never really entered the picture at all. Roxy Music was slightly different than the average art/prog-rock band -- not only did they make albums, they also made singles. And that is one of the reasons why the four-disc set The Thrill of It All is successful. Roxy's songs stand as individual works, and they make sense outside of their original context, even if they make more sense within their original context. Thankfully, the majority of each of their major albums are reproduced on the first three discs of this collection, leaving the fourth disc for non-LP singles, remixes, and B-sides. Most of this material has not been available on CD before, making The Thrill of it All essential for collectors. Nevertheless, it's a helpful guide to Roxy's career for casual fans -- it contains all of the essential songs and shows why the group was one of the seminal bands of the '70s. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

Rock - Released January 1, 1995 | EG Records

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Rock - Released January 1, 1992 | EG Records

Not the best compilation that could be assembled -- anything missing "The Wait," for one thing, can't be seen as truly definitive -- Laugh? is still a reasonable overview of the first decade of Killing Joke and its checkered but still important history. Very wisely, the emphasis is given to the band's artistic rather than commercial highlights -- only one song from Brighter Than a Thousand Suns turns up, namely the quixotic choice of an alternate mix of "Wintergardens," while nothing from Outside the Gate appears at all. Instead, the vast majority of the disc consists of selections from the first three albums plus a variety of rarities, the better to tempt the hardcore fan with most everything already. The choice of the overtly dub-influenced "Turn to Red" from the debut single was an inspired one, throwing a light on that part of Killing Joke's origins and how the group transformed it into already fiendishly nervous, intense rock. Other relative obscurities include the strong live take of "Pssyche" from Ha! and "Sun Goes Down" from Birds of a Feather. This latter track features some of Ferguson's best drumming -- one can practically feel his sticks hit the drumheads full-on -- while Coleman's singing and Geordie's guitar create one of the most mournful, melancholy numbers in the band's repertoire. The remainder of the tracks are unchanged album selections, most understandable ones, including "Requiem" and "Wardance" from the self-titled album, "Follow the Leaders" and "Unspeakable" from What's THIS For..., and "Empire Song" and "Chop-Chop" from Revelations. Adding the likes of "Eighties" and "Love Like Blood" acknowledges the group's later smoothness in the '80s without serving up embarrassing reminders of same, a wise move. The bitterly funny cover art -- the notorious Catholic cardinal saluting the Nazis' image, altered to include financial symbols -- is a crowning touch. © Ned Raggett /TiVo
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Rock - Released November 7, 1988 | EG Records

A companion (but not really) to the 1986 Street Life compilation, Ultimate Collection was released just two years later, yet thought nothing of restating half-a-dozen of its predecessor's tracks. It was a shocking miscalculation on the compilers' part for, had it not done so, The Ultimate Collection would have dovetailed with Street Life to create, indeed, the last word in Roxy Music/Bryan Ferry anthologies. Instead, it just seemed slapdash. Where Street Life concentrated on the two acts' biggest hits, The Ultimate Collection was concerned more with the tracks that slipped between the cracks, with further emphasis placed on Ferry's solo work. A heartpounding remix of "Let's Stick Together," 1977's curiously rockabilly-like "This Is Tomorrow," and the riff-laden revision of "The In Crowd" all leap out, alongside a stray Roxy hit omitted from Street Life, the churning "All I Want Is You." One newly recorded song, "He'll Have to Go," and a lovely collaboration with Nile Rodgers, "Help Me," furthered the album's brilliance, only for the entire, majestic edifice to be sent crashing down by the once-more-around reprises of "Love Is the Drug," "Slave to Love," "Jealous Guy" and so forth. And again, one wonders what the point was. Fans of the hits would have picked them up last time, fans of the odder stuff wouldn't have wanted them in any form. Or so one would presume. But Ultimate Collection reached number six in the U.K., proving that you can sell anything to anyone if you make them think it's worthwhile. And today, the record store shelves simply sag beneath the weight of so many identikit Roxy Music hits collections that complaining about a mere six duplications sounds positively over-reactionary. Things would be getting a lot worse very soon. © Dave Thompson /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 1987 | EG Records

Drummer Bill Bruford made a name for himself in the '70s as a rock & roller of a progressive bent. In the '80s he formed the rather extraordinary jazz/fusion band that became Earthworks -- Bruford, saxophonist Iain Ballamy, keyboard and brass virtuoso Django Bates, and bassist Mick Hutton. This was their first album; an interesting one it was, though a later, live recording of the band presented some of the same material in a more highly developed state, rendering this original somewhat irrelevant. Bruford is a stiff-wristed player -- not a particularly subtle percussionist, though his compositional skills are apparently of a high quality (most of the tunes are co-written with other band members, so it's hard to know how much credit to give Bruford). The best thing about this band is its refreshing ingenuousness; they make intelligent, sophisticated instrumental pop music that doesn't pander in the least. This is their art, and a fine art it is. © Chris Kelsey /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 1986 | EG Records

The first compilation to attempt an all-encompassing overview of Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music's career, Street Life was originally released in 1986, four years on from the band's break-up. And, across four sides of vinyl, it represented one of the most lovingly compiled tombstones any band could receive. Subsequent compilations have, of course, undermined it a little, but still it's difficult to criticize a collection that wraps up every significant hit single that the two parties enjoyed, from "Virginia Plain" and the oft-overlooked "Pyjamarama" through to "Jealous Guy" and "Avalon," via "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" and "Slave to Love." The packaging is distinctive, with tempting stills from long-ago TV appearances mingling with all the relevant LP sleeves, and if you should ever be looking for a one-stop reminder of the combo's unerring brilliance, this is it. © Dave Thompson /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 1986 | EG Records

When you're a drummer playing behind the vocal heights of Jon Anderson, the guitar virtuosity of Steve Howe, or the keyboard genius of Rick Wakeman, you may expect to be disregarded from time to time. Aside from die-hard fans of Yes or King Crimson, Bill Bruford's drumming is taken for granted more often than not, when in fact he's one of the finest rock drummers to emerge from the era. Master Strokes: 1978-1985 is a well-assembled compilation of some of Bruford's best drum work, spanning numerous styles and examples of percussive artistry. All 14 tracks explore the many sides of Bruford's repertoire, delving into jazz fusion, straightforward rock, and progressive rock, and laying out some entertaining examples of how much fire the drums can truly muster, not only in their bombastic state, but also as an accompaniment to other instruments and rhythms as well. Taking tracks from Feels Good to Me, One of a Kind, and Gradually Going Tornado, this collection stands as one of the best offerings of his solo work; from the attitude-laden "Hells Bells" to the steady flow of "Travels With Myself and Someone Else" to the imaginative "Fainting in Coils," every aspect of Bruford's percussive talents are covered. "The Drum Also Waltzes" and "Gothic 17" are two of the best out-of-the-ordinary cuts, exhibiting both hard and soft styles of drumming and cymbal playing. Presenting twice as many tracks as The Bruford Tapes, Master Strokes: 1978-1985 makes for the best one-stop for those who want to hear Bruford playing to his own ideas, tempos, and genres. © Mike DeGagne /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 1986 | EG Records

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Pop - Released January 1, 1985 | EG Records

Roger Eno's first album continues in the vein of the songs he wrote for Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks. Using piano and broad washes of synths, some treated by older brother Brian Eno, the younger Eno's pieces are slow, contemplative works of minimalism, similar to Erik Satie's "Gymnopedies." Yet the composer he is most similar to on Voices is labelmate Harold Budd, who also paints from the same palette. Daniel Lanois's production simply balances these elements and gives them depth, adding violin to the final track almost as a taste for Eno's next album. © Ted Mills /TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 1985 | EG Records

3 Stars - Good © TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 1984 | EG Records

Despite its smooth rhythms and concessions to pop, Envy more or less picks up where DNA left off. Arto's guitar wanders in and out of noiseland, producing some ear-shattering effects, but mostly this begins his musical odyssey with the sounds of his youth -- that is, Brazilian music. In fact, Lindsay occasionally sings in Portuguese. Which begs another point: Lindsay is not the greatest singer in the world, but the twists and turns that make this album uniquely wonderful help smooth over any problems one may have with his vocals. A startling and very successful debut. © John Dougan /TiVo