The latest set of Roxy Music 50th anniversary edition LPs are now available to pre-order, with a fresh half-speed cut by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios in London. The album artwork of all titles has been similarly revised with lyrics and a deluxe gloss laminated finish.
Heels click on pavement, a car ignition starts, a prowling bassline heralds the revving of an engine and as the stalking ‘Love Is The Drug’ settles into its groove we are well and truly off. Opening with one of the all-time great dancefloor singles of any era, and containing a collection of songs described by Greil Marcus as “perhaps the most perfectly crafted album of the decade” the fifth Roxy Music album in three years showcased all of the band’s fearless musical virtuosity to date and hitched it to an intense, rhythmic rock-based sound on dervishes like ‘Whirlwind’, ‘Just Another High’ and – yet another classic single – the pulsating ‘Both Ends Burning’. “Hell, who can sleep in this heat, this night?” implores Bryan Ferry as the latter reaches its shimmering climax, encapsulating ‘Siren’’s overall atmosphere in a single phrase.
In the four years between 1975’s ‘Siren’ and 1979’s ‘Manifesto’ pop music had undergone a series of seismic shifts, with both disco and new wave threatening to cast into obsolescence many of Roxy Music’s contemporaries. No such worries for Roxy, however. Not only had their early records stood the test of time, they’d helped formulate this new future anyway and many of the new guard from the Sex Pistols to Chic actively cited Roxy as influences whenever given the chance. Kicking off with the title track – as strong a statement of intent to begin any album – ‘Manifesto’ effortlessly surfed the 1979 zeitgeist and delivered some of the band’s best-loved songs to date. Meanwhile its second single, the soulful ballad ‘Dance Away’ became the UK’s 9th biggest-seller that year.