Roxy Music were the first, and the best, of all art school-influenced bands. Led by Bryan Ferry, they turned the first half of the 70's into a huge glam rock party. This is their story.
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David Buckley is the author of The Complete Guide to the Music of David Bowie, R.E.M. Fiction, Strange Fascination, and The Stranglers: No Mercy.
The history of Ferry and the influential English glam rock group Roxy Music, like that of many innovative rock bands, is one of charismatic musical exploration fraught with problems: revolving-door musicians, financial arguments and futile attempts to break into the American market. (Roxy Music had only one major U.S. hit, 1975's "Love Is the Drug.") At the center of both the iconoclasm and conflict stands Ferry, the group's founder, lead singer, primary songwriter and image dictator. While Buckley (David Bowie) clearly loves the music and admires Ferry's creative skill, he also points out the musician's flaws: an inability to deal with direct confrontations, micromanaging recording sessions, and being less than generous with the press. This book isn't just for hard-core Ferry fans—Buckley explores the history of 1970s British rock using Roxy Music as a core, explaining how innovative original Roxy member Brian Eno's sound-altering experiments were; how Ferry chose to market the group like a product, rather than depend on concert touring; and how infatuated British youth became with Roxy's nouveau glam rock concept that image/style was just as important as the music. This is a thorough if unevenly presented history alternately page-turning, tedious and gossipy. Photos. (June)
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