This is a two-disc set with 18 cuts on each disc, totaling out a little short of three hours. The cuts are in order by year, and the 36 cuts cover the most prolific for Brian Ferry and the group, 1972 through 1982. With 36 cuts, the discs constitute an excellent overall timeline picture of the group.
Roxy Music was one of the groups that defied categorization, shapeshifting and doing its chameleonic drifting in and out of various genres with the progression of time. But one thing they maintained throughout was their appeal to their fans. They began as an art-rock or glam-rock group, initially with Brian Eno as a part of the group. But since the group went through multiple incarnations, there’s a different Roxy type for all preferences, from campy to sophisticated.
“Dance Away,” the opening cut of the second disc, is one of my faves; it reminds me of the Drifters, from back in the early 1960s, this particular version introduced by the female members of Abba. I’m a big fan of Roxy Music, so reviewing these discs was pure pleasure from start to finish, in all its forms. From “Dance Away’s” cha-cha castanets, to “Flesh and Blood,” with its art-rock/psychedelic beginning and occasional reversions, to Ferry’s superb homage to John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy,” it’s all great.
Some of the promo and studio recordings were not to my liking, but even in the tacky studio and promo trappings, and occasional lip-synching, Roxy Music never fail to please. There are several areas of the discs, however, where the group positively shines, such as the Frejus, France, live show, where four selections near the end of the second disc are featured. The added musicians added significantly to this performance, and there are other areas interspersed throughout the discs that you’ll find impossible to sit still for. But the added backup trio in the Frejus version of “Avalon” are particularly good, with the soprano devastatingly effective and chilling at the same time.
Extras include “The Main Thing” and a second version of “Avalon,” both 1982 promo videos.