“Imagine you’re a teenager in the north side of Dublin and some aliens arrive on Top Of The Pops,” says Bono, by way of introducing the new DVD: Roxy Music – More Than This.
This is the best documentary I have seen on the influential 1970’s band, and it features interviews with not only Bono, but also Brian Eno, Siouxsie Sioux, Steve Jones, and a host of others. The live footage is excellent, all of it is taken from TV shows, and later videos, and is of uniformly excellent quality.
Roxy’s original configuration included Brian Eno, who appeared on the first two albums. One of the more interesting tidbits Eno mentions in his interview is that he feels the band’s finest recording was Stranded. This was their third LP, and the first without him.
A huge part of the band’s early appeal was their look. Bryan Ferry, the suave sophisticate, surrounded by his wildly flamboyant band. When Eno left, Eddie Jobson joined, complete with his amazing glass violin. Another Roxy Music trademark were the models gracing their album covers.
Beginning with the first, For Your Pleasure, and its Vargas inspired Fifties look, through Jerry Hall’s decadent mermaid of Siren, the early Roxy records had a look all their own. When the single from Siren, “Love Is The Drug” failed to take off in America, the band went on a three year hiatus.
At the time, nobody was sure if Roxy Music were over or not. In 1978 with the release of Manifesto, one thing was clear. The experimentation of their first era was over. “Dance Away” from Manifesto clearly points the way to their final triumph of Avalon.
The stories, interviews, and live segments move the documentary along rapidly. Like the band itself, this DVD is never boring. The bonus features are pretty good as well. The first section features extended interviews with most of the participants in the documentary section. They discuss the album covers in particular detail. The interviewees also dissect the roles various members of the band played in shaping the whole.
The final 15 or so minutes is what fans will be looking forward to the most though. From a London concert in 2006, Roxy Music are shown playing “Both Ends Burning,” “Editions Of You,” and “Do The Strand.”
For anyone interested in the history of one of seventies most inscrutable bands, Roxy Music – More Than This is an excellent addition to the DVD collection.