Chapter I: Introduction

Why a discography of Roxy Music records, you might ask? There have been more important bands, more famous stars in the 70s, whose work may be better known to the general public, like Genesis, T. Rex, David Bowie. There might have been ..... - but not for me. Of course, everything that I am able to and will write about this band comes from a very personal angle and all the bit of written text in this book may be my personal experience of the 70s and early 80s, but with this discography I also want to prove objectively that Roxy Music have been one of the main forces in 70s and 80s music and that Roxy's music has had more influence than any other of these groups on music as it is today because of its connections with most areas of popular music.

For me and for a lot of people, Roxy Music have been the leading musical force of the 70s. Not even punk rock was able to make such a lasting impact as these people did, not only as a group, but also by the way the individual musicians started to contribute to music and art in general. I don't think that we would have David Bowie or U 2 or Talking Heads the way they are now without Brian Eno, there would have been no Japan or Icehouse without Bryan Ferry introducing his vocal style to music in the early 70s. Without Brian Eno, we would never had the chance to experience Ambient Music and to notice the difference between it and "New Age Music". Peter Gabriel, Robbie Robertson, the Neville Brothers, U 2 and Bob Dylan all made their finest LPs with Daniel Lanois, sometimes with the help of Brian, Daniel himself being introduced to the music business by Brian Eno. Bryan Ferry on the other hand was the godfather of the New Romantics, the soulbrother of Japan's David Sylvian and the mentor of clothing and style in the 70s and 80s. He introduced fashion to pop music like no one else before did.

Andy Mackay and Phil Manzanera also set an example by playing their instruments efficiently on the space they were given on the recordings. Andy left his fingerprints on a wide range of material, from Mike Oldfield to Arcadia, from John Cale to Yukihiro Takahashi, stopping for Mott the Hoople and Eddie & The Hot Rods somewhere along the line. Manzanera played with Robert Wyatt, Nico and John Cale, produced Split Enz and a lot of Lationo groups in his studio, The Gallery, went into Italian pop by doing a whole album with Alice before returning to the scene as guitar god by joining the "Night Of The Guitar" tour. His guitar sound was always easy to recognize on sessions, as you never were really sure if it was a guitar at all. Eddie Jobson went on to play with Jethro Tull and Zappa, taking with him the distinctive violin sound from the Roxy albums.

What made them so special was the fact that the band was a melting pot for very different attitudes and approaches to music and art. There would have been no success for the individuals at all without them coming together in one group. Neither Brian Eno nor Bryan Ferry nor Phil Manzanera nor Andy Mackay would have made it without the others. Bryan Ferry may have been the head of the group in the early stages of their career and even more so in later days, but Eno, Andy, Phil and Paul Thompson were the people who not only translated the music Bryan had in mind onto their instruments, but who were also able to get it onto tape in the most interesting way. When you listen really closely to the early songs, they're all very simple in structure and chord sequence. On the first five LPs you could even call the group pre-punk three-cord wonders. Only the treatment given to the individual songs by the group as a whole made Ferry's compositions something else, something completely different to the music known up to then and something so special in the early 70s.

The sources of their musical inspiration were a strange mixture of influences taken from the Velvet Underground and The Who, as Brian Eno pointed out in a 1988 interview. This was mixed with the longing for a completely different sound, achieved by using the synthesizer not for copying other instruments but for creating unique sounds that no other instrument at that time could create by playing it in the "classical" way. This music was used as a background for very emotional, very personal lyrics that left enough room for the listener to associate his or her own situation and to come up with his or her own images for the songs.

The personal angle to this book is also obvious: Roxy's music was the background to my childhood and adolescence and even now, almost 14 years after Roxy Music did their last tour together, I still refer to their songs in certain moods and situations, taking the records out again, listening to them, if only sometimes in the back of my mind. If you get to like the songs of a group that much, you can't be objective in any way, no matter how hard you try.

I can still remember hearing Roxy Music for the first time in my life in late 1973: I was about fourteen and sitting in my small room in my parent's house, listening to the radio. The show was called "Diskothek im WDR", the DJ was Mal Sondock. The program was very popular around the place I lived in and amongst children of my age. It was a kind of Top 20 show, with five new singles being introduced and some members of the audience in the studio asked to give their opinion on them. That week one of them was "Street Life". Being an avid fan of T. Rex and Slade by that time, I was thinking that this kind of sound was the strangest music I had ever heard. Particularly strange was the voice. I had never heard a voice like that before in a pop (!) song. The song impressed me so much that I got the single and the LP as soon as was possible in those days in Germany.

In the following months, I found out more about the group, but, being a school boy, I didn't have too much money to buy other recordings, although I got hold of a cheap copy of "Pyjamarama" in a super-market, just by chance. The big chance to get more came in 1974, when I went on an exchange visit to Newcastle/England, where access to records was much easier. As I had some spare money then, I bought Ferry's second solo LP and "For Your Pleasure" and also "Here Come The Warm Jets" by Eno. Another journey into strange sounds. I got more and more involved in the music and the sounds of Roxy and especially Eno, whose LP had a completely different feeling to all the other LPs I had by that time, being very naive but also very sophisticated and strange in its lyrical content at the same time. Even the titles of the songs were amazing to me then.

On my return to Germany I even found someone who liked the group as well. I was invited to play guitar with a group and the bass- player, who was old enough to have a car by that time, picked me up for the first session. He had "Street-Life" on in the car, when I got into it. I stayed with the group!

Having seen Ferry on stage in Düsseldorf in 1977, I saw Roxy Music play live for the first time in 1979 on the Manifesto Tour, which captured a lot of the spirit of the old Roxy Music songs. The set was a mix of post-disco, post-punk (even then!) and pre-romantic music, being unique for that period of the 70s. The 1980 Tour was different. "Flesh and Blood" saw the nucleus of Roxy Music becoming a trio, with a lot of session musicians that made the sound more and more artificial. In December 1980, Roxy played their first festival since 1972. It took place on 18/19 December in Dortmund/Germany and both days were recorded for the German "Rock-Pop" TV show. Roxy Music appeared together with Talking Heads, Dire Straits and Mike Oldfield. John Lennon had been shot just a few days before that, and the last encore was a perfect rendition of "Jealous Guy", with the audience lighting candles and lighters and almost every one of the 13,000 attending crying. It was the first time that Roxy had played the song, way before they even recorded it. One of the most sentimental moments in my personal Roxy Music diary.

The last time I saw Roxy Music live was on the 1982 "Avalon" Tour in Dortmund. The venue was a very small one, reflecting the fact that Roxy had gone down a lot in public opinion. The show, nevertheless, was great. The band was more together than in the two years before, although there were now 12 people onstage and Phil and Andy were mere session musicians to Bryan by then. The song selection was superb, combining a lot of songs from the beginning, passing through the years and arriving in 1982 without quality changes. The best "greatest hits" tour by that time.

Apart from Roxy, Brian Eno went on to conquer Germany with his installations in the 80s. I saw his most interesting installations in 1985 in Cologne and 1986 in Hamburg. He was always some kind of inspiration, what he did never let me down. You could always find an angle to like the things he did, no matter how strange and far from known territory they might have been. In the late 80s, I had the chance to be in a group, that owed a lot to Brian and his music. We even got in contact with him, as our "front-man" was a self-made music journalist. I still cherish the tape of one of his interviews with Brian, where Brian says "The Tranquil Club, I think it is a good idea". You can't top that, can you?

1988 was the first year for a long time that got something of the spirit of the 70s flowing again. Bryan toured for the first time in 5 years, 11 years after his last solo tour and Brian Eno was all over the place in September/October 1988 with installations, radio interviews, Public Talks in Berlin and Cologne and a lot of coverage in the papers. 1989 saw Phil touring Germany again with the "Night Of The Guitar" Tour, although he only played a short set. These occasions helped me a lot to get a draft of the second edition of the book finished.

As time movedon, I did not only have to add CD's, which really weren't there when I wrote the first edition of the book, I also moved this whole lot into the World Wide Web. It makes accessing the information a lot easier, although I do not have the time, to do updates as fast as I would like it. The files itself have seen a lot of operationg systems and computers, leave alone word-processor. There were problems with the publisher leaving his office and setting up a new business, problems getting in touch with my photographer for the covers delayed the project more and more. And those records keep coming. Brian Eno playing on everybody's record, Bryan Ferry coming out of hibernation and going back into it again, Phil and Andy on a lot of strange records by people I have never heard of, making it very difficult to get the information and a constant lack of time on my side. But I keep going, maybe this sees the light of day sometimes as a proper book, not just a draft or a website.

However, I have written all this for more reasons than the ones mentioned above. A strong motivation was the lack of any decent discography of Roxy Music recordings not leaving out important solo or sessions involvements. To prove the importance of Roxy's music in the way described above, I needed a discography as complete as possible. As none of them satisfied me, I compiled my own. To my amazement, by simply putting together all the tracks and records the musicians worked on, it turned into something of a "Who's Who" of 70s and 80s rock music. Another force was my wish to share my fondness for Roxy Music with other people who have the same feelings but not the possibilities and time to compile their own discography. Last but not least, I wanted to create a document of a group from the 70s, until recently a very underrated period of rock music when it comes to specialized books and discographies. Only for some time now are people starting to analyse at large what had happened in the 70s and what made them different than the 60s. A lot of paper has been used for very good books on groups of the 60s. (Maybe only the people from the 60s have been old enough until recently to be able to get their books out, but that's only speculation.) Now, at the end of the 90s, it's time to look back at the 70s and compile (and recycle) anything worth remembering as long as the memory is still there. And there'S a completely new generation around, that has not been there in the 70s at all, being born past punk and new age, listening to Techno etc. Maybe they are interested as well.

At this point I have to say thank you to a lot of people (in no particular order) involved in the project of the second edition of this book who helped me to get my stuff together and who have also been interested in the music I like: Andy Esslemont, for getting me the Phil Manzanera and Andy Mackay connections and for a lot of information, which I may have left out without him; Ton Hendriks, for the Bryan Ferry & Phil Manzanera connection, brainstorming on long phone calls, the pictures and the help in the lay-out; Jürgen Wanda and Bernd-Jürgen Grude, for always being in touch and helping in compiling the discography; Sylvain Charland, for a lot of information on Brian Eno specials; Lin Barkass of Opal Information, for being very helpful with information on Brian Eno, Dr. Richard Brunt for help with the translation, EG for not interfering and of course Brian Eno, Andy Mackay and Phil Manzanera, for being interested in the project, especially Andy Mackay for looking through most of the manuscript and Phil Manzanera for the foreword; last but not least Roxy Music themselves, without whom...

Something has to be made clear at this point: This book is a discography, no more and no less. I never felt able to actually write a book about Roxy Music themselves. I have neither been part of the people around the group nor do I have enough information on the individuals and the facts to be able to write a definitive biography (whatever that may be). On the other hand, I could not leave out any biographical information, at least not the information essential for understanding the context of the recordings and sessions. That's why I have included a short biography of the group and the individuals, in telegram style, sticking to the main events, leaving out the rumours or personal angles. I did not want to intrude into anyone's privacy with stories from the daily newspapers or magazines telling stories of events I have not been part of. More accurate and elaborate descriptions of the group's career may be found in the following books and magazines:

1. The Bryan Ferry Story

by Rex Balfour, London 1976

2. Roxy Music - Style with Substance - Roxy's first ten years

by Johnny Rogan, London 1982

3. Bryan Ferry & Roxy Music

by Barry Lazell & Dafydd Rees, London and New York 1982

4. More Dark Than Shark

by Eno & Mills, with commentaries by Rick Poynor, London 1986

5. Brian Eno And The Vertical Colour Of Sound

by Eric Tamm, USA and Canada 1989

6. Roxy Music Magazine No.'s 1, 2, 3

Published by Ton Hendriks & Joep Lupgens, Holland 1982/83

7. Bryan Ferry Magazine

Published by Ton Hendriks, Holland 1986

8. Opal Information, No's 1 - 27

Compiled by Anthea Norman-Taylor and Lin Barkass, available from Opal Information, P.O. Box 141

9. A Year With Swollen Appendices

Brian Eno's Diary

by Brian Eno, London and Boston 1996

And if you need to look up something in discographies, I would suggest the following works:

1. Terry Hounsome

Rock Record 7

Record Researcher Publications, Great Britain 1997 (also available as CD-ROM)

2. K. D. Tilch

Rock LPs, 3rd edition

Taurus Press, Germany 1990-1993 (12 volumes)

3. K. D. Tilch

Rock Musiker

Taurus Press, Germany 1988 (4 volumes)