Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Cassette experiment day 34 - Roxy Music 'Manifesto'

I'm a huge fan of manifestos! Particularly the 'Tamworth manifesto’ of 1834 studied during my 'O' level history course when it was still moderately recent.
Manifestos are hugely optimistic documents, full of promises and hope. They let us know (in theory at least) what the future will hold.
I've never been sure if Roxy Music's sixth album was named 'Manifesto'' for this reason, but side 1 (the east side) seems to look back at their previous, more experimental musical style, while side 2 (you guessed it, the west side) prepares the way for the more easy-listening, cheese and wine party (but still very classy) style of the albums to come.
‘Angel eyes’ (on the east side) and ‘Dance away’ (on the west side) are present here in versions that differ considerably from their 7” single incarnations and are much more interesting as a result. There’s a passage during this version of ‘Dance away’ when I get an interesting mental picture of Bryan shaking his very cultured maracas – like many manifestos I’m being economical with the truth here, because this passage doesn’t actually feature maracas, but in my non-musical opinion it would be even better if it did.
The album’s high point is ‘Still falls the rain’, but my soft-spot for a musical-box interlude means that ‘Spin me round’ gives me a warm glow too.
In short, east side = Roxy Music, west side = Bryan Ferry and his backing band.
Label – E.G. Records Ltd.
Year - 1979

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