Saturday, March 13, 2004

#45) Roxy Music - Greatest Hits (released in 1977, I bought it on used cassette at Arboria sometime in college.)

The only full-length (I own all five covered by this compilation) I decided to chuck after buying this was For Your Pleasure, since Greatest Hits contains both "Do The Strand" and the hysterically zippy "Editions Of You" - probably my favorite Roxy Music song ever. Greatest Hits grabs only the best song off of Roxy Music (whose first side is the band's finest 20 minutes) and Siren (the band's finest and most straightforward 3/4 hour), which is actually a good thing since those are most necessary full-lengths to own. Country Life and Stranded are represented by three tracks each. In both cases they grabbed the two most stunning showpieces on the album and a track that should tell the listener whether or not they need bother getting the album from whence it originally came. So while "Out Of The Blue" and "A Song For Europe" wouldn't make my ideal best-of-Roxy, they serve a worthwhile purpose here. The non-album single "Pyjamarama" is sweet cake icing as well.

For those who don't know, Roxy Music sounds like the Count from Sesame Street pretending he's Pepe Le Pew in a riveting rock opera. Albums tracks reveal the guys to be more prog than glam, but a lack of musical dexterity and a fondness for amateurish Velvetized oomph makes their poppiest moments (most collected here) breathtaking in their enthusiastic, inventive and campy grandeur. Bryan Ferry trembling about "l'amour, tou jours, l'amour" over synth-farts and glammy guitar solos may not be everyone's cup of tea, but for my money, rock trash never got more ecstatically bombastic than on songs like "Editions Of You," the epic "Mother Of Pearl" and "The Thrill Of It All," which sums up their musical goals. Sadly, Greatest Hits is out of print and has been replaced by less convincing if more thorough best-ofs; but that's your problem, not mine.

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