Roxy Music - For Your Pleasure - Review
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critics' view

The second Roxy long player was every bit the equal of last years’ cracking debut, as they continue to push in new directions, ultimately creating an edgy brand of cerebral pop which is largely fresh and exciting.

Once again, they get the album off to a flyer with a monster cut, this time “Do The Strand”, an unlikely attempt to re-instigate the notion that a new dance craze might be set to sweep the nation. Tired of the Tango? Fed up with Fandango? Dance on moonbeams, slide on rainbows, in furs or blue jeans is the advice. There’s no simple twisting with these artsy types is there? They’re at their best when they’re bristling with such a punky new wave edge, and this is witnessed again on “Editions Of You, a hard-driven rocker heavy on sax and keyboard which recalls the squalling glory of their classic “Virginia Plain” single of last August. Side 1 closes excellently with “In Every Dream Home A Heartache”, a slightly disturbing psychedelic creeper which mocks the lie-dream of penthouse perfection. Vacuous consumerism reaches a new low when the character takes delivery of his new love doll: “My plain wrapper baby, your skin is like vinyl. The perfect companion, you float in my new pool. De-luxe and delightful, inflatable doll.” You’ve got to laugh. It saves you from gazing at your shoes nervously.

In contrast to the snappiness of side 1, the flip opts for the extended jam approach, most likely at the behest of the more progressive Brian Eno. “The Bogus Man” suggests one or more members have been digging on Can lately, whilst “The Grey Lagoons” flirts too much with Americana for my liking. If I were there I’d be saying: “Oi, you’re ROXY MUSIC, innovators not imitators, keep with the script lads”. Best of the side is the 7-minute title track which closes the set; a dreamy, proggy, twangy, druggy thingy that’s never less than intriguing. I get the impression that Eno is in his element here; Bryan Ferry’s “ta-ra” vocal is chopped, looped and echoes for what seems like an eternity before the ghostly voice of Judi Dench unexpectedly brings the set to a close by uttering the words “don’t ask why”. I daren’t.

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