These days Roxy Music are pretty much synonymous with the louche figure of Bryan Ferry – though while the often-tuxedoed frontman was always the group’s driving force the re-release of their debut eponymous album tells a more nuanced story.
A boxed set of Roxy Music – one of the group’s best – reminds us of the importance of creating the right chemistry within a band and maintaining that mix despite feuds – fall-outs and rivalries – a conundrum that continues to baffle musicians today.
As the classic Roxy line-up coalesced in 1971-2 – Ferry was keen that the outfit should reflect both his art-school progressive tendency and nostalgia for the glamour of bygone ages – particularly fifties teen scenes and Hollywood’s forties golden age.
Yet the former ceramics teacher was not yet the martinet that would in later years take full grasp of the creative reins.
Instead members were free to express themselves – none more so than synth manipulator Brian Eno.