Aug 242010

My friends, it took me long enough, but I finally manned up and spent a few days with that Prince deep cutz collection that hrrundivbakshi demanded that I confront for Hear Factor. It was one of the most difficult series of listening sessions I’ve ever encountered, but I am a better man for it – and you, HVB, are a better man for having put me through it.

E. Pluribus, you’re a good egg, too – and thanks for never making me sit through anything as painful as those Prince deep cutz. However, I need to call you into this, too, because you like to make a big stink about how exquisite your tastes are, yet you can’t even begin to appreciate anything remotely in the “Art Rock” camp, can you? I’m calling you into this alongside hrrundivbakshi because I think he can put a little heat on you. I think HVB has it in him to find a bearable angle on Roxy Music. I doubt you do, but I hope he will shame you into opening your mind a little bit. As painful as it may be for one of you to budge, I’m confident that your need to distiguish yourselves from each other will result in one of you expressing something profound and fascinating, something more than what we may expect.

Now, if you have some time, I want to know if either of you have it in you to appreciate Roxy Music. I’m offering a completely unbalanced sampling of two songs each from my favorite two Roxy Music album for your analysis, gut responses, and possible pleasure. In case you need a visual, I’ve also placed a video of the band playing another favorite from their debut album. I feel this will demonstrate the band’s usefulness in the research that is done in RTH Labs. Please take all the time you need, or at least as long as the tracks last. Let me know if you have any questions. Thank you.

“Virginia Plain”



“Mother of Pearl”

Don’t think the rest of you have not been summoned as well. I urge those of you who’ve stayed on the sidelines through past discussions about Roxy Music to step forward. Do you want to be part of the angry mob forever, or do you want to stand out and be your own person?


  82 Responses to “I SUMMON HRRUNDIVBAKSHI and E. PLURIBUS GERGELY: Do You Think You Have it in You to Appreciate Roxy Music?”

  1. 2000 Man

    I love Roxy Music. Even if they were just a vehicle for Phil Manzanera to make noise with, I think I’d like them. Besides, their Cool Factor is off the charts. If you’re gonna wear satin track suits and fly eyed sunglasses, you have to deliver the goods, and I think they more than deliver the goods. They kind of petered out a little at the end of their existence with some treacly ballads, but for awhile they were really something.

  2. I appreciate Roxy Music for what they’re trying to do, but it’s just not me. It’s interesting, but it’s beyond my comprehension.

    E. Pluribus

  3. I like LATE Roxy Music WAY better. I love Eno, but I don’t care for Roxy with him in it. I really prefer Avalon, and Love is The Drug and that kind of stuff. Even Don’t Stop The Dance and Slave To Love are much cooler than the first few Roxy albums for me. I LOVE those early Roxy Music album covers, but the tunes and their look early on just kinda gross me out. They’re a lot like Japan, the first couple of albums have mediocre 70s glam tunes and styling, then both bands seem to metamorphasize into that suited yuppie chic. No doubt following Bowie’s lead. Only unlike Bowie, the music got better.

  4. bostonhistorian

    “it’s beyond my comprehension”

    What he said.

  5. misterioso

    Love Roxy, though I am not a huge fan of Ladytron. I offer as somewhat more accessible choices:

    Virginia Plain

    Out of the Blue

    All I Want Is You

  6. Dare I say, the first Roxy Music record was a game-changer. Elongated, contemplative grooves, contrapuntal arrangements, and glam riffs all fed through Ferry/Eno’s take on “readymade” art.

  7. Just for the record,

    I am not a fan of any “I’m a visitor from another Planet” vocalist, i.e. Bryan Ferry, David Byrne, Andy Partridge, etc. It would please me to no end if the whole crew would call it quits and work for a company like Commodore Computer, where their questionable talents would suit them better.

    E. Pluribus

  8. Mr. Moderator

    Gergs, I give you credit for stepping outside yourself. Points off, however, for the likelihood that you did not actually listen to any of these tracks. Nevertheless, you’ve got one up on HVB in this Spock vs Kirk Battle Royale.

    I like much of the later stuff too, but for this exercise I wanted to give these guys two songs from each of my favorite albums. I had “More Than This” ready, but then I realized it wasn’t really expressing anything that hadn’t already been expressed in “Mother of Pearl.” After having lived through that Prince mix that HVB made me, I wanted to show some mercy on these fine, upstanding Townsmen.

  9. I’m hoping Hrundi chimes in. I don’t think he has much of a stomach for this “man or machine” nonsense either.

    E. Pluribus

  10. hrrundivbakshi

    Just want to offer a quick explanation for my inability to comment on this in depth today: I’m busy!

    I will say that the Roxy clip you posted, which I mostly watched while getting suited up for the day, made me roll my eyes. I don’t mind Bryan Ferry when he’s poured into an $800 suit and asked to sing sex-funk for the ladies — but this stuff is grating. Seriously, what is there to like in Ferry’s delivery on that “Ladytron” number?

    Mind you, I have to give it up for guitar player guy; that is the *one* guitar sound I can hear working in that song. Cool stuff. I like his Look, too.

  11. Mr. Moderator

    Not a problem, HVB. No pressure. I’m sure you will make the time when the time comes, and I’m sure you will actually listen to the songs and distinguish yourself from your counterpart. Thanks.

  12. Jeez, This is the only era of Roxy Music I really like. They were freaks! The whole visual thing seems very tongue in cheek to me (and let’s face it, in the early 70’s this was a much better look that the prevalent “down on the farm” look anyone who wasn’t “glam” adopted). Eno’s making cool noises, Manzanera is playing great, non-cliched guitar, and Ferry’s perverted, faux-lounge lizard vocals show a sense of humor that was lost in their later outings. After Eno left, I think Ferry BECAME the type he was subtly sending up at the beginning, and their music became more run of the mill sounding. By the time of Avalon it was just make-out music for yuppies. Bah! Give me old, weird Roxy any day.

  13. BigSteve

    I’m enjoying the choice of video, because last night playing music trivia at the bar this song was an audio clue for the category “Which album is it from?” I nailed after about 20 seconds, long before the vocal, blowing everybody’s mind with my mad rock nerd skillz. As I told my teammates, what else would it be with a solo oboe over a weird synth pad?

    But I agree with epg that Roxy Music sucks. After all they’re not the Beatles, and they’re not trying to be sort of like the Beatles, and anything that’s not the Beatles or at least Beatlesque sucks. Except of course if you’re too much like the Beatles like Tom Petty, then you suck too. Why even listen to that shit?

  14. BigSteve.

    In seeking out some tracks and an entire album by Jefferson Airplane last night, I came across an album by another SF band I’d always heard about but never heard, Sons of Champlin. The album I stumbled across is called Follow Your Heart. After checking it out last night, I’m tempted to say that I’ve finally found a SF band I can sink my teeth into: really soulful singing, nice ensemble playing, little of the melodrama that has always bogged me down with Jefferson Airplane. Along with the title track, I was impressed by “Children Know,” “Before You Right Now,” “Hey Children,” and “Child Continued.”

    E. Pluribus

  15. buddy whelan

    there is NO WAY that those guys in that video were “tongue in cheek”.

    the only redeeming song Roxy Music ever did was “More Than This”, especially when Bill Murray sings it in “Lost in Translation.”

  16. Mr. Moderator

    Who’s to say, buddywhelan, but I’ve always thought they WERE tongue in cheek. I think Manzanera’s guitar playing, in particular, is a humorous commentary on rock ‘n roll guitar playing. I think a lot of what the band was about was mocking their inability to reach a state of heightened consciousness, or whatever ’60s rock promised. In songs like “Mother of Pearl” and “More Than This” Ferry’s lyrics get right to such matters in a, for me, poignant way.

  17. I can’t help but think this thread contains many fine examples of that particular RTH cul de sac where a person spends much more time heaping withering disdain on an artist than he/she ever has actually listening to said artist.

  18. Mr. Moderator

    True, Oats. My hope, in posting four actual songs was that such people, in the case of this artist, would give the songs the time of day. My man hrrundivbakshi will come through yet, once his business concerns can be put aside. Of THAT I’m certain!

  19. An old friend I argue music with occasionally has tried to get me into Roxy for years. Pulled out my dusty C-90 of Street Life and listened to that plus the Mod’s selections this morning.

    They have a lot of elements I should like but I can’t agree with how they put it together. I find Viginia Plain amusing (esp the zoomy synth part about 2 minutes in) but all of the early Roxy tracks (including the Mod’s, most of which I have heard at one time or another) lose me somewhere. Ferry’s robot-man voice wears on me. The dissonant sax playing is only good when it stops. The rhythm section never stands out until Love is the Drug. The guitar parts might be more interesting without all of that other stuff.

    I kind of enjoyed the Disco-era stuff in a Boz Skaggs sort of way. Same Old Scene was the only really striking tune there. Otherwise, Ferry is so white-soul he makes Daryl Hall look gangsta.

    Remember, kids, do your homework 1st and then you get your withering disdain for desert.

  20. 2000 Man

    This thread makes me like Roxy Music more today than I did yesterday.

    ePlurb – if you can’t get your head around the best band from San Francisco ever, the Flamin’ Groovies, then we have problems. What’s the point of liking rock n roll if you don’t like Headin’ For the Texas Border?

  21. Mr. Moderator

    Nice work, k.! That’s the way to give it up for the betterment of the Hall. Thanks.

  22. I don’t have any problems with the Flamin’ Groovies. They’re pretty groovy.

    E, Pluribus

  23. Speaking of the Groovies, where were they when Mod had his showdown between The Stones and The Faces? Teenage Head and Flamingo were a couple of the best non-Stones albums ever recorded.


  24. “the best band from San Francisco”

    Second best. You forgot Moby Grape.

  25. Mr. Moderator

    I’m with EPG on the Groovies being pretty groovy (although it took me a long time to warm up to Roy Loney’s 4th-rate Jagger/Iggy vocals), but I don’t think they were right for interrupting the legendary Stones-Faces showdown. That was a heavyweight bout that required the comparison of a wider range of musicial styles than the Groovies ever delivered. I would agree, though, that Teenage Head is better than Beggars Banquet. Good point!

  26. The Moderator wrote:

    “I would agree, though, that Teenage Head is better than Beggars Banquet. Good point!”

    Am I the only one around here today who did not partake of the purple cool aid?

    E. Pluribus

  27. misterioso

    1. The Flamin’ Groovies rock. Period.

    2. Teenage Head is not better than Beggars Banquet.

    We must learn to avoid such absurd hyperboles.

    Having established that, this is one of the greatest things ever, not just one of the greatest rock and roll things ever, I am talking about the history of the universe. I cannot believe I haven’t seen it before, and I expect to be spending the next week watching it over and over again.

  28. ladymisskirroyale

    I love Roxy Music – the music, the vocal style, the over-the-topness of it all. I also have positive emotional connections to Roxy Music, too: when I was 17 and went to stay with English relatives for a summer, an adult friend of the family leant me Roxy Music’s Greatest Hits as she felt that I needed to listen to something more hip than what my younger cousins were listening to (ex: Bay City Rollers). And in college, “Avalon” was considered a great make-out album…maybe you have to really be in touch with your x chromosome and/or English to enjoy RM.

  29. Misterioso,
    That is a fantastic clip.

    Apropos of nothing but me bragging, a year or two ago, my band opened for Cyril Jordan’s current band Magic Christian. I asked him if he was still playing that Dan Armstrong Plexiglas guitar and he immediately took it out of the case and held it out for me to try. I don’t recall but I think declined out of respect/insecurity.

  30. 2000 Man

    You forgot Moby Grape.

    Oh, yeah! No, I didn’t. The Flamin’ Groovies are San Francisco in my book. Who needs cable cars or Rice A Roni when you can listen to High Flyin’ Baby?. It’ll get you where you need to go and it’s less filling.

    Teenage Head is better than Beggars Banquet

    That’s just crazy talk.

    misterioso, that clip is pure awesome. I’m gonna put The Flamin Groovies in my Holy Trinity of Rock.

  31. junkintheyard

    I am going to be honest with you all, this is the first time I have ever listened to Roxy Music. Now first impressions are important and so I want to make sure I relay that impression accurately.
    Hilarity! I found myself laughing intensely at least twice a song (if they can really be counted as such), and was outright bored or confused or insulted the rest of the time.

    But, in the spirit of what I think Mr. Mod was aiming at here, I found several things that I could “appreciate”.
    There were occasionally some nice riffs, especially the beginning of Virginia Plain.
    I can dig it as art, if I look at it solely as an over the top piece.

    Sorry, Mr. Mod. I really tried but I found it so incoherent and inaccessible. I was especially horrified at the vocals. If I wanted to hear someone entirely miss the correct pitch, almost on purpose, I’d rather the lyrics be prolific or meaningful and the singer have a little more passion.

  32. Mr. Moderator

    Hey, great effort, junkintheyard! I know Roxy Music’s not for everybody, but I’m glad this post gave you an opportunity to hear them.

  33. BigSteve

    I would never say it’s better than Beggars Banquet, but Teenage Head is a really terrific album. I never much liked their stuff before that album, and, despite the fact that I’m very much a Stones guy and not a Beatles guy, I probably prefer the more Liverpudlian sound of the Sire era Groovies.

    And let me just say again that I am the proud owner of a Dan Armstrong plexiglass guitar. I keep it tuned for slide, and when I pick it up Teenage Head and High Flyin’ Baby just jump out of it.

  34. Mr. Moderator

    Hopefully HVB’s busy work schedule will slow down when the sun’s up. I just KNOW that cat’s gonna deliver the goods!

  35. BigSteve

    I just love the fact that Roxy still has the ability to amuse and insult and horrify a new listener.

  36. trigmogigmo

    Interesting… this is probably the first I’ve seen of early Roxy Music. To me it comes off as a little to “weird for weird’s sake”, and not very rocking. I kept wondering where the hell is Eno other than his gloved hands? until near the end.

    The later stuff I have heard more (due to radio play back in the day). Love is the Drug is good. Avalon, More Than This, Slave to Love are slick, almost to much so, but redeemed by good grooves and being catchy. However, those three-syllable title hooks with slow grooves take a few moments to tell apart in remembering.

  37. 2000 Man

    It’s interesting to me that the early stuff that seems to have grabbed some of us (geezers that were around then, probably), pushes people away, but the much later, less adventuresome stuff will probably be what attracts people to Roxy Music some day. It looks like working backwards through the catalog won’t turn many people on to the joys of Amazona or Pyjamarama, but then those songs didn’t set me up to enjoy the songs that ended their career.

    At least everyone seems to like Phil’s guitar playing. I think he’s swell.

  38. I’m more or less with Trimo on this.

    I don’t know much about early RM and it seems like a contrived inside joke. It doesn’t offend me, I just don’t really care about them. I would trim down Trimo’s playlist to a single with Love Is The Drug on one side, Avalon on the other, and the photo from Country Life as the cover.

  39. Mr. Moderator

    Trigmogigmo, welcome to the fray and thanks for giving this stuff a try – and for sharing your thoughts on the music.

    In high school I liked the few Roxy Music songs that used to get played on FM radio – “Love Is the Drug,” “Out of the Blue,” and one of the songs from Manifesto, the title track, if memory of my late-’70s radio days serves. Freshman year in college a highly influential older friend turned me onto all their albums, starting with the first one. He had this special, let’s say, potion that we’d take before listening. It was extracted from small, purplish-green buds of an organic nature that he kept in a special tin cookie can under his desk. Really good stuff, with the power to make anything he played on his $10,000 stereo but Steely Dan sound good! It’s too bad that, for all of E. Pluribus Gergely’s exhortations for HVB to smoke pot next time he listens to Herman’s Hermits that E. couldn’t have joined my old friend (and sammymaudlin, who was another frequent visitor to this guy’s room) for some listening sessions. It’s too late for any of us to go back to those days and those behaviors, but I’d love to turn you on.

  40. alexmagic

    Count me in the (apparently) small contingent of Townspeople who really loves early Roxy Music and can take or leave the Avalon-y stuff.

    I do, however, get that what they were doing isn’t for everybody, and if doesn’t strike you, you’re just not going to enjoy the interesting parts of what they did or find the intentional humor of it.

    They appeal to me in the same way that the White Album is my favorite era of the Beatles even while I wouldn’t argue that it was the best Beatles. Similarly, a lot of my favorite bands of the last 10-15 years have mined that weird, spacey vein of pop/rock that the Beatles opened up and acts like Roxy/Eno/Bowie all wandered around in.

    That said, I’m a little surprised that people aren’t hearing some of what I would have though were inherently cool things in “Re-Make/Re-Model” like the solo trade-offs with the Day Tripper bass line and foxhunting horns, and the shambling way the song crosses the finish line like an exhausted marathon runner. Or the hypnotic vibe that “Mother of Pearl” cultivates through the end of its run.

    I have no problem with the more straight ahead rockists’ stance of being put off by the vocals. They work for me, but I get why they don’t for others. EPG is honest about the Man From Another World vocals just not being his thing – and his continued reappraisal of certain top tier Zeppelin songs reinforces his openness – so I’m genuinely curious if there are any singers who work in the Spaceman Style that don’t completely alienate. Any Bowie, for example?

  41. Mr. Moderator

    I know that Gergs loves a good deal of Bowie, alexmagic. Bowie’s Man vs Machine act really got on my nerves for years, but I’ve gotten past that and can now cite 30 songs by him that I love, making him a pretty good artist in my book:)

    I’ve never gotten my head around this before, but I’m beginning to think that Roxy Music, Eno, Pere Ubu, and XTC (and probably a few other artists/albums, like Roy Wood’s Boulders album) are my version of comic books or fantasy novels/movies. I’ve never been into a lot of visual fantasy stuff, but aurally these artists exaggerate my inner rock ‘n roll world the way I would imagine comic books and graphic novels exaggerate the inner worlds of some readers. There’s a fine line, for me, between the surreal rock ‘n roll world of Roxy Music and Rocky Horror Picture Show, but once that line’s crossed I want NOTHING to do with that campy “vampire rock” shit!

  42. Alexmagic,

    Well said. As a matter of fact, really well said. In regards to Bowie, I never found him to be one of those “man or machine” singers. He was always just a great singer, period. And I don’t mean that Caruso wise. He just really delivers.

    A buddy of mine recently sold off a lot of his record collection, and I was lucky enough to get a good chunk of it. There’s some really funny things in there, like two LPs by an English band called Budgie. The old farts around here might be able to tell us a thing or two about them. In the same collection was the double LP of The Move’s greatest hits, the LP that has a moving van on the cover. Now that’s a band I can really sink my teeth into. Not to keep beating a dead horse, but to go on and on about someone as mundane as Petty when great stuff, like the Move, is readily available, just makes no sense to me whatsoever. The truth of the matter, to me at least, is that if music does’t really matter a whole hell of a lot to you, Petty’s just fine, kind of like a cold bottle of Bud.

    As far as Roxy is concerned, I don’t get it, I don’t like, but at least they tried to do SOMETHING interesting.

    Again, super well said,

    E. Pluribus

  43. Mr. Moderator

    You’re showing me something, E. Pluribus. I know HVB’s going to surprise me too. When you get time, hrrundi, please check out this video as well:


  44. junkintheyard

    To clarify, The vocalist for RM isn’t just a spaceman- he is late Dylan in Space. Other Spaceman have a much firmer grasp of what a note is. In fact, I am a huge fan of other spaceman noted here and would even toss in Mark Mothersbaugh as a singer I favor over RM.

  45. hrrundivbakshi

    Virginia Plain:

    Pro —
    Simple, catchy riff.
    Solid, workmanlike drumming.
    Bass fits right there in the groove.
    Occasional synth squawks entertaining.

    Con —
    That oboe is silly — a too-clever “orchestral” addendum to a song that doesn’t require it. I’m supposed to “ooh” and “ahh” just because *dude plays an oboe in a rock band*?
    Bryan Ferry’s singing — come ON. You know the guy is singing in that quavery, exaggerated style just to, you know, sound all deconstructionist and shit. See comments re: oboe being too clever for its own good.

    Final Score — C-. The song would have been just as slightly-less-than-average without the artsy, over-the-top trappings, which do very little for me.


    Pro — Jaunty riff. Driving drums and bass pin things down nicely. Backup vocals have a chant-y appeal. Everybody’s solos are pretty cool. The “collapse” ending works nicely.

    Con — Surprise! Bryan Ferry’s artsy pretensions — though they don’t bug as much as the last song. And the band is a bit too self-conscious in general, I think. Seriously, if I had been in college, I might have thought these guys were unsung saviors of rock and roll, but now that I’m old and jaded, all the “look at me!” “Look at me!” arrangements are a bit irritating.

    Final Grade: a solid “B” — I could grow to like this song, in the same way that I eventually grew out of my objections to Andy Partridge’s vocals.


    Pro — Finally! An arrangement that taps the creative spirit in this band without resorting to over-clever, out-of-context, nose-tweaking instrumentation and irritating blips and blorps. Even Ferry’s schtick works. Manzanera, again, brings it in that bridge.

    Con — nothing worth mentioning.

    Final Grade — A-

    Mother Of Pearl:

    Pro — I like the slow section — groove, singing, lyric — well enough, though it goes on way, way, way too long. I get sick of it, until the actual outchorus starts up — then the arrangement gets some crunch in it.

    Con — When these guys try to “rock out,” it just sounds like a bad fit — well, for the Ferry/Oboe Guy/Eno component of the band, anyhow. And without them, what’s so special about this group?

    Final grade — C.

    Bottom line: I like this band when it slows down, gets atmospheric/introspective and plays to its strengths. When they try to glom artsy crap onto basic rock and roll, they bug the shit out of me.

    Hope that’s helpful,


  46. Mr. Moderator

    Funny you should describe Bryan Ferry that way. About 2 years ago he released a solo album of Dylan covers.

  47. junkintheyard

    *I meant spacemen but I seem to have spaced myself on pluralization

  48. Mr. Moderator

    Awesome analyses, HVB! Thanks a lot. You and E. Pluribus stepped up to the plate. Spock’s Vulcan family members are pleased and honored.

  49. hrrundivbakshi


    As it happens, I am one of those human beings who cannot smoke weed. I have tried, many times, over the years — but each time I smoke pot, I turn into a paranoid lunatic. Trust me when I say: if you made me smoke weed, and then asked me to listen to music, I would probably think the record player was trying to kill me. Me + marijuana = a very bad thing.

    Sorry to disillusion you all.


  50. Mr. Moderator

    Duly noted. I kind of became one of those individuals over time myself.

  51. Hrundi,

    You really stepped up to the plate. I’m done. What are your thoughts on The Move?


    Mothersbaugh absolutely belongs in that “man or machine” camp as well, but I’m giving him a pass. That first DEVO LP is phenomenal. Yeah, the “man or machine” thing is definitely going on, but it’s so uniquely out there that it’s frightening. I remember seeing them perform on Saturday Night Live in the 70s and actually being scared by them. They also have a rhythmic cleverness that a lot of those “man or machine” don’t have. Your typical “man or machine” rhythm section is usually pretty stiff, which is another reason why Bowie again succeeds. Rhythmically, his combos have always been pretty fluid.

    E. Pluribus

  52. Hrundi,

    I’m offering an olive branch. Sit back and enjoy:


    E, Pluribus

  53. hrrundivbakshi

    Hey, E. — Hell yeah, the Move were great! To be fair, they’re a more amazing singles band than album band, but lots of those singles kicked major ass. They’re one of the few bands that seem to display shitloads of “power pop”-friendly tricks and schticks — yet don’t, at the end of the day, leave you feeling like you just ate a candy sandwich.

    For my money — as great as “Omnibus” is — my fave Move song is this one:

    Your olive branch is gratefully accepted. You’re okay in my book!

  54. Mr. Moderator

    “Wild Tiger Woman”? How Prock of you, HVB! 🙂 That’s one Move song I’ve never gotten into; to me, it sounds like the genesis of Queen.

  55. The fewer people who like Roxy Music the better! That just makes those of us who love their music that much cooler.

  56. “Wild Tiger Woman”, for me, is the beginning of the end. Although Jeff Lynne was not a member at that point, he was definitely doing a lot of jabbing at a Roy Wood voodoo doll. There was something very unwholesome about Lynne joining the Move. He didn’t give a whole hell of a lot, but he sure as hell took a lot of Wood’s soul with him. I’m not trying to start trouble here, Hrundi. I’ve thought this for quite some time.

    E. Pluribus

  57. misterioso

    “the genesis of Queen”? Why not the queen of Genesis?

  58. alexmagic

    In the spirit of continued openness, I really like Lynne’s work with Wood in The Move proper, where he’s going out of his way to work in the Roy Wood style while still deploying his Lennon/McCartney tricks. I’m surprised that Move-Lynne songs like “Message From The Country” or “Words of Aaron” wouldn’t work for some of you, I would have put them forth as starting points for a Jeff Lynne healing moment.

    “Omnibus” may be their best song, and that bridge deserved to be mentioned in the Middle Eights thread. “Sweet silver meadows…” can stand against anything.

    “Wild Tiger Woman” skirts just over the line of too weird for me, but perhaps only because of the title, since it’s really not all that different from “Fire Brigade”, which I think is amazing. Huh, I never really thought about that.

    My favorite probably overly-weird-for-weird-sake Move song is “Turkish Tram Conductor Blues”, which – while strange – still straight ahead rocks. I think everything that goes down in that song is what Gene Simmons thought he was trying to do when he wrote his ‘heavy’ KISS songs. Somebody should cover that.

  59. Once again, extremely well put, but Lynne + The Move = Train Wreck, as far as I’m concerned. Not enough meat and heavy on the fairy dust.

    And yeah, that break in “Omnibus” is killer. I’m also a big fan of that ridiculous break in “Walk on the Water” that ends with a drum solo that goes on way too long but somehow or another works perfectly. The Moderator would never go along with this one, but I’m putting Bev Bevan in there with Mitch Mitchell, Keith Moon, Mick Avory, and that guy from the Hollies. He’s probably not as good, but he definitely went to the same sort of school as the rest of those thumpers.

    E. Pluribus

  60. Mr. Moderator

    Jeff Lynne wasn’t too bad in The Move, with “Do Ya” being his obvious winner. Isn’t “Ella James,” or whatever that song’s called, one of his? That’s my fourth-favorite song on that final Move album, behind “Do Ya,” “Chinatown,” and “California Man.”

    Lynne’s soul sucking of Roy Wood is unbelievable, continuing all the way through the final big ELO hit, “Don’t Bring Me Down.” In my long-planned series of 1-Question Interviews I would ask Roy Wood, “How does it feel to have had Jeff Lynne take everything worthwhle you ever did and make millions off it under ELO, which was also launched as your group, in part?”

  61. Mr. Moderator

    Plurbie and I spoke about Bevan offlist earlier today. I consider him about the worst drummer in the history of rock, but he somehow makes it work for The Move. The best drumming in any Move song, however, is that long jam from Moving On, I think the album is called, on which Jeff Lynne plays drums. (Bevan’s work in ELO doesn’t count because Lynne had him record each piece of his drum kit separately, probably using a separate track for every measure.)

  62. God bless you, Mr. Rosewater!

    E. Pluribus

  63. “the worst drummer in the history of rock”

    Worse than the drummers from the Byrds and Big Star? No way. I love both of those groups but not for the drumming.

  64. alexmagic

    Mod: I think you’re talking about “Feel Too Good” from Looking On. Much as I love Lynne’s output, I have always found it curious that a guy who can personally go to town on the drums like that whenever he wants to would later develop such a reliance on a plain, canned drum sound.

    If I could only ask Wood one question, it would be “Did The Computer ever find a way to get it on with Miss Clarke?”

    It just now occurs to me that Wood wrote “Miss Clarke and The Computer” on Boulders and 11 years later, Lynne contributed two songs to the soundtrack of Electric Dreams, a film also about a computer’s overwhelming urges to make it with a woman. Clearly, Lynne and Wood need to collaborate and start wearing Napoleon hats together again.

  65. Thank God somebody has finally acknowledged that Jody Stephens sucks. I’ve heard stories that the rest of the band forced him to him clap along to whatever was cranking out of the tour bus radio, because he continually had trouble with timing and finding the beat of a song, period. And as far as fills are concerned, is there a single instance in which he nailed one that was more than 3 consecutive thumps?

    E. Pluribus

  66. It’s not just his sense of time but the mere fact that he plays all those fills with more than three consecutive thumps. He had some decent ideas when it came to fills but he seems unable to tell his good ideas from his bad ones and really seems unable to execute any of them, good or bad. And I love Big Star, by the way.

  67. machinery

    I hate to write this on an internet site but here goes: If you don’t understand Jody’s drumming, you aint never smoked pot. There. I said it. That guy is a fucking drum genius. Might as well be mad at Levon Helm. Hey thar guy rarely did anything, right? … just highhat and snare. Sheesh.

  68. hrrundivbakshi

    I’m with Machinery on this. You all sound like a bunch of tight-asses to me. I’m listening to “Radio City” as I type, and Jody Stephens is loose and free and wonderful.

    What, a proper drum fill needs more than “three thumps”? Even if it were true that Jody Stephens couldn’t do that, it would still be ridiculous.

    And Mod — what’s with “Wild Tiger Woman” being “prock”? Huh?

    You guys are full of shit today.


  69. ladymisskirroyale

    It’s a good thing I’m at home now. Going through those YouTube links, you offered up a piece of Star Trek beefsteak, William Shatner’s nipples. I want to thank you.l

  70. ladymisskirroyale

    And speaking of Ladytron, it looks like they borrowed more than the name:

  71. Mr. Moderator

    Catching up, briefly…

    HVB, “Wild Tiger Woman” is the template for Queen. It’s Barbershop Rock. It’s creative and kind of dazzling, but I don’t have to like it. And I don’t.

    You’re welcome, ladymiss.

  72. BigSteve

    When I finally got The Move Anthology earlier this year (had never really heard them before), I thought it was pretty cool. But they’re definitely a second tier band. Maybe third, given all the great music that was happening at that time.

  73. trigmogigmo

    Mr. Mod, thank you for the warm welcome. It is just a bit intimidating stepping into this swarm of super incisive and insightful commentary on subjects near and dear to my heart, which I may not be good at expressing. (And I swear the keyboard ate the “o” in “too” twice, I know how to spell.)

    Just listened to the four linked MP3 tracks and they’re much better for me than the video. The whole glam look in the video makes me cringe a bit, but I really just didn’t get Ladytron. As I listened to the MP3s, though, I wondered if the lack of accompanying video made me focus on the music; certainly the album production is better than the live track. Hrrundi’s commentary was terrific!

    I think my formative musical tastes (other than earlier Beatles/Stones appreciation swiped from my parents’ record shelf) came just past this early Roxy era, so I don’t quite “get it”. But I love lots of Bowie. On the other thread about drummers, I have one for you for Tom Petty and it’s NOT Stan Lynch; it’s someone mentioned on this thread…

  74. Mr. Moderator

    Very cool, trigmogigmo. Your ability to express your rock thoughts is up to par, from what I can see. Keep ’em coming.

    When I first heard Roxy Music it helped that I didn’t have to look at them ( The space-age glam thing would have too quickly reminded me of Bowie, whom I was struggling with (beyond his standard Greatest Hits album) at the time. The cover shots of the sleazy models were easier on my formative mind. Then, once I accepted the cartoonish nature of their music the imagery of the band made a lot of sense and became part of the fun.

    I’m now curious to know the identity of the drummer who bugs you. I hope you add him in that post, so it’s there for future rock nerds to ponder. Thanks.

  75. 2000 Man

    It’s a good thing I’m at home now. Going through those YouTube links, you offered up a piece of Star Trek beefsteak, William Shatner’s nipples. I want to thank you.

    If I ever get talent in any magnitude bestowed upon me,I’m naming my band William Shatner’s Nipples.

  76. mockcarr

    I prefer Back Attack. That was the term we used when the bridge personnel or landing party would writhe in pain as a light beam or high-pitched sound caused immediate spasms that twisted their bodies while their feet remained firmly in place for the cameras.

  77. I’m on hold with Apple support and they’re playing Love It The Drug.

  78. 2000 Man

    I thought Apple didn’t need tech support?

  79. “I thought Apple didn’t need tech support?”

    Ha! This is user error, not machine error.

  80. hrrundivbakshi


    Hey, E., this would be a good time to post a link to that Romulan band.

  81. ladymisskirroyale

    I would definitely go see a show and buy the music of William Shatner’s Nipples.

  82. jeangray

    Early Roxy Music = Space Rawk.

    Space Rawk tends to scare some folks.

Lost Password?

twitter facebook youtube