with startling, boundless creativity, roxy music's juiced-up debut record put a subversive spin on mid-'70s conventions, embracing glam-pop and artsy electronics while harboring a deep love of classic rock songcraft. brian eno's stamp is all over the record, driving songs like 're-make / re-model' down strange, atonal avenues. bryan ferry's nightclub glamour-boy persona and wandering vibratos help make timeless epics out of molehills like the track 'virginia plain.' eno stuck around for one more record, 1973's 'for your pleasure', leaving ferry and the band to embrace their less avant-garde leanings. this unpredictable, dangerous record might be a shock for those who associate roxy music with the silky sounds of later records such as 'flesh and blood' and 'avalon'. it is nevertheless essential listening for all who care about boundary-defining rock, as well as the possibilities for profound innovation and redefinition that artists like david bowie, t rex, and the new york dolls promised, but never quite delivered - not on island anymore of course, but too good to miss from this selection.
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