Saturday, March 05, 2016

"Siren," Roxy Music (1975)

As Simon Frith noted in his Rolling Stone review of the album, six musicians were credited on the back cover of “Siren,” while eight people were credited with the cover design.  Frith’s review is worth seeking out; it’s a prime example of the best that RS used to offer in its Record Review section.

The cover model is Jerry Hall, who at the time was dating Roxy Music auteur Bryan Ferry.  This week Hall married Rupert Murdoch, and for years was in a relationship with Mick Jagger.  I’m not quite sure what to make of that progression, or if Ferry to Jagger to Murdoch even represents progress.  But cheers to her, nonetheless.

The first time I heard “Love is the Drug,” I was lying in bed on a lazy Sunday morning in early 1976, listening to “American Top 40.”  The song didn’t make it any higher than #30 (thanks, Wikipedia), but in retrospect is sure sounds like one of the best singles of the decade.

Reflecting today, Roxy Music was a real turning point in the evolution of my musical tastes.  They really sounded like nothing I’d heard or listened to up to that point, and they were certainly different than anything playing at that time on American radio.  And like the best rock music, “Siren” sounds as fresh today as it did upon release.  One might even say that Bryan Ferry’s world-weary approach to vocals is the perfect sound for any era.

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