Saturday, May 21, 2011

307 Avalon. Roxy Music- Thankfully not quite as pretentious as the cover art.

Album: Avalon
Artist: Roxy Music
Year: 1982
Genre: Art- rock


  1. More Than This
  2. The Space Between
  3. Avalon
  4. India
  5. While My Heart Is Still Beating
  6. The Main Thing
  7. Take a Chance with Me
  8. To Turn You On
  9. True to Life
  10. Tara

I've been reading lots of reviews for this album and there are a few words that keep appearing in almost all of them. One is “polished” and the other is “production.” Frequently these words appear in the same sentence. Pretty much everyone can agree that this is a well produced album.  An album so well produced it’s basically polished. It’s polished to a glaring sheen of reflection and buffed to the point where it’s flawless with absolutely everything in it’s right place. It’s the perfect marriage of synthesizers, low-key saxophones, carefully arranged backing vocals and effects. And it’s almost impossible to put into words how dull it is. I know it’s impossible to be literally polished and literally dull at the same time but Avalon manages to pull it off.

There’s a track on the second side of Avalon called Take a Chance on Me which immediately jumps out and grabs any lover of irony by the throat. At no point did anyone take a chance during the recording of Avalon. Nobody just grabbed their instrument and let inspiration move them, every note seems organized and planned in advance with no chance for anyone to do anything that might disturb the polish. Anyone in danger of feeling passionate about something was told to go and have a lie down while the producer sorted out the best synthesizer effect for the next overdub.

Probably the best thing about Roxy Music is Brian Ferry’s voice which sadly takes a bit of a back seat here. He can make a really beautiful sound that Brian but he’s not really given the chance to outshine the bright sheen of polish. If your the sort of person who talks about production and how much you enjoy it then Avalon is probably the perfect record for you. If you’re the sort of person who has ever used the word “raw” to describe your favourite music you should probably give this a wide berth.

Influenced by: Arthurian legend.
Influenced: Future art rockers.

Highlight: Take a chance on me.
Lowlight: The title track.

Favourite Amazon Customer Review: "I see that everyone is going ga ga over this album like it is great. It is not great. Are you kidding?
The first song, "More Than This", is such an obvios redux of The Spinettes "3, 4 and More". Whilst "The Main Thing" is obviously (I think I misspelled "obvious" in the first sentence. Oops!) a ripoff of "The Main Thing" by Robbie Terrel, same lyrics too.

And, call me "Wacky", but "Avalon" and "India" seem a little too reminiscent of "Avalon" and "My India" by Fantastic (when real diva Simina sang for them).

I'm pretty sure of this stuff anyway. I know I've al least heard these songs before somewhere.

What is this? These guys get the glory from doing some uncredited remakes (I think)? Huh? That's horrible.

-This guy does this a lot. He loves inventing bands and artists that don't exist and then claiming people ripped them off. It sends die-hard fans wild with rage. I assume he gets some kind of kick out of it.

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