Does anyone remember Roxy Music? How about the front man, Bryan Ferry?
Back in the early 80s I really enjoyed Avalon, a Roxy Music LP featuring Ferry. So I ordered the similarly titled Avonmore from the library out of sheer curiosity. We have an amazing library in TO and can get almost anything, if willing to wait a while.
When the disc arrived at my branch I wasn’t expecting much. Just another aging rocker trying to relive his or her glory days, right?
Well, the minute I got the CD rolling, I had to revise my expectations.
The first song “Loop De Li” is a nice tune with superb studio production—like a time tunnel to the past, but masterfully executed. Same thing with the second cut “Midnight Train.” So by this time, I’m thinking, wow, I can relive my youth and have a favorite album for the car!
Then the third cut comes along, “Soldier of Fortune,” and it’s a bit of cold cut. A very good song, but the atmospheric continuity is suddenly broken. I mean, if you’re going retro, shouldn’t your CD really be a concept album?*
That’s about the only gripe I have with this record. Some thematic continuity does reappear later on, along with a couple of covers. Even the covers are pretty good. Especially Robert Palmer’s “Johnny and Mary,” which comes off sort of sad and distant. But maybe that’s fitting considering Palmer passed away at age 54.
All in all, a good album. I probably wouldn’t spend $20 on it. If unavailable in the library I’d have listened through Spotify, enduring their irritating ads.
I feel that these multimillion dollar rockers have been overcharging the common folk for decades. It’s about time we got some payback. Although, come to think of it, we’re still being fleeced. Just in a different way. Taxes (library) and internet fees in Canada probably amount to a lot more home entertainment spending than just buying records.
Oh well. Pay up or be outcast. It’s the same old story.
*CNN aired that “Sixties” show again last night, produced by Tom Hanks and others. It claimed that Sgt. Peppers was the first concept lp to change everything. But this is debatable. Frank Sinatra did a sublime concept album in 1955 with In The Wee Small Hours.