Roxy Music, one of the first and best art-rock bands of the 1970s, is chronicled in this account of decadent glam-rock excess. Included are accounts of Ferry's affair with supermodel Jerry Hall and its public end when she left him for Mick Jagger, the band's various splits and regroupings, and the recent reunion in 2001 for a sold-out greatest hits tour. Years of researchRoxy Music, one of the first and best art-rock bands of the 1970s, is chronicled in this account of decadent glam-rock excess. Included are accounts of Ferry's affair with supermodel Jerry Hall and its public end when she left him for Mick Jagger, the band's various splits and regroupings, and the recent reunion in 2001 for a sold-out greatest hits tour. Years of research and interviews with all the major participants, including Ferry himself, have resulted in a definitive history of a band that changed popular music forever. ...
|Title||:||The Thrill of It All: The Story of Bryan Ferry & Roxy Music|
|Number of Pages||:||368 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Thrill of It All: The Story of Bryan Ferry & Roxy Music Reviews
David Buckley did an excellent job on the Bowie bio, and in turn this is also an interesting book on what I think is one of the major groups to come out of the 70's glam scene. In fact they're a foundation! There was not a weak link in the original line-up of Roxy Music. And the fact that they also built a bridge between the avant-garde and pure classic pop is an important route to go on as a listerner.Roxy Music is also about the visual art world, design world, and of course the fashion world. It's a combination of visual wit with extremely underrated songwriting. Buckley writes about all this and he does a good job.
An unusual biography in that it focuses on a band member that according to this author's account was one of the less talented members of the group. I did wonder whether Buckley's original intention was to write a biography of Roxy Music only but was persuaded by their publisher that one based on the lead singer was more commercially viable. The earlier sections of the book were enjoyable to read and Buckley's enthusiasm for the first few years of Roxy comes across clearly. I didn't enjoy the solo years period as much though as the author didn't seem as interested and gave an account which was partial. Whilst I do prefer a biographer to take a critical stance to the subject they should also give credit where it is due, which didn't seem to happen here. He criticises Ferry's choice of songs on the Taxi album for example on the basis that many had been covered by other artists. Surely this isn't a problem if a performer puts their own stamp on the material which was definitely the case here. Whilst rightly dismissive of a peculiar reading of Amazing Grace, Buckley neglects to mention some of the stronger material on the album such as the atmospheric All Tomorrow's Parties and the nicely crafted Rescue Me which cleverly employed a Morse code motif as part of the rhythm.The book does benefit from interviews with Ferry and other people associated with his career but unfortunately the key personnel did not participate so the views of Mackay, Manzanera et al aren't represented to a great extent. It would have been interesting to hear Manzanera's reaction to original Roxy guitarist David O'List's claim that Manzanera copied him note for note and bought the same guitar to reproduce the same sound. At times a single source is quoted without any discussion as to the accuracy of their statement. Mick Rock's assertion that Ferry was probably taking drugs at the time of the final 3 Roxy albums isn't supported by any evidence, and seems unlikely when Ferry's statement of his distate of drug use is taken into account.The weakest parts of the book find Buckley quoting irrelevant commentary from people with little relevance to the subject. I am sure that most readers aren't particularly interested in Martyn Ware and Mark Radcliffe's views. Buckley also quotes a 'typical fan' on the Roxy reunion who declared that they should get Eno back in and do some new material, this seemed to be included purely to back Buckley's claim that Brian Eno was the genius auteur in the band. I find it hard to believe that fans only really liked the first 2 Roxy albums which made up a quarter of their output. Throughout the book the enthusiasm for Eno is overblown, the nadir being the reference to him having probably sold millions of solo albums.Whether you agree or disagree with the author's stance you should find this of interest as it is generally well researched and contains some interesting and amusing anecdotes. Kudos is due also for the comprehensive bibliography and discography sections. Not a definitive account by any means but certainly worth a look.
Well-written and researched biography of the band, focussing on enigmatic lead singer Bryan Ferry. I found this considerably more comprehensive than another biography on the band that I read a while back (Unknown Pleasures, by Paul Stump), and it's also more recent, being written in 2004.The major shortcoming for me is the paucity of direct interviews with the band members -- we get plenty (indeed, often an excess) of opinionated quotes from lesser known associates of the band and various other hangers on, presumably quite happy to get their two cents on the record -- but what's glaringly absent are the opinions that really count. I'd love to read lengthy discussions/confessions from Ferry and Eno regarding Eno's acrimonious departure from the band after the second album, or Jerry Hall and Mick Jagger regarding the latter's wooing of the former away from a hapless Ferry. But probably even the most clout-wielding journalist in town would be unable to elicit such information, and it's clearly well beyond the author's reach. That being said, the author does provide a balanced, and at times starkly critical, perspective on Ferry that would perhaps would have suffered from greater collaboration with the singer.I'd like to see a second edition (though not sure if I'd bother to read it), updated to include Ferry's latest solo effort, Olympia -- which is actually quite a decent album.
In many ways I read this book just to understand why I should care about Roxy music?....I am a fan of music in most forms and although I have picked up various Bryan Ferry and Roxy music vinyl and CD releases over the years from car boot sales and charity shops I have only really given them a cursory listen feeling much of the time that the hype generated from the build up others have given the releases doesn't translate in actuality.....as you can tell I'm not a Roxy music fan per se..However I did enjoy reading up on the creative process of the band and understanding how their Canon is maybe worth me revisiting just as there does seem to be some development there.The book is in actuality more a focus on the front man but given the personnel changes in the band Ferry was always likely to be the focus...an unusual character in many ways a working class lad with aspirations to the gentry and this perception may be one of the reasons I struggle with the band...in fairness from reading the interviews within the book Ferry has never tried to dismiss his roots and indeed shows some pride in them.He comes across as a complicated character someone who courts the level of fame of his contemporaries but who in some ways seems to be a fragile character.This book has given me the will to relisten to the bits I have with fresh ears so in that way job done.
I had read a review of a more recent book about Roxy Music (Michael Bracewell's "Remake Remodel: Becoming Roxy Music", which, as it turns out, hasn't been published in the US yet) when I picked this up at the library. It's fairly routine rock journalism, and a little too willing to give in to musical prejudices, but there are some genuinely good observations on what made the sound and look of the original Roxy (the Eno period) such a cultural breakthrough - and why they never caught on in America.
A disappointment, to say the least. This book taught me that I really don't love everything about Roxy Music, and that after the break-up with Jerry Hall, Bryan Ferry was really boring. As I "read", my mind wandered and I found myself wishing for a coffee-table-sized photo-record of Brian Eno's rapidly receding glam-rock hairline instead.This is the first book in a long time that I had no interest in finishing.
A solid critical biography of Bryan Ferry, a performer who broke all the rules about what a rock front man could be for three years in the early '70s, then retreated to stuffy, overly calculated convention before lapsing into a multi-decade torpor. What went wrong? This book does a good job of explaining why the shy, insecure, self-doubting Ferry derailed his career and managed to, one by one, shed the musicians who helped him create the spectacular, innovative sounds of early Roxy Music.
Buckley gives a lot of lip service to how great Bryan Ferry is, but he doesn't seem to think Ferry is all that great. Eno comes out looking way more awesome. But I love the weird little tid bits of info. For instance, Ferry's son is a Master of the Hunt. WTF? Trollope, anyone?
Writing style was rather choppy and I found that distracting from the content which was interesting.