Agony Shorthand

Tuesday, April 08, 2003
RANDOM ROXY MUSIC THOUGHT, AS BEFITS A BLOG....That's what these are for, right? So how come no one's ever put out the definitive first-wave ROXY MUSIC greatest hits collection, "Roxy Music's Greatest Hits", on CD? There must be a reason for it, as this is as perfect a collection of their first 5 LP's hits as one could imagine. There's this thing, and then this thing as well, but they've got all that "Angel Eyes", "Dance Away" and (*shudder*) "Slave To Love" MOR pablum on it -- what about "Editions of You", hunh??? The original LP was an exceptionally formative record for me, since once I'd heard "Virginia Plain" and "Love is the Drug" on FM radio as a teenager, I was absolutely married to the band's 1970s stuff. If I may be so bold, here's the track listing regurgitated from memory (someone let me know if I screwed this up): Virginia Plain / Do The Strand / All I Want Is You / Out of the Blue / Pyjamarama / Love Is the Drug / Mother of Pearl / The Thrill of It All / A Song For Europe / Editions of You. UPDATE: I forgot "Street Life". Other than the middling "A Song For Europe" -- I think just about anyone would take "Re-make/Re-model" or even "In Every Dream Home a Heartache" in its place -- this is a fantastic "hits" collection from a band who were one of the few massive UK 70s hitmakers to also break significant rockandroll ground.

Still, if you feel like 'fessing up about it, you gotta admit that those first five LPs are a bit uneven. Each one has got at least 3 complete throwaways; I'm thinking, for instance, of the boring exploratory ones like "Bitter's End" or "Grey Lagoons", to single out songs from the Eno-era Roxy Music alone. That's why I'm glad that someone put out "The Early Years", a great collection of the no-doubt-about-it WINNERS from the first two LPs. It's full of intense, chirping electronics, screaming guitar & Ferry's counterintuitively listenable voice. I'm hoping that in lieu of the original "Greatest Hits" coming out on CD, someone can do the same for the next 3 records ("Siren", "Stranded" and "Country Life")....