Roxy Music – The Story of Roxy Music: More Than This
Eagle Records / Fontana (10/20/09)
As the early ’70s saw the music world still with the taste of hippies and blues on its tongue, in waltzed Roxy Music. Fresh out of art school, Bryan Ferry and Brian Eno banded together to form the group, which is one of the most influential to come out of the U.K.
The Story Of Roxy Music: More Than This, relives the creation of Roxy in 1971, their debut album Roxy Music, and all the way to the 2006 Dock Rock London reunion performance. Roxy needs a documentary of sorts, as they are as much a visual band as they are musical. Being an initiator of the avant-garde glam-rock scene, the image they portrayed told half, while the music completed the story. More Than This, gives a glimpse into what it may have been like to see or hear Roxy for the first time.
A considerable part of the documentary is dedicated to the culture that Roxy created, the music, the fashion and the lifestyle they invented—or more accurately, that Ferry shaped. The doc does lean more in the direction of Ferry, being the ringleader of the band and the dominate individual that he is. Other members, Eno included, seemed to be portrayed as only assistants to the whole—Eno and other band members Phil Manzanera (guitar), Andy Mackay (saxophone/oboe), Paul Thompson (drums) and Eddie Jobson (synth; Eno’s replacement) seem to get the most credit from each other. Other cameo interviews include Bono, Steve Jones (The Sex Pistols), John Taylor (Duran Duran), Siouxsie Sioux and Nile Rodgers (Chic).
The snippets of footage that are shown of some of the ’70s performances depict a bizarre oddity, that to be there, I imagine, would be comparable to your first orgasm or hit of acid—something so new and strange, you’re immediately hooked. For anyone looking for a real idea of the actual music, though, this is not the best portrayal. More Than This focuses on the stories of the members of the group, how the band inspired a generation around them, and how they were able to make a comeback in the late ’70s, still being adored as if they merely took a nap. The evolution of the band is laid out, illustrating how the music has changed throughout the years from experimental E.T. rock to Studio 54 hits, and also noting the digression of witty lyrics, originally a trademark of the band (“In Every Dream Home a Heartache”).
While someone who is already a hardcore Roxy fan probably won’t find find much in this doc that they didn’t already know, it does offer good (brief, but good) footage of 70s’ live performances. And the special features also provide a segment dedicated to the cover art, which is an intriguing look inside the conception of all eight album covers—which for a band like Roxy, is nearly half the show.
Overall, More Than Thisis a very good intro into the world Roxy Music created, and anyone who has a love of music should be familiar with this band, and everything they have contributed and influenced. What better to way to brush up than watching a band go from ’70s feathers and glitz to polos and pleated pants in the 21st century.