Song: Out of the Blue
Band: Roxy Music
Country Life came out in 1974. Among its many stellar tracks was this sophisticated number oozing a cool, almost clinical sleekness, for which frontman Bryan Ferry shares songwriting credits along with the band’s guitarist, Phil Manzanera. This is 70s British so-called art rock at its glossy finest - svelte, assured, daring yet terribly stylized - a stream of glistening esoterica punctuated with raunch and flash, ending with a wild run of heavily flanged electric violin courtesy Edwin Jobson.
This cut exemplifies a particular era of the band’s history - shortly following the departure of Brian Eno (who would go on to forge a career as a hugely influential musical alchemist, collaborator and producer), and still 8 years away from the silken pop orchestration of Avalon. The band was beginning to hint at the abandonment of its more avant-garde roots, moving steadily towards something more conventionally cohesive and Ferry-dominated - an equally accomplished mode perhaps, one far more accessible to the masses. But here - on Out of The Blue? We’re perched on the knife edge of cool.