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Roxy Music: Both Ends Burning [Paperback]

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Item description for Roxy Music: Both Ends Burning by Jonathan Rigby...

The epitome of 70s glamour, Roxy Music's sophisticated but danceable, chart-friendly rock gained them a following that far surpassed the glam-rock constituency from which they sprang. The urbane voice and persona of singer Bryan Ferry, and the cutting-edge musicians---including Brian Eno, Eddie Jobson, Phil Manzanera, and Andy McKay---fashioned the band's music into a distinctive blend of pop, torch-ballad Euro-crooning, and avant-garde rock. Both Ends Burning: The Complete Roxy Music is the first book of its kind, with a song-by-song analysis of every album. There's also exhaustive coverage of the band's numerous live performances in all their incarnations, from 1972 to 2003.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   304
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.06" Width: 6.14" Height: 1.02"
Weight:   1.15 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2005
Publisher   Reynolds & Hearn
ISBN  1903111803  
ISBN13  9781903111802  

Availability  0 units.

More About Jonathan Rigby

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jonathan Rigby is a regular contributor to Shivers and Star Wars magazines. He is the author of Christopher Lee: The Authorised Screen History.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Arts & Literature > Biographies > Rock
2Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Music > General
3Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Music > Musical Genres > Popular
4Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Music > Musical Genres > Rock
5Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Pop Culture > Music > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Roxy Music: Both Ends Burning?

roxy music:both ends burning  Jan 30, 2007
great book, insightful,everything you want to know about the band is all here, review is done per song, get it and you will not regret it...
For your pleasure, indeed!  Apr 2, 2006
As a long-time rock (and jazz) music fan, I was somewhat late to hear and appreciate Roxy Music. My first exposure to them (like many Americans) was their 1975 single `Love is the Drug'. That song hit the airwaves during the onset of the dreaded disco phase, and with its dance floor rhythms, I didn't take either the song or the band too seriously. It was only later that I experienced what the band was really all about, becoming an enthusiastic convert to their unique, innovative sound. During the succeeding years, my appreciation of the band (and interest in them) expanded significantly. Having bought all of their albums on remastered CDs (as well as a few Bryan Ferry solo albums), my curiosity about their origins and influences grew. And, while there had been a book written about their front man (The Bryan Ferry Story by Rex Balfour), it seemed more of a PR effort than an objective treatment of the band.

Fast-forwarding to early 2005, I was excited to learn that Rigby's book was scheduled to be released in the U.S. that summer (it was delayed, however, by several months). Having read Rigby's superb English Gothic-A Century of Horror Cinema, I couldn't wait to delve into the book. But, given its belated publication, wait I did. Now that I've just finished it, the question of whether it was worth the wait can be answered with an emphatic `yes'.

Divided into five parts, beginning with Roxy Rising and ending with Roxy in Retreat, Rigby provides much detail, starting with the band's genesis and concluding with the latest developments in the wake of their hugely successful 2001 reunion and world-wide tour schedule. He lists each of their (so far) eight original albums chronologically, providing very incisive commentary and analysis of each song, including structure, instrumentation, technical aspects, lyrical content and the multifarious cultural, literary and musical elements reflected in their material. This analysis includes variations of songs, such as remixes, singles, B-sides and `throwaways'. And, in keeping with the book's self-description as the `complete guide to Roxy Music', is equally as detailed regarding the various individual member's solo output and collaborations.

In addition to his pithy critiques on the music itself, the author provides excellent biographical information on each band member, which helps to give insight into their respective musical ideas and contributions. (for example, Phil Manzanera's Latin-oriented sensibilities stemming from his childhood years in Cuba and Venezuela). And, while acknowledging Bryan Ferry's over-all dominance and talent, Rigby is no fawning sycophant, not reluctant to cite his tendency to be a `control freak' and his `self-aggrandizement', and to criticize the usually inferior quality of most of Ferry's solo output. Still, such foibles are treated fairly and objectively.

If there is any criticism to be leveled at the work, it is minor. For me, Rigby devotes too much attention to Brian Eno's post-Roxy output. As the only self-described `non musician' of the group, Eno helped to develop the initial Roxy `sound' with his use of tape loops, VCS3 synthesizer effects and general "treatment" of the instrumentation. And for this, Eno is given fair credit. For many, however, most of his solo releases, which focus on `ambient sounds', are so far removed from anything Roxy Music produced as to be extraneous at best. Another (very minor) criticism is that, while Rigby has an expansive vocabulary and engaging writing style, he is prone to over usage of certain adjectives such as `anodyne' and `elegiac' (accurate though they may be).

Finally, a couple of bits of trivia. The book's actual cover differs from that which is pictured here (the picture shown is the book's back photo). In an homage to early Roxy albums, the front photo features a porcelain-skinned, flaxen-haired young woman laying on a black silk sheet, with thinly painted eyebrows and ruby-red lips, clad only in a short, opened, leopard skin jacket strategically placed over breasts, and a copy of an old Disc fanzine with a picture of 1972 era Roxy on the cover obscuring her nether regions. And, best of all for Roxy fans, discussion by the band of the recording of a new album of original material to be released sometime this year. After all, "the next time is the best time, we all know!"

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