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More Than This – Roxy Music celebrate the 50th Anniversary of their debut album in style

September 2022

British art rock legends Roxy Music have returned to the live music scene, after an eleven-year absence, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of their self-titled debut album. Their month-long North American tour commenced in Toronto on 7 September, with a performance at the Scotia Bank Arena.

The 10-date North American tour will conclude on 28 September in Los Angeles, after which the band returns to the UK for three additional dates in October. 

The classic-era line-up of singer and pianist Brian Ferry, guitarist Phil Manzanera, saxophonist Andy MacKay, and drummer Paul Thompson, were joined on stage by an 8-member backing band.

Roxy Music was formed in London in 1970 by Ferry and McKay, along with synthesizer player Brian Eno, bass guitarist Graham Simpson and guitarist David O’List. Thompson joined in 1971 and Manzanera took over the guitarist role from O’List in 1972.

Over the next thirteen years, the band had a string of hits with their unique style of sophisticated glam rock/art rock music, including “Love Is The Drug”, “More Than This”, “Do the Strand”, a cover of John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy” and the title track from their final studio album, 1982’s Avalon. Ferry’s vocal style has been described as an “elegant, seductive croon”, and he’s usually attired in a collared shirt and jacket, with or without a tie.

Roxy Music has been credited with influencing early English punk music and the new wave music popular in the 1980s.

Over the initial run of the band, there were numerous line-up changes. Eno left in 1973, Thompson in 1980 and a series of bass guitarists and keyboardists came and went over the years by the time the band called it a day in 1983.

The Ferry, Manzanera, MacKay and Thompson line-up re-united from 2001-2011, during which time they recorded a new album, featuring song-writing and keyboard contributions from Brian Eno for the first time since 1973’s For Your Pleasure. Ultimately, the band decided not to release the album, as they felt it wasn’t good enough.

Roxy Music members Ferry, Manzanera, MacKay and Eddie Jobson (keyboardist and violinist from 1973-1976), re-united on 29 March 2019 for a one-off, six-song performance at the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Also inducted, but not in attendance, were Brian Eno, Paul Thompson and Graham Simpson.

The 2022 tour marks the first time the band has toured America since 2003, not counting their 15-minute performance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. The opening act on the North American portion of the tour is American singer-guitarist St. Vincent.

Sources: https://faroutmagazine.co.uk/roxy-music-reunite-for-50th-anniversary-tour, https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevebaltin/2022/07/17/sunday-conversation-roxy-musics-phil-mazanera-on-the-bands-fiftieth-anniversary-reunion-tour-bowie-and-more, https://www.roxymusic.co.uk, List of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees – Wikipedia.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

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