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“Roxy Music: The Thrill of It All” is a two-DVD set, released in 2008
on the Virgin Records label. It consists of roughly 170 minutes of
songs performed during the career of this band, dating from 1972
to 1982.

Roxy Music was formed in 1971, and originally consisted of lead
singer and occasional keyboard player, Brian Ferry, bassist
Graham Simpson, guitarist Phil Manzanera, saxophonist and
oboist Andy Mackay, drummer Paul Thomson, and synthesizer
and “treatments” by Brian Eno. In their early years, they were at
the forefront of the then-nascent Glam Rock/Art Rock movement.
At that time, they were one of the few bands appearing to put
an almost equal emphasis on how they looked, as they did on their
music. They influenced the later New Wave style and even Punk Rock,
among other genres. Brian Eno left the band in 1973, and would later
become a musician/producer in his own right. Eddie Jobson stepped
in to replace him, playing synthesizer and violin.

After a break in 1976, the band reunited in 1978, and remained
together until 1983. Their final album, “Avalon,” was released in
1982. By that time, their earlier Progressive/Glam style had long
since been replaced with a more streamlined “New Wave,”
adult-oriented sound. I now realize that in certain respects,
the career and sound of Roxy Music parallels the progression of
Genesis. Both bands began with more adventuresome
music and later embraced more Pop-oriented, mainstream
aesthetics.

At any rate, this set provides a nice overview of their career,
and I liked the fact that all of the 36 songs included were in
chronological order. However, I disliked the lip-synching that
often occurred during their performances on shows, such as the
British Broadcasting Company’s “Top of the Pops,” or on their
promotional videos. Nevertheless, I suppose that these formats
are art forms in and of themselves, and it’s still worthwhile to
watch and hear them.

Naturally, the sound quality varied from the one source or
venue to another, but it was generally quite acceptable,
particularly on the promotional videos. Bonus extras of two
additional promotional videos are featured on Disc Two.

The Roxy Music lineup of instruments could include the oboe
and violin, among others, and they produced an eclectic type
of music over the years. This set effectively chronicles their
career, and should be particularly valuable to those who are
not fans, but who want a general overview of their oeuvre.
For what it’s worth, I understand that they reunited again in
2001 and have continued touring, if not releasing new material.

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