Roxy Music ‎– Manifesto

Label:
ATCO Records ‎– SD 38-114
Format:
Vinyl, LP, Album
Country:
Released:
Genre:
Style:

Tracklist Hide Credits

A1 Manifesto
Written-By – Ferry*, Manzanera*
5:30
A2 Trash
Written-By – Ferry*, Manzanera*
2:13
A3 Angel Eyes
Written-By – Mackay*, Ferry*
3:32
A4 Still Falls The Rain
Written-By – Ferry*, Manzanera*
4:11
A5 Stronger Through The Years
Written-By – Ferry*
6:13
B1 Ain't That So
Written-By – Ferry*
5:39
B2 My Little Girl
Written-By – Ferry*, Manzanera*
3:18
B3 Dance Away
Written-By – Ferry*
3:45
B4 Cry, Cry, Cry
Written-By – Ferry*
2:54
B5 Spin Me Round
Written-By – Ferry*
5:12

Companies, etc.

Credits

Notes

Side A is labelled "East Side"
Side B is labelled "West Side"

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (Etched Side A): ST-C-794235-DDD-1 @TGP -RM- (PR) PRC
  • Matrix / Runout (Etched Side B): ST-C-794236-DDD-1 @TGP -RM- PRC (PR)
  • Rights Society: BMI

Other Versions (5 of 84) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
2310 651 Roxy Music Manifesto(LP, Album) Polydor, EG 2310 651 UK 1979 Sell This Version
CD 26046 Roxy Music Manifesto(CD, Album) Reprise Records CD 26046 Canada Unknown Sell This Version
2344 129 Roxy Music Manifesto(LP, Album) Polydor, EG 2344 129 Germany 1979 Sell This Version
UICY-40127 Roxy Music Manifesto(CD, Album, Ltd, RE, RM, Pla) Virgin UICY-40127 Japan 2015 Sell This Version
EGCD 38 Roxy Music Manifesto(CD, Album, RE) EG EGCD 38 Unknown Sell This Version

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toshberman

toshberman

October 7, 2017
I think of Roxy Music in two stages. Their first five albums are to me, the complete circle of that band. After those five albums, the band kind of broke-up to focus on solo music. Ferry at that time was still doing albums that were half original and the other half covers. "In Your Mind" was the only Ferry album at that time where it was all original songs, written by Bryan. Still, the truth is even the covers he did was a personal or even original statement by Ferry. A cover is a cover unless it was done by Bryan Ferry and then it means something else. "Manifesto" was the first Roxy Music album after they split up. There's a four-year wait between "Siren" and "Manifesto." There was a lot of activity in those four years by Ferry and company away from the Roxy Music world. What's interesting about this 'good' album is that it has nothing more to say.

"Manifesto" is more about the craft of good songwriting and recording than inspiration. Emotionally, the songs sound post-depression has taken place. It's interesting that this once radical band puts out an album in 1979, where there was a great landscape for the post-punk music world. The title song "Manifesto" touches on that era music-wise but lyrically is rather dry.

"Manifesto" is a very good album, but compared to the high standards of the first five Roxy albums, it's not that important of a work. Still, commercially it did wonders for them through songs "Dance Away" and "Angel Eyes." Those two are perfectly written pop, but sounds empty compared to something like "Virginia Plain." For one, Ferry is now at this point writing very literal lyrics expressing sadness, romance, and so forth. The surreal brutality of "Every Dream Home a Heartache" has been replaced by lyrics like :

"Yesterday, when it seemed so cool
When I walked you home, kissed goodnight
I said, "It's love", you said, "Alright"
It's funny how, I could never cry
Until tonight, when you pass by
Hand in hand with another guy
You're dressed to kill and guess who's dying"
("Dance Away" Bryan Ferry)

Compared to something like:

"Throw me a line I'm sinking fast
Clutching at straws can't make it
Havana sound we're trying
hard edge the hipster jiving
Last picture shows down the drive-in
You're so sheer you're so chic
Teenage rebel of the week
Flavours of the mountain steamline
Midnight blue casino floors
Dance the cha-cha through till sunrise
Open up exclusive doors oh wow!
Just like flamingos look the same
So me and you, just we two got to search for something new"
(Virginia Plain" Bryan Ferry)

This is not bad Ferry writing, but a difference has taken place. One can look at it as a maturity, but to me, I see it more of a convention or normalizing his world of writing. The music also loses its innovative edge. The arrangements are straightforward and to the point. Still, the album is a delight on its own terms. This is the first Roxy Music album that was self-produced by the band. Manzanera is still a guitar demon on the album, and Mackay's Oboe and sax playing is textural and adds a lot to the mix. The disappointment, especially if one is a long-term fan of Roxy Music that this could have been a better album. At the same time, there is a seduction of Ferry's voice, which he can sing the alphabet if he wanted to, and it can bring significant meaning to those letters. That aspect of Ferry and company never fails. Perhaps they looked at "Manifesto" as an experimentation to make a commercial album? The technique is there, but not the spirit. - Tosh Berman