Today, Roxy Music frontman Bryan Ferry turns 73 years old. Glam rock band Roxy Music rose to prominence in the ’70s with eight studio albums, three number one albums in the U.K. and one album that went platinum in the U.S. Ferry has also been a prolific, accomplished solo musician, leaving Roxy Music in 1982 after their most commercially successful album to focus on his solo career. Ferry is known for his distinct croon and dazzling art-rock, and like David Bowie, both his appearance and back catalogue became vastly influential.
Roxy Music, which also featured Brian Eno for the first few years, released a self-titled debut album in 1972, followed by two albums just a year later, For Your Pleasure, and one of their most celebrated records, Stranded. In 1974, they released what many critics consider to be their strongest record, Country Life, which featured singles like “All I Want is You” and “The Thrill of It All.”
On October 28, 1974, the band performed at City Hall in Newcastle, England on a lengthy world tour. In addition to Ferry, Andy MacKay, Phil Manzanera and Paul Thompson, the show’s lineup featured former Curved Air multi-instrumentalist, Eddie Jobson (who replaced Eno) as well as bassist/vocalist John Wetton (King Crimson, Asia) who later formed the prog-rock band, U.K., with Jobson.
Wolfgang’s Alan Bershaw notes the show’s highlights:
Although Jobson and Wetton gave the band more of a prog feel, as opposed to the glam rock vibe of the earlier line-up, Roxy Music was and remains a vehicle for the creative triumvirate of Bryan Ferry, Phil Manzanera and Andy MacKay. Highlights of this show, recorded at City Hall in Newcastle, England, include the opener, “Prairie Rose,” “Mother Of Pearl,” “Out Of The Blue,” “In Every Dream Home A Heartache,” “All I Want Is You” and a blistering close that rocks out with the band’s greatest songs: “Virginia Plane,” “Editions Of You,” “Remake Remodel” and the infectious anti-dance song “Do The Strand.”
Listen to Roxy Music’s 1974 performance in full below and check out an interview with Ferry from 1986 further down.