What It Is: This DVD is a great nostalgic chronicle of the history behind Roxy, from Bryan Ferry's Art School days, early bands, and the roots leading up to what was probably the most stylistically significant group to emerge from England since the Beatles.
Recollections from Ferry, Mackay, Manzanera, Eno, Paul Thompson and Eddie Jobson are abundant, as are comments from other luminaries who were influenced by Roxy - Bono, John Taylor, Siouxsie Sioux, Steve Jones, etc, make pertinent comments on the continent-crossing influence they had on other musical movements and style trends.
Roxy were eccentric, quirky, glitzy, kitschy, seedy and sexy, and the first glimpse of the future musically. And they had musical chops to boot. For a band who became synonymous with style, they actually began as an outfit without style - they were implementing 6 or 8 musical styles simultaneously, thus making them too schizoid and original for an American audience, that is, until `Avalon', their last LP. They were the biggest touring group in Europe during the early-mid 70`s, bar none. As stated in the lyrics of an early hit, `Do The Strand', "All styles served here", and never was this more so.
Ferry was the first world-weary romantic, and this image led to the New Romantic wave in the early 80`s. Unfortunately, the bastard sons of Roxy were usually insipid, grave-robbing poseurs like Duran Duran, Human League, Heaven 17, ABC, Kissing The Pink, etc, who offered precious little new musically.
Ferry also had the uncanny ability to make covers of other artists songs all his own (all his early solo LP's were cover tunes that bore little resemblance to the originals), whether it was Neil Young's `Like A Hurricane' or John Lennon's `Jealous Guy' - as a Beatles/ Lennon freak, I never thought ANYONE could take a Lennon/McCartney tune and make it their own, but Ferry prove me wrong with his cover of `Jealous Guy' - it remains one of the greatest covers of all time.
What it's not: Unfortunately, there isn't an entire complete song or performance on the dvd, a whole music video, nothing. We get 10 or 20 seconds of a track then a comment from somebody, which kills the mood for me periodically. Also, I could do without the commentaries by journalists who were breast-feeding when this band was at the height of their prowess - they offer nothing by way of insight. Nothing at all. The main feature clocks in at only 52 minutes - I wanted more, `More Than This'...
The extras with Antony Price reflecting on the mishaps of doing all the photo shoots of their album covers was entertaining, as their LP covers had much to do with how
we perceived the band and how they were marketed - no pics of the band themselves appeared on ANY of their 8 original album covers.
The only other extras are 3 live tunes from 2006, and here we see older men replicating their material, not hungry young men seeking their first taste of fame + fortune, but aging stars who made it big and lost it along w/ their youth + hunger for `The Thrill Of It All'.