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June 20, 2016

Roxy Music – Avalon (1982) – Lp

by Record Facts

Roxy Music were an English rock group formed in 1971 by Bryan Ferry, who became the group’s lead vocalist and chief songwriter, and bassist Graham Simpson. Alongside Ferry, the other longtime members were Phil Manzanera, Andy Mackay and Paul Thompson. Other former members include Brian Eno, Eddie Jobson and John Gustafson.

roxy music - avalon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artist:  Roxy Music
Title:  Avalon
Year:  1982
Format:  LP
Label:  E.G. Records
Catalog#  2311154

Avalon is the eighth and final studio album by the English rock band Roxy Music. Released in May 1982. It was recorded in 1981–82 at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahamas, and is generally regarded as the culmination of the smoother, more adult-oriented sound of the band’s later work.
It was the band’s most successful studio album, reaching No. 1 in the UK (for 3 weeks) and staying on the album charts for over a year.
Although it only climbed as high as No. 53, Avalon is notable for being the band’s only million-selling record in the United States.

Bryan Ferry started working on the material for Avalon while staying at Crumlin Lodge on the west coast of Ireland. Ferry was there with his girlfriend, Lucy Helmore, who would become his wife in 1983.

The album cover artwork featured the same lake that can be seen from the lodge. Phil Manzanera has said about the making of the record “By the time you get to Avalon, 90 per cent of it was being written in the studio.

That album was a product of completely changing our working methods,” adding “for the last three albums, quite frankly, there were a lot more drugs around as well, which was good and bad. It created a lot of paranoia and a lot of spaced-out stuff.”

Bryan Ferry said “I’ve often thought I should do an album where the songs are all bound together in the style of West Side Story, but it’s always seemed like too much bother to work that way. So instead, I have these 10 poems, or short stories, that could, with a bit more work, be fashioned into a novel.

Avalon is part of the King Arthur legend and is a very romantic thing, when King Arthur dies, the Queens ferry him off to Avalon, which is sort of an enchanted island. It’s the ultimate romantic fantasy place.”

Phil Manzenara has said of the title track, “Avalon”, “When we were recording the third or fourth album in London we’d often be working in the same studio as Bob Marley, who’d be downstairs doing all of those famous albums. It just had to rub off somewhere.” Rhett Davies recounted the story of how the song got made: “With the ‘Avalon’ song we had to recut the entire song right at the end of the album.
We were actually mixing the album, and the version of the song that we’d done just wasn’t working out, so as we were mixing we recut the entire song with a completely different groove.

We finished it off the last weekend we were mixing. We put some percussion on and some drums on, and then on the Sunday, in the quiet studio time they used to let local bands come in to do demos, Bryan and I popped out for a coffee, and we heard a girl singing in the studio next door. It was a Haitian band that had come in to do some demos, and Bryan and I just looked at each other and went ‘What a fantastic voice!’ That turned out to be Yanick Etienne, who sang all the high stuff on ‘Avalon’. She didn’t speak a word of English. Her boyfriend, who was the band’s manager, came in and translated. And then the next day we mixed it.
“More Than This,” “Take a Chance with Me,” “While My Heart Is Still Beating,” and the title track are immaculately crafted and subtle songs, where the shifting synthesizers and murmured vocals gradually reveal the melodies. It’s a rich, textured album and a graceful way to end the band’s career.

 

Side one
1.  More Than This  (4:31)
2.  The Space Between  (4:28)
3.  Avalon (4:15)
4.  India  (1:45)
5.  While My Heart Is Still Beating  (3:25)

Side two
1.  The Main Thing  (3:47)
2.  Take A Chance With Me (4:43)
3.  To Turn You On (4:10)
4.  True To Life  (4:20)
5.  Tara  (1:32)

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