Friday, December 8, 2017

The End: Both Ends Burning

Roxy Music: Both Ends Burning

Roxy Music is one of those bands that have a handful of songs that I like (basically, the band’s “greatest hits”), but I never really spent time with their deeper tracks. Strangely, I think that it is Bryan Ferry’s voice that has put me off, despite the fact that I recognize that it is a fine voice. There’s a certain smarminess that I’ve never really liked, and his lounge lizard persona never appealed to me. I’ve been a bigger fan of guitarist Phil Manzanera and original synthesizer/effects man Brian Eno (and even multi-instrumentalist Eddie Jobson, who was in the band for a few albums) than I ever was of Ferry or Roxy. Despite my reservations, I do recognize that the band was influential, straddling the worlds of prog, glam, dance and new wave music during their career.

“Both Ends Burning” is from Roxy’s fifth album, Siren, the blue one with Jerry Hall, one of many Ferry girlfriends to grace the band’s albums over the years, on the cover (see above). It’s the album that had “Love Is The Drug” on it, which I’m willing to bet was the first Roxy Music song that I ever heard. Siren is a transitional album, where the quirkier edges of their early work began to smooth out, and that is probably why it was popular, but also why some critics found it less compelling.  “Both Ends Burning” is a good example of this—it is a relatively straightforward, mid-tempo rock song about the rigors of living a hard life, including long stretches on the road, but it also has odd synth and guitar bits and textures that makes it memorable. And Ferry’s louche, world-weary delivery works perfectly for the song.

Over the next few years, Roxy Music became more of a Bryan Ferry vehicle (even as Ferry was releasing solo albums), and became slicker and slicker, culminating with Avalon, which was popular, lushly beautiful and to some degree, dull. And I say that, acknowledging that there are a couple of songs on it that I do really like. While the band performed live over the years, in various configurations, Avalon turned out to be Roxy Music’s last studio album, or, as we call it here, The End.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The End: End of the Innocence

purchase [End ]

I've seen cover after amazing cover of this song.
It's a pretty solid song: the lyrics can take you to all sorts of places:

it speaks to the future
it speaks to the end
it speaks to hope

At this time in history - because once it will be history - it's tough not not to get political. I got [too] political in my last post at considerable risk to being shut down (yes, that what happens in some parts of the world when you speak your voice)

What better chance to once again bring the issues to light:
In many ways, the days we are living through ARE in fact the end of our innocence.
Fake News - and worse - is all pushed aside to make room for ... less or worse ... Sudan's drought, N. Korea's nukes.. or things as mundane(!) as the UK's Brexit .. today's news ... WTF have we come to?!?!

How on Earth did Leno manage to bring this group together? It's like my dream team of music:
Jackson, Shawn, Bonnie, Bruce & David - The End Of The Innocence - TV Show